Friday, August 04, 2006

Kathleen Parker on the Christianists

As I wrote in my last post, the interest in the tight bond between many American evangelicals and Israel is evident on the web. Kathleen Parker takes her turn and dismisses, among other things, the notion that Armageddon-waiting End Timers have significant influence on US Mideast policy.

She rejects the arguments of those who tred on the mushy soil of moral relativism by comparing evangelicals to radical Islamists:

Although both groups may be "true believers,'' those who try to connect the dots of Christian belief, specifically evangelical Christianity, to Islamism seem willing to overlook the fact that Islamists praise Allah and fly airplanes into buildings while Christianists praise Jesus and pass the mustard.

And though both groups of people may use scripture to shape their approach to the public square, Islamist interpretation of doctrine permits religious expression through suicide-murder, beheadings, public stonings (preferably of women) and Jew-hating, while Christianist doctrine deals in such wimpy notions as forgiveness, tolerance, redemption and cheek-turning. Weirdos.

She believes those, such as the Rev. John Hagee, who believe the current Mideast struggles are playing into the End Times scenario carry little clout with the Bush administration and other Christians:

Doubtless Hagee holds his audiences in thrall, but that audience does not happen to include George W. Bush or even (cue thunderclouds) Karl Rove. Nor millions of other Christians. Despite what the anti-Christianists seem to believe, the evangelical movement is not monolithic on such issues and Hagee doesn't have an office in the State Department.

In fact, at one White House meeting with about 35 evangelical leaders, one participant told me Hagee said nary a word. Even if he had, no one in the Bush administration is listening.

I like her conclusion too:

In other words, pro-Israel policy decisions are based on our long-standing support of America's democratic ally in the Middle East, not some theological imperative as divined through an eschatological grid. Or even an "8'' ball.

Nevertheless, Republicans are happy to get votes where they can. Which is to say: If Hagee were urging his congregation to tithe money to fight global warming based on some apocalyptic interpretation of Scripture, does anyone really think that Al Gore would decline the check?

Here's the whole thing.


Blogger Dog Phace Blue Hand said...

Not only is she pro-Christianist, she is good at smoking out Stalinists.


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