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Jerry Falwell has a hard-on for World War III. On 60 Minutes, tonight, he will call Mohamed, the prophet of Islam, a Terrorist. So says Ed McAteer, the founder of the Moral Majority and father of the Religious Right in America, adding “I believe that we are seeing prophecy unfold so rapidly and dramatically and wonderfully, and, without exaggeration, [it] makes me breathless.”

This disturbing piece intimates that, at least to some extent, the Bush Doctrine is being driven by the Religious Right. As the Bush campaign is on a fundraising tear, locking down a staggering average of $500,000.00 per day to win themselves the next election, Jerry Falwell may be using his economic and political might to impose the supposed will of his flock on the rest of us. And, by the rest of us, I refer to the entire species.

The Religious Right in America believes that the current War On Islam represents the stirrings of Armageddon and that with it, Jesus will rise to rule the earth. The infidels will either be stricken down or become Good Christians.

Now this is where I have a problem with American Christianity. Now, I’m sure that even Falwell’s 70 million Christians do not even believe the entirety of what he is saying, even if they understand it, but the proposition is frightening. His beliefs represent the confluence of what I’ll call “American Iso-Imperialism” and of course typical Christian fanaticism.

Iso-Imperialism is the odd combination of 1930s-style American isolationism, reconciled with the all-too relieving post-Desert Storm assertion that America can conduct military and imperialist operations in perpetuity without significant repercussions. This notion persists even Post-September 11, when although we all felt very guilty and very badly about those 3,600 people, we didn’t feel fundamentally threatened (when Isreali helicopters orbit your neighbourhood every day and blow up homes seemingly at random, I think you’d truly understand what “feeling threatened” means). Again, I’m lumping Canadians into this “we” thing — we are, brothers and sisters of the commonwealth, very much along for the ride.

The Christian fundamentalism of which gets thrown into the mix is the incessant compulsion to impose the will of their beliefs on the entire world, to smite those who refuse to yield to their world view, and to intimate that death, destruction, suffrage and martyrdom are the only true paths to eternal salvation. Now, this all should sound frighteningly familiar to those who’ve studied the concept of martyrdom in Islam. But there’s one key difference.

For Falwell, the Jews — while they are very nice people that Christians support — are the martyrs and the cannon fodder of Armageddon, enacting war, suffrage, and destruction only to have their remaining few souls converted to Christianity. And this is where Iso-American Christianity differs vastly from Islam: While muslims have as a basic tenet of their religion the compulsion to specifically and personally experience suffrage and enlightenment in their own Jihad, or Holy War, the religious right in America thinks that the true path to enlightenment is their own Jihad, in which they merely manipulate events on the world stage to bring about the consequence of Armageddon and the return of Christ.

Disturbingly, the Iso-American Christians believe that they need not suffer a scratch in the epic battle of Good (Falwell’s supposed 70 million Christians) vs. Evil (everybody else). They believe that by fanning the flames of war elsewhere, resulting in death and suffering on an unimaginable scale, they can bring about the Resurrection — all the while continuing to enjoy the pleasures and conveniences of modern capitalism.

In essence they think that they can cash the cheque without doing any of the work. The Iso-American Christians believe that they can be the receivers of redemption without the martyrdom, suffering, or pain that Jesus himself suffered at the hands of another group conquerors who cast themselves above the Isrealites and all others.

Falwell seems to believe that millions or billions of us must die in order to enable the return of Christ as our one and only true ruler. He also believes that none of them need be Christians. What is perhaps most frightening is that he seems to have the political and economic might to influence that outcome.

-Ian.

PS – Perhaps it would just be simpler if we could select our own Jehovah on “American Idol”. I, for one, place my trust in Paula Abdul.

—— http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/03/60minutes/main524268.shtml Falwell Brands Mohammed A ‘Terrorist’ Oct. 4, 2002

The Rev. Jerry Falwell has called Islam’s founder and most sacred figure, Mohammed, “a terrorist.”

In a 60 Minutes interview with CBS News Correspondent Bob Simon, Falwell also affirms the Christian Right’s steadfast support for the state of Israel against its Islamic enemies and hints that right-wing religious groups are influencing U.S. government policy toward Israel. Right-wing Christians believe the turmoil in the Middle East is a harbinger of the second coming of Christ.

The interview with Falwell will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

“I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough…by both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war,” Falwell tells Simon. “In my opinion…Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses, and I think Mohammed set an opposite example.”

When President Bush urged Israel to remove its forces from Palestinian towns earlier this year, Falwell sent him a personal protest and the White House received 100,000 e-mail protests from Christians.

Falwell say he believes Bush is well aware of the Christian constituency. “There are 70 million of us…[and] there’s nothing that would bring the wrath of the Christian public in this country down on this government like abandoning or opposing Israel on a critical matter,” he says.

Falwell and conservative Christians support the Israelis and condemn their enemies because they believe the triumph of Israel is God’s will. The Jews’ return to their ancient homeland – and sole ownership of the territories Arabs and Israelis both lay claim to – is a precondition for the second coming of Christ, according to the Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians’ interpretation of the Bible.

The Biblical scenario is not a savory one for many Jews, however. “God save us from these people,” says Israeli political analyst Yossi Alpher. “When you see what these people are encouraging Israel and the U.S. to do…ignore the Palestinians, kick them out…they are leading us into a scenario of out-and-out disaster,” he tells Simon.

But disaster is part of the scenario. Many Fundamentalist Evangelicals believe there will be catastrophic events on earth, some occurring already, including the turmoil in the Middle East, culminating in the Battle of Armageddon in which Christ will triumph and begin ruling the earth. At this point, they believe, non-believers will be destroyed, good Christians saved and any remaining Jews converted to Christianity.

Says Ed McAteer, a founder of the Moral Majority and known as the godfather of the Christian Right, “I believe that we are seeing prophecy unfold so rapidly and dramatically and wonderfully, and, without exaggeration, [it] makes me breathless.”

© MMII, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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