Saturday, April 30, 2005

THOUGHTS ON THE REVELATION

As long as I'm in between bouts of nausea from this damned chemo therapy I thought I'd exercise my Constitutional right to speak out against ignorance and superstition.

It seems to me that the hate-mongering Millenialists who now control the Republican Party are more in line with Satan than they are with Jesus Christ. Nevermind their truly hateful belief system. That's bad enough. The fact of the matter is that their timing seems to be way off. As does the nature of their movement.

According to the Bible (use whichever version you prefer), Christians are supposed to be a persecuted minority in the end times, not a ubiquitous political faction with the power and the will to actually engage in the actual persecution itself. If we take the present batch of millenialists at their word and accept The Holy Bible as the literal world of God, then the American Christian Right does not fit the description of those who will be saved. But it does fit the description of the misled individuals and false prophets who will run the show during the brief reign of the Anti-Christ here on earth. (Maybe we should ask everyone in the Millenialist/Dominionist movement to undergo a thorough examnation by a qualified dermatologist--just to see if we don't find any 666 birthmarks on their forheads or in the palms of their hands?)

Seriously, the whole idea of Revelations as an accurate blue print for human history and/or destiny has become an obsession with this crowd--and not an especially healthy one at that.

When I was in seminary school I concluded that the Book of Revelations was not written by Saint John. Rather, it was actually written by a hermit-monk named John who lived nearly a hundred years after the fact, and the political entity that he was writing about is not the modern world, but the Roman Empire. The Revelation as a whole was written to Christians of the era to counter what the obsessive, often fanatical, author considered to be some of the nonchristian beliefs that were filtering into the orthodoxy of his day, and, more imporantly, to give persecuted Christians hope during an age of intense brutality and repression. The Roman Empire was not a pacifistic entity to say the least. Christians were routinely persecuted and executed. To take the symbolism intended as spiritual comfort nearly 2000 years ago seriously today is nothing less than redicules.


Moreover, the Bible clearly says that Christ would return to earth soon quickly. Not 2000 years after the fact. One of the reasons that it took so long for the Gospels and the New Testament in general to be written down was because the early Christians genuinely believed that Christ would return in their life times or at least shortly thereafter. They certainly did not expect him to take 2000 years to make another command performance. In a similar vein one would think that the Lord God would have chosen better prophets. Instead of cloaking the Book of Revelations in what today is obsecure symbolism (e.g. The Seven Heads and Seven Crowns of the Red Dragon in REVALTION 12: 3 are a clear references to the Seven Hills of Rome) one would have thought that these prophets, to make life a little easier for those of us in the 20th and 21st Centuries, would have at least given us a clear and recognizable time line. Something like "well, in the year XXXX, so and so will come to power in this particular country." But the prophet in The Revelation never gives us that. Instead he cloaks the message in the symbolism of the day because he was writing about the events and the political situation of the day, his day.

In a similar vein, the same people in our time who were so CONVINCED that Christ would return on January 1, 2000, had forgotten that the Christian Calander had no year zero. In other words, the year 2001 was the actual beginning of the new millenium. But for some mysterious reason, the group that BrandonG calls "The Radical Christian Right," decided to have their collective psychotic breakdown in late 1999 and early 2000. Few of these people went crazy (forgive me--crazier than they already were) on December 31,2000--January 1,2001. Indeed, last I knew we were all here. No rapture; no falling airplanes; no vanishing people; no Battle of Armegeddon; we're still stuck with the holier than thou Republicans. But for some reason the poor mathematicians on the far right never bothered to figure this out.

And even if they had it wouldn't have made a difference because we have miscalculated the year of Christ's birth by anywhere from five to seven years. If you go back into The New Testament and look at some of the historical events that were taking place at the time you suddenly realize that Christ was born anywhere from five to seven years prior to what has been accepted as the traditional date of his birth. Note also that we don't even celebrate Christ's birth at the right time of the year! According to the The NewTestament, The Shepherds were abiding in their fields. Well guess what? This is an activity that did not take place in the dead of winter. (Mid-eastern nights can be quite cold--ask anyone who lives in Arizona what nighttime temperatures in a desert climate are like and they'll tell you that you will freeze your bloody ass of. The shepherds would have been watching their flocks in the spring or fall, Jesus most probably having been born in one of those seasons. The only reason we ended up with a December Christmas was because the early Church Fathers wanted to coopt pagan holidays which took place at the same time of year--hence many of our Christmas traditions such as Christmas trees, gift-giving, mistletoe, wreaths, garlands etc. Translated into modern English,the new millenium, when considered in those terms, had actually begun in the early to mid 1990s. I guess maybe the Lord God needs a new calendar. So no matter how you dice it these Millenialists are just plain full of what makes the grass green.

How many historical figures have been refered to as "The Anti-Christ?" Atilla the Hun; Genghis Kahn; Naploean; Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin. Hell, the Book of Revelations is so heavy in symbolism and so nebulous in its rambling that it can be interpreted in just about any way you want to interpret it. Which probably explains why we've had witch hunts, Inquisitions, Holy Wars, and Crusades. Should we really be surprised by the fact that a mean-spirited clique of pseudo-Christian Nazis would use The Holy Bible as a weapon? Of course not. Especially when you consider the moral and intellectual worthlessness of their politics and theology.

Pick up a decent time line of human history. The Millenialists claim that The Book of Revelations warns us about wars. There have always been wars and there will always be wars. The Millenialists warn us about earthquakes. Again, there have always been and there will always be earthquakes! The Televangelists go on, and on, and mercilessly on, about plagues and diseases. Wake up people! Diseases and plagues are a part of human biology!Always have been and always will be. In short, bad things happen. Sane, level-headed people take rational steps to counter the effects and to find cures for the bad things. The Radical Christian Right uses them as weapons with which to beat their opponents over the head. Can you say, "bastardizing the Holy Bible into a weapon of hate and persecution?"

So if the Dominionists are not Christians then what are they? To be honest, they are as my often outspopken son has already stated, fascists. Historically, fascists have always smeared liberals as socialists, socialists as communists. It worked for Hitl, Mussolini and for Joe McCarthy and it may or may not be working for the present batch of would-be totalitarians. Only time will tell.

Again, BrandonG had it right. Their tactics are clearly fascist in nature and reveal them as the brutes and roughians that they really are. My advice to Brandon and to my fellow liberals is that they drive the point home in the same manner that they would drive a stake through a vampire's heart. The quicker these Dominionists are exposed for the theocratcic dictators that they really are,the safer this country will be for everyone else.

And now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to try and eat. Not an easy task these days, but I at least have an appetitie, thanks in large part to the antinausea medication that they're giving me to counter the effects of the chemo therpay that they're giving me. But then again, nothing makes me more nauseated than the insane rantings of the ignorant radical right.



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

mmmmmmm, pudding pops.

Enlightenment said...

At least my cancer is curable. Can't say the same thing about conservative brain rot.

halcyon67 said...

The only cure for conservative brain rot would be good ol' America liberalism.

Maybe that is why Republicans are scared of liberals, they want to have brain damage so they can do stupid things.

Paul M. Kingery said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I look forward to following your blog. If liberalism means caring for the poor, I am for it. My thoughts are with you in your chemotherapy. May I challenge you with a fresh perspective? Take a look at
http://landofcanaan.info/book.php
and let me know your thoughts.
Thanks.