Saturday, April 07, 2007

Blog Against Theocracy: The Problem With End Timers

All this weekend, a plethora of secularist bloggers are blogging against theocracy. To start off my humble contribution, I wanted to repost a little missive I wrote last year to hold you over while I get some new stuff ready:

First, let me tell you who End Timers are. They are the bulk of the evangelical right who believe that the book of Revelations accurately predicts the second coming of Jesus. When this happens there will be plagues, natural disasters, genocide, war, etc. Luckily for Christians, they think they’ll be “ruptured” into heaven to dance and party with Jesus until the end of time. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the Antichrist will call all the nonbelievers to his side to destroy the remaining Christians (poor bastards, I guess they didn’t believe enough in the first place). Luckily, Jesus will come back in seven years as a superhero and smite the forces of the Antichrist, judge all of humanity, and then reign on Earth for the next thousand years. And it’s all going to start in the next fifty years. Don’t believe me? Read the Left Behind series by Tim Lahay. This money grubber lays it out exactly how fundamental Christians think it will happen.

The problem with prophecy is that it can become self-fulfilling. Evangelicals today want to do everything they can to hasten Jesus’ return. They support war in the Middle East, refuse to allow Israel to give up land to the Palestinians, and don’t care about global warming. Why? Because these are the events that will hasten Jesus’ second coming. That’s all well and good…unless it’s not what Revelations means at all.

The idea of the Rapture first appeared in the 1800s. It’s not an ancient belief at all. Furthermore, the author of Revelations was writing for a contemporary audience. The Christians of the time rightly feared the Romans and believed that Jesus was going to come back and destroy the Roman Empire in the same generation. But here Christians are 2000 years later, still waiting for Jesus to save them.

Because of the control the RR (Religious Right) has on our government (not to mention our born again President) through the Republican Party, this belief in the End Time permeates through government policy. Bush rejected the Kyoto Treaty to stop global warming, and believes that he is doing God’s work in Iraq. It also widens the division between religions until there is no chance for reconciliation. It’s all ludicrous. When people stop caring about this world, what happens to this one? What do we leave our children? This belief in prophecy must stop if we want to survive as a species and give our descendents a decent place to live.


Sarge said...

These people believe in certain things, you don't hear anything about the "Beatitudes" in the fundie way of doing business. It's an immaturity, I guess, but they do their best to MAKE their pretend world real, no matter what the cost to others. The idea of breaking things, hurting others (who according to their way of thinking deserve it) gives them a sort of gleeful anticipation.

The "End Timers" and "Dominionists" may not be many, but I'd say watch out for them. They want to have castles in the air? Fine. Unfortunatly, I am expected to help finance them, maintain them, and my own place may destryed so that it can become real. But reality doesn't really count with them.

vjack said...

I agree that these End Timers are scary and that their influence hurts us all. By focusing only on the short-term (because they think they'll be raptured away soon), they cannot govern adequately.

Secret Rapture said...

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Tommy said...

What has occurred to me in thinking about these Rapture freaks is that if some prominent person who was charismatic and influential really was able to have a public impact in getting nations to work together to solve their differences and to ameliorate their impact on the environment and so forth, you just know that the Fundies are going to declare that this person is the antichrist.

It's amazing how fundamentalist Christianity has its built-in defense mechanisms. Scientific evidence that conflicts with faith and scripture can just be shooshed away as the devil trying to confuse them. Nations trying to work together to solve their problems are "a Godless One World Government" and a threat to our sovereignty.