Monday, July 24, 2006

And now for something completely scary

By Nancy Jane Moore

The Harper's magazine online column Washington Babylon reports that some fundamentalist Christians are thrilled over what's happening right now in Lebanon because they think the rapture is on its way. The column gives a link to the "Rapture Ready/End Times" chat. I'm not willing to check it out for you; you'll have to go follow the link yourself. I got creeped out enough reading the bits Ken Silverstein pulled out.

All of these ideas about the rapture -- when "true" Christians go to Heaven and everyone else is left to suffer -- come from a distorted reading of the Bible, one rejected by most theologians. Awhile back I figured I'd better find out more about this subject, so I read one of the Left Behind books. You can read these books as fantasy novels, of course, but unfortunately many of the readers take them literally -- something that doesn't happen with the vast majority of those who read other fantasy like the Harry Potter books or the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

A lot of people seem to buy into this bad theology. The First Amendment guarantees their right to believe this stuff, but I get really scared when I think we might have a foreign policy built around it. I really hope the US isn't sitting around doing nothing about the Lebanon situation because the President thinks the rapture is coming.

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