|NB: There is a global media error [now abused deliberately] with a famous quote: |
Translated: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time."
Submitted by Jon Stokes on September 28, 2007 - 8:35pm.
http://commonsense.ourfuture.org/guest_post_invention_anti_christ?tx=3 [used to be TomPaine.com , hmm]
From Rick Perlstein: .../... I'm proud to introduce my friend John Stokes, co-founder of the computing site Ars Technica, Ph.D. student in early Christian history, and practicing Pentecostal, whose love-hate relationship with the Southern Christian conservative milieu in which he was born and raised has produced some of the most penetrating analysis of our political moment that I know.
By Jon Stokes
I'm an XM radio fanatic, but when I'm our other car--the one with only an FM radio--I find myself listening to one of two stations: Chicago's NPR, or WBMI, the local radio affiliate of the national Moody Broadcasting Network. As a Pentecostal, I find that I often enjoy some of the programs on the MBN, which is the broadcasting arm of the conservative Christian Moody Bible Institute. Indeed, to use the common evangelical idiom, I wouldn't hesitate to say that I've been "ministered to" on occasion by this or that preacher, show host, or call-in guest.
But then there are the times when I turn on WBMI and I become sick to my stomach. This typically happens when one of the station's "news" programs comes on the air. And when the discussion turns to the Middle East, I listen with a mix of morbid curiosity and utter despair--morbid curiosity, like the kind that you have when you see a horrific car accident taking place, and utter despair, like when you realize that your family is in the back seat of one of the cars.
This afternoon, I had the distinct displeasure of hearing one Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, president of Shofar Communications, prophecy teacher, and "journalist," as a call-in guest expert for a WBMI news segment on the Middle East.
The topic was Iran, and here's a short summary of what this man had to say to the MBN audience
At that point, I sort of zoned out in bitter amazement, as DeYoung carried on about the intricacies of Middle Eastern politics, brutally yet confidently mispronouncing every single proper name that came out of his mouth in a sing-song, baptist-preacher-like cadence. I tuned back in a bit later when the topic of Bush's recent reference to a possible Palestinian state came up--DeYoung was clearly not pleased by the president's speech, but he didn'd dare criticize it. Instead, he went on at some length about how Mahmoud Abbas has been "trumpeting Bush's words all over the Middle East," and the message was clear: an enemy of Israel's (and ours) resoundingly approves of Bush's statement, so it was clearly a mistake.
It's easy to ridicule DeYoung for his ignorance and fear-mongering, but he and people like him are dangerous. He has an audience of sincere and well-meaning believers who trust him to tell them the story behind the MSM's news headlines. And not only do they trust him, but they trust the tone that he projects. His speech has the cadence of a pentecostal preacher, and even the way he butchers middle-eastern names is familiar and reassuring--it reminds the listener with ears to hear of the way their own preacher mangles names from the Old Testament. Indeed, the confident, even flawless mispronunciations that pepper his pronouncements are less of an accidental mangling than they are a deliberate act of translation. DeYoung is translating these names into the authoritative idiom that what we might call "preacherese". To hear the man speak, he could almost be reading out of Ezekial, instead of from current headlines. And of course that's the whole point.
Ultimately, the reason behind DeYoung's hyperbolic promotion of a two-bit tyrant and his pretensions is quite clear. Achmadenijad is being primed as an Antichrist figure by folks like DeYoung. And why not? The DeYoungs of the world certainly need one to stay in business. Unlike countless preachers in local congregations across America who use Bible prophecy to encourage their flocks in uncertain times by fitting the troubles of the hour into the larger narrative of God's plan of savlation, DeYoung is part of a cottage industry that makes money peddling the Apocalypse. In some cases ( i.e. the Left Behind franchise), these folks make a lot of money.
Now that the Soviet Union has has stopped producing an endless supply of Anti-christ candidates and chillingly likely apocalyptic scenarios, people like DeYoung are forced to fill the resulting void with a parade of tin-pot dictators. Even worse, they act as PR reps by inventing for these losers monstrous new capabilities, like the notion that a missle launched from Iran is going to plunge America into stone-age darkness. Heck, on one visit back down south last year I heard a church-goer explaining how Ahmadenijad had been speaking somewhere, and a light was seen about him, [the halo/podium bunk]** or somesuch miracle, as part of a deadly serious argument about how this goof may very well be the Antichrist. Ascribing supernatural powers to petty thugs has to be a new low, but it's a sign of how desperate some elements of the Christian right are (for reasons both fiscal and spiritual) to find a truly worthy successor to the USSR.
The 'wingers need an Antichrist, the Bushies need a pretext, and the Israelies need protection... All of this makes Ahmadenijad the Most Dangerous Man Alive, and someone whose country must be invaded at all costs.
But I don't want to end my first guest post here on a down note, so I'll sign off with a quick Bible lesson. Here's a little known fact that opponents of pre-emptive war just don't seem to understand: if you read the New Testament in Greek (like I do), you find that when Jesus said "if someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also," what he actually meant was, "if you don't like someone because they talk a bunch of threatening trash about you and your allies, it's important to put them in their place by invading their country and killing them." No kidding!
God help us all.
Issues & ProjectsConservative Failure
anti-christ by leoburg on October 1, 2007 .../...