Looking forward to Armageddon and the cleansing of the earth

Last summer, a lot of people hated this post where I advocated calling the apocalyptic cultists on their evil delusions. Then we had some prominent Christian leaders calling for war with Iran, and John Hagee gave a demented interview with Terry Gross, in which his rapture rubbish was used as an excuse to advocate hate and war and destruction, all because his “prophecies” said that’s what we need to do.

Want some more fun?

Watch this video from a Christians United For Israel conference. There’s Hagee promising unconditional support for Israel until the Messiah comes, and then standing up in a press conference to claim that their support has nothing to do with end times theology. Watch people cheer at the urging to have a preemptive military strike against Iran. Listen to the interviews with creepy “just folks.” See Tom DeLay and Rick Santorum as honored guests … and the hero of the whole show? Joe Lieberman. Our “moderate” religious former Democrat. A perfect example of a religious moderate happily and enthusiastically supporting unabashed evil and ignorance.


  1. Bruce says

    Nope, not gonna do it, wouldn’t be prudent. It will make my head explode. Give me cuddly calamari and diatribes against illogic over wackadoodle political grandstanding any day.

  2. MyaR says

    Who said that Lieberman is a moderate?

    Apparently many people, since you get 430,000 google hits of which quite a few must be saying he’s moderate. (Googling “Joe Lieberman” + moderate, – various phrases like “not a moderate”.)

    I’m not watching that, either. I’ll go watch the squid again instead.

  3. says

    I’m from Texas originally and these delusional rapturists are the state’s number one export, ever since the oil patch played out. Google “Red Heifer” and delve into the depths of wacky prophecy. There is another group that wants to project a holographic temple of Solomon over the Dome of the Rock so that the end times can be jump started. There was another group that was forging a giant needle so a camel could pass through its eye. I don’t think they ever got enough money, after the preacher skim, to pull that last one off.
    It’s frightening how close they have come to running the USA unchecked.

  4. says

    “He’s not the Messiah; he’s a very naughty boy.”

    I will believe that “liberal Christians” are our reliable allies the day I see them denouncing this crap en masse. Until then, all their bridge-building and big-tent-o’-faith-or-otherwising and ecumenicalishness is just so much self-serving lip aerobics.

    …still waiting…

  5. says

    Why can’t they just drink the Kool-Aid like the rest of the life-hating freaks and leave the rest of us out of it?

  6. Rich says

    As a new reader, I never saw that post before. My respect for PZ is growing by leaps and bounds. I have to hit the archives more often.

  7. Christian Burnham says

    According to them- the Antichrist will be the one who brings peace between Palestinians and Muslims.


    And Lieberman, what a crook! Maybe it’s a good thing that Gore lost if he was running with that schmuck.

  8. says

    OK, it’s hard to muster more than a grim chuckle when it comes time to laugh at these crap-heads. Oops, did I call them “crap heads”? I just insulted all the crap-heads out there.

    So, are we supposed to “respect” these beliefs? Are we supposed to “reason” with these people? No. Tolerance is aiding and abetting.

  9. tomk says

    Joe Leiberman reminds me of emperor palpitine right before he took over the senate. Thais one creepy guy.

  10. Shirley Knott says

    I’m sorry but Lieberman is unabashedly evil and ignorant. And evil.
    Political leanings be damned, he would be no less evil as a rethuglical and is no more evil because he’s [OK, nominally] a damnocrat.
    Unabashadly evil, ignorant, and repugnant.

    Shirley Knott

  11. says

    The mere fact that these people look forward to apocalypse should, to any rational person, rule any of them out of ever holding any position of authority. It shows that they don’t and don’t have to give a damn about what’s going on in the world. To them, the end is the same regardless of whether they screw something up or not.

  12. Iskra says

    This week on “Jesus and Joe” our favorite zombie Jew and zombie Democrat set out to end the world, John Hagee guest stars as the cheerleader. Fox Friday at 6:30

  13. says

    PZ, since when do two people (namely Robertson and Hagee) constitute “some… leaders?” They are named specifically, so you cannot use the indeterminate “some” (which you no doubt did to paint a false picture of widespread agreement of their beliefs). By definition, they would be “a couple of… leaders.”

    Lazy grammar indicates a lazy mind.

  14. Matt Platte says

    Remember, you can’t spell Lieberman without a “Lie”.

    I couldn’t stand watching it either so I covered up the images with a mahjong game and just listened. I especially enjoyed the nice ladies having sport with Max’s Jewishness.

  15. LeeLeeOne says

    Oh, the pain. the pain, the agony. Ouch, owie, blech. Why do I watch/listen to these? Please, next time, warn us to pith ourselves with at least something medicinal to squelch the pain.

  16. afterthought says

    I had DSM in my filter file. Figured I would take a look anyway. I see I had a good reason for having him/her there. Back he/she goes.

  17. Crudely Wrott says

    Ouch! Embarrassing. And to think I used to walk among them.

    Yes, Tom, the dancer was poor. I assume she was just beginning her performance and was “waiting on the Spirit” to move her in a more dance-like or worshipful fashion.

    Everything about these folks seems forced, and they don’t fully cover their discomfort with their cheery confidence. I remember that. An unnecessarily forced attitude of certainty, charity, brotherly love, long suffering and the joyous anticipation of fire and brimstone raining down on the unrighteous.

    And this is funny: I feel the least twinge of nostalgia . . . the very least twinge.

  18. says

    Hey, it’s August! Isn’t about time for D. James Kennedy’s annual pot shots at evolution? Anyone want to wager he’ll have a new falsehood this year?

  19. says

    Last I heard, D. James Kennedy was darned close to being a vegetable (I know, the transition would be hard to recognize) and is being kept out of the limelight. Has there been a change in his condition?

  20. raven says

    Vaious xian groups have been calling for the rapture for over 200 years. The last date wrong listed by wikipedia was 2006. Oops. You would think that after 200 years of getting it wrong they would learn. But all they do is move the date another 5 years or so out. Latest dates seem to be 2011-2013.

    IIRC, there was some expectation in the new testament that jesus was going to come back to earth quickly and institute the kingdom of god or some such. If that is the case the rapture crazies may have been guessing wrongly for 2000 years.

    Wikipedia, rapture
    Some notable rapture predictions include the following:

    1792 – Shakers calculated this date
    1843 – March 21 1843 predicted by William Miller founder of the Millerites, the failure of Jesus to appear on this date after his followers had sold all their possessions was referred to as The Great Disappointment.
    1981 – Chuck Smith undogmatically predicted that Jesus would likely return by 1981.
    1988 – Publication of 88 Reasons why the Rapture is in 1988, by Edgar C. Whisenant.
    1989 – Publication of The final shout: Rapture report 1989, by Edgar Whisenant. More predictions by this author appeared for 1992, 1995, and other years.

    Posters placed in public locations around the New England area in 19921992 – Korean group “Mission for the Coming Days” predicted October 28, 1992 as the date for the rapture.[24]
    1993 – Seven years before the year 2000. The rapture would have to start to allow for seven years of the Tribulation before the Return in 2000. Multiple predictions.
    1994 – Pastor John Hinkle of Christ Church in Los Angeles predicted June 9, 1994. Radio evangelist Harold Camping predicted September 27, 1994.[25]
    1997 – Stan Johnson of the Prophecy Club predicted September 12, 1997.
    1998 – Marilyn Agee, in The End of the Age, predicted May 31, 1998.
    2000 – Many “millennial” predictions.
    2006 – Many predictions for June 06, or 06/06/06.
    2060 – Sir Isaac Newton undogmatically proposed this date based upon his calculations using figures from the book of Daniel.

  21. raven says

    Most rapture-heads seem to be eagerly waiting for the rapture to arrive along with armageddon and the apocalypse. AKA “the end times”. What is so good about the world being destroyed and all life ending?

    Seems to me that their lives must be miserable and empty if all they can hope for is the end of the world.

    Someone wrote a book recently that claimed that the fundie cultists were full of formless rage and a desire to destroy what is around them. Or at least some of them. Unfortunately I can’t remember how they came up with that conclusion. Or even whether it is correct.

    Timothy McVeigh, Paul Hill, Eric Rudolph, and Rob Kopp would certainly fit that profile as well as any number of xian fundie message board trolls.

  22. Yodel says

    I don’t understand why the religious right deny global warming.
    I would have thought it fitted in with their end times mind set.

  23. says

    These people are dangerous. Every time someone like McCain or Lieberman suck up to them, they have lost all credibility. There is NO excuse for even SEEMING to endorse this wacko, hateful crap. It’s inexcusable.
    I can’t watch the video, I just ate…I’ll spare PZ the crispy cephalopodic details.

  24. says

    >Vaious xian groups have been calling for the rapture
    >for over 200 years.

    Sam Kinison (who had the credentials of a preacher, remember) did a fantastic little skit about the return of Jebus in “breaking all the rules.” In fact, he makes such delicious fun of the stupidity inherent in Xtian beliefs that I highly recommend it. :)

  25. The Physicist says

    Hey Gregg, you couldn’t predict 6 o’clock at 5:30. :-)

    Posted by: rich | July 27, 2007 09:53 PM

    Yeah and I can predict the sun will rise in the east:)

    But I am not a prophet, in the sense of predicting the future, I rely on the Catholic prophets. A good overview of them is a book called “Trials Tribulation an triumph” By John Birch. Great book compiled from the Vatican archives.

    But if you really want to know what I think about evangelical Christians look at this post.


  26. The Physiscist says

    Not John Birch, but Desmond Birch. I need to start waiting for that cog to come around.

  27. Neil says

    The ideas of the Rapture in christianity and armageddon theology in all the abrahamic religions are at least partially responsible for some of the modern age’s worst political problems. I love to point out the blatant hypocrisy that occurs when combined with the authoritarian stances of many modern christians.

    Conservative christians are always talking about personal responsibility when it comes to other people’s sex lives, but they don’t stop there. Give them some money or influence, and out come the anti-sex laws. Suddenly, with a little power, just preaching “The Truth” isn’t good enough, and forgiveness goes out the window. Sinners against the christian way of life not only get to go to hell, but are punished in this life as well. (Some faith they have!)
    Of course if it turns out that most people don’t agree in the long run, or if damage is done to individuals because of their backward rantings, we should just put it in god’s hands and forgive the good christians! Any punishment for their actions is PERSECUTION!

    Of course everybody sees this, whether they mention it or not, and it really is just plain old ignorance and a pathetic struggle for social dominance placed in a religious wrapper. The scale of the hypocrisy is revealed when “end times” theology comes into play. Most religions claim to have “The Truth” and act as if they will be the last one standing-no surprise, really. But rapture-ready christians and radical muslims can’t just play out the game. They actually claim the right to destroy the world for god. They believe that their own actions can influence not just a man-made disaster, but a godly armageddon, and that they have the responsibility to take everyone else with them! They use every modern, man-made convenience to fight this war, yet deny any place or influence to those who create and support the technology. You end up with preachers and followers who are both willfully ignorant and spoiled at the same time, and somehow still bent on destroying everyone else because the amazing modern lives they lead still don’t add up to the whole world and everything in it. What was it that jesus supposedly said about the poor and the meek?

    Put all the hypocrisies together and what do you get? A culture where you can be shunned, jailed or killed for getting high, being gay, having unauthorized sex, not being religious enough, or any number of imaginary sins. Killed, of course, by the very same people who claim the right to destroy the WHOLE WORLD with impunity. Is that some god-sized hypocrisy or what?

    Sorry for the rant, but “end-timers” just creep me out. They almost give demented fuckwits a bad name.

  28. Janine says

    The interview with the old man who was with the two women was amusing as well as enlightning. He throws in some left behind references and one of the worst bushisms; if we don’t beat them there, they will follow us home.

    What sad people.

    Plus, so many there seem to be so happy about a ‘clensing of the earth”. Why ca’t they come out and say that this clensing is but the mass murder of the wrong kind of people.

  29. Dirk Diggler says

    Why would the Israeli’s associate with these clowns? Besides the fact that they are insane, these people obviously think Jews are all going to die during Armegeddon, save a few who will be converted to Xianity. It would be hard for me to be friendly with a person who wants me converted or dead. Maybe I am just wierd that way? Do these groups send a lot of money to Israel? What exactly does Israel get out of it?

    Does Sore Losermann actually think the Israelis will benefit from all out war with Iran and the rest of the Muslim M.E.? Liebermann is a bigger joke than I ever imagined. What is he thinking? If Tom Delay and Rick Santorum are for something, you can be sure that I oppose it. I don’t even have to hear the issue.

  30. raven says

    Why would the Israeli’s associate with these clowns? Besides the fact that they are insane, these people obviously think Jews are all going to die during Armegeddon, save a few who will be converted to Xianity.

    For some sort of theological reasons some of the cults have a fixation on Israel and are strong supporters. The Israelis hold a lot of real estate mentioned in the bible and all sorts of things are allegedly supposed to happen there. The plains of megiddo where armageddon is supposed to take place is however, in palestinian hands. I’m hazy on why an omniscient, all powerful supernatural being can’t just change venues. The rebuilt temple of Jerusalem could be put in Brooklyn and armageddon could take place in Texas or Kansas. And yes, they think the Jews will all have to convert to Xianity or die.

    Since the Israelis think it is all a bunch of gentile cult nonsense, they don’t care. These people are easily led and manipulated as we have found out when they voted control of the house, senate, and presidency to the Bushites. Since then, we have heard a lot of talk about how nuclear weapons are just like any other weapons and why shouldn’t we nuke a few places like Iran and be done with it.

    Really, what is the probability that, if these people had control of the stockpiles of 20,000 assorted nuclear weapons, that they would just say, “why not” and launch them and create their own armageddon, rapture, and apocalypse? If you think they are happy that it is supposedly close, they would be ecstatic when it comes even if they pushed the buttons. And BTW, what is stopping them? Not much. Hint: They elected the president.

  31. 386sx says

    Why would the Israeli’s associate with these clowns?

    I dunno but Dore Gold gives them way too much credit for having brains when he says that nobody but the president of Iran would be stupid enough (I’m paraphrasing) to believe that they could expedite their eschatology.

    This part of the video was pretty funny in case anybody missed it:

    Max: “Can I have your car when it happens?”

    Dumb lady: “Hahhahah that will be the least of your worries hahahahheheehhe!!”

    Haaha that’s a good one! Hahahahh-heheheheeeee!!! Some of those eschatologlical guys have a pretty good sense of humor. :-)

  32. Uber says

    But I am not a prophet, in the sense of predicting the future, I rely on the Catholic prophets

    You really are clueless.

  33. says

    I think U.S. Christianity is a completely different from European and Australian Christianity, even thought they can all be quite nutty. For one thing, here you can be Christian without having to believe in god or other superstitious mumbo jumbo. Another interesting difference is that I was sent to a Christian high school for five years in Australia and the first time I ever heard of the rapture was in an American comic book. The next time I heard of it was after I got the internet and started chatting with Americans. Believing in that stuff is really weird. I think it’s time U.S. Christians realized that they can keep the parables about the prodical son and the good Samaritan without accepting all the bizarre nonsense in the bible.

  34. says

    That’s funny: although I was brought up as an Anglican I did attend a suburban Baptist Sunday School class for a while. I’m here to tell you that the Rapture was a very popular topic. This was in Australia. I’ve lived all my half century of life in Australia, and the Rapture has been a familiar doctrine to me for as long as I can remember.

    I agree that there’s not so much hardline fundamentalist Christianity here in Australia as in the US, but there’s still plenty of it around in a ‘burb near you.

  35. Rey Fox says

    Somehow I just can’t quite imagine a fundie Christian mass with Aussie accents. It just breaks my brain to even try.

  36. Fox1 says

    An Aussie Guy: For one thing, here you can be Christian without having to believe in god or other superstitious mumbo jumbo. [emphasis mine]

    Yeah, and I’m a big fan of bicycle races. Except, only the ones that don’t involve bicycles. And aren’t races.

    Either I’m unable to grok your humor at 2 in the morning, or you’ve been dropped on your head.

  37. says

    Russell, I went to a Catholic school and never heard a thing about the rapture. But I believe the Baptists started in the U.S. which explains why you got exposed to the rapture. Mind you, apart from one or two nuts, most of the teachers seemed kind of apologetic about the whole religion thing. And our physics teacher was Islamic so they actually behaved in a Christian manner by not discriminating, which was nice of them. I think the basic difference between Australia and the U.S. is that in both countries you are allowed to believe what you want, but in Australia we are allowed to laugh in your face.

    Fox1, you don’t have to believe in god in order to follow the teachings of Jesus, just as you don’t have to believe in god in order to follow the mathematical formulas of Blaise Pascal. Just because you agree wholeheartedly with something someone said doesn’t mean you have to believe everything they say. You are allowed to pick and choose. But I do agree that the common definition of Christian involves believing in a lot of superstition.

  38. Dirk Diggler says

    Another thing that struck me as very odd about Liebermann’s involvement with the CUFI tour is the blatant anti-semitism. The Xians openly look down on Max for being Jewish and claim that when the Rapture happens, the Jews will be killed or converted. To me, that seems the very definition of anti-semitism.

    The reason I bring this point up is because I have been painted as an anti-semite by wingnuts for criticizing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. I try to explain to the fundies that anti-semitism means hatred, discrimination, or a feeling of superiortiy based on religion and/or ethinicity of the Jewish people. Criticism of a state does not equal bigotry. It’s surprising how many people get that mixed up.

  39. Arnosium Upinarum says

    Dirk #59 says, “I try to explain to the fundies that anti-semitism means hatred, discrimination, or a feeling of superiortiy based on religion and/or ethinicity of the Jewish people. Criticism of a state does not equal bigotry. It’s surprising how many people get that mixed up.”

    Its not so surprising once one considers how easily people equate their culture with their state. That comes from the irrational and delusionary thinking which those particular cultures cultivate. The “culture” culprit most culpable in the promotion of such lunacy is nothing less than r-e-l-i-g-i-o-n. Superstition is the most effective catalyst for mass hysteria known to humanity.

    Naturally, such an effectiveness happens to be an excellent engine with which to concentrate enormous wealth and political power. This circumstance is certainly not lost on those who like to play the role of “God”. Any competent “CEO” in a similar position appreciates the importance of hammering home the delusion/confusion in their flock/stockholders.

  40. CalGeorge says

    From marching with Martin Luther King in 1963 to sucking up to Hagee and Bush.

    Then there was his remark about hospitals having the right to deny contaception to rape victms.

    His career is in a sad decline.

  41. gerald spezio says

    “Christians United for Israel” is possibly the greatest peeyar success story of the long sordid history of the murderous Israel lobby. The Israel Lobby is the most powerful lobby in the history of big money manipulation of the schmuckery. It is the most immediate threat to our very lives. It is everywhere.

  42. says


    And our physics teacher was Islamic so they actually behaved in a Christian manner by not discriminating, which was nice of them.

    “Christian” is not a synonym for “nice”. If you look at the way Christians and Muslims have interacted over the past 1400 years, I’m not so sure that if I were a Muslim I would want someone “behaving in a Christian manner” toward me.

    If that teacher was not discriminated against, that’s just normal human decency. It should be expected, not singled out for praise, and certainly not chalked up to following a religion.

  43. says

    ouch. i really had no idea these idiots were… well, so close to government. isn’t there any sort of interview process here? doesn’t someone check before they hire these people that they don’t think it’s cool to squander all our resources now ‘cuz we’s gonna be in heaven tomorra?

    …oh, democracy. yeah. damn.


  44. Keanus says

    Idiots all, except for Hagee and his family. The Hagees are conning the lot of them, including Lieberman, for their money, treasure, and endorsements and letting them carry his water. What a shyster! I’ll bet Ken Ham is jealous as hell to say nothing of the envy of Kent Hovind. They’re penny ante shysters by comparison.

  45. gerald spezio says

    Lest we forget. Joe Lieberman, Yalie lawyer, sparkling Senator from Israel, and advocate of unbridled Zionism was Al Gore’s “choice” for running mate in 2000. Joe’s courtroom oratory at the CUFI conference shows his love of God and truth.

    Let’s suppose, just for drill, that the Demos had won (not had it stolen?)the election (what other word can I use?). Okay, yuppie game.

    Gore is assassinated by a replay of the Sirhan Sirhan songbag (not the Mossad), or possibly a crazed dis-affected Iragi soldier who wasn’t killed in Gen Barry McCaffery’s bloodthirsty slaughter of thousands of surrendered Iragi troops in Gulf Scam 1.

    Mad dog Joe Lieberman ascends to the presidency and delivers us all into the hands of Abraham, Jesus, and Ariel Sharon.

    No matter who wins “the election,” Israeli interests are fully covered. Hillarious and Obama know how to play their Israel cards, or you could say that the Israel Lobby knows how to play their political hack cards.

  46. K. Engels says

    The reason I bring this point up is because I have been painted as an anti-semite by wingnuts for criticizing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. I try to explain to the fundies that anti-semitism means hatred, discrimination, or a feeling of superiortiy based on religion and/or ethinicity of the Jewish people. Criticism of a state does not equal bigotry. It’s surprising how many people get that mixed up.

    I have to admit to being surprised, 65+ comments and not a single one accusing Dr. Myers of being a raging anti-Semite… His newly “discovered” Jewishness must be helping…

  47. says

    On a serious note – from a Jewish commentator, I was horrified by the video (I discovered it at another website). And to think that I actually at one time gave some money (though not very much) to Joe Lieberman’s campaign! So much for ethnic solidarity…. I think that Lieberman does have some brains, not that he was using them when he spoke at Hagee’s conference. Unfortunately, I think that one of the things that’s going on here is that both sides are using each other – Hagee is using Lieberman to make it sound like he really cares about Israel, and Lieberman is using Hagee for his own political ends, including support for Israel. It’s really a bad mistake when Jews think that support from these fundamentalists is a good idea – because they don’t take the fundamentalists’ theology seriously, they don’t realize how quickly the fundies could turn on Israel and Jews if we don’t act the way they want us to. (For example, if Israel did make peace with the Palestinians, handed back the West Bank to them, and agreed that Jerusalem could be the Palestinian as well as the Israeli capital – the fundies would be very unhappy with this because it doesn’t fit their end-times scenario). Feh.