While Christmas may leave many with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, fundamentalist evangelicals and Bible prophecy nuts see dragons and beasts, men of sin and rebuilt temples.
They see that tiny little sliver of land that has linked Africa to Europe and across which our pre-human ancestors strode, now called Israel, as the Promised Land for the Chosen People. All others, of course, are not so chosen or special. That's the problem with the concept of the chosen people. Everyone else has to be the unchosen. And that's the way it feels today when it comes to the Middle East and all her people.
These Bible literalists and prophecy geeks seek meaning for today from the Book of Daniel, with its statues of gold, silver, bronze and iron mixed with clay. They see rams and goats pushing their way across the Middle East and find meaning in the Kings of the North and of the South, though they can never quite figure out who's who and when.
They just adore Daniel 11, which they read like a newspaper with its four great beasts of the lion, the bear, the leopard and something more astonishing than the others, crashing its way across the planet. It has ten horns all with eyes and a little horn to boot. The meanings of it all are endless but they keep churches full.
These beasts are world empires prophesied, except these descriptions were written after they had come and gone, but don't bring that up to the read-the-Bible-as-a-newspaper crowd. Most Bible prophecy isn't prophecy at all, but that's for another time.
Later in the Gospels, we see that the end is really getting close now. Wars, rumors of wars, like that's something new, are everywhere. Every earthquake, flood, tsunami, tornado and cold front just screams at us, "you can sure tell that Jesus has to return any day now."
Weather can't just be weather. It has to be prophecy come alive. Of course, it is just weather, but that won't wash with those who play Bible Roulette with world news and natural disasters. It never dawns on them how God seems limited to expressing his wrath during the appropriate season or plate slippage in slippage-prone areas.
Enter the Book of Revelation. Written by who knows who under the influence of who knows what. Astro-theology at it's best. The Book of Revelation has been responsible for more insane Christian sects, cults and "send in your money because you won't need it when this all happens", lunacy, than any book in the Bible. Replete with scrolls and lambs, seals and trumpets, vials and plagues, it's a Fundamentalist preacher's dream come true and not a bad fear mongering tool for government leaders who just know that Voice in their head is coming right from the throne room of God Himself.
What is Bible Roulette? Bible Roulette is the misuse of the Bible by religious zealots to promote governmental insanity on the world scene so that perhaps out of all the chaos of, say an attack on Iran and the ensuing explosion in the Middle East, Jesus, who loves all the little children of the world, well except Palestinian, Iraqi or Iranian, evidently, will come back and bring Peace.
Our former President played Bible Roulette every time he listened to the likes of John Hagee and his beer belly prophecies about what surely are his accurate views of the Bible and what it means for the Middle East and Christians all over the world. John Hagee plays Bible Roulette for a living.
Most fundamentalists and Bible literalist pastors do. You can get an amazing amount of mileage out of the Book of Revelation and spin it into a career. So do all the ministerial advisors to the candidates. Scary people actually whose mouths needs be shut at times, it seems to me, lest we end up, not with the return of Jesus, but only a large sanitation problem on a major part of the planet and world chaos.
Bible Roulette is currently responsible for more bad decisions in high places than one might ever wish to contemplate. It's also quite possible that religious zealots who think they have influence in high places are being played the fool so that the narcissists and psychopaths in government can do what they want and prophet, or rather profit, from it all.
Hey, if it didn't bother our country enough when the President Bush said God told him to strike at Saddam or that God wanted him to be President, nothing is going to bother us. If your eyebrows have not been raised by now over Dick Cheney's abuse of power and psychopathic leanings, there is not much more to say. I guess I could say, you reap what you allow to grow.
Another problem we face as humans (human beings may still be a stretch at this time in history and under this administration), is the meme that the nation of Israel is the center of the world for how it's all going to go for the rest of us. Israel claims they are SOOOO special. Uzbekistan... not so special. But Israel.. you got to be kidding? Soooooooo special. It's not. They just know how to play the game of "how does a small people survive in a nasty environment."
First of all, you get to have all the nuclear weapons you want (again provided by American taxpayers). Secondly, you make sure others in the Middle East don't have any to keep you humble. And thirdly, you make every effort to promote Evangelical Christian zeal for the chosen people so they are taken care of when push comes to shove or we have to vote on something that benefits them over everyone else.
God did not literally establish the nation of Israel. The American taxpayers bought it for them. I bet if we cut off the funding and let God pick up their support, Israel would feel as special, finally, as Uzbekistan.
Time and space would fail me to show how the story of the Israelites in the Old Testament might just be a wee bit exaggerated to give a hopeless people, no different than the people around them, an amazingly more interesting pedigree.
As I was told recently, "God won't tolerate anyone picking on the Nation of Israel. They are the Chosen People." Argh, argh and half an argh (you have to know the Book of Revelation to understand that…).
I guarantee you, if Israel, alone or with the aid of the Obama administration, attacks Iran in the next few months and leaves the mess to the next President, you will not think Israel is so special anymore. When the results of such a fool's game as that hits the fan, you may never want to look at your Bible again or hear one more yelling, ignorant preacher tell you how it all is and that prophecy is coming alive.
You can create your own outcomes when you have such a crazy blueprint in your head. It might not go as you planned however.
So here we sit. The summer of 2013 and it feels really dangerous on the planet as far as I can tell with Bible Roulettesters spinning the cylinder and hoping for a bang instead of a click. Of course, they are pointing the gun at others.
Here's how it's done.
You load your gun with one bullet from Daniel. Drop two bullets from Matthew 24 and three from the Book of Revelation into the cylinders. Now ALL the cylinders are full. Someone IS going to die. There is no chance it won't go off.
Get some fundamentalist preacher of note to spin it and then tell the God haunted members of the Congress and Executive Branch and the simple psychopathic narcissists, where to point it and why. Pull the trigger. Its that simple. There is no empty chamber. Lots of people are going to die. The world will never be the same and life as you know for you and your kids will change.
Bible Roulette...Coming to a planet near you, if someone doesn't speak up quickly.