To the editor:
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, KJV Bible).
This is known by many White American Evangelicals as the basis for “The Rapture,” an interpretation of the Second Coming of Christ originating with John Nelson Darby in the 1820s, and followed by some non-traditional sects in America today in which the dead in Christ are raised up first, together with those living, to meet Christ “in the air,” after a preliminary earthly thousand-year reign in Jerusalem where His saved followers shall be transported to a Jerusalem that has been re-united under Jewish rule. Those who do not convert shall perish to eternal damnation and hellfire. Those saved shall reunite with the resurrected Christian dead and rise into the heavens with Christ forever.
People who believe this eschatology believe it is imminent now that Jerusalem has become the secure Jewish capitol of Israel. Trump, under this cult’s view, is God’s tool (“trump of God”?), much like the tyrant, King Cyrus of Persia, who returned the Jews from captivity back into Israel. Under this scenario, the future integrity of the earth is irrelevant, because it will be consumed by the fire and destruction of Armageddon, the signs of which are now seen all around us by the followers of the rapture. Logically, therefore, environmentalism and nuclear deterrence are colossal wastes of time. All that matters is the continued control of Israel by Jews (at least until they are cast into the fire for failure to convert during the millennial reign), and the continued current rule of the modern-day Cyrus, aka Donald Trump.
Lest you think that this ridiculous bastardization of New Testament scripture, roundly rejected by every traditional Christian church, including Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican churches, is too bizarre to concern you, it may behoove you to know that, among the fervent adherents of this vision of the apocalypse are Vice President Michael Pence, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, several Trump administration officials, military leaders, members of congress and millions of white evangelical MAGAts. Don’t expect action by them to curb climate destruction or nuclear proliferation. Do expect war with the infidels — Iranians, socialists, Muslims and other “godless” villains, because Armageddon isn’t just natural disaster, it’s world war.
A rapture heretic preacher and his followers, egged on by notorious evangelists like Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson, and Fox News commentators like Jeanine Pirro, have given more briefings to our president and his staff than the entire intelligence community, and they continue to be regular visitors to the White House. Trump may not be reading intelligence briefings, but he is reading this stuff. You can see it in his Israeli policy and Iranian brinksmanship.
Still want to impeach the president to put Pence more directly in charge? Think again. These Trump supporters don’t care that he’s an amoral liar, a psychopathic narcissist, an idiot, a con man and a fascist. Neither do they care that he is exacerbating climate change to render the earth uninhabitable in short order, because they don’t plan on sticking around. They don’t care that Trump is inciting war with Iran. They can’t get wait for it. The only way to prevent this impending annihilation is to mobilize at the ballot box and in the streets, flexing enough political muscle directed at any sane politician remaining who hasn’t drunk the Kool-aid to put up every roadblock they can until Jan. 23, 2021. And God help us if we don’t outvote the MAGAts next November, or we, too, will be praying, because then only God can save us.