Messianic Jewish Group Stirs Controversy Announcing George W. Bush as Speaker at Annual Banquet, Then Removes President from Event Page

A Messianic Jewish organization that is scheduled to have former President George W. Bush speak at its annual banquet has removed references of such from their website, apparently due to the controversy it provoked from certain circles.

The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute of Dallas, Texas, was scheduled to have the former president as a featured speaker at their Rekindle event next week.

However, a search on Friday afternoon of the MJBI's webpage for the Rekindle event has shown an apparent absence of previous mentions of Bush and his speaking engagement.

The discovery of the removal of any information on Bush's speaking engagement came not long after The Christian Post queried MJBI about the controversy surrounding Bush being featured at the Rekindle event.

MJBI declined to give comment to CP Friday morning regarding the concern some Jewish leaders had with Bush speaking at an event organized by a group whose mission is to convert Jews to Christianity.

Sarah Posner of the leftwing publication Mother Jones reported Thursday that Jewish leaders like Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, took issue with Bush speaking at the MJBI event.

"It's disappointing that he would give his stamp of approval to a group whose program is an express effort to convert Jews and not to accept the validity of the Jewish covenant," said Saperstein.

Previously, the Rekindle webpage prominently featured a photo of Bush and details as to where and when the event would take place. Further, the Rekindle site had a biography page for Bush.

As of Friday early afternoon, the Rekindle home page simply has the title of the event plus a scripture reference, and the page that once featured Bush's bio now has a 404 error message.

In the past, MJBI has featured as speakers at their events conservative social commentators like author and radio personality Glenn Beck and former Republican Congressman Rick Santorum.

Regarding Santorum's 2010 appearance at an MJBI event, Abraham Foxman, president of the Anti-Defamation League, remarked to Politico that Santorum's decision to speak before the Messianic Jewish group "was insensitive and offensive."

"Political figures are free to raise money from whomever they want, so long as they disclose it, but considering the role Rick Santorum sees for religion in public life, it is very distressing that he would appear on the platform of a group that teaches that Jews should convert to Christianity," said Foxman.

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