With “Citizens” Like the Evangelicals Rooting for Armageddon, America Needs no Traitors

As I explain in my  book And God Said, “Billy!“, exclusionary religion — in other words all religions that identify people as “saved” or “lost,” or of the right tribe or race, or that demand the holding of correct doctrinal beliefs — is a killer. Religious faith needs to be put back in the category of personal subjective experience where it belongs. Religion that claims to be “The Truth” (a la Billy Graham delusional evangelical-type thinking) is an exercise in exclusion, in dividing the human race into “us” and “them.” It leads to the Tea Party mentality. It must end.

The world will not find peace until people wanting to build a Jewish synagogue in Mecca, or a Unitarian church in Medina and/or a porn shop in Riyadh may do so as easily as they could do these things in Chicago. The world will never be safe, until a gay couple may kiss openly and without fear on any street in Tulsa, Islamabad, Lagos or Kansas City. America won’t find sanity until Utah and South Carolina are no more defined by evangelical religion than Paris is by Catholicism. And Americans will keep dying for nothing in far off places for really stupid theology until the very idea of a “Christian country,” “Islamic republic” or a “Jewish state” is about as credible as a flat-earth theory.

Hold the emails! The State of Israel has every bit as much or as little a right to exist as countries like the United States, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, where the land was also (relatively recently) forcibly taken from the previous occupants by white European colonists. But Australia, south Africa and New Zealand and the USA (even with our Puritan roots and today’s theology of American exceptionalism) no longer define themselves as exclusionary religious/ethnic enclaves the way Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Israel do with their “everyone is equal but some of us are more equal than others” style of religious/ethnic tribal apartheid. Try opening a church in Mecca. Try returning to Palestine to the land your grandfather lost if you’re a Palestinian and not a Jew.

No wonder American Evangelicals have an affinity for religion-based states. No wonder G W Bush loved those Saudi kings. They had oil and the same idea of God he did. A bedrock article of faith among American Evangelicals is that America had “Christian origins,” and that today America must be “restored” to our “Christian heritage.” This was what drove bin Laden to try and purify Saudi Arabia too. Only he did it for Islam and our evangelicals want to “restore America” for Christianity. The “Puritan heritage” of America is constantly cited as evidence for our need to “return” to our “biblical roots.” The real ideal here is to become more like Iran than we’d be American.

Puritans believed that they were carrying “authentic Christianity” to America, especially as written in the Old Testament. They said that they were on a divine mission, even called themselves “the New Israel” and a “city set upon a hill.” John Winthrop (governor of Massachusetts Bay) transferred the idea of “nationhood” in biblical Israel to the Massachusetts Bay Company. Puritans even said the Bible confirmed their status as the New Israel!

Old Testament law was the base of law in New England. The Massachusetts “Body of Liberties” (1641) said that “if any man after legal conviction shall have or worship any other god, but the Lord God, he shall be put to death.” Death was the sentence for witchcraft, blasphemy, sodomy, homosexuality and adultery.

Since the Puritans claimed they were God’s “chosen people,” they said that they had the right to grab land from the “heathen.” These were the American Indians whom the Puritans thought of as the “new Canaanites,” to be slaughtered with God’s blessing. While trying to justify the horrific burning to death of the Pequot tribe in the multiple Puritan massacres (1637), Captain John Mason wrote: “God laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven … Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling the Place with dead Bodies.”

It is no coincidence that the most self-consciously religious states of the Middle East– Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran are in perpetual conflict with other equally religion-based countries like America. And it’s no coincidence that America has paid dearly in blood and treasure in one Middle Eastern-incited entanglement after another because of our theology-based relationship with the State of Israel as well as our meddling in the affairs of the Islamic states like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. What would you expect but conflict when modernity tangles with Bronze Age tribalism that’s been given a biblical evangelical “End Times” twist?!

Now Billy Graham, supported by the evangelical establishment is predicting the end of the world. Once again he and his son Franklin and their dependent money raising God sellers like the editors of Christianity Today magazine are hyping this “prophecy” for fundraising and political purposes. No one really believes this nonsense, but it keep the Fox news crowd hyped up because under this latest wave of doom saying, is an anti-Obama agenda that the Graham family have been pushing along with other white Southern evangelicals since the day he got elected. Why else would Sarah Palin have become a favored Graham groupie and why else would the Grahams have taken Mitt Romney off the list as a “heretic” when he was running for president and all of a sudden the Grahams decided that Mormons are just good evangelicals after all?

Billy Graham at his 95th birthday bash meeting with FOX news owner Rupert Murdoch discussing what?: Murdoch’s naked women tabloid UK press? How to get rid of Obama? The return of Christ? … In which case why spend tens of thousands on a birthday party to entertain Sarah Palin and Donald Trump?

 

Some of the most outlandish American religious leaders today (and in the past) have latched on to one form or another of Christian Zionism rooted in End Times predictions… none of which ever come true. For instance, besides the Graham family, Reverend John Hagee (pastor of a mega church with thousands of members in Houston) is a leading Far Right evangelical and ardent fan of Israeli expansion into the disputed West Bank. And the bestselling books of the Left Behind series of novels have fed the Evangelicals’ fixation on End-Times prophecy and the “imminent” return of Christ. To put it mildly, the Evangelical biblical “reasons” for rooting for an ethnic/religious-based Israel have deformed U.S. policy and made America act against its self-interest. This has also harmed the State of Israel.

Evangelical hardliners have a “prophetic” agenda when pushing Israel to keep all of the West Bank and to be “tough on the Palestinians” that has nothing to do with what might bring peace (let alone justice) to the actual Jews and actual Arabs who are fated to be neighbors. Gleeful war mongering in the name of Jesus – from a safe distance, say from Houston or Ashville NC! — has everything to do with Evangelicals’ ideas about what will hasten the “return of Christ” and nothing to do with what is actually good for the Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs. And of course the Graham family anti-Obama far right agenda which is all part of their end-of-the-world claim (times are bad there’s a black man in the White House!) is also a fundraising opportunity.

Conflict, Armageddon and the “End Times” is the Christian-Zionist agenda–not helping a child in  Gaza live happily, have a normal life and walk to school safely. The evangelicals who “love” the State of Israel wouldn’t mind seeing an innocent Jewish or Palestinian child blown up in a rocket attack, as long as the “Promised Land” is “fully reclaimed” to fulfill their harebrained ideas of biblical prophecy. With “friends” like the Christian Zionists and the doomsayers like Graham, Israel needs no enemies. With “citizens” like the evangelicals rooting for Armageddon, America needs no traitors.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book — And God Said, “Billy! exploring the roots of American religious delusion, and offering another way to approach true spirituality, is on Kindle, iBook and NOOK for $3.99, and in paperback.

About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • zola98

    Frank, love your books and your opinion pieces. As a Canadian who was unaware of these people until the media gave them air time. I couldn’t comprehend their theology which didn’t portray the Jesus Christ I have read about(Bible) and know and love. I thought they wrote their own bible because their belief system of intolerance, hate, bigotry, racism, lack of compassion and empathy baffled me. They have brainwashed vast swathes of America and gotten rich from the gullible and the stupid. Will these people ever wake up?

    I don’t know how America will get rid of them or put them back in their box, they are so prevalent, so loud and angry, I imagine most ‘normal’ folks are scared of confronting them. I think you’re doing a great job exposing their hypocrisy and lies and we most certainly need more people like you. Thank you for your good work, you’re a brave man.

    • Herb Henderson

      Amen, brother zola98. Herb

      • zola98

        Thanks and it’s sista zola98.

  • Tiny Tim

    When the next real World War breaks out, the millions of deaths will be caused by the Nuclear Weapons and other WMD’s that atheistic scientists and engineers continue to provide to anyone with the means to obtain them.

    Anything to say to the people who continue to supply those to the world, Franky?

    • Sharlee

      I would say that you assume the scientist that make these WMDs are atheists. Second, let’s pretend they are, they are not the ones that will ultimately pull the trigger or press the button. It will be those that have it in their head that they are doing God’s work. WMD’s don’t kill ppl, religious nuts kill people.

      • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

        > religious nuts kill people.

        I won’t argue against that, but I do tend to judge more toward’s an anthropologist’s view, that of Marvin Harris, that a society behaves according to material reasons, then justifies their actions later with religion.

        For instance, he has a great essay on how religious taboos on food are actually not caused by religion, but stem from a material foundation, and later justified by religion.

        Thus, his anthropological theory is called “cultural materialism.”

  • stephen ryan

    Great article Frank .. I want to mention one thing in favor of religion. You can see this by looking at the early days of American history. The early years were defined by what I call the “Virgin Wars” – a religious war that defined the “New World . The Virgin Queen of England which the first state in this country “Virginia” was named after brought the Protestant church to England then to America. Columbus came to America on a boat named after the Virgin Mary – Santa Maria. The result? Racial horror in the USA – Trail of tears, ethnic cleansing of American Indians, slavery, the civil war , and the epic chastisement of 600,000 young men dying in a war fought over the right to hold people in bondage. South of the Rio Grande? – A mixed race emerged. Brown, black, and white people came together (not perfectly all the time) Why did this happen? One religion – Protestants is a failed religion because in its heart is “man’s” heart. The other – a Marian form of Catholicism the Catholic religion with the heart of Virgin Mary miraculous allowed for integration. Our Lady of Guadalupe – with a skin tone of black, brown and white – an image painted by God was a savior to many and warning to the evils of racism.

    • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

      > Brown, black, and white…Marian…

      Yes, folks have created a sort of spiritual T.A.Z. within the Catholic faith with the feminine Virgin Mary emphasis. Your chromatic imagery reminds me of a passage entitled “Gone to Croatan”, particularly this excerpt, as follows:

      Throughout the 18th century, North America also produced a number of drop-out “tri-racial isolate communities.” (This clinical-sounding term was invented by the Eugenics Movement, which produced the first scientific studies of these communities. Unfortunately the “science” merely served as an excuse for hatred of racial “mongrels” and the poor, and the “solution to the problem” was usually forced sterilization.)

      T. A. Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism
      By Hakim Bey


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