Climate change is both a hoax and a sign of the End Times

Susie Madrak tells us about Sen. James Inhofe’s latest climate-change-denial press conference. This time the Oklahoma Republican brought along some friends, including an unhinged British Lord, Christopher Monckton, and Cathie Adams, President of the Texas Eagle Forum.

Adams, also a former chair of the Texas GOP, believes that climate change is part of the Antichrist’s plot to create one world government.

Yes, really. If that seems like it’s something right out of the Left Behind novels, that’s because it comes right out of the Left Behind novels.

But even though Adams is a devout disciple of Tim LaHaye’s Bircher eschatology, she doesn’t quite seem to understand it. In a 1999 newsletter, Adams wrote:

The Bible tells us that in the end times there will be a world government headed by a world leader, called the anti-Christ, who will profess a world religion, but did you ever think you would live in the day when these things would come into being? That is exactly what the United Nations is doing behind the backs of most Americans.

That’s all boilerplate “Bible prophecy” lingo, except for that weird rhetorical question — “did you ever think you would live in the day when these things would come into being?”

That’s the whole point of this “Bible prophecy” nonsense, to believe that this generation uniquely lives in the day when these things are coming into being. There has never been a single “prophecy” preacher or Rapture enthusiast who taught that this was a prophecy for some distant future generation.

Darby was certain the Rapture would happen in his lifetime. Scofield and Ironside were certain the Rapture  would happen in their lifetime. And when Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye first started writing about the Rapture, neither one of them said there was any chance at all that they and the world would still be around to be talking about it in 2012.

These folks insist that the Rapture and the End of the World are prophesied to occur in our lifetime. That’s what makes us special. It means that the Bible was written mainly for and about us — for and about the 20th 21st-century white Americans in whose special lifetimes these prophecies were ordained by God to occur. John of Patmos wasn’t really writing to the seven first-century churches he names in the book of Revelation — he was writing to us, and really only to us.

In their view, the Bible is mainly about prophecy. And that prophecy is mainly about events expected to occur in our lifetimes. That makes us God’s most-special special-est people of all.

Even more special than that, actually, because as students of the secrets of Bible prophecy, we alone are the enlightened ones who possess the Gnostic truths of the initiates.

That’s the appeal of the whole bizarre realm of LaHaye-style “Bible prophecy.” And that’s why more than a third of Americans find it appealing, as a Public Religion Research Institute poll released yesterday shows:

More than a third of Americans believe the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in the “end times” described in the New Testament — a period of turmoil preceding Jesus’ Second Coming and the end of the world.

“There is a significant proportion of Americans who see these phenomena through a theological lens,” said Daniel Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, which released a poll on religion and climate change on Thursday (Dec. 13) in partnership with Religion News Service.

“It’s hardly a fringe belief. It’s nearly four in 10 Americans who are embracing this,” Cox said.

The conviction is particularly strong among white evangelical Protestants (65 percent).

So two-thirds of white evangelical Americans believe that they’re living in the most-special special-est times of God’s most-special special-est people.

This view helps to explain white evangelical support for Inhofe’s climate denialism and for his party’s climate do-nothing-ism. These folks believe that God is bringing about the end of the world, and that efforts to address the disasters coming from climate change are part of the Antichrist’s Satanic plot.

But don’t worry, that’s just a “fringe” belief. Only 65 percent of white evangelicals think this way.

* * * * * * * * *

Cathie Adams’ Texas Eagle Forum is part of the national Eagle Forum, founded and still led by Phyllis Schlafly.

Her son Roger is now a prominent spokesman for the group. Here (via Brian Tashman) is Roger Schlafly writing about the recent election at the Eagle Forum Blog:

America was founded by WASPs — White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. They had nuclear families, attended church, and believed in the Protestant work ethic. Republicans are seen as believing in traditional American values.

Democrats campaign largely by badmouthing traditional American values, and convincing various demographic groups that they are outside the Republican base, and hence better off voting Democrat. So non-whites, non-Christians, and non-marrieds vote Democrat out of group identifications. That is, they see it as being in their group interests to tear down traditional American culture.

Democrats never persuade voters based on reason or logic. They gain voters by increasing government dependence and by promoting changes to immigration policy. …

But please, please don’t accuse him of being a bigot. And please don’t infer from those words that the righteous, godly white evangelicals of the Eagle Forum are any sort of racists.

After all, Schlafly is not saying that he hates “non-whites” and “non-Christians.” He’s just saying that they’re inferior, dependent parasites who are destroying white America.

But again, that’s just a fringe opinion.

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  • Someguy who hates pants

    Fred is doesn’t seem like all evangelicals believe that Revelations is just for them and them alone.  Near the end of your linked article. 

    About three in 10 white evangelicals (29 percent) and minority Christians (27 percent) believe the end of the world will occur in their lifetimes

  • There has never been a single “prophecy” preacher or Rapture enthusiast
    who taught that this was a prophecy for some distant future generation.

    Actually – fun fact! – Isaac Newton was a big fan of interpreting Revelation and he concluded that the Apocalypse could not happen until after 2060, more than three hundred years after he would be dead.

    Then again, he wasn’t looking to make a buck off of his predictions (he didn’t even share them, what with his heterodox Christian beliefs being grounds for losing his job).

  • EllieMurasaki

    I voted Green. Does that make me Elphaba?

  • P J Evans

     There were a lot of folks in Massachusetts and Connecticut who didn’t think that Rhode Island was really part of New England. (It hasn’t quite gone away yet.)

  • P J Evans

    Is this like Obama being a devotee of Reverend Wright, and a Muslim?  And an atheist?

    And a socialist and a communist, too. And a Kenyan anti-colonialist, whatever that’s supposed to be.

  • P J Evans

     The Swedes in the Delaware Valley weren’t too happy when the Dutch took over their government. I think they were happier after the English took over.

  • Tricksterson

    IIRC, yes actually, he does.

  • Tricksterson

    Much as Christianity isn’t a religion but a philosophy.

  • Tricksterson

    Is a double Muslim anything like double-secret probation?

  •  Yup. I can’t tell whether I find that more or less infuriating than the more common “Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s Truth.”

  • Mira

    I think credit is due there too. Lots of Native Americans in the 17th-18th centuries were enslaved in missions and on plantations along with Africans, put into indentured servitude, or worked within Euro-American settlements for very low wages, so they qualify for “helped found it and got treated like shit in the process.” They’re just less visible historically because when they were wearing western clothes and living off reservations, English writers tended to assume they weren’t “real Indians” because those had all disappeared.

    There’s also the interesting history of the Iroquois confederacy providing an inspirational model for federalism. And the fur trade, without native hunters and traders there would have been a lot fewer colonies in the northern half of the country.

    (This totally tapped into my personal area of historical nerddom. And yes I totally agree that the whole “WASPS built America” thing is clearly ridiculous.)

  • Will Hennessy

    …does mister Schlafly know that WASP is kind of a derogatory term?

    Also, I’ve been following this guy out at (kinda dates him, doesn’t it?) since… well, since before May 21, 2011, and it has proved fairly amusing to listen to him change his tune over and over again since the last Camping prediction failed. He’s currently hung up that it’s the end of times this Friday (hopefully not before my fucking Left Behind post, Jesus, so HOLD THE TRUMPET SECTION), but is currently doing nothing about it since he expects to be raptured.

    I could call this schadenfreude since I’m taking such pleasure in laughing at his blog, but I justify it by not posting snarky comments on anything.

  • As I recall, Camping had the grace to admit he wouldn’t be trying any more predictions.

  • The “anti-Colonialist” is probably the weirdest of the anti-Obama slurs, especially coming from a group that totemizes the Boston Tea Party. Do they really not understand how ironic it is that being opposed to colonizing is now considered a rejection of traditional American cultural tropes?

  • Will Hennessy

     That he did, and ya gotta give him that. But the guy whose blog I’m following is still on this end-of-the-world kick, now trusting the Mayans “prediction” of the “end of the world” (as we in our apocalypse-obsessed subculture see it)…