Sunday, June 6, 2010

Newsweek, Christians and the Apocalypse - Lisa Miller Version

Some Say BP's Oil Spill Heralds the Apocalypse - Newsweek
But there’s a problem. In the place where American religion and politics intersect, signs of the end times have traditionally been interpreted by members of the right as punishment for ungodly behavior by those on the left. And because the values of the religious right have mirrored those of the Republican Party—at least before the last presidential election—the "good guys" in the cosmic battle have tended to look like Republicans on the far-right fringe and the “bad guys” like liberal Democrats. Thus Hurricane Katrina was brought down upon New Orleans because it was, in the words of Christian minister John Hagee, a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah: the city had a gay-pride march planned for the day the storm struck.

Who is Lisa Miller and is she a Christian? The author knows some things about the subject but the above quote shows an obvious whole in her knowledge. First of all their is no monolithic Christian Fundamentalist body. Especially on eschatology their time lines are scattered. But one thing of which I am quite sure. They believe that judgments from God affect the righteous. Fundamentalist are by nature big on judgment. They are also big on the Old Testament. The times Israel was judged both good and bad suffered. Was not Daniel taken into captivity, for instance. I have been in or around Christianity of many flavors and kinds all my life. Never have I heard that when and if God's judgment is poured out on America, the Christians will go on living the life of Riley. An often quoted phrase is, "Judgment begins with the house of God". Write about any subject you wish lady but expect people to recognize your short comings when you are truly uninformed.

Use common sense. Fundamental Christians struggle hard to have the society operate as they believe is pleasing to God. One reason is to avoid judgment. They explain it that way and keep no secret of it. Billy Graham reportedly once said, "If God does not Judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah". Who knows if he said it but the statement is in keeping with the attitudes of Christian Fundamentalist. Christians do believe that God can preserve his people through all trials. Be that as it may, trials and tribulation are still trials and tribulation. Christians believe they benefit from these trials and the Bible says as much, but few are lining up for the lessons. Then Ms. Miller goes on to quote the Christian fisherman believing the Bible tells him they will go through hardships. And she can not see her own faulty "christian" reasoning. So what is it? Does God's judgment only fall on Democrats or everybody? Make up your mind. She naturally points out these are "fringe" Christians. Listen up baby ... the born again contingency world wide believes more in line with your "fringe" Christians. Most of us have no idea what that oil spill is all about but we do notice it. And with everything else that is happening in the world our Christian ears are listening and we are looking up.

The Escape factor for Christians arrives on the scene for those who believe that Jesus Christ will "rapture" or supernaturally remove the Church from the earth before the final judgments. Christians disagree as to when on the escatological time line this will happen. Some don't believe in it at all but those may be more of the institutional or social Christian flavor. Gee, did I offend anyone? Even some of those are "saved". Opps, I did it again.

So what is Ms. Miller's agenda? Let's look.
Yet through a biblical lens, it’s hard to see the oil spill as anything but God’s punishment for greed and a disrespect of Creation—and both of those sins fall mostly on the shoulders of the Republicans, who have been aggressively lobbying for more offshore drilling, without, obviously, ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place. (Remember “Drill, baby, drill”? According to, Republicans in the last decade have far outstripped Democrats in donations from big oil, sometimes by a factor of four.) So the question for biblical literalists becomes one of political alliances. Does God wreak apocalyptic wrath on members of one’s own party—or only on the opposition?
Now I get it. Ms Miller is preaching the Gospel according to Ted Turner (aka Mouth from the South). She is a Gaia worshiper, Mother earth and all that. I wonder if she caries crystals to keep her energies in tune with the Universe. Ms. Miller may be better suited to writing articles on New Age ... Hey, the U.N. would eat them up.

I'll bet it took every inch of Ms. Miller's strength to not mention Sarah Palin and I suppose she feels ultimate stealth by not doing so. But she just had to use, “Drill, baby, drill”. Oh, she just couldn't help herself.

Lisa Miller is NEWSWEEK's religion editor - go figure. And what religion is that?

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