"Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn't bloody and barbaric."
~Rev. Gregory Boyd
As we watch chaos envelop the Middle East we can't forget that some of the cheerleaders here in the United States are as wrapped up in the collective insanity of religious fervor as any radical Islamic group. In America Struggles With Its Own Evangelical Taliban Pierre Tristam does a good job of reminding us.
At this late stage of the Bush rapture, American evangelism is a lot like the Exxon Valdez: Massive, sloshing with oily energy and not a little drunk on its power as it steers through hazards of its own designs. The moment evangelicals began tearing down the church-state wall, the rubble became their shoals. The wreck will be ugly. It will take years to mend because, as one of their own, Minnesota's Rev. Gregory Boyd, recently put it: "Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn't bloody and barbaric. That's why our Constitution wisely put in a separation of church and state." Meanwhile, too much damage is being done by policies keyed to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" not to have lasting consequences abroad and at home.Yes, we talk about the mad neocons but the insane rapture evangelicals are just if not more dangerous and the President of the United States is included in their numbers.
John Hagee is a Texas evangelical and leader of that hybrid known as the Christian Zionist movement. He commands a huge following and the ear of politicians, Bush among them. Earlier this month Hagee led a rally of 3,500 evangelicals at a Washington hotel, where he called Israel's attacks on Lebanon a "miracle of God" and proof that Israel was doing God's work. Hagee was quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying that for Israel to show restraint would violate "God's foreign policy statement" toward Jews. Bush sent Hagee a message of praise for "spreading the hope of God's love and the universal gift of freedom."
Gregory Boyd, author of those words in the first paragraph [and the top of this post] about every Christian theocracy's sorry history, is the sort of evangelical who wants to prevent a complete wreck. His profile appeared in the Sunday New York Times, yang to Hagee's Journal yin three days earlier. Boyd wants evangelicals out of politics, out of cheering for war and turning politics and patriotism into "idolatry." "America wasn't founded as a theocracy. America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies," he tells his Minnesota congregation. Boyd, writes The Times, "lambasted the 'hypocrisy and pettiness' of Christians who focus on 'sexual issues' like homosexuality, abortion or Janet Jackson's breast-revealing performance," as well as the claim the evangelicals alone know the right values. "All good, decent people want good and order and justice," he says. "Just don't slap the label 'Christian' on it."Both Christianity and Islam have men of reason like Boyd and dangerous fundamentalist nut cases like Hagee. Tristam points out that right now the nutcases on both sides are in control. Can their lock on power be broken before the rapturists get their way? It's not looking good.