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The end times are coming


Mark Stapleton
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Guest Stephen Turner
. Maybe this will shake followers of evangelical Christianity out of their slumber:

http://www.alternet.org/story/39748/

Mark, I somehow doubt it, these crazies believe they are going to be "raptured away"to sit at Gods right hand throughout the Earthly tribulations. What is truely terrifying is that many in this nut-job neo-con administration, Bush included, believe in essentially the same thing. Makes the Regan admin seem tame by comparison.

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. Maybe this will shake followers of evangelical Christianity out of their slumber:

http://www.alternet.org/story/39748/

Mark, I somehow doubt it, these crazies believe they are going to be "raptured away"to sit at Gods right hand throughout the Earthly tribulations. What is truely terrifying is that many in this nut-job neo-con administration, Bush included, believe in essentially the same thing. Makes the Regan admin seem tame by comparison.

Hi Steve,

Abolish religion and most of the world's problems go away.

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I think the topic being discussed here is the REAL danger in the world today for total destruction of the planet in very short order [a few years]. An amazing 20% of Americans believe (to some extent) in this crazy Christian-Fascism-Millenialist-Nationalist nonsense and those in the government now are almost all of this ilk - as is (I hear) Blair covertly. They feel they have a higher calling and duty then democracy or worldly things and are now hoping a major war in the middle east will bring their insane fantasies to fruition. 90% of all Christian TV and radio are of this insane cult in the US. They could easily invent a reason for a nuclear war in the middle east [some dream of this!] to bring about their lunatic ideas. While they point their fingers at Muslim fundamentalists, they {the Christian Fundamentalists) are the real danger today in the world and the very feature that Muslim fundamentalists grew up as a reaction to, for the most part. Sadly, these end-timers may well be the cause of the coming end times. I'm an atheist so assign zero to their religious ideas...but can also comment on their ethical and moral, let alone logical level as near absolute zero.

I beg to differ Peter. I don't believe the Christian Right (or more accurately, the Christian-Zionist-Right) and its undue power in the USA is the main danger we face.

In fact, I believe its power is greatly overstated by writers such as Ms Posner and Chris Hedges.

There are two reasons why analysts are inclined to do this.

The first is that the Christian Right is a safe target. Lacking real power, it is open to attack (and occasional vilification) by the more liberally minded. This is quite acceptable and commonplace in contemporary America, just as robust criticism of 'liberals' is a common part of the general political discourse.

The second reason is more devious. I do not want to imply that all analysts who make the Christian right their key target are devious in this way - but I believe that some are.

This 'devious' reason for attacking the Christian Right is that it's a convenient way of deflecting attention and blame from Jewish Zionists, who collectively wield a lot more power and influence.

Name one US TV network, major US newspaper or Hollywood studio controlled or dominated by Christian fundamentalists. I doubt you can. By contrast, the power of Zionist Jews in these key opinion-guiding industries is legendary.

Name one banking giant run or dominated by Christian rightists...

Name one “intelligence service” operating on behalf of the Christian Right…

It's like the distinction between pawns and the Queen in chess. Yes, pawns are numerous - but the Queen is far more powerful and typically causes a lot more havoc.

The 'Christian Right' may have tens of millions of adherents in the USA and every now and again, it may score a win for one of its stated objectives - tightening abortion regulations and so forth - but it is not in effective control of the main game.

There is some evidence that some of its ridiculous leaders - such as Jerry Falwell – are effectively bought and paid for by Zionists. Strip away the ‘Christian’ paintwork and its clear that Falwell & co serve as just one more channel for Zionist disinformation.

Doubt what I say? If so, I suggest reflecting on the furore generated anytime someone prominent makes the kind of claim I'm making now. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, the politician / journalist / academic / talking head in question is viciously attacked and often suffers severe, if not terminal, career damage. On talkboards, it usually provokes moral panic and calls for bans and excommunication.

As the old saying has it, if you are in a strange land and want to discover where power really lies, find out whom you may not easily criticize.

One final point. Although the Christian Zionists are undoubtedly numerous, there are many Christians – and mainstream Christian organizations – that have a much more balanced approach to the middle east conflict. The Roman Catholic Church is an example. So is the Church of England.

These two Churches have called – on numerous occasions – for a better deal for Palestinians, just as they have argued against militarism and in favour of a peaceful approach to conflict resolution. Their calls have gone unheeded and generally receive less than headline coverage by the mass media.

Christian Zionists make a lot of noise not only because of their numbers, but because their message is amplified by the mass media, whereas other voices within Christianity are downplayed.

People who are no friends of Christianity amplify the message of pro-Israel Christian fundamentalists. The agenda of these folk, if influenced at all by eschatological beliefs, owes nothing to Christian eschatology.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Very interesting discussion. I never thought about it that way, Sid.

I think this difference of opinion can be easily solved: Do the Jewish Zionists share the Christian Right's beliefs concerning the end times as written by the prophet Ezekiel, and more importantly, are some of them advocating bringing the end times to bear, as Pastor Hagee is publicly advocating? The Christian Right are citing these prophesies from the Old Testament, so it's a fair question, IMO.

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Name one US TV network, major US newspaper or Hollywood studio controlled or dominated by Christian fundamentalists. I doubt you can. By contrast, the power of Zionist Jews in these key opinion-guiding industries is legendary.

Yes, "legendary" is the appropriate word. See here.

There is some evidence that some of its ridiculous leaders - such as Jerry Falwell – are effectively bought and paid for by Zionists. Strip away the 'Christian' paintwork and its clear that Falwell & co serve as just one more channel for Zionist disinformation.

Falwell has probably been bought off by the "Zionists." However, he has also been bought off by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his Moonies, who are quite politically powerful here in America and also have a small media empire. See here.

Doubt what I say? If so, I suggest reflecting on the furore generated anytime someone prominent makes the kind of claim I'm making now. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, the politician / journalist / academic / talking head in question is viciously attacked and often suffers severe, if not terminal, career damage. On talkboards, it usually provokes moral panic and calls for bans and excommunication.

As the old saying has it, if you are in a strange land and want to discover where power really lies, find out whom you may not easily criticize.

People will also get offended if you start suggesting that a cabal of black people run everything, or say that slavery wasn't really such a bad thing for black people. It will probably also bring about about "moral panic and calls for bans and excommunication." Many of your postings are at that level. And it is not even the case that anti-Semitism is a career ruiner, anyway. Some of the biggest right-wing media pundits here in America can spew anti-Semitic crap and get away with it with hardly any scrutiny at all. See here and here.

One final point. Although the Christian Zionists are undoubtedly numerous, there are many Christians – and mainstream Christian organizations – that have a much more balanced approach to the middle east conflict. The Roman Catholic Church is an example. So is the Church of England.

These two Churches have called – on numerous occasions – for a better deal for Palestinians, just as they have argued against militarism and in favour of a peaceful approach to conflict resolution. Their calls have gone unheeded and generally receive less than headline coverage by the mass media.

Christian Zionists make a lot of noise not only because of their numbers, but because their message is amplified by the mass media, whereas other voices within Christianity are downplayed.

People who are no friends of Christianity amplify the message of pro-Israel Christian fundamentalists. The agenda of these folk, if influenced at all by eschatological beliefs, owes nothing to Christian eschatology.

There is also a range of opinion among Orthodox Jews that is downplayed (e.g. Neturei Karta, who are Orthodox Jews and extremely anti-Zionist). Whats your point?

Here is some additional reading material for Sid (although I know he won't read it, as his mind is made up):

* The Demographics of American Jews by Lenni Brenner

* A Response to Paul Eisen's "Jewish Power" by Joel Finkel

* The Influence of the Christian Right on U.S. Middle East Policy by Stephen Zunes

* The Israel Lobby: How Powerful is it Really? by Stephen Zunes

* The Israel Lobby: Its not Either/Or by Norman Finkelstein

Also, Peter, Sid has outed himself as a Holocaust "revisionist" in the Political Conspiracies forum, so I think there may be more than just latent anti-Semitism at play here.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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Name one US TV network, major US newspaper or Hollywood studio controlled or dominated by Christian fundamentalists. I doubt you can. By contrast, the power of Zionist Jews in these key opinion-guiding industries is legendary.

Yes, "legendary" is the appropriate word. See here.

There is some evidence that some of its ridiculous leaders - such as Jerry Falwell – are effectively bought and paid for by Zionists. Strip away the 'Christian' paintwork and its clear that Falwell & co serve as just one more channel for Zionist disinformation.

Falwell has probably been bought off by the "Zionists." However, he has also been bought off by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his Moonies, who are quite politically powerful here in America and also have a small media empire. See here.

Doubt what I say? If so, I suggest reflecting on the furore generated anytime someone prominent makes the kind of claim I'm making now. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, the politician / journalist / academic / talking head in question is viciously attacked and often suffers severe, if not terminal, career damage. On talkboards, it usually provokes moral panic and calls for bans and excommunication.

As the old saying has it, if you are in a strange land and want to discover where power really lies, find out whom you may not easily criticize.

People will also get offended if you start suggesting that a cabal of black people run everything, or say that slavery wasn't really such a bad thing for black people. It will probably also bring about about "moral panic and calls for bans and excommunication." Many of your postings are at that level. And it is not even the case that anti-Semitism is a career ruiner, anyway. Some of the biggest right-wing media pundits here in America can spew anti-Semitic crap and get away with it with hardly any scrutiny at all. See here and here.

One final point. Although the Christian Zionists are undoubtedly numerous, there are many Christians – and mainstream Christian organizations – that have a much more balanced approach to the middle east conflict. The Roman Catholic Church is an example. So is the Church of England.

These two Churches have called – on numerous occasions – for a better deal for Palestinians, just as they have argued against militarism and in favour of a peaceful approach to conflict resolution. Their calls have gone unheeded and generally receive less than headline coverage by the mass media.

Christian Zionists make a lot of noise not only because of their numbers, but because their message is amplified by the mass media, whereas other voices within Christianity are downplayed.

People who are no friends of Christianity amplify the message of pro-Israel Christian fundamentalists. The agenda of these folk, if influenced at all by eschatological beliefs, owes nothing to Christian eschatology.

There is also a range of opinion among Orthodox Jews that is downplayed (e.g. Neturei Karta, who are Orthodox Jews and extremely anti-Zionist). Whats your point?

Here is some additional reading material for Sid (although I know he won't read it, as his mind is made up):

* The Demographics of American Jews by Lenni Brenner

* A Response to Paul Eisen's "Jewish Power" by Joel Finkel

* The Influence of the Christian Right on U.S. Middle East Policy by Stephen Zunes

* The Israel Lobby: How Powerful is it Really? by Stephen Zunes

* The Israel Lobby: Its not Either/Or by Norman Finkelstein

Also, Peter, Sid has outed himself as a Holocaust "revisionist" in the Political Conspiracies forum, so I think there may be more than just latent anti-Semitism at play here.

I believe that the divergence of thought indicated on this thread illustrates how complex the overall issue is in many facets, however I would like to ask a question in the form of an informal poll.

How many feel that the socio-political influence of individuals of the religious far-right in our epoch in the person's of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, the latter recently advocated the assassination of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, ["What would Jesus Do?"] are essentially no different, than those of W.A. Criswell and Billy James Hargis [The Christian Crusade tour with General Edwin Walker] in the 1960's?

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I believe that the divergence of thought indicated on this thread illustrates how complex the overall issue is in many facets, however I would like to ask a question in the form of an informal poll.

How many feel that the socio-political influence of individuals of the religious far-right in our epoch in the person's of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, the latter recently advocated the assassination of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, ["What would Jesus Do?"] are essentially no different, than those of W.A. Criswell and Billy James Hargis [The Christian Crusade tour with General Edwin Walker] in the 1960's?

You raise a most interesting question Robert.

I do not feel well informed about the history of the American ‘radical’ right-wing and would like to learn more.

My impression, however, is that it was largely anti-Zionist until the 1960s – or neutral on the issue of Zionism.

Elements of the American radical right were also, I have little doubt, anti-Jewish in ways we might all find distasteful.

Pro-Israel policies – and strong affinity for Jewish causes and culture – were more common on the left of US politics.

The Zionist movement has since plugged its former weakness on the far right – and the right in general.

It still faces anti-Zionist – and some blatantly anti-Jewish – opposition from within elements of the right wing. However, unlike the situation in the 1950s and 1960s, it now has almost total control of the Republican Party – and enjoys substantial dominance within the sizeable proportion of the population that can be characterized as ‘right-wing Christian America’.

This enables the Zionist movement to dominate the drift of American policy to an extent it could only have dreamed about 50 years ago.

It helps explain the tilt from a relatively even-handed approach to middle eastern politics pursued by Eisenhower and Kennedy to the massive pro-Israel bias we see today.

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I may be an atheist, but I am also an ethnic Jew and very proud of my heritage. I sense you may have some latent anti-semitism or are greatly mis-informed. The myth of Jewish disproportunate power in the USA is just that, a myth. It is an overwhelmingly Christian nation and now there are about 20% who follow the real ultra-Right brand of Christian philosophy. There is a link between these Christian groups and Right-Wing in Israel, but don't confuse Jews and those who support ultra-nationalist Zionism. There are Jews in Israel and in the USA who are fighting against all that.... Just so you know, I don't support Israel in most of what it is now doing. I do support the idea of a homeland for both Jews and Palastinians as equals - or a two state solution - however the people there want [with equal vote on how it unfolds]. I am worried by fundamentalist Jews and ultra-militarist-neofascist Jews...as I am by fundamentalist Christians and ultra-militarist-neofascist Christains in USA (or elsewhere) - same for fundamentalist Muslems. The Israel lobby groups in the USA is disproportionatly powerful, but that is because they has found a responsive and resonant chord in the Christian Right, military and in conjunction with US foreign policy and plans for global imperialism - especially in the Middle East IMO. Just as JFK was assassinated to turn the country to the right, so has Israel suffered as similar assassination IMO for the same reasons. It is not the religions nor the practicioners of them that are the problem per se, but the fundamentalist strain of them - all three of them....

Peter, I agree with much of what you say here and have respect for the fundamental values evinced by your posts.

However, if the proposition of "Jewish disproportunate power in the USA" is pure myth, surely critical analysis of the facts about this topic in open debate would be of benefit and help quash the myth?

More likely, I suggest, it's myth in its extreme formulation, but does not rest entirely on imagination.

In any case, it's better to know the truth than not, isn't it?

Let's examine just one aspect of this alleged myth: the claim of disproportionate Jewish control and influence within the US mass media.

In another post, Owen Parsons cited an article from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

I was interested to read it: "The Jewish Media: The Lie That Won't Die".

I hoped to read a well-documenting rebuttal of the proposition that Jewish-Zionist interests dominate the US mass media. Unfortunately (you may think I'm being unfair) I found the article to be mostly froth.

The only paragraphs that really came to grips with the article's subject were the following:

All such diatribe plays up your Eisners and your Sulzbergers--and plays down many other names: Jack Welch and Michael H. Jordan, CEOs, respectively, of G.E. (NBC) and Westinghouse (CBS); Rupert Murdoch (who owns 20th Century-Fox); John Malone, CEO of TCI, the nation's largest cable company; maverick globalist Ted Turner; and many more. Also tuned out are such goyische giants as Hearst Communications, Times Mirror, the Chicago Tribune's empire, Reader's Digest Inc.--and the Shintoist directorship of Sony (which owns Columbia Studios and Tri-Star Pictures).

The far-right media "critique" also ignores the role of major shareholders: buccaneers like Warren Buffett (Disney's largest investor); cyberlord Bill Gates (who owns a big piece of Dreamworks and MSNBC); Gordon Crawford, who manages the media holdings for the secretive Capital Group (which owns a chunk of every major player).

But more important, the far-right attack ignores the crucial point about today's media: Increasingly, their owners are publicly traded multinational corporations, chiefly answerable to banks, insurance companies and other institutional investors--and to advertisers, who are almost always the key source of revenue. Thus guided, corporate capitalism runs the show with no concern for any race or faith or for anything but profits.

I don't find that a powerful rebuttal.

I could go into some detail explaining why, but for now I'd like to ask if there's a better source on this topic that you, Owen or anyone else can suggest?

I think this difference of opinion can be easily solved: Do the Jewish Zionists share the Christian Right's beliefs concerning the end times as written by the prophet Ezekiel, and more importantly, are some of them advocating bringing the end times to bear, as Pastor Hagee is publicly advocating? The Christian Right are citing these prophesies from the Old Testament, so it's a fair question, IMO.

Anyone care to comment on escatological beliefs within the various strands of Jewish funamentalism?

I have the impression that one needs to understand Hebrew to make a fair stab at this subject - or else rely on sources that would send the likes of Owen into a lather.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Well Sid, I'd really have to know what I'm being asked to rebut. You always pose this sort of thing in the form of a rhetorical question with no supporting evidence. The evidence in the Mark Crispin Miller FAIR article, which names names of powerful (non-Jewish) media seems to me to trump the non-evidence offered by the likes of Walker. :P If you mean that it isn't valid because the mainstream media shills for Israel, that is true, but it is not the point.

Also, if one of your sources on Jewish fundamentalism and its eschatology is Israel Shahak, I don't have a problem with that. I've bashed him here at least once in the past, but now that I've actually read some of his writings, I retract my previous attacks. He's been misread and misrepresented by both the pro-Israel attack dogs and anti-Semites (and perhaps not unintentionally ;)).

Edited by Owen Parsons
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Also, if one of your sources on Jewish fundamentalism and its eschatology is Israel Shahak, I don't have a problem with that. I've bashed him here at least once in the past, but now that I've actually read some of his writings, I retract my previous attacks. He's been misread and misrepresented by both the pro-Israel attack dogs and anti-Semites (and perhaps not unintentionally :P).

It isn't Owen. I don't intend to provide any sources on Jewish fundamentalism.

The subject matter is too weird for me at this time in my life. But then I have the same reaction to Christian Dispensationalism.

Also, Peter, Sid has outed himself as a Holocaust "revisionist" in the Political Conspiracies forum, so I think there may be more than just latent anti-Semitism at play here.

If that is so, I won't be engaging in ANY discussion with him further. That is beyond the pale. The European part of my family was wiped out in the Holocaust. My uncle Raphael was the man who coined the word genocide, wrote the Genocide Convention at the UN and was a legal expert at Nuremburg... He spent his second part of his life studying the Holocaust and I am currently working on a book on the subject. I do NOT discuss with Holocaust revisionists. Period. The Holocaust happened. It included Gypsies, Gays and others than Jews...but AT LEAST 7.000.000 Jews, and I think perhaps more. End of my discussion of that or with anyone who thinks that - on any topic. Any attempt to say it happened otherwise has a most sinister and evil logic behind it. It is like saying we [European invaders] didn't kill off untold millions of Native peoples in the Americas over the centuries - or that millions didn't die in WWI....it has an agenda and nothing to do with history nor fact. I have met hundreds of survivors, knew Weisenthal until his death, and am a student of the Holocaust my whole life. I have documents here in my office confirming the facts. There is some xxxx I will not eat and Holocaust Denial is not on my diet of things to discuss.

Peter. It saddens me that you - someone who I had understood to be a rationalist with the shared intellectual heritage of The Enlightenment, could post such a response.

On the strength of someone else's report about another thread you apparently haven't read, you decide to send me to Coventry. Your preogative, I guess, although not very rational behaviour.

You then proceed to make assertions about the events of World War Two - including the remarkable claim that AT LEAST 7,000,000 Jews were victims of genocide during World War Two.

Even Raul Hilberg wouldn't go along with that figure - not even close.

I didn't mention the subject of The Holocaust in this thread. Recurrently raising this red herring is a trick played by Owen and Len in an attempt to marginalise me and shirk discussion of the contemporary issues that I do intend to discuss and learn about while I participate in this forum. Owen's desire to see me banned is never far from the surface - odd for one who in a not so recent post claimed to be an ex-Zionist, if I recall correctly.

I am sorry your relatives were victims of genocvidal acts during World War Two. As you are aware, tens of millions of other people also perished in the horrors of that terrible war.

People close to my family and friends were also victims of the Second World War. Some suffered dreadfully before dying - and the scars of family loss last a lifetime for the survivors.

Nevertheless, I don't feel the need to refuse further communication with other people on the basis of a second hand report about someone else's apparently differing beliefs about that event. If I did give up in exasperation and decide to shun them publicly, I would at least have the decency to cite specific offending statements.

One thing I do believe is that if matters are to be discussed, they should be discussed without limits based on a priori assumptions and dogmatic assertions.

I also don't believe in locking up historians - or anyone else - for their historical beliefs.

I'm sorry if that offends you. You should understand, however, that I find abandonment and betrayal of the principles of The Enlightenment offensive too. It's bad enough when I find gross irrationality and a refusal to think outside a specific frame of reference in religious types. You, Peter, claim to be an atheist.

Edited by Sid Walker
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I didn't mention the subject of The Holocaust in this thread. Recurrently raising this red herring is a trick played repeatedly by Owen and Len in an attempt to marginalise me and shirk discussion of the contemporary issues that I do intend to discuss and learn about while I participate in this forum. Owen's desire to see me banned is never far from the surface - odd for one who in a not so recent post claimed to be an ex-Zionist, if I recall correctly.

There you go again with your odd insinuation that I only "claim" to believe what I post. :P What my taking offense at Holocaust "revisionism" has to do with Zionism I don't know. Your Holocaust postings were relevant to Peter's questioning of your motives and/or information, so I brought them up. And no, I'm not trying to get you banned, nor could I if I wanted to; I've said it before and I'll say it again here.

How many feel that the socio-political influence of individuals of the religious far-right in our epoch in the person's of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, the latter recently advocated the assassination of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, ["What would Jesus Do?"] are essentially no different, than those of W.A. Criswell and Billy James Hargis [The Christian Crusade tour with General Edwin Walker] in the 1960's?

Affirmative, these people follow a pretty linear course.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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