(Note: This the concluding part of a 2-part series: Read Part 1: Judgment Day and Rapture Hysteria: The Rise of Evangelical Fear-Mongering in Politics)
Leaders of the Evangelical Right continue to tell their followers that God is angry with America because of gays, abortion-right activists and the ACLU. They tell their followers that God will bring Judgment on America and the rest of the world for not living according to their own interpretation of "God's law." Following the 9/11 attacks, Jerry Falwell claimed that feminists, homosexuals, abortion-rights activists and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) were responsible for bringing the wrath of God on America. He claimed that God was punishing America by allowing the terrorist attacks. From Jerry Falwell's proclamation arose the trend of conservative Right activism which has been working hard to influence elections and legislation to the end of a Christian religious state which they imagine will guarantee God's pleasure and ensure a prosperous future for the nation.
But is God really angry with America or with any nation of the world because of Left activists who recommend tolerance of gays, fight for abortion rights and promote tolerance of people of religious and philosophical persuasions different from ours? Will God punish the world because majority do not agree with Pat Robertson's, John Hagee's or James Kennedy's views of God's will? Must the whole world agree with Jerry Falwell's notion of an angry and vengeful God who brings deadly natural disasters on nations whenever his will, as interpreted by Evangelical leaders, is not obeyed?
Radical Left political analysts like Naom Chomsky have provided alternative and far more intelligent explanations of why America (and the rest of the world) is under the threat of terrorism, but that species of Evangelical fear-mongering campaign which links a nation's continued prosperity with continued unconditional support of Israel ignores pragmatic but enlightened considerations in favor of biblical oracular divination of God's will. It is better for a nation to learn from the mistakes of its past which cause present "blowback" than seek scape-goats in gays and abortionists. To blame gays, abortion-rights activists and the ACLU–an organization that has contributed to enhancing the quality of human lives than the Evangelical movement in all the years of its existence–is to close our eyes to the fact of bad foreign policy decision-making in past.
It takes a great deal of honest self-searching, which seems beyond the Right, to admit that we do not need gays, abortion rights supporters and the ACLU to explain the anger which radicalized the Muslim world and gave birth to terrorism and finally 9/11. Of course, as Professor Stephen Webb points out, if you do not like the Naom Chomsky approach to analysis of the underlying causes of terrorism, you are left with no choice but to continue relying on the Old Testament prophets to explain why 9/11 happened? But can't we be honest enough with ourselves to admit that our decisions rather than God's anger bring on us, at least, some of the misfortunes we suffer?
That exceptionally pernicious species of the evangelical fear-mongering campaign which links a nation's prosperity with continued unconditional support of Israel defies logical elucidation. According to John Hagee, "God makes it clear that he will bring into judgment any nation, America included, that forces the division of the land of Israel." Naom Chomsky is one of the few Radical Left American analysts of American foreign policy who have been able to stare truth in the face and admit that US compromised its own national security under the goading of the conservative Right pro-Israel agenda. Some of the most sophisticated products of the American arms industry: Apache helicopters, missiles, smart bombs, high technology weapons and even dirty cluster bombs go in favor of Israel into the Middle-East conflict and kill Palestinians everyday. The CIA's involvement in the training of Muslim guerrillas against Russia–would that not be a more realistic and productive point from which to begin an analysis of the chain of events which led to 9/11 than the prophetic pronouncements of sixth century B.C. prophets whose prophecies and thesis of the rise and fall of Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Ancient Israel are not only obviously biased but have proven to be of no value even to the nation of Israel itself in its subsequent history? The Jewish nation which suffered Roman invasion and dispersal in 70 A.D. was grounded on the thesis of the Old Testament prophets that obedience to God would guarantee Israel's future. Yet the Jewish state suffered a disastrous end like its predecessors. The Christian explanation which claims that the Jewish state fell in 70 A.D. because it rejected Jesus is one which accuses God of deliberately snaring the Jewish nation for, apart from the biased Christian perspective, it is difficult to explain why the Jews who were so fanatically dedicated to their Old Testament Mosaic law heritage should have immediately recognized a volte-face change in God's will in the person of Jesus and the New Covenant represented by Christianity.
The experience of the Jewish people shows how difficult it is to divine God's will, and how impractical it is for any nation to hinge its prosperity on obedience to a God with a special whimsical propensity for abandoning Old Testament covenants and surreptitiously contracting New Testament covenants! Radical Left American Writers like Naom Chomsky provide us with more reliable approach to understanding the problem of terrorism and 9/11 than the conservative Right God's-will based approach which seems to suggest that America will get away with any misjudged policy or action in the global arena provided all Americans go to Church on Sundays and the government legislates Pat Robertson's religion as state religion. Noam Chomsky correctly identifies the terrorist threat to security as the "blowback" effect of the misdirection of US Middle-East policy by pro-Israel Right lobbyist who now blame gays, abortion rights activists and the ACLU for the consequences.
It is difficult if not outrightly impossible to find any objective grounds to base the claims that God punishes any nation for tolerating gays, abortionists, ethnic minorities and people with religious persuasions and cultures different from those of a clannish WASP group. Yet it appears that some of the conservative front-runners for US presidential office think so and from the trend of things that conviction may become the major driving force of American policy if, in the near future, a conservative Right candidate is elected to the White House.
JohnThomas Didymus is the author of "Confessions of God: The Gospel According to St. JohnThomas Didymus"