A Ruling from My Rabbi
Today I got a thoughtful reply from My Rabbi.
Sorry that it has taken me a little time to think this through.
I agree with you that this really is most ugly, and enraging. I mean, the Jews for Jesus who make this for themselves ... what can you do? This is the least of the things we would argue with them about. But to give this to practicing Jews is surely meant to deceive and to weasel their ways into the normative Jewish community.
Halakhically, we tend mostly to focus on the tzitzit themselves, and less the garment to which they are attached. So it is the tzitzit strings -- not the garment that bears them -- that must be from wool spun specifically for the purpose of tzitzit, and tied by someone themselves commanded to follow this mitzvah (male or female, even according to the Shulhan Arukh).
Arguably, if you removed all the decorative pinot and the atara, and removed the tzitzit that are there now, and threw all those things away or burned them, I think you could then say this cloth was now fit for attaching new tzitzit and making it kosher. If you did all that, then yes, I would have to say that a person who put on that garment would fulfill the mitzvah of tzitzit.
But I must say, on a combination of halakhic abstractions and ritual instinct, I don't really like it and would prefer not to do that. So maybe the tallit itself is just a piece of cloth. Lord knows I've seen Yankees flags and the like turned into Tallitot. So yes, you could argue that once its Xian accoutrements have been removed, it's now ready for its next life as a mitzvah garment.
Logical, but still ugly. So I would respect the kavvanah of the mumar who made this item, and say that they made it as an act of worship to a false messiah, and say that this left its spiritual impression on the garment. So I would have to pass it up.
So my rabbi’s ruling is basically that intentionality does matter. This garment was meant to subvert Judaism so it is not permissible to use it as a Jewish kli mitzvah /vessel for fulfilling a commandment.
I realize that for some Christian readers my Rabbi's note may seem a bit harsh.It's important to make note of the fact that historically official Christianity has taken basically two stances about Judaism and Jews. The first is conversion either by seductive means or by force ( 'Convert or die.'). The second is that for much of the last two thousand years official Christianity has put an awful lot of effort into saying that Judaism has been supplanted by Christianity and that judaism no longer has any validity.
Clearly, post Holocaust, the Catholic Church and most Protestant denominations have softened their attitudes towards both Jews and Judaism. Many Christians are looking seriously at Christianity's Jewish origins and are exploring Jewish ritual. That sort of thoughtful exploration of Judaism by Christians is a pretty wonderful thing.
What is deeply disturbing to me, is Christians who use that exploration of Judaism as a vehicle to convert Jews to Christianity. I know that many religious Christians see their desire to spread the ' Good Word' as their gift to the world. But as a Jew on the receiving end of those efforts, it feels like an assault on the essence of who I am.
I am struck again and again how those smiling bright eyed invitations so often disintegrate into something quite hostile and angry because I insist that being Jewish is who I am and suits me fine.
This tallit is like those street evangelists who begin their conversation sweetly but are delivering a hostile message.