Friday, July 22, 2005

The dangers of listening to Leland Gaunt

Slate had an article this week about a group whom I'm particularly wary of (and at least one of whose members I used to work with): American Christians who love Israel for less than positive reasons. An excerpt:

One young European Christian who worships at King of Kings and works for a Jerusalem-based nonprofit gave me a blunt assessment of some of his American counterparts. "There's something in the bloodstream of American Christianity that looks for, and reacts to, signs of the apocalypse." He adds, "To me, it's not a great thing to herald the end of the world while I'm living here. I have kids. I want to see them grow up."
It would seem to me that the logical reaction to a group which sees their own exaltation in your destruction would be to get the hell away from them, but we're not dealing with logic here.

But let's get away from the whole Israel thing for a moment. People who see our flawed civilization and wish to just clear the slate and start over are the people we really need to worry about. These are the people that are far to the right of environmentalism, because why worry about the Rain forests when they're going to be ascending to heaven any day now. This attitude, of course, completely screws over those of us (and our children) who plan to be here for the long haul.

You could argue that people are entitled to their opinions on these things, and you'd be right. But what if those people band together and vote for politicians that believe the same things. Politicians who would, perhaps, do everything in their power to ignore and cover up the dangers of Global warming. Then it becomes our problem, and that's why Liberals have a legitimate reason to fear these people.

Interior Secretary James Watt (Yet another counter-productive appointment by Republicans: A protector of the environment that doesn't care a fig for nature) made some infamous statements during his service under Ronald Reagan. They include "After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back" and "My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns". The biggie that's often cited is "We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand".

Proof of my argument doesn't come any clearer than that, but of course Watt was just one man (albeit a very powerful one). My thinking is that people who hold such beliefs are much quieter about it now, knowing that stating such things so bluntly is not very popular, even in a country that just elected Dubya by a legitimate margin. They're still out there, and though they may have been disappointed by the lack of fireworks at the turn of this new century, they were soon reassured of what they probably viewed as a clear sign of the end times in the collapse of the two towers. It's the end of the world as they know it, and they feel fine.

Wish I could say the same.

(One final note: Posts like this suggest I'm hostile against Chrsitians. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's the extremists that worry me, whether they be for Allah or Yahweh or whomever. When we visited Mrs. Mosley's grandfather, who is a scientist and part-time pastor, earlier this month, he expressed his own dismay at the words and actions of such extremists. He's proof positive that there are many Christians today that do have their heads screwed on straight. Thanks, Don.)

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