A Congressional candidate, Pastor Johnny Teague (R-TX), has re-written Anne Frank’s story to depict her “finding Jesus” before death. Frank’s Judaism is central to her life story, as the trait that Nazi Germany targeted, sending her into hiding and eventually leading to her death.
Frank spent over two years in hiding in a hidden room before being found and transported to a Nazi concentration camp, where she died at the age of 15. During her time in hiding, she wrote about her experience in a diary, much of which was later published.
However, from the perspective of one Republican, Frank’s story is missing a key element: conversion to Christianity. To that end, Teague has written his own fictionalized version of her story, in which the young Holocaust victim finds Jesus before her death.
His story purports to “pick up where her original journal left off,” to cover the last months of her life. However, his story makes serious changes to what a reader knows of Anne’s hopes and dreams, as well as the religious beliefs that are a core element of Frank’s identity.
The Texas Tribune reports:
“I would love to learn more about Jesus and all He faced in His dear life as a Jewish teacher,” Teague’s Anne Frank character muses at one point, saying that her dad had tried to get her a copy of the New Testament…By book’s end, Anne is firm in her belief that “every Jewish man or woman should ask” questions like “Where is the Messiah? … Did He come already, and we didn’t recognize Him?”
Teague, who is running to unseat incumbent Democrat Lizzie Fletcher, says this all spins off an entry in the original diary in which her father mentions wanting his daughters “to be exposed to” the New Testament and Jesus, leading him to feel sure that Frank would have further explored Christian beliefs after being found and transferred to a concentration camp.
His story even has the teenage Frank praising Christians as “more willing to die than the rest of us.”
Even the publisher’s description of the book describes her losing some of the traits that built a connection with her for many teen readers:
“Her longing to experience sensual pleasures is numbed by forced over-exposure…Anne’s vaulted dreams for fame and notice are ultimately traded in for the true longings of life, love, and peace.”
It’s no surprise that Teague applies the same historical revisionism to American politics:
“Our nation was built on God’s Word, the Declaration of Independence was placed on top of that declaring we are a free people…”
He also cites the Bible to excuse his anti-immigration policies, with the following on his campaign site:
“Deuteronomy 28:15 However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands…43 The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower.”
Notably, Anne Frank’s family applied repeatedly for immigration to the U.S. — and if they’d been accepted, she might have lived to write a longer diary, or other books, rather than having a Congressional hopeful put his own words in her mouth.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.