Thursday, August 05, 2004


Here's compendium of information on the bizarre, and disturbingly widespread, at least in America, phenomenon of Apocolyptic Christian Zionism. These are fundamentalist Christians who support the state of Israel not out of any solidarity with persecuted Jews or any real belief in Jewish nationalism, but because they believe that Jewish control of the land of Israel, as described in the Bible, is a necessary precondition for the return of Jesus Christ.

Thing is, when Jesus returns this time, so the story goes, it will not be the peaceful, loving Jesus that we've seen in various films and made for TV movies, it will be an angry, vengeful Jesus. He's back, and He's is a smiting mood. He's going to kill a whole lot of non-believers, including many Jews, while the good Christians wil be taken up to heaven, where I guess they will stand upon clouds and look down and point and laugh as the rest of us are smoted.

Here's a great example of the level of "thinking" that goes on with these folks:

"The land of Israel was originally owned by God," said Gary Bauer, president of American Values and a Republican presidential contender in 2000. "Since He was the owner, only He could give it away. And He gave it to the Jewish people."

Didn't know God was in the real-estate game? Yes, that's how he made most of his money, allowing him to retire to Heaven, which is why we haven't heard from him much lately. I joke because, in addition to being completely biblically insupportable, it's just so fucking absurd. You are right to clutch your skull. It's silly enough that people expect to be taken seriously when appealing to the authority of millenia-old land deals with ancient, genocidal tribal deities, but when they use that as justification for the ongoing disposession and oppression of an entire people, the Palestinians, it strikes me as religious and political perversion of the highest order.

The phenomenon of Apocolyptic Christian Zionism has serious implications for the struggle against jihadism. The plight of the Palestinians, and the U.S.'s almost completely unquestioning support for Israel, is a major source of resentment in the Arab and Muslim world. Rational people understand that moving towards a negotiated settlement between Israel and Palestine is imperative for the future stability of the region, but Christian Zionists believe that any agreement which requires Israel to give up any of their biblical kingdom is against God's will, and thus Christian Zionists, quite openly, oppose any negotiated peace.

Now, I don't know whether Bush actually buys this crap, but frankly it's disturbing enough to me that people who do are given an ear by his administration.

Fundamentalism: it's a hoot!

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