A Father and Son Talk
by Jay Banks

A father looked at his son, now a teenager, and decided it was time to explain some things to him. He called his son into the living room and talked to him for a little bit. After a little conversation the father asked his son to look out the window.  

He asked, "What do you see?"

His son replied, "I see the neighbor's house."

"OK," the father said, "I want you to pretend that you see a moving truck outside their house, and it appears the neighbors are putting boxes into the truck."

"Where are they going?" the son asked.

"Well, son, it seems they have decided to move into the deepest heart of Africa, where they will be the only white people for hundreds and hundreds of square miles."

"That sounds crazy, won't they be in a lot of danger?" the son said.

"Well yes," the father replied, "And now I want you to imagine that in these troubled times, an inflammatory situation exists in Africa where all the tribes that will surround them in every direction, have declared war on all white people, swearing to wipe out every last one of them."

"That's not too hard to imagine," the son replied, almost laughing a little bit.

"Well," the father went on, "as crazy as it is that someone would put themselves, and their family, in a situation like that, not only do our neighbors insist on going ahead with their plan to move to Africa, they have gone to each house in the neighborhood and asked us to all chip-in and pay for their defense, and what they have asked for is quite a bit of money...so much so, in fact, that it could affect our ability to help you get your first car and help with your education. And despite the fact that our city charter prohibits tax money from being spent outside of our city limits, there is a rumor going around that our neighbors are talking to the city council asking for a percentage of the city tax revenue, with the money going straight into their so-called 'African defense fund'."

"That's crazy. Why should we have to pay for their defense when they are knowingly going into a dangerous situation?" the son asked.

"We shouldn't have to," the father replied. "While they are free to move to Africa, we should be free to support them or not support them as we see fit. If the neighborhood passes a hat around and people want to freely give something, that is their choice, but it is wrong of our neighbors to lobby the city council for a percentage of the tax revenue. Because a tax isn't voluntary, we should not be forced by law to pay for the defense of someone moving half-way around the world, into an extremely hostile situation, especially when giving them tax-payer money would violate our city charter to begin with."

"I agree totally," said the son.

The father paused for a minute and said, "Now son, I want you to think about everything we have just discussed, only this time, instead of our neighbors, I want you to envision Jewish people. And instead of the move to Africa, I want you to envision the move being to the middle east."

The son looked puzzled for a minute, and you could tell he was thinking hard about the direction the discussion had turned.

"But... but doesn't that change things, dad?" he asked. "After all, I seem to remember being taught in Sunday school that Jews were God's chosen people, and something about nations being judged by their treatment of Israel."

"That's a fair point," the father said. "There are several issues with what you mention. For most of history, the Christian church has believed that under the New Covenant, that God opened up his covenant of Grace to not only include the Jews, but the people of all races; and in doing so, God stopped letting Israel be the vehicle for bestowing His blessing on the people and let the Church take Israel's place. God even went so far as to destroy Israel in 70 A.D. because the Jews ignored his Son and continued on with animal sacrifices in the temple, as if Jesus had never been born." 

The father paused for a moment to let all of that soak in with his son. "Furthermore," he continued, "I believe that the verse on nations being judged by their treatment of Israel is taken out of context when applied to the Israel of today. When it was written, it was in reference to a covenant keeping Israel, if pulled out of context and applied to today's Israel, it is being applied to a people who mock God by ignoring the Son he sent, and by continuing on as if the New Covenant didn't exist. Ironically, God may very well judge today's nations on how they treat today's Israel. Don't you think it is hurtful to God that we would support a people who want to rebuild the temple that He purposely destroyed, and then resume animal sacrifices, as if Jesus had never been born?"

"That makes sense, dad," the young man said.

"There are just a couple more points that I want you to think about, too," the father went on. "Like the neighbors moving to Africa, in our fictional scenario, the people of Israel, knowingly living in a terribly hostile situation, turn to us to provide for their defense...which amounts to billions and billions of dollars.* And like the city charter in our fictional scenario didn't allow money to be spent outside of the city limits, well the Constitution of the United States does not have a clause permitting foreign aid. Son, if the people here want to support Israel, they should absolutely be free to do so. If the churches want to take up offerings, they should pass an offering plate and let the church members freely give. But it is wrong to use taxpayer money to give to another nation, because charity and good will shouldn't be forced by law. And, in a country that overwhelmingly considers itself to be a Christian nation, the Constitution should not be freely violated. Son, the Constitution was put into place by very wise Christian men, and they knew that to let it be violated in one instance, opened the door for it to be violated in many instances."  

"And finally, son," the father continued, "as far as the Constitution and situations like this, I want you to understand that legally, our army can only be used for the common defense of the country. A very wise person that helped to write the Constitution and is considered by many to be the father of this country, warned us sternly against getting involved in foreign conflicts that we had no business being involved in. And it is my belief son, that doing so is not only another violation of the Constitution, by involving us in conflicts that have nothing to do with the defense of our citizens, but it is also a good way to get our soldiers killed in far-off conflicts that have absolutely nothing to do with our freedom here in the United States."

There was a little silence in the room as the son again soaked up the information his father had given him.

"Do you have any questions about what we have talked about, son?"

"What you say makes so much sense," the son said, "but don't they call people who don't support Israel bad names?"

"Yes they do," the father replied, "but let me ask you this...do you believe the Bible to be true?"

"Why of course," the son replied quickly.

"The Bible clearly states that there is only one way to the Father, and that is through Jesus," the father said. "Neither the Jewish nation nor the Arabic nations that threaten them believe in Jesus, so both nations are on equal footing with unbelievers all over the world. That being the case, son, our nation should treat each people as fellow human beings, and treat them both with human dignity and the respect that any fellow human being deserves...and our churches should look at both peoples as a people who need the gospel."

"I think I understand, dad," the son said.

"Son, as long as you trust in God's word to be true, and treat all people with a little dignity and respect as fellow human beings, it doesn't matter what names people call you, because you will know in your heart that you did right."

"Hey dad..." the son said.


"Can we talk about that car you mentioned?"

"I'll get back with you on that," the father said jokingly, "but I enjoyed the talk."

"Me, too," the son replied.



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*U.S. Financial Aid To Israel: Figures, Facts, and Impact


Benefits to Israel of U.S. Aid
Since 1949 (As of November 1, 1997)

Foreign Aid Grants and Loans

Other U.S. Aid (12.2% of Foreign Aid)

Interest to Israel from Advanced Payments

Grand Total

Total Benefits per Israeli

Cost to U.S. Taxpayers of U.S.
Aid to Israel

Grand Total

Interest Costs Borne by U.S.

Total Cost to U.S. Taxpayers

Total Taxpayer Cost per Israeli