Israel: the Happiest Nation on Earth?

Back in the 1960’s, the Armenian-American Demos Sharkarian wrote The Happiest People on Earth, about the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International and full-Gospel Christians in general.

Now Spengler–who I feature frequently–tells us that Israel, celebrating its 60th anniversary, is in fact the happiest nation on earth:

In a world given over to morbidity, the state of Israel still teaches the world love of life, not in the trivial sense of joie de vivre, but rather as a solemn celebration of life. In another location, I argued, "It’s easy for the Jews to talk about delighting in life. They are quite sure that they are eternal, while other peoples tremble at the prospect impending extinction. It is not their individual lives that the Jews find so pleasant, but rather the notion of a covenantal life that proceeds uninterrupted through the generations." Still, it is remarkable to observe by what wide a margin the Israelis win the global happiness sweepstakes.

I think that a large part of this is that Jews do not regard the absurdities of life as insults to the Divine omnipotence.  Christians, and Evangelicals in particular, with a heavy hangover from Reformed fatalism, spend way too much time worrying about the "justice" of God.  "Open theology" isn’t necessary to solve this problem.  If there’s one priceless legacy I take from growing up with Jewish people (Spengler’s statements about American Jews notwithstanding,) it’s that, just because things don’t work out according to what we think they should, or what we thought was "God’s will" for our life, God’s still there.  Put another way, life can be supremely idiotic, but God is still in charge!

On the other hand, we have the Muslims:

I argued in another location. Islam, or "submission", does not understand faith – trust in a loving God even when His actions appear incomprehensible – in the manner of Jews and Christians. Because the whim of Allah controls every event from the orbit of each electron to the outcome of battles, Muslims know only success or failure at each moment in time.

Christians these days are enamoured with just about everything Jewish.  Perhaps they really need to start here, stop the hand-wringing and start living.

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