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While America wrestled with the tragic deaths that occurred on September 11 in Benghazi, while today we try to make sense of the Algerian hostage massacre and the heightened danger that recent events in Mali pose, Christian Zionist pastors such as John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas use any and all of these conflicts to feed the ever-present fear and hatred of Muslims, their ultimate goal being to accelerate the end of the world as “foretold” in the Bible’s Book of Revelation.

On the Sunday after the attacks on the Libyan embassy, Hagee, flanked by Israeli and American flags, stood before national television cameras to reinforce what his end-times hungry congregation already believes: President Obama does not stand with Israel, but apologizes to terrorists. Iran is the evil that must be stopped. And the biblically proscribed Israeli territories were given to the Hebrews six thousand years ago by God, so who is Barack Hussein Obama to demand that Israel cede a single centimeter of land to her enemy?

Since 2006, when Hagee founded Christians United for Israel (CUFI,) the largest biblically based, pro-Israel lobbying group in the United States, the question Jews should have been grappling with is, In what world does impeding Mideast peace qualify as being pro-Israel? This year when President Obama nominated Chuck Hagel to become his Secretary of Defense, Hagee once again used his CUFI megaphone to call on his followers to oppose Hagel, the meaning behind his message being, Thou shalt not seek peace.

“God chose Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol,” Hagee bellowed. “You’d think the Democratic National Convention would get that by now. The third world war will start over the issue of who owns that land [Israel] and you’re watching it start right now on national television. The Jewish people do not occupy the land—they own that land. The president’s actions send a message to the enemies of Israel: we’re not supporting you. It’s not a matter of if war is coming between Israel and Iran; it’s only a matter of when.”

In these times of heightened geopolitical danger, rather than calming the fury, Hagee incites. Preaching, he asked Obama a rhetorical question: “Why don’t you tell Libya that murdered our diplomat (this week,) ‘We are going to retaliate, we are not going to apologize any more, we’re going to respond’?”

Frighteningly reminiscent of the Bush neo-cons and their evangelical co-conspirators, the fear-mongering Hagee snarls, “Iranian terrorists are already in this country. They’re not coming, they’re here and smuggling a suitcase bomb across a border that is not protected. Can you imagine seven suitcase bombs going off in seven major US cities at one time that have the capacity of killing a million people?”

Like the proverbial tree falling in the forest, words like these matter little if no one is listening. But millions watch Hagee and other Christian broadcasters like him, and they hang on these pastors’ every word. Even more significant is the fact that mega-pastors like Hagee have the ear of countless politicians who either believe as they do or who are so craven as to trade foreign policy favors for a nod to the Evangelical Christian voting bloc come the next primary season and/or election.

The conclusion to Hagee’s September 26, 2012 sermon should strike fear in America’s collective soul: “We are living in the final moments of the Dispensation of Grace,” Hagee preached, referring to the period prior to Revelation–predicted calamaties and suffering before the Second Coming, “and prayer is the only thing that will save us. Hallelujah.”


Whatever happened to democracy, diplomacy, and wisdom?

K.C. Boyd is the author of "Being Christian, A Novel."

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Comment Preferences

  •  These people live for the end times and will do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    K C Boyd

    whatever they can to bring it about. Unfortunately they became part of the mainstream political GOP thanks to Ronald Reagan. There is a reason so many in the GOP are aligned with the "no daylight between Israel and the US" coalition. They couldn't give a shit about American Jews or Israelis except for the fact that they play a crucial role in their insane "Rapture" fantasy. I grew up in a family in which some members flirted with this idiocy until I set them straight. Thankfully, they reacted with appropriate horror.

    "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

    by mindara on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:40:46 AM PST

    •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mindara, K C Boyd

      I have often been surprised to learn different family, friends, & aquaintances subscribe to this, and actually believe it will happen in their lifetimes.  They are welcome to believe what they like, of course, but the policy implications for the rest of us can be frightening!

      "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

      by NancyWH on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:27:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree...their idealogue is terrifying.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        K C Boyd

        "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

        by mindara on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:52:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You're so right (0+ / 0-)

      It's enormously frustrating to see the Jewish people hold hands with End Timers merely for the money. . . truly a Faustian bargain.
      How lucky for you that your family was responsive and obviously intelligent.

  •  My folks are on this kick. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, K C Boyd

    My mother also thinks that we shouldn't do anything about global warming because God will destroy the world when he wants to and nothing we do will change the date of the end times. It's a moronic position that is impossible to argue with.

  •  This kind of thinking always reminds me of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    K C Boyd

    mental illness, and idon't mean that to be derogatory but rather explanatory.  I wonder sometimes if we are missing a whole category of mental illness which I might call"sociopathology", a sort of group process that mimics at the collective level what happens to the individual during what we call psychopathology.

    Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.--Jacob Bronowski

    by ValerieTarico on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:34:02 AM PST

    •  Groupthink (0+ / 0-)

      ...feels safe just as it feels right. i agree that the sheeplike mentality of these cults -- and they are exactly that - - takes advantage of the weaknesses in the human psyche that create an almost mass mental derangement syndrome where logic and knowledge are sacrificed at the altar of so-called piety.

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