In 2000 during the Republican primary race for president, eventual winner George W. Bush said with great pride that “as governor of Texas I brought people together. I’m a uniter, not a divider,” and although the warmonger president bifurcated America from the rest of the civilized world by invading Iraq, he still considered himself a uniter. Bush is still divisive, and this coming week he will be the featured speaker at a religious fundraising event to divide the Jewish community by training Christians in America, Israel, and around the world to persuade Jews to abandon their beliefs and accept the Christian Jesus as the Messiah. Now, anyone familiar with the Christian religion comprehends that one of Jesus Christ’s commands to his followers was to spread the good news of the kingdom of god by convincing them he was the Messiah, but that is not the intent of the event Bush is promoting.
The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MJBI), responsible for the fundraiser with Bush as keynote speaker, is bent on convincing Jews to accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah to restore Israel and the Jewish people to hasten the second coming of Christ and bring about the end of the world. The Jewish community is not impressed, or amused, at the evangelizing efforts of Messianic Jews, and they naturally object to their proselytizing message that salvation by Christian Jesus is consistent with Jewish theology. In fact, last year the president of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, said that evangelical fanatic Rick Santorum’s appearance at another Messianic Jewish event was “insensitive and offensive,” and a conservative American journal of politics, Judaism, social and cultural issues noted, “it must be understood that the visceral distaste that the overwhelming majority of Jews have for the Messianics is not to be taken lightly.”
Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism said, “It’s disappointing that he (Bush) would give his stamp of approval to a group whose program is an express effort to convert Jews and not to accept the validity of the Jewish covenant.” Christians are incapable of accepting the validity of other religions and converting Jews to Christ is a typically evangelical goal, but it is the stated reason of “bringing about the second coming of Jesus Christ” that informs their deep-seated hatred for non-compliant human beings and the desire for evangelicals to see a large segment of the world’s population decimated during the bible’s mythological “end times.”
First, it is incredibly presumptuous and contrary to scripture for Christian fundamentalists to think they can “bring about the second coming of Christ” by any means, but their intense desire to dwell in Heaven and watch their lord and savior ravage “the unworthy” with bloodthirsty vengeance supersedes what should be “love of man” their Messiah preached. Evangelicals have been increasingly preoccupied with the “end times” since Americans became more tolerant as a nation, and it never fails that any disturbance in the Middle East is a “sign” the apocalyptic end of the world is at hand. The Syrian conflict, for example, ramped up fundamentalists’ end times speculation that found one-third of Americans believing, and hoping, the biblical end of the world was at hand to wipe out a significant portion of the world’s population.
What informs the sheer inhumanity of “end times” advocates is that where most human beings with a conscience would recoil at the thought of an apocalyptic worldwide war foretold to kill off millions upon millions of other humans, Christians such as Michele Bachmann could hardly wait or constrain their glee. Bachmann, the epitome of neo-Christian America said, “Rather than seeing the end of the world as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand.” There are varying opinions about why fundamentalist Christian fanatics are in lust with idea of human destruction on a biblical scale unseen in human history, but there is little doubt fundamentalists are anxiously awaiting for god to lay waste to humanity while “true believers” watch from a safe distance in Heaven.
If one sets aside, for a moment, the idea that those “raptured to Heaven” will have ringside seats to witness human destruction on a biblical scale and considers the repercussions of a segment of the American population with no regard for the future, the contempt for Americans concerned about man’s deleterious effects on the environment begins to make perfect sense. Their belief that the end times are impending leads fundamentalists’ indifference to protecting the environment, fuels their opposition to social programs to help vulnerable Americans they regard as evil, and drives their support of neo-conservative warmongering policies in the Middle East that, incidentally, signal Armageddon and god’s final assault on mankind in their twisted end times fantasies.
Remember, fundamentalist Christians believe when god unleashes Hell on humanity, they will have been spirited to Heaven in the “rapture” before the “end time” devastation takes place. As one Christian writer revealing the distinct beauty of the “escapist fantasy” said, “It is an amazing hope to have because we can know that as terrible as it is getting out there, believers in Christ don’t have much longer to worry about it.” Christian fundamentalists also believe that the end of the world means they get to have the last word and see those “left behind” realize the righteous were right all along and are justified in celebrating victims of the lord’s vengeance horrifying demise. A professor of religion, Doug Weaver, said “I think history will tell you that end time predictions increase when people are being persecuted or feel persecuted,” and although American Christians are not, under any definition, being persecuted, they truly wish, and anticipate an apocalypse for vengeance and to say we told you so.
It is true that all Christians are not steeped in end times fantasies or joyous at the thought of a biblical apocalypse to wipe out billions of non-believers. But there are significant numbers of American fundamentalists who are convinced that with the world’s demise imminent there is no reason to care for the environment, help other Americans, or seek peace either at home or around the world. It is certainly likely that Republicans make good use of fundamentalists’ disregard for the future to enact policies that have near and long term consequences to the people, especially when their policies enrich the wealthy who harbor no delusions their time on Earth is limited by impending biblical apocalypse.
Throughout world history Christianity has wrought untold horrors on humanity and likely they found biblical justification for their actions, but it is a relative certainty they were acting according to their misguided understanding of gods’ will as they knew it. It is only recently that fundamentalist fanatics have been so deluded that they actually believed their actions could influence biblical god, or Jesus Christ, to action and there is nothing as dangerous as a substantial segment of the population with a shared god complex. The real danger to America, and the world, is that these fundamentalists’ beliefs are founded in Iron Age mythos and they have infiltrated the highest levels of the U.S. government and if Americans are nervous about a theocracy like Iran gaining a nuclear capability, they should be quaking at the thought of one or more true believers gaining access to America’s nuclear arsenal with the intent of “bringing about the second coming of Jesus” or the “War of Armageddon.”
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.