Sunday, September 24, 2006

Apocalypse Now

Kate gave post-meeting ministry today about how many sects of fundamentalist Christianity have a profound belief in the Book of Revelations as a prophecy. They believe this dream-story tells how the world will end. They look forward to the end of the world with the same joy and enthusiasm that suicider jihadis seek their own end. Never mind that the rest of us really like this planet: all they care about is getting their precious saved selves to heaven, and the rest of us can rot.

But this preoccupation with the "end times" is important because it means that Christian fundamentalist groups don't want peace in the Middle East. The Middle East is supposed to be the battle ground for the apocalypse, so the more unrest there, the better. In fact, there are many indications that conservatives are doing all that they can to make sure the fighting continues.

Consider the mind-boggling support for Israel during the clearing obscene bombing of Lebanon. Did Britain take such actions against Ireland for IRA attacks-- razing entire Irish communities to the ground? No. Then obviously these extremes of reaction are not necessary. Yet the United States and then Canada gave its support to Israel. How is this possible?

Consider also the unbelievable trail of failure at catching Bin Laden. The CIA has apparently been chasing him for more than a decade. Plenty of people have reported his whereabouts directly to the CIA, such as when he visits his relatives; yet the CIA has not moved in to capture him. This suggests that they want him free to continue his work.

I once saw a PBS documentary about a born-again convention in the States -- the Israeli PM was invited to speak. He was cheered so much he could barely start his talk. The crowd loved him because he had been aggressive in bombing the Arabs and in stirring up unrest.

It was a case of strange bedmates, as far as I could tell, because the born-agains did certainly not believe that a Jew like Sharon could get to heaven; and they certainly didn't care that Jews might die in the fighting (and then all of them die in the apocalypse that would follow). What they cared about was that the fighting continued so that they could get to heaven. What the Israeli PM cared about was that these voters kept the conservatives in power so that he could keep US support. They had complete cross-agendas. Yet they were working together, cooking up their evil plans each at the apparent expense of the other.

It was so weird I hardly believed it.

Politics doesn't make sense at the best of times. There are all sorts of hidden agendas, veiled threats, backroom deals, etc. that we don't know about. But when the absurdity of politics is combined with the wingnut, suicidal, we-don't-even-try-to-make-sense values of fundamentalism, we end up with something dripping with evil, a festering sore that is not allowed to heal, a torture that won't end.

The Arabs think the fighting in the Middle East is about a crusade.

I used to think they were nuts.


At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Marshall Massey (Iowa YM [C]) said...

This is a powerful, scary posting. It reminds me afresh of the similarities between modern U.S. society and Weimar Germany.

I feel it is very important to befriend our enemies now -- as Christ warned us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:25-26). To wait until after the crazies start Cleansing the Place of Unbelievers is to wait too long.


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