Via Juan Cole, we read of a minister from Houston who is running around the country insisting that Republicans need to be defeated because George W. Bush is delaying the Second Coming; this runs upstream against the usual premillennialist insistence that the End Times are nigh and that the American war in Iraq is greasing the rails for the Rapture train. K.A. Paul, who runs something called “Gospel to the Unreached Millions,” insists that God is “angry” with the United States and specifically enraged with Bush himself, who is inexplicably (according to Paul) denying Christian missionaries the opportunity to work in Iraq, Iran and Syria.
I doubt this is much of a trend, but it’s interesting at least in an anecdotal way. Most Christian prophecy writers are still, as near as I can tell, fully on-board with George W. Bush and his Middle East policies, which they interpret primarily through the lens of Biblical clues about the coming of the Last Days. My subscription to the Left Behind Prophecy Club expired — and I’m not kidding about this — at least a year ago, when my research had to be put on hold for various personal and professional reasons. Up to that point, however, the Left Behind circle — especially Tim LaHaye, one of the Original Gangstas of the Moral Majority and co-author of that wretched series of “novels” — were still utterly persuaded that Saddam Hussein, while not specifically the Antichrist, was at least a good indication of the kind of demon with whom a man like George W. Bush would have to contend as human history swirled in ever tighter circles toward the drain. I’m not sure where these folks stand at the moment on the war, but I imagine they, like Jack Van Impe and John Hagee, have not been deterred in their conviction that the Bush administration is doing all it can to fulfill Biblical prophecy.
It goes almost without saying that these people are unhinged, particularly when one recalls that the completion of these prophecies can only take place with (a) the rise of a dreaded One World Government (conventionally understood to be the United Nations or the European Union); (b) a multinational invasion of Israel led by the armies of the AntiChrist; and, depending on whom you talk to, (c) the destruction or marginalization of the United States, whose God-fearing millions will be spirited away by the Rapture, leaving the rest of us to flail away helplessly as the globe descends into war. Since instability and violence are absolutely essential to the premillennialist vision of the End Times, I suppose it makes complete sense for these lunatics to press forward on behalf of their President.