When I say it, I get a rush of protest proclaiming that not all Christians are like that. I know they aren’t, but we ignore the theocratic Right at our peril.
Prophetic Christians, Phillips writes, often shape their view of politics and the world around signs that charlatan biblical scholars have identified as predictors of the apocalypse—among them a war in Iraq, the Jewish settlement of the whole of biblical Israel, even the rise of terrorism. [Phillips] convincingly demonstrates that the Bush administration has calculatedly reached out to such believers and encouraged them to see the president’s policies as a response to premillennialist thought. He also suggests that the president and other members of his administration may actually believe these things themselves, that religious belief is the basis of policy, not just a tactic for selling it to the public.
I’m afraid the kooks and RaptureReady folks and Left Behind fans and Christian Reconstructionists and Dispensationalists and Bible Belt prudes are the face of American Christianity. Don’t complain to me: it’s the Christians who ought to be deeply, shamefully embarrassed about this…but as usual, I expect they’ll find it easier to complain about those damned godless people who dare to hold up a mirror.
Oh, and evangelicals might want to think about the fact that unbelief is growing faster than any religion (although I suspect the poll results likely reflect a shallow response to the bad rep of Christianity than any fundamental shift in philosophy).