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Oh Magog! Apocalyptic Christianity Returns to U.S. Foreign Policy


#1

Oh Magog! Apocalyptic Christianity Returns to U.S. Foreign Policy

John Feffer

Welcome back, Gog and Magog. I can’t say that I’ve missed you.

You might remember the Gog and Magog story from 2003, when George W. Bush was making plans to invade Iraq and assembling a “coalition of the willing.” French President Jacques Chirac was quite unwilling, so Bush went to great lengths to break down his resistance.

As part of this wooing of Chirac, Bush referred to the Biblical prophecies regarding Gog and Magog that suggested to some evangelicals that the end times were approaching in the Middle East.


#2

Not to worry, no one has ever died in the name of Gawd–oh shit, never mind…


#3

Humans on the whole are very destructive and very stupid. I am amazed we got as far as we did. Soon we will all face a great reckoning with reality. A reality of our own making. We will get what we deserve.


#4

Evangelists and others, all of whom are Christian extremists, will never stop supporting Trump and the GOP because :

  1. They are getting young, right wing extremist judges at all levels of the federal judiciary, many of whom will still be on the bench during the 2060s, assuming the species continues to exist, and

  2. Trump provides serial distractions that enables the GOP to give Christian extremists everything else they want, and

  3. Theocrat Pence is ready to step in when Trump’s reality TV stiint in the White House is over, and

  4. Trump’s “myriad sins” provide additional distractions and give Christian extremists another soul to pray for (several of them have told me this with a straight face), something Christian extremists can never have too much of.


#5

The need to identify and then destroy “evil” is the meat and potatoes of all the Abrahamic religions. Islam, Judaism, Christianity–these are the tar-babies that we seem unable or unwilling to shake loose. As Ernest Becker has noted, “The urge to overcome Evil is often its Father.”


#6

There is something exceptional about America: the global epicenter of religious kookdom. Kurt Andersen’s Fantasyland illuminates our especially wacko American heritage. The first religious kook colony (the Puritans) soon had to suppress a charismatic mystic, Anne Hutchinson, initiating the great American tradition of inventing a new kooky religion, denouncing the previous one as not kooky enough.

From the snake-handlers to the Scientologists, no other place on earth even comes close to the proliferation of weird shit we have here. Most of this rapture-obsessed (flying around naked!) end-times eschatology is entirely home-grown, imagined out of nothing on American soil, like Joseph Smith’s golden tablets.


#7

If ‘Muslim’ countries are terrorists, ‘Christian’ countries like the U.S. are too.


#8

It looks to me like there is no will get about it: but with Trump, it seems to me, we have got what we deserve! And I would submit that unfortunately, we have not seen anything yet.


#9

I might be a little off my rocker with this thought, I don’t know. I’ve started to wonder if this is the reason for denying climate change by so many at the top. A race to apocalyptic times by the wingnuts in power at this time.
Please someone tell me I’ve gone off the deep end.


#10

The article mentions “pre-millennialism” but not the alternative prophecy of “post-millennialism” in which the anti-Christ is the good guy who prevents the world from blowing up (within this century) and Christ returns after a ‘post-millennial’ 1000 years of peace in which the threat of a devastating WWIII is nullified forever.

Another counter-intuitive interpretation of scripture relates to the current Palestinian conflict: After God decreed the 10 Commandments, the most important “Thou shalt not kill” in the forefront, how could God promise Philistine land to Israel if they killed every inhabitant? Assume God may have wanted the Israelites to say “No” but did not give up on the Israelites because they couldn’t bring themselves to kill every last one though they did kill most according to scripture.

Yeah sure, this is a bit of crazy talk, but may appeal to some religious types
who would rather not live with the notion of a hell on earth.


#11

Reconfire, you’re swimming in the deep end of the reality pool.
Global warming denial is indeed another form of ruthless warfare.


#12

That may be part of it, but I’m sure there are some whose attitude is simply “What do I care, I’ll be dead by then”—the ultimate expression of nihilism, with “He who dies with the most toys wins” a close second.


#13

We are just getting started. People cannot imagine the hardships ahead we bring on ourselves.


#14

I think you’re very right. It’s even more relevant to poking Kim Jong Un in the eye. I don’t think djt thinks a thing about it, but Pence is an apocalypticist, so watch very closely where he goes when … the DMZ (with his wimmenfolk) last Easter … taking Fred Warmbier with him to the Olympics in Seoul (and stamping his foot that the Koreans themselves were competing together) at the beginning of Lent this year … He did not take the office to become POTUS when djt fails, but to be present for all the chaos, ready to be lifted into heaven when it gets bad enough for God to step in. He’s the one who scares me most.


#15

Trouble is, I haven’t heard anyone making this kind of argument. And that’s because there’s nothing to be done about it now and the people “who would rather not” don’t start from any literalist reading of the Bible. In fact, there’s an anecdote famous among Hebrew scholars (I was told while taking 1 summer-long course) to illustrate the language’s ambiguity. King David’s top general comes to confirm that he has annihilated the Amelekites (I think it was), as ordered. David freaks out: ‘I told you to take great care of the Amelekites.’ The Hebrew words are almost the same. The scholars tell such stories to point out that interpretation is a very difficult thing.


#16

I think you are totally correct. Many years ago, I was telling my father about seeing the movie “Soylent Green” and how the earth had become overpopulated. He just said, “God will not let such a thing happen-the world will end before that.”


#17

Unlike the “pre-millennials” who believe they will cannot do much and will be raptured before the Tribulation, there are the dominionists, folks like Pence and Pat Robertson. They believe it is their duty to construct “God’s Kingdom on Earth” before the return of Jesus can occur. That is why these folks are so intent on taking political and social power.


#18

I’m sure many do reenact the land grant by god scenario.
Grandfather’d lands that followed granted all some immunity.

The oil barons are more to blame most any stripe.
Luxury air travel RV remote oil fuels burning for gasohalics.
Self-driving too ridiculous to seriously consider please.
GM/Ford 1970’s van tech still TOP municipal purchase.
FWD Hybrid Paratransit Low-Floor weight placement next design.
An effective 30mpg on various fuels balanced with battery operation.
God forgave stransecrepancy (spel?). so sorry…/^; about it…him/them…polluters


#19

Here is such a construct if you please:
Rhetorical question: Where do mythic fairy colonies live?
Scriptural answer is the dear early departed.
Earth is the Garden of Eden.
A transparent 2-dimensional realm.
Our Earth is our Heaven we pollute.
Give that some t h ou ght.


#20

You have it inside out. Robertson’s big political mistake was coming right out and saying that he wanted to be POTUS so he could help God out and punch the launch button. Pence is a bit more subtle, except when he gets to Korea. The New Jerusalem will come down from Heaven, bearing God, at the end of the tribulations. That’s my own favorite part of Revelation, that God chooses to come dwell on Earth. Not sure whether “He” would be bringing the Pences back with him (preferably by that time clothed again).