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August 15, 2006

Policy Tips from the Armageddon Lobby
Posted by Lorelei Kelly

Now, as I child I attended a Christian church that left me with quite a nice impression of Jesus and Christianity as a religion. Maybe its because my church worried just as much about the here as the hereafter. With that in mind,  I'd sure like to be at this week's Heritage Foundation event: Conflict with the West: Religious Drivers and Strategies of Jihad  in the hopes of getting some insight on our own homegrown armageddon policy planners. 

The blurb promises that the speakers will look at how:

the use of apocalyptic rhetoric for motivation of followers is not easily distinguished from the real expectations and practical plans of radical leaders

Its no secret that the Bush/Rove team relies on the religious right to elect Republicans. Today's LA Times reports on Evangelicals seeking to sign up a new flock of GOP supporters in states with crucial November races.

I hope the IRS reads the LA Times. But where this election strategy meets policy is where I get really nervous. Two items: the latest Seymour Hersh article on the administration's support of Israel's air campaign against Hezbollah as a demonstration experiment for Iran, plus the news that the Bush White House has met repeatedly to discuss Middle East policy with religious-right leaders.  Specifically, they've met with Christians United for Israel CUFI, whose founder, Richard Hagee insists that the United States must join Israel in a preemptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West.

Sarah Posner at alternet has a splendid piece up about this trend.  Where are the guffaws from the majority of liberal American Jews about this clearly one-sided "partnership"? Of course, there will be little room in the rapture-train for them unless they renounce their religion and become fundamentalist Christians on command.  Little room for people like me, too, I imagine, with our warm-fuzzy visions of Jesus and all that peacemaking blah blah.


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Washington Post:

...Joel C. Rosenberg, who writes Christian apocalyptic fiction, told me in an interview this week that he was invited to a White House Bible study group last year to talk about current events and biblical prophecy.

Rosenberg said that on February 10, 2005, he came to speak to a “couple dozen” White House aides in the Old Executive Office Building — and has stayed in touch with several of them since...

Rosenberg — like Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, the authors of the phenomenally popular “Left Behind” series — writes fiction inspired by biblical prophecy about the apocalypse. The consistent theme is that certain current events presage the end times, the Rapture, and the return of Jesus Christ. Rosenberg’s particular pitch to journalists is that his books come true...

Rosenberg says he got a call last year from a White House staffer. "He said ‘A lot of people over here are reading your novels, and they’re intrigued that these things keep on happening. . . . Your novels keep foreshadowing actual coming events. . . . And so we’re curious, how are you doing it? What’s the secret? Why don’t you come over and walk us through the story behind these novels?’ So I did."

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