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Johnny Cash, the Father of American Christian Zionism.

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash were deeply religious people whose personal and professional lives were imbued with a sense of spiritual struggle and religious engagement. The 2005 biopic Walk the Line was very good at depicting the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll aspect of Cash's life and art, but, like almost all Hollywood movies, it steers clear of religion in general and of evangelical Protestant religion in particular. Also left out the film was the story of Johnny and June Carter Cash's passionate engagement with Israel, an engagement that grew out of their religious beliefs. John's interest in Israel started with a wish to visit the Christian holy sites and "walk where Jesus walked." Cash's initial visit to the Israel in 1966 was followed by a trip with June in 1968 and developed into a lifelong project to serve as advocates for the State of Israel, even when such advocacy was unfashionable among American performing artists.

Brought up in a devout Baptist home, Johnny Cash was introduced to music through the local church choir in which his mother sang. She taught Johnny scores of hymns and songs, and it was at age 10, in order to accompany his mother, that he learned to play the guitar. Many decades later, Cash told an interviewer that, of the over 200 albums that he had recorded, his favorite was "My Mother's Hymn Book," in which he plays songs that his mother sang in church.

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Author:Goldman, Shalom
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Sep 11, 2014
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