Armageddon Now. In it they discussed Evangelical Christians and their strange devotion to Israel.
Vice's Thomas Morton travelled with a group of Born Again Christian tourists, as they visited the "Holy Land"; and spoke with End Times minister Irvin Baxter.
Baxter stood at the spot where Armageddon is supposed to take place, and described a rapturous scene of bloody horror. First; Russia, Iran, Iraq et al will attack Israel killing two-thirds of the Jewish population. Jesus will then appear for a final showdown with the Anti-Christ, after which the remaining one-third of Jews will see the light, convert to Christianity and live happily ever after.
If there is an "ever after".
But first, they have to make sure that only Jews reside in Israel, which includes the disputed territory now occupied by Palestinians of a variety of faiths, including Christian.
Morton spoke with several Israelis, who of course find the whole thing nonsense, but since these Evangelicals make up 40% of the tourist trade, they roll their eyes and leave them alone.
We might look at this and see Baxter and his flock as being on the edge of society, but since they now represent a huge voting block in the U.S., not a group we can afford to dismiss so lightly.
Even more troubling for Canadians, is that our current government appears to follow this same belief, led by a Prime Minister, who will defend Israel to the ends of the earth and support their actions no matter what. In fact, we lost our seat on the U.N. security Council, in part, because of that.
Most in the media believe that Stephen Harper is only doing this to secure the Jewish vote, but I think it is something more. His "Evangelical" indoctrination.
In February of 2005, Harper appeared on the Drew Marshall Christian radio program, to discuss his opposition to same -sex marriage, and the origin of his homophobic views. Apparently, his father had left the United Church after they began to accept gay and lesbian ministers, and he joined his dad and others in protest.
He also told Marshall that he had "found Jesus" when he was in his 20s. Yet, those closest to Harper at the time, including his former fiancée, Cynthia Williams; claimed that he never went to church or tried to proselytize. His former VP when he was running the National Citizens Coalition did contend that he held some pretty strong religious views.
Lawrence Martin gave us a hint at those views, when he noted that Stephen Harper did not support diplomatic solutions to attain world peace, but rather believed in the 'clash of civilizations'. ( Harperland: The Politics of Control, By Lawrence Martin, Viking Press, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-670-06517-2, p. 79). Three very frightening words, that define the Neoconservative military agenda.
I've blogged on this before.
Stephen Harper has recently complained that the media is not asking Justin Trudeau the tough questions. But where are the tough questions on Harper's foreign policy and blind support of Israel?
Warren Bell wrote an excellent piece for the Vancouver Observer: Why Stephen Harper behaved strangely in Israel, in which he suggests that "... delving into the Prime Minister’s religious background goes a long way to explaining the otherwise inexplicable."
Harper's Religious Journey
In Lloyd MacKey's 2006 book, The Pilgrimage of Stephen Harper, he states that Harper's religious journey was led by Preston Manning, who spent countless hours indoctrinating the young man into his faith and the end times Christian and Missionary Alliance Church.
It's interesting to note that Manning's dad, former Alberta Premier, Ernest Manning; also held a very strong belief in end-time prophesy. After reading Sydney Watson's Mark of the Beast, Ernest wrote a play based on the novel, that was acted out for his congregation.
Tim LeHaye, co-author of the Apocalyptic Left Behind series, that is believed to have launched this new interest in Israel as sacred ground, was also influenced by Sydney Watson.
It does explain a lot.
The Book of Revelation
Most of the End Times philosophy, however, does not come from Watson or LeHaye, but The Book of Revelation.
Renowned biblical scholar, Elaine Pagels debunks this Book, as not being a legitimate part of the Gospels, but the work of a distressed man who lived during violent times. According to CNN's John Blake.
Anyone who has read the popular “Left Behind” novels or listened to pastors preaching about the “rapture” might see Revelation as a blow-by-blow preview of how the world will end.The editors of the Bible cherry picked what Gospels made the cut, ignoring any that did not fit their blueprint for Christianity. The 1945 discovery of 52 additional works reveal a different view of Jesus and his teachings.
Pagels, however, says the writer of Revelation was actually describing the way his own world ended.
She says the writer of Revelation may have been called John – the book is sometimes called “Book of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine” but he was not the disciple who accompanied Jesus. He was a devout Jew and mystic exiled on the island of Patmos, off the coast of present-day Greece.
Pagels suggests that Jesus was gnostic, and his teachings based on the spiritual, rather than the literal. The virgin birth and resurrection were simply naive misunderstandings, since Jesus believed that with heightened spiritually we could all be reborn pure and resurrected.
Yet the Book of Revelation has caused so much damage. Charles Manson was a believer, and saw the Beatles as the Four Horsemen. David Koresh of Waco Texas followed the Book, and took out his followers in a "blaze of glory".
Tim McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber who murdered 168 people, including many children, was inspired by the Turner Diaries, which was inspired by the Book of Revelation. McVeigh chose the anniversary of the raid on Camp Davidian in Waco Texas, to carry out his horrific assault.
Now these "Evangelical Christians" are not only supporting an all out genocide, but appear to be encouraging it. Stephen Harper has some explaining to do, but don't expect that any time soon, given that our media believe that his support of Israel is only politically motivated, and has nothing to do with his indoctrination into the end-times cult.
Would Canadians Really Support Genocide?
In the Vice documentary, one of the men interviewed on the Evangelical goals, stated that Jesus was not a real estate agent.
I agree. There is nothing to suggest that he defined borders or attempted to create Jewish subdivisions. He did not build bombs or advocate genocide. He did not plan a comic book scenario of a final showdown with a fictitious anti-Christ and never mentioned a future land called the United States of America or even Canada.
Over the years, this anti-Christ has been everyone from Adolf Hitler to Barack Obama, but I think the real anti-Christ is the embodiment of everyone willing to accept so much death and destruction to serve their own agenda.
Usually it's money, but often an insane, narcissistic belief that they have somehow been chosen for greatness. They don't need a bloody battle but a bit of Prozac.
There was a piece in an Israeli newspaper recently, that was clearly a call for the genocide of the Palestinian people. It was pulled soon after publication, but Vox still carries the full text. The author of the piece says, "What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?"
Indeed, if you look at the constitution of Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, it becomes clear that they mandate complete control of Palestinian lands, with or without HAMAS provocation.
"The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting."How can you even negotiate from such strong positions? They leave no room for compromise.
The rest of the world is turning away from Israel, given their latest onslaught, including many prominent Jewish leaders. Some are even suggesting sanctions. But not Canada.
If you polled the Canadian people, asking if they supported Genocide, as Harper clearly does, what do you think they would say? I'm hoping and feel confident, that the majority would say no way.
If not, then maybe we're the Anti-Christ, or at least following him blindly.