The Central Alberta teacher who – in the mid ‘80s - was fired from his job, his teaching license suspended, and found guilty in Court for “promoting hatred” against an identifiable group. He was alleged to have been teaching a form of Worldwide Zionist/Jewish Conspiracy to his grades 9 and 12 Social Studies students for over a decade. The particular conspiracy theory he advocated postulated a nebulous cadre of Talmudic Jews, and their cobelligerents, who, beginning with Adam Weishaupt’s Illuminati began to, and now do, secretly rule the world and control events behind the scenes.
Keegstra based his teachings on several things: a) the Social Credit (political) ideology of C. H. Douglas, b) the preponderance of Jews in key influential industries like Entertainment and Finance, c) the sometimes anti-semitic and so-called revisionist literature available through Social Credit connections and Ron Gostick’s Canadian League of Rights, and d) his own brand of Christian theology.
Keegstra, on the side so-to-speak, doubted the alleged and/or mainstream version of the Holocaust and its numbers. He, like many (including me) agreed that Jews (among many other groupings) had been targeted for detention and even killed. However, he disagreed with the establishment conception of the final solution and the extraordinary numbers allegedly gassed. Subsequently, he felt (as do many others, including Jews) that the Shoah was used as a PR device to initially establish the state of Israel, then to leverage Israel’s ongoing security and sovereignty demands.
There seems to be several factions in regards to this topic: a) the political Zionists – who have believed in the establishment of the state of Israel by any means necessary, they are usually irreligious or – at the most – nominally religious Jews; b) the religious Zionists – who are religious Jews that look to the Torah and Talmud for inspiration regarding their return to and occupation of the promised land; c) the Christian Zionists – who are usually dispensational premillennialists (mainly Evangelicals) who interpret biblical eschatological passages literally and see the state of Israel as a necessary fulfillment of prophecy and their bounden duty to support/promote; d) the so-called Israel Lobby – a political segement of (predominantly) American society which sees the (geopolitical, economic, etc.) interests of the West (specifically, in most cases – the U.S.A.) best served by a vigourous defense of a non-Arab state – Israel – in the Middle East. This lobby is, naturally, aided and abetted by the political arms of the Christian Zionists (Falwell, Robertson, etc.); e) various other minor groupings of individuals and/or organized entities who have reason to support the state of Israel at one time or another (political coalitions, economic co-operatives, etc.).
During the Keegstra Trial, Douglas Christie, Keegstra’s lawyer, made this prediction:”Fear will grow and silence will grow and people will be more and more suspicious about what they say and who they say it to.” This points up one of the focuses of (and surrounding) the trial: freedom of speech. Though the Alberta government (through the Attorney General’s department) prosecuted and found Keegstra guilty of promoting hatred, many citizens (including parents of and students of Keegstra), and civil liberty, media and church groups either cautioned against prosecution or suggested the trial was a mistake (esp. against freedom of expression). A vocal lobby of free speech supporters (Keegstra, for example, supporters wore “Freedom of Speech” buttons to the trial) were heard before, throughout, and after the trial. Initially, the Crown (government) lawyer was hesitant to prosecute Keegstra due to the perceived difficulty of convicting him of ‘promoting hatred’ when a basic human right was supposed to be (even by Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) freedom of expression. Regardless, the Crown went ahead with the support of a Canadian interpretation of this right – that it was limited by some greater societal good/peace, etc. in special circumstances, and by legal precedent (the Zundel Trial and one other). Obviously (or, maybe not), this could not have happened in the United States, due to their supposed enshrinement of an unassailable right to free speech. (However, a case in California I hear, during the same time frame and with similar grounds, was successfully prosecuted.) Freedom of speech (or, expression) may be seen to be the secular dilemma mirror of the Christian’s liberty in Christ – both being circumscribed by responsibility and consideration of their brethren.
Christians – based on a biblical understanding - should consider Judaism just another ‘faith’ or ‘world religion.’ This is not the case. Generally. Many Christians either from the misguided 19th Century doctrine of dispensationalism, or from a poor application of Romans 11 (and similar passages), have viewed the Jews through ‘rose-coloured glasses.’ They forget or simply ignore the fact that the Judaism of the New Testament is far removed from the holy nation or royal priesthood or chosen nation of Israelites and their peculiar cultus in the Old Testament (never mind the Talmudic transformed and Zionist informed Jewish sects which abound today). This arises from a misunderstanding of the Israel of God: God’s elect people (in Christ Jesus) from Adam to the End of Time. This was the foundation for Keegstra’s outlook on modern Jews. Obviously, he added other influences that aggravated the negative perception which informed his beliefs and teaching. But, essentially, Judaism is to Christianity just another anti-Christian religion like Hinduism, or Islam, or Buddhism, and its adherents need to be presented with the evangel just like everyone else.