Let’s be honest as we head into the November elections to Christian Republicans in the grip of the “End Times”, the Ebola outbreak is a godsend for Republicans, evangelicals, racists and the Tea Party.
From the Obama-hating apocalypse-loving, “End Times”-desiring rights’ point of view what could be finer by way of confirming all their xenophobic victimology than a global pandemic carried by black people? And this “plague” arrived when an African-not-born-in-America-and-who-is-a-secret-Muslim-who-tried-to-do-socialism-and-do-homosexuality-to-US-real-Americans, is ruling us and taking away all our guns! Ebola has arrived right when “those homosexuals” are getting married! And, better yet, ISIS is a ready-made visual of Antichrist-harbinger and we’re about to vote!
The response by the evangelical right to Ebola has been gleeful. Remember that the evangelicals need a perpetual crisis and/or enemy to raise money with. If it’s not evil feminists, it’s abortionists. If not the baby-killers, then there’s always a handy homosexual plot of world domination. Now there’s a wonderful illness almost as good as AIDS! Thank Jesus! Send that $25 in today! Charisma magazine (who recently published then, after an outcry, took down, an article advocating genocide against all Muslims) jumped right in. In “Is Deadly Ebola Outbreak the First Bowl of ‘Revelation’ Judgment?” Jennifer LeClaire, the Charisma news editor, writes:
Liberia’s church leaders are claiming the deadly outbreak is a plague God has sent to punish the nation for “immoral acts” such as homosexuality.
Liberia’s Daily Observer reports that more than 100 bishops, pastors, general overseers, prophets, evangelists and other ministers of the gospel who are part of the Liberia Council of Churches have resolved: “God is angry with Liberia, and that Ebola is a plague. Liberians have to pray and seek God’s forgiveness over the corruption and immoral acts (such as homosexualism, etc.) that continue to penetrate our society.
As Christians, we must repent and seek God’s forgiveness.” Are Liberia’s prophets and pastors right? Is the Ebola outbreak God’s judgment on the nation for immoral acts? And, if so, shouldn’t we expect it to spread to the doorsteps of Europe, Asia and America, whose citizens are practicing many of the same immoral sins? Or is this just one small piece of the bigger end-times picture? Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 in context to the age:
“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. …
Let’s look at the landscape as it compares to Jesus’ words. Persecuted Christians are being run out of Iraq en mass. There is war in the Middle East, airplanes being shot out of the sky over Ukraine, drug wars south of the U.S. border, and, of course, culture wars over God’s Word in many nations. Meanwhile, a man-made famine is on the horizon in Sudan, an huge earthquake just hit Hawaii as it waits for two hurricanes to clobber its shores, an earthquake in China on Wednesday left nearly 600 dead. Earlier this week, earthquakes hit Johannesburg, South Africa; Indonesia; and Napa County, California. And an earthquake just hit Greece this morning.
Face it: evangelicals into the “End Times” are a fifth column of sick subversives cheering for failure, death and decline not to mention the destruction of our country. Who needs health care reform when Jesus is coming back? For that matter who wants peace in the Middle East when what will bring Jesus back is war? Yeah Israel! Build those settlements and kill Palestinians! It’s all “in the Bible!”
End Times-broken-brain Christian “leaders” are openly rooting for Ebola as a sign Jesus is “coming back.” Franklin Graham says that the Ebola virus is part of Bible prophecy and that Christians should be watching for signs of times indicating the end of the world. Graham also claims Christian persecution in America is on the rise, with the newest generation being overtly hostile toward Christians.
The persecution of Christians around the globe Franklin said is “killing of Christians by Muslims from Indonesia to Bangladesh to Pakistan,” China “tearing down church buildings,” “Christians tortured, beheaded, and crucified in Iraq, with villages burned and churches destroyed, and much the same in Syria.” As for America Graham wrote that “there is great opposition to the church of Jesus Christ. We see this throughout the media, the entertainment industry, government, and politics.” All of this is just signs of the times, according to Graham.
“Jesus warned His disciples in Matthew 24 when they asked Him about the signs of the end of the age,” he writes. “He said there would be wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and pestilence. He told them, ‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.’” According to Graham Ebola is just another welcome sign of end times coming soon, and a chance to raise money. It is a godsend fundraising opportunity right up there with gay-bashing and /Muslim-hating. “We have seen firsthand the pestilence of Ebola,” Graham writes. “A medical doctor serving with Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia was infected with this deadly virus, but through the prayers of many righteous, God spared his life. I don’t know if we have hours, days, months, or years — but as Christians, God calls us to take the truth of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”
Meanwhile back on Planet Earth, Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said that a decade of stagnant spending—translation: Republican government obstruction, cuts, government shutdown all to try and convince Americans that “government doesn’t work”–has “slowed down” research on all items, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. As a result, he said, the international community has been left playing catch-up on a potentially avoidable humanitarian catastrophe. “NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready… “We would have been a year or two ahead of where we are, which would have made all the difference,” he said.
It’s not just the production of a vaccine that has been hampered by Republican cuts. Collins also said that some therapeutics to fight Ebola “were on a slower track than would’ve been ideal, or that would have happened if we had been on a stable research support trajectory.” But never fear this is all GOOD NEWS if you’re Franklin Graham or the editors of Charisma magazine or the editors of Christianity Today. You get to use Ebola to stir up millions of certainty addicts looking for “proof” that their “biblical faith” has not been nonsense.
Maybe “Tim” LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins can make another hundred million or so by writing a newer version of their bestseller Left Behind. I mean who could pass up dead black people as the best thing that ever happened to white right wing apocalypse salesmen? Stoking up a constant drumbeat of fear is the only way to raise money for people selling lies not to mention paranoid delusional books. If Graham thinks this is “the end” then why’s he paying himself a million-plus a year out of funds donated to help poor people, like people sick with illnesses like Ebola? If this is the end why is Charisma magazine on a subscription drive?
Here’s how your average white aging Fox-“NEWS”-watching, “Left-Behind”-reading, Republican Tea Party evangelical welcomes Ebola:
- Ebola is proof Jesus is on the way. Hooray! Let’s hope more people die!
- Ebola is proof of God’s judgment on homosexuals, in Africa and here too! Hooray! Let’s hope more people die!
- Ebola is proof Obama has failed (again) Hooray! Let’s hope more people die!
- Ebola is proof that we should close our borders! Dark-skinned people are bringing in disease! ISIS, Mexicans, blacks, homosexuals, I mean wasn’t AIDS all about “these people” too? Hooray! No immigration reform! No brown people! Let’s hope more people die!
- Ebola is proof everyone needs to send in more donations to us deluded fools! Time is short! Jesus is on the way! Help us reach the lost before it is too late! Hooray! Let’s hope more people die!
- Ebola is proof you need to vote Republican because we have a strong prophetic word that all this Ebola/homosexual/wrath-of-God-End-Times-Prophetic-fulfillment was caused by putting one of “them” in the White House! Ebola is a black/gay problem! Hooray!
- Ebola is proof you need to vote for Republican Tea Party candidates who will close our borders, shoot darkies on sight as they cross the border, send children back to die in the desert and send all those diseased blacks back to Liberia, and purify our white blood-bought nation just in time for Christ’s glorious return when he’ll prove us Christians were right and then burn our enemies in hell, forever. Hooray! Let’s hope more people die!
It is time to say it: Christian Republicans in the grip of the “End Times” cult are dangerous to this country and to the world. Christian Republicans in the grip of the “End Times” cult are being used by greedy opportunist like Franklin Graham to line his pockets and seek power.
The Republican Party has been taken over by bigots and extremists who have made war on our government’s effectiveness. They have been driven by hatred of a black president. Whatever else the Ebola crisis demonstrates it cast a bright light into the evil heart of the loony right.
Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace