James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Religious Cancer

Father Jim Tucker tells us:
CNN seems to be hyping the notion that what's going on in the Middle East may be more than just the wicked choices of men, but actually the inexorable fulfilment of end-time prophecies. Two evangelical Protestant writers were recently on to discuss their views that this is more than crummy politics, it's prophecy. One of the parts that worried me the most:
... Rosenberg claimed that he had been invited to the White House, Capitol Hill, and the CIA to discuss the Rapture and the Middle East, and noted -- several times -- that the apocalyptic events described in his novels keep coming true....
It worried me not because I believe their teachings about the Rapture and the imminence of the End may be true, but because it suggests that at least some figures of our government may be looking at the troubles of the Middle East through the lens of warped theology. Such a theology views the secular State of Israel as the heir to the Old Testament promises to the People of Israel, and this leads to much of this "Israel, right or wrong" nonsense that periodically spills into public view. It also leads to a certain fatalism in our approach to peace in the region: since it's all predicted and foredoomed, there must be nothing we can do, so just sit back and let the End Times play out. Maybe even hasten it, if you can.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if such religious ideas are behind much of the unblinking support that America gives Israel -- support that I personally find embarassing, uncritical, and patently harmful to our own national interests. Regardless of how one weighs the political issues in the region, if your religious dogmas tell you that the Almighty will automatically bless whoever supports the Israeli state and curse whoever at times takes a contrary position to it, then you really don't have to think too hard about whom you will support in each conflict.
Amen, Padre! Fortunately, not all evangelicals are like that.

1 comment:

  1. The most bizarre aspect of this dispensationalist support for Israel is that they believe that they can force God's hand.

    Lend Evangelical support to a strong Jewish state. Lobby them to rebuild the temple (The Dome of the Rock would have to be bulldozed btw) And then sit back and wait for Jesus to return in glory.

    In their peculair theology, when Jesus comes back the Israeli Jews that the Robertsons and Falwells "solidly support" are either converted or killed.

    Politics. strange bedfellows, etc