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Thursday, 23 August 2007

The Rapture is not a Viable Exit Strategy

In an article in the Los Angeles Times, Mickey Weinstein and Reza Aslan discuss the increasing links between the military chain of command and proselytizing, fundamentalist Christian groups.
Last week, after an investigation spurred by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the Pentagon abruptly announced that it would not be delivering "freedom packages" to our soldiers in Iraq, as it had originally intended.

What were the packages to contain? Not body armor or home-baked cookies. Rather, they held Bibles, proselytizing material in English and Arabic and the apocalyptic computer game "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" (derived from the series of post-Rapture novels), in which "soldiers for Christ" hunt down enemies who look suspiciously like U.N. peacekeepers.
Like I've said before, why would soldiers in their off hours play a game about hunting down and killing civilians that differ from themselves? The Straight Up guys must be clueless dweebs who don't have a clue what military service is like. Led by idiots like Stephen Baldwin, they think the military is some sort of muscle bound club full of brainless street fighters. One look at their overtly butch t-shirts tells me exactly what sort of guys they are. A group of immature phallically challenged individuals disparately trying to be men.
Apparently the wonks at the Pentagon forgot that Muslims tend to bristle at the word "crusade" and thought that what the Iraq war lacked was a dose of end-times theology.
Duh, wouldn't you know.
It's time to actively strip the so-called war on terror of its religious connotations, not add to them. Because religious wars are not just ugly, they are unwinnable. And despite what Operation Straight Up and its supporters in the Pentagon may think is taking place in Iraq, the Rapture is not a viable exit strategy.
It seems like this is another ingredient in the Religious Right's recipe to force Jesus to come back. I had, until a couple of years ago, thought that the religious Christians believed that Jesus would come in his own time, and not by the Religious Right's schedule.

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