World War Three? Nah, It’s Just The Apocalypse

Wednesday was a fairly surreal day for me. Tuning into morning television to see if there was any new news from the Middle East I was shocked to discover that the American media was preparing its viewers for Armageddon. Realizing I didn’t have any flashlight batteries or canned goods in the house I wondered what had happened in those few hours while I had slept? See, this is the only real disadvantage of living so far away from the conflict at home: being constantly 7 hours behind. Were the horsemen of the Apocalypse really saddling up in another time zone?

So I tried to forget. Meanwhile the west coast heat wave kept me indoors all day studying. Although I wondered if such heat was a sign of the end of days. Anywhoo, fearing either Armageddon or a potential black out due to excessive electricity usage in the day, I turned off my TV until later on that night when in my bedtime tradition I watched Nightline followed by The Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

Nightline had an interesting story about Evangelical Christians who are only second after Jews in America to support Israel and what it’s doing in Occupied Palestine and Lebanon. Why? Prophecy of course. The Kingdom of Israel must go to war in order for Jesus to return; i.e. Saving Israel for Jesus. The message was quite clear: Jews are killing Arabs so that Jesus will come and Christians are supporting Jews who kill Arabs so that Jesus will return. A match made in…irony?

As a Muslim Jordanian I hid under my bed when I heard one man say: “If you support Israel, you will be blessed, and if you don’t support Israel, you will be cursed”. But then I suddenly understood how George W. Bush was voted in twice (or once).

Right after I tuned into The Daily Show, which basically summarized my day:

Next came Stephen Colbert who has been suggesting in his segments “Road To World War Three” that not only is ‘Jesus is on his way’ but that President Bush understands what’s at stake here: The Rapture. Colbert is also busy selling “Welcome Jesus!” t-shirts that you can buy at Cafe Press for 13 bucks. One size fits all…Christians.

So now, in addition to being depressed about the ongoing slaughter of Lebanese and Palestinians back home, I have the Apocalypse to worry about. “False Christs” is currently ranked number one on the reliable Rapture Index; now that’s a thought that’s going to linger.

Fayyad at Kabobfest has more on the subject.


  • Christianists* in America have been blabbering about the imminence of armageddon for decades. It’s an industry. During the Cold War, several published books offering “irrefutable” arguments that the Soviet Union was vanguard of the anti-christ’s forces and would trigger World War III. In the years between the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the War on Terror, severl commentators observed how lost this community seemed without a large, Devil-inspired enemy on the horizon. The Islamicists have given them a new lease on life–and a new gravy train with which to publish books, give talks, raise funds, etc.

    (* For a definition of Christianism, see Andrew Sullivan’s essay, “My Problem with Christianism”

    Christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. Christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. The distinction between Christian and Christianist echoes the distinction we make between Muslim and Islamist. Muslims are those who follow Islam. Islamists are those who want to wield Islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque. Not all Islamists are violent. Only a tiny few are terrorists. And I should underline that the term Christianist is in no way designed to label people on the religious right as favoring any violence at all. I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.

  • Peter, thats an interest excerpt. ironically while Muslims and Islam are the bad guys in the nightmare scenario for evangelicals, they are not alone. Apparently Arabs (Muslims) will attack the Kingdom of Israel aided by Russia and China while the U.S. and the U.K. rush to Israel’s defence. Then Jesus kills all the bad guys (us).

    Im thinking of buying a nice piece of prime real estate in the bahamas…no internet connection, no tv, no newspapers, no apocalypse, no problem.

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