Fundagelical Watch

Thursday, August 31, 2006

George W. Bush an Instrument in the Hand of God

This is how Joe VanKoevering, host of Trinity Broadcasting's "God's News Behind the News," closed a session on Iraq earlier this year at the 2006 International Prophecy Conference.

Can I be so bold as to say, irrespective of the political opposition and the media opposition and those (we've already addressed it) who hate our president, can I be so bold to say that the political opposition he faces, which is primarily due to his decision to go into Iraq, that he was an instrument in the hand of God to do what he did. [applause] Whether you voted for him or not, whether you are part of his approval rating high or low right now is irrespective, even the decsions he is currently making, which all of us have difficulties with--his land for peace--I believe that that sole decision which will be the deciding determinating [sic] factor on his legacy in the future years, I am convinced that because he was a man, I believe a true Christian man, a man who's prayed every day, I see the Lord in him going to that nation. All of us are pained by what we see in our news and about the civil war that exists, but this is something that had to happen.
So I guess the bad news coming out of Iraq every day is all part of God's plan. If you listen to the whole session preceding Van Koevering's revelation, you see the irrefutable logic. All the speakers, who included Chuck Missler, Tim LaHaye and Perry Stone, predicted that ancient Babylon (about 55 miles south of contemporary Baghdad) would be rebuilt and emerge, to quote Missler, "as a major power center on the earth." That has to happen, you see, because the events described in Isaiah 13 & 14, Jeremiah 50 & 51 and Revelation 17 & 18 relating to Babylon being judged and destroyed have not yet happened. Babylon was never destroyed; it simply fell into ruin in the third century B.C.E. and has to rise again so God can judge and destroy it. (I guess crumbling into dust doesn't count as destruction.)

That will be a judgment richly deserved, because, according to Missler, the United Nations will move to the New Bablyon (too much crime and too few parking places in New York--seriously). Revived Bablyon will become "a new Switzerland" and serve as "the new headquarters of the Antichrist."

So, you see, President Bush had to lay waste to Iraq so that, in the process of rebuiding that devasted country, Iraqis could create the New Babylon. Never mind that Saddam Hussein had well-publicized plans to rebuild Babylon. Apparently he would never had gotten around to it, or he wouldn't have done it right. Maybe he would never have let the United Nations in, what with all those sanctions and stuff.

Jesus can't come back until Babylon is destroyed, so Babylon has to be rebuilt in order to be destroyed, and Babylon can't be rebuilt and then detroyed without George W. Bush's war in Iraq. Q.E.D.

Remember that when you vote on November 7.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dobson, et al, Convince Only 9% of Their Own Followers

Feeling especially masochistic the other day, I was browsing the Focus on the Family website and came across something called The Truth Project. It's a set of 7 DVD's containing 12 lessons teaching a "biblical worldview." Dr. Dobson (he of man-on-donkey marriage fame) is enthusiastic about The Truth Project, so I wanted to send in my money. Turns out, however, I couldn't--not without first paying $119 to attend a special training conference ($149 if I brought the wife along). Also, I would have to join some sort of support group organized around The Truth Project. Sounds like an awful lot of trouble just to buy 7 DVD's.

Being cynical as well as masochistic, I became suspicious that this was really all about political organization, but something else made me even more reluctant to pull out the credit card. To stress the urgency of signing up with The Truth Project, Dr. Dobson and the boys cite a 2003 study by the Barna Group which shows that only 9% of born again Christians have a biblical worldview (compared to 4% of the total population).

9%!!?? What the hell have these guys been doing with their contributors' hard-earned money all these years? You mean to tell me that Dobson and his cohorts have had captive audiences every Sunday morning and God knows when and where else for a whole generation, and the best they can do is sell 9% of their own people on a "biblical worldview?" Something's wrong here. I'd say it's time for some serious reappraisal.

I'm putting my wallet back in my pocket.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Spiritual Blame Game Redux

On the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's destruction of New Orleans, it seems appropriate to revisit the award-winning Spiritual Blame Game. (This blog has won as many Peabody Awards as Bill O'Reilly.) While Bush administration officials cautioned against "playing the blame game," their minions on the Fundagelical Right were busy assigning blame to all sorts of undesirables. All the fundagelical heavyweights, including Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham and Pat Boone, offered their favorite reasons for why God chose to lay waste to a great American city. Although the comptetition was fierce, the winner was really no surprise to those of us who track the vigilant defenders of American morality. Gay people easily beat out witches, abortions, Jews and Democrats as the most likely reason for Katrina's devastation. You can read who voted for whom here and here. Below are the final results, and please note that these were faith-based scientific polls based on whatever the Lord led me to notice.

Israeli evacuation of Gaza settelements (read Jews)----4
Mardi Gras----1
drugs & alcohol----1
unspecified divisions within the church----1
gangs in L.A.----1
erasing God from public places----1
girls gone wild----1
depletion of the divine ozone layer----1

and my personal all-time favorite:

man-on-horse sex----1

Monday, August 28, 2006

Help for Mel Gibson's Bewildered Fans (and for Mel Gibson)

No one seems to know where Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic tirade came from, least of all Mel Gibson. As James Hirsen of Newsmax put it on Tucker!, "It didn't just surprise everyone else, it didn't surprise just me. It surprised Mel Gibson." The fundagelicals' favorite Jewish movie critic, Michael Medved, couldn't explain it either. He just needs Mel to "tamp it down," and whatever "inner hatred" Mel is struggling with, Michael Moore "has done far more damage to the Jewish community" than Mel Gibson could ever imagine. Father Jonathan, Fox News' resident Catholic theologian, worked with Gibson on The Passion of the Christ for over a year, and he's sure Mel's not anti-Semitic. Otherwise, Father Jonathan wouldn't have worked with him. (And we know the Catholic Church has never been associated with anti-Semitism.) All Passion cheerleader Jennifer Geroux knew was that, somehow, "this is spiritual warfare." (Against whom? Mel? Booze? Anti-Semitism? Jews?) Pat Robertson seemed most bewildered. In search of an explanation, he even abandoned his usual contempt for secular psychology and speculated that little baby Mel might have unconsciously absorbed his holocaust-denying father's attitude toward Jews.

But the one thing Pat and all the others know is, Mel Gibson is not anti-Semitic. So where did Mel get the idea that Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world?

Maybe Mel got it from Robertson's 1991 book, The New World Order (Word Publishing, 1991). Pat reveals that "European Bankers" [wink, wink] were responsible for the French Revolution (p. 68), communism (p. 69), World War I (pp. 65-66), and World War II (p. 101). Robertson is somewhat amibiguous on the origins of the Civil War, or, as he calls it, the War of Northern Aggression (p. 50), but he is absolutely unambiguous about how the "European Bankers" [wink, wink] ordered the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. In other words, "European Bankers" [wink, wink] are responsible for all the major turmoil in the world over the last 200+ years.

It pains me to see so many good folks in such bewildered agony. I hope this helps.