Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Pray for the Heavenly Hoover

Have there ever been two groups more united by mutual loathing than Israelis, especially the so-called settlers (who are really colonists) and evangelical Christians? This pair makes a fraudulent marriage entered into for a green card look like a love nest. Can you figure out why this odd couple exists, grasshoppers and grasshopperettes?

Because they’re co-dependent, Spotty?

Well, Spot guesses that they are, after a fashion. The real answer lies, however, in the Heavenly Hoover. The Heavenly Hoover, or HH for short, is also called the Rapture. The HH, Gs and Gettes, is a piece of fantasy fiction concocted in the 19th century:

The later [meaning in the 1800s] popularization of the term is associated with teaching of John Nelson Darby and the rise of premillennialism and dispensationalism in the United States in the 19th century. The doctrine of the rapture was further popularized by an evangelist named William Eugene Blackstone, whose book "Jesus is Coming" sold more than one million copies, and then by its inclusion in the Scofield Reference Bible.

As you can see, LaHaye and Jenkins (authors of the Left Behind series) are not the first to cash in on this particular superstition!

Who was John Nelson Darby? He was apparently one of the first to adopt peyote into the Anglican rite:

Darby is noted in the theological world as the father of "dispensationalism," later made popular in the United States by Cyrus Scofield's Scofield Reference Bible. He originated the "secret rapture" theory wherein Christ will snatch away his true believers from this world without warning. Dispensationalist beliefs about the fate of the Jews and the re-establishment of the Kingdom of Israel put dispensationalists at the forefront of Christian Zionism.

We’re getting warmer, aren’t we Gs and Gettes? The Christian Zionists believe that events described in the Book of Revelation, also known as the Gospel according to Fellini, have to occur before the HH can swoop down and suck up the saved. Among the things that must happen, according to the CZs, is the re-establishment of Israel in all its Biblical lands and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Israel where this currently sits:

Oy, we have a problem.

There have been some prominent Christian Zionists along the way:

British imperial designs were undoubtedly the primary political motivation in drawing influential British politicians to support the Zionist project. However, it is clear that the latter were predisposed to Zionism and to enthusiastically supporting the proposals of Herzl and leading Zionist officials such as Chaim Weizmann due to their Christian Zionist backgrounds. Balfour’s famous speech of 1919 makes the point: “For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country…The four great powers are committed to Zionism, and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.” [emphasis is Spot’s]

That’s Balfour as in Balfour Declaration.

The HH types support Israel because that’s the only way scriptures can be fulfilled, Jesus can come, and these people get their ride on the Heavenly Hoover. They would be quaint, but for the fact these guys are in charge of foreign policy in the US (AP image):

Here’s Daniel Froomkin of the Washington Post, via A Tiny Revolution:

Joel C. Rosenberg, who writes Christian apocalyptic fiction, told me in an interview this week that he was invited to a White House Bible study group last year to talk about current events and biblical prophecy.

Rosenberg said that on February 10, 2005, he came to speak to a "couple dozen" White House aides in the Old Executive Office Building -- and has stayed in touch with several of them since...

Rosenberg -- like Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, the authors of the phenomenally popular "Left Behind" series -- writes fiction inspired by biblical prophecy about the apocalypse. The consistent theme is that certain current events presage the end times, the Rapture, and the return of Jesus Christ. Rosenberg's particular pitch to journalists is that his books come true...

Rosenberg says he got a call last year from a White House staffer. "He said 'A lot of people over here are reading your novels, and they're intrigued that these things keep on happening. . . . Your novels keep foreshadowing actual coming events. . . . And so we're curious, how are you doing it? What's the secret? Why don't you come over and walk us through the story behind these novels?' So I did."

Be afraid. Be very afraid. But not ignorant-afraid like the pants shitters who read Power Line (present company excluded). Be afraid that these clucks are trying to trigger the apocalypse because it looks like good spiritual fun. And then speak up.

A big thump of the tail to Bruce for prompting Spot to think about this.


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