For all their sanctimonious talk of pro-life, the Evangelical Right likes nothing better than a good war. When the bombs start falling and the bullets flying, the Christian Right becomes orgasmic at the prospect of death and destruction as many believe that war with North Korea will lead to Armageddon predicted the Bible’s Book of Revelation tied in with this foolishness is the continuing war in the Middle East.

While only 36 percent of all Americans believe that the Bible is God's Word and should be taken literally, 59 percent say they believe that events predicted in the Book of Revelation will come to pass. Almost one out of four Americans believe that 9/11 was predicted in the Bible, and nearly one in five believes that he or she will live long enough to see the end of the world. Even more significant for this study, over one-third of those Americans who support Israel report that they do so because they believe the Bible teaches that the Jews must possess their own country in the Holy Land before Jesus can return.[1]

This type of apocalyptic thinking leads many to the totally unfounded belief they will see the afterworld spoken of in the Bible, a type of fatalism that is irrational and dangerous. The peril of this catastrophic yearning comes from the idea that for many evangelicals, In their view America, as God’s instrument, should encourage wars and chaos in North Korea and the Middle East in order to “hurry up” God and His agenda. [2]

Belief in apocalyptic prophecy is widespread in the United States. During the first Gulf War, 14% of one CNN national poll thought it was the beginning of Armageddon, and “American bookstores were experiencing a run on books about prophecy and the end of the world.”[3] In 1993, 20% of those polled thought the second coming of Christ would occur near the year 2000.[4] When the United States and the Soviet Union locked in a nuclear arms race the same issues surfaced when I was attending school.

Much was made of the Russian Bear and the American Eagle fitting the same portion of the Book of Revelation, including the tying the fire of nuclear explosions to verses in the Bible referring to the flames associated with the destruction God would wreak on non-Christians. The unusual fixation with the end of the world, in particular, the details of describing how God “will then (brutally) kill the entire human race except for Christians” (for many meaning “born again” Christians). [5]

The Book of Revelation is the integral passion of their foreign policy, their belief that the founding of Israel foretells the imminent Second Coming, conversion or death for Jews and eternal happiness for themselves in Heaven. In their view America, as God’s instrument should encourage wars and chaos in order to “hurry up” God and His agenda. One of their leaders is John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel. Senator Lieberman is a friend and favored speaker at his events. I have described The Strangest Alliance in History about how each side thinks it is using the other for its own ends.

Harold Camping predicted the end of the world as May 21, 2011, at exactly 6 pm (sunset in Jerusalem). Of course, that date is long past, but the death wish of many Christians continues unabated. The number of predictions about the world’s end number into the hundreds if not the thousands; yet, the world is still here. The news has yet to sink in because many on the Evangelical Right believe that by promoting or encouraging war with North Korea, the biblical prediction will occur.

All this shows how evangelical leaders put support for wars ahead of their social values. Their support includes every new law giving Washington ever greater police powers over American citizens, such as the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act and the recent National Defense Authorization Act which tear asunder much of the Bill of Rights. Most also supported torture of prisoners of war (with the notable exception of Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship). All this comes with their “social values.” [6]

Tying this all together is a problem that came to me unannounced. I distant relative died and left a considerable amount of money to me. He also left me a deed to the Golden Gate Bridge but I can’t afford the taxes. If you know anyone that might be interested in purchasing this landmark, I’d be willing to let it go for an extremely favorable price. Take my word for it.

(This is a clip from a longer piece I did for a Dallas religious site. It was fun. I got some anonymous comments that I suspect were from closet non-believers. Anyway, my preacher friend thanked me for stretching a few minds)



[1] Timothy P. Weber, On the Road to Armageddon, How evangelicals became Israel's best friend, beliefnet, http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/End-Times/On-The-Road-...

[2] Jon Basil Utley, Evangelicals, Ron Paul and War, The American Conservative,  January 20, 2012, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/2012/01/20/evangelicals...

[3] Lamy, Millennium Rage , p. 155. See also: Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More, pp. 327-31

[4] Sara Diamond, Political Millennialism within the Evangelical Subculture, in Charles B. Strozier and Michael Flynn, The Year 2000: Essays on the End (New York: NYU Press, 1997), p. 210

[5] Jon Basil Utley, Evangelicals, Ron Paul and War, The American Conservative,  January 20, 2012, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/2012/01/20/evangelicals...

[6] Jon Basil Utley, Evangelicals, Ron Paul and War, The American Conservative,  January 20, 2012, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/2012/01/20/evangelicals...

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Comment by Bertold Brautigan on September 13, 2017 at 8:16pm

Mystic John must have had some hellaciously efficacious psychedelics.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on September 13, 2017 at 8:10pm
Compelled--I found a review of this book. Kin the New Yorker. In a new book on those end pages, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation” (Viking), Elaine Pagels sets out gently to bring their portents back to earth. She accepts that Revelation was probably written, toward the end of the first century C.E., by a refugee mystic named John on the little island of Patmos, just off the coast of modern Turkey.
Comment by Donald R Barbera on September 13, 2017 at 7:33pm
Compelled--I'm not familiar with this. Where can I get more information?
Comment by Donald R Barbera on September 13, 2017 at 7:32pm
Ruth--I am not a doctor but I did stay at a Holiday Inn. Trump demonstrates text book symptoms of a sociopath. He has no feelings for others, he cannot let the slightest jibe go and is compulsive in his habits. He is easily offended and sulks like a child when he finds the government operates with rules. When reporters want a good bite, they change the line of questions he is unprepared for and he loses it.
Comment by Bertold Brautigan on September 13, 2017 at 7:29pm

And if you subtract evangelists and bent politicians from our political milieu, there ain't a lot left.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on September 13, 2017 at 7:23pm
Teresa--your first statement captures immediately what many fail to grasp because they can't see the correlation between a war time economy versus a consumer based economy. My wife worked for a defense contractor among the Beltway bandits and they constantly were in bidding wars. Add religion to that mix and you have a toxic cocktail of the ignorant and the arrogant which is characterized by Evangelists and bent politicians.
Comment by Compelledunbeliever on September 13, 2017 at 5:10pm

Unfortunately, few Christians realize that the apocalypse of John aka revelation is a coded commentary on the Roman empire specifically directed at the emperor Nero. It is the antiquated version of Mother Goose a political satire.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 13, 2017 at 2:51pm

The next war will be civilization's last, and it's demise. I second what Grinning Cat says about  Chris Hedges' War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.

We may experience this soon. I just mailed this in a letter to congress.

Carl Bernstein advises, "There's considerable evidence that there's a consensus developing in the military, at the highest levels, in the intelligence community, among Republicans in Congress, including the leaders in the business community that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, is unfit to be the President of the United States. It's a dangerous moment in our history." Harvard Psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes says that, “The best diagnosis for Trump is that he is a malignant narcissist. … the malignant part is the sociopathy dimension.  He’s paranoid because … he needs to defend himself, his self-esteem, by saying that other people are bad. He is extremely paranoid and it edges into delusion. He does not really know what the truth is, at least at those moments. The more desperate Trump becomes, the more he needs to have a crisis so the country will rally around him. If I had to pinpoint it I would say he is going to start bombing North Korea.”

Trump is said to be in discussions about using “mini-nukes” in a limited, tactical nuclear war.  In 1974, during Nixon’s final days in office, the Secretary of Defense instructed the military to divert any emergency orders from Nixon involving nuclear weapons to him or the secretary of state. I urge you to discuss how to legally remove Trump without him having an opportunity to initiate a first strike against North Korea with other members of congress and the military.

Comment by Teresa Roberts on September 13, 2017 at 1:19pm

War is profitable. That is one aspect of war that many fail to see, making it possible for ordinary folks to remain willing to sacrifice their own children for the greed of the elite. Patriotism is just another social construct like religion used to control the masses. It's highly successful, too. Now, as to the religious right or those that I like to call the cross-eyed cousins of religions, a breed peculiar to the US by the way, they used to stand on the sidelines somewhere off grid in the deep south, midwest or texas. They were weirder than most religions and constituted a significant portion of the avid proselytizers of a brand of christian dogma that  were always positive that they weren't going to die, but instead be raptured. They weren't to be trusted if they came knocking on your door but once shooed away had no particular power. Not true any more. With the likes of Ted Cruz and others, the Christian dominionists are now in high positions of power and they intend to use it to bring the end times to our doorsteps. 

Comment by Donald R Barbera on September 12, 2017 at 5:23pm
Cat: war is exciting on television, the big screen and paperback books but those who have experienced it or been ravaged by its aftermath don't feel the same.

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