College Dissident is the first outlet to report on theologically unsound and America Last remarks made last month by Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA (TPUSA). In the audio obtained, Kirk chastises Christians who are not pro-Israel, demands American churches support the modern state of Israel, and makes statements that contradict common doctrines in Christianity and practices in Judaism, among other controversial remarks.
Before the publication of this article, College Dissident made an exhaustive effort to reach Kirk for comment. First, we reached out to his main Google-affiliated email address. A notification reported his inbox was full, so we contacted two email addresses associated with TPUSA. There was no response. Shortly afterward, we wrote to a legacy email address owned by Kirk — which uses a moniker related to a college sports team he supports — to no avail. Finally, an hour before publication, we texted his cellphone number. We will append this article if Kirk responds.
Kirk's statements came during TPUSA's Young Jewish Leadership Summit on December 16, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona — where the organization has its multi-million dollar headquarters — just days before Hanukkah. The Gen Z organization was recently involved in the failed midterm elections of Kari Lake, Blake Masters, Abe Hamadeh, and Mark Finchem, in which the Republican Party, relying on TPUSA, lost the Gen Z vote by a historic margin.
In one audio excerpt, Kirk, an evangelical Protestant, tells the audience: “So a Christian that's not pro-Israel, I doubt they actually love their Bible. And I will stand by that statement. If you are a Christian that doesn't love Israel, then you take your Bible way, way, way too much for granted.”
Theologians we consulted could not find a scriptural basis for this claim.
In another excerpt, Kirk emphasizes the need for American churches to support the modern state of Israel. “I think that, you know, American Christians, of which I speak to churches all the time, need to continue to support Israel and the Jewish people,” he states, seemingly eluding to his sister organization, the Falkirk Center, co-founded by Jerry Falwell Jr.
Additionally, Kirk expressed remarks that contradict fundamental Christian doctrines and Jewish teachings.
Kirk called Jews “the chosen people” who are “chosen to bring the Word of God to as many people as possible.” “You're chosen to obey God, to honor God, but you happen to be the messenger, the community, the nation, the people that God saw fit to bring His divine and transcendent commands,” he told his Jewish audience.
While many Christians believe that the Jewish people had a covenant with God, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to all denominations of Christianity, became the universal covenant offered to Jews and non-Jews.
Kirk's failure to recognize all people who accept the Messiah, foretold by Jewish prophecy, as the “elect,” or “chosen,” as translated by the New Testament, is a troubling act.
But this was only the beginning of the theological bastardization.
Kirk then told his audience to be “even more evangelistic to bring Jewish values to the world,” contradicting the prohibition on proselytism that Judaism mandates.
Jewish leaders are clear about their opposition to proselytism:
- Eli Rubenstein, Holocaust educator and Jewish religious leader: “We actively discourage potential converts, because to gain salvation or redemption, however you define it, one just has to be a moral person, a 'mensch,' in the Yiddish vernacular.”
- Michael Broyde, rabbi and law professor: The Jewish tradition “absolutely prohibits proselytizing among Gentiles, in the sense of soliciting converts.”
- Aron Moss, Chabad rabbi: “We set obstacles in their way so they can taste what it’s really like to be Jewish. So that it should be clear from the outset that a Jewish life is not an easy one.”
Kirk then moved on from theology to foreign policy, comparing America and Israel: “The nation of Israel acts exactly how we act.”
It is unclear what Kirk was referring to, as he has previously commented on how America and Israel could not be any more different.
In a speech in Jerusalem in 2019, Kirk asserted how “America is just a placeholder for timeless ideas. ... Israel would be the exception.” It would appear he has an affinity for Israel's requirement for its citizens to align with a central ethnicity and religion. In that same speech, he also praised Israeli military action on Palestinians because the Palestinian side is “immoral” and a “sea of tyranny.” Would Kirk support America treating its citizens and non-white neighbors like Israel does?
During the question-and-answer portion of Kirk's political sermon, an audience member asked about former President Donald Trump's dinner with dissident right-wing commentator Nicholas J. Fuentes and Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. That dinner happened just weeks before the Young Jewish Leadership Summit.
The questioner asked about a “Jewish defense line against kind of new ideologies that are coming out of like Nick Fuentes and like influential figures like [Ye],” who are “influencing lower-educated communities and hating Jews.”
Kirk responded by saying that “Jew-hatred has no place in the conservative movement” and defended Trump for having the dinner, noting the former president “has been the great friend of the Jewish people and of Israel.”
Likely, Kirk was referring to what Trump posted on Truth Social following the dinner, when he accused Jewish leaders of a “lack of loyalty” and proclaimed that “they should be ashamed of themselves.”
“If Donald Trump understood everything leading up to that dinner, he wouldn't have had that dinner at all,” Kirk declared.
In 2018, Kirk met with Ye. Kirk praised Ye as a “free thinker.”
After this article's publication, Fuentes responded on Telegram.
Despite TPUSA having an entire conference only for Jewish students, Kirk's remarks raise questions about whether he is the leader young Jewish conservatives can trust. His flagrant disregard for established practices in Judaism should raise serious concerns. His comments regarding Christianity similarly show a complete lack of understanding of even the most basic teachings of the faith.
It is clear what Kirk does understand, however: how to put America Last and bastardize two of the Abrahamic religions. Is he the leader Gen Z conservatives should follow?