Thursday, January 29, 2009
"Armageddon" may be caused by religion
There is no such thing as a biblical "Armageddon" to haunt us in the future. The pap promoted by prophetic preachers is pablum for the masses but has no relationship either to the Bible or the truth or reality.
In other words, their "prophetic" words are unadulterated bullshit derived from what I often think are deliberate and conscious misinterpretations of scripture.
Unfortunately, millions of ignorant and naive people all over the world listen to them in awed silence, send them money to continue promoting their deadly delusions, and suck in their toxic sermonizing which results in a bleak, spiritual darkness. Oh, it also leaves the preachers incredibly wealthy!
Robert Taft, writing at the guardian.co.uk today, notes that "One of Iran's most powerful clerics issued a stern warning against rapprochement with the US ... and denounced supporters of the idea as 'troublemakers' who belong to 'hated groups.'
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, chairman of the guardian's council and strong supporter of Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said:
"I am warning some of society's most abandoned and hated groups who are intending to establish relations with the US, want to meet with Obama and give the US president a green light: do not go in this direction. You are just troublemakers. Do not damage yourselves more. Do not rely on America and do not hurt people."
In the United States, the religious right (Jewish and Christian) also oppose rapprochement - US rapprochement with Iran!
For years, the religious right has been calling for war with Iran, a number of our crazy clerics actually believing such a war would hasten the end of the world, the battle of Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ!
Crazy, goddamn clerics indeed!
Back in 2007, James Dobson met privately with Bush and about a dozen other right wing fruitcakes to support Bush's policies on Iraq and Iran. Other meetings of christianists on the right were held at the same time in Washington. Here's what Dobson had to say:
"I heard about this danger [from Iran] not only at the White House but from our pro-family leaders that I met that week in Washington. Many people in a position to know are talking about the possibility of losing a city to nuclear or chemical attack. And if we can lose one we can lose ten."
Joel Rosenberg, a dangerous right wingnut, appeared on Dobson's program where he compared the Iranian president with Hitler and said we cannot appease the Iranians because "We are being threatened and we are going to meet this with force -- whatever's necessary."
Then there's the special case of perhaps the most wicked of the wingnuts, John Hagee, who has long called for the United States to attack Iran in order to cause Armageddon. He, too, compared the Iranian president with Hitler, and said, "We must stop Iran's nuclear threat and stop it now and stand boldly [with] Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East."
During the 2008 election process, Hagee was out in front of a group of christianist right wingers "urging President George W. Bush to deal more forcefully with Iran."
Back to Joel Rosenberg. Raised an Orthodox Jew, now an "evangelical" Christian, he advocates military action against Iran based upon biblical prophecies he dug out of the book of Ezekiel, which he claims describe an alliance between Russia and Iran, along with Lebanon, Syria and other Middle Eastern countries which have the purpose of destroying Israel.
Unfortunately, Rosenberg's interpretation of the bible would be laughable if it weren't for the fact that people believe the kook. But he doesn't know what he's talking about. He claimed at one time that 2007 would be "the Year of Decision" for the US to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat. "...after all," he said, "time is short, and the stakes are high."
Pat Robertson is another creepy christianist who thinks the US should attack Iran. In July of this year, on The 700 Club, he critized the "moderate tone" of the Bush administration toward Iran. He thought it necessary that for Israel to ensure its safety it should "make some kind of strike" against Iran's nuclear facilities.
The late Jerry Falwell would have agreed with Robertson. At a lunch with Reform rabbi Eric Yoffie in 2005, Falwell said if Bush wasn't going to take out Iran's nuclear weapons program, Israel should.
And, "The day Israel takes out the weapons of these barbarians, there will be eighty million evangelicals at the gates of the White House cheering...."
Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. That's been the cry of the Christian (and otherwise religious) right for years!
(Don't these righteous folks remind you a lot of the Jesus portrayed in the gospels? You know, the one who went about teaching, healing and doing good things; the one who talked about turning the other cheek, loving your enemy, following the Law, forgiving your enemy seventy times seven?)
Please understand, I'm not naive enough to think Iran does not pose a danger to the Middle East and the rest of the world.
At the same time, it really isn't surprising that Iranians in general, or Iranian clerics in particular, react negatively to attempts at rapprochement after years of bitter words, and threats of attack.
Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, saith the Republican nominee for president. And the people cheered.