Apocalypse I: McCain’s Ringtone for the Christian Right

Let’s update political jargon. Writers still use “dog whistle” for a political message heard clearly by one audience but entirely missed by everyone else. That’s so twentieth-century. Please update to “teenage ring-tone”: Young ears hear it. Older ones don’t. Students yes, profs no. You can pick the tone that will be heard by the age group you want. But be careful: Some people have young ears.

The political equivalent is John McCain’s invidious “He’s the One” ad. Ostensibly, it merely suggests that anyone who inspires people must be a poor leader. (Well, don’t expect a Republican to remember FDR or JFK. But what about Churchill?)

But the message is really intended to ring loudly for dispensationalists, the subset of conservative evangelicals who are looking forward to the Rapture, the Tribulation, the whole timeline of approaching apocalypse.

Read more

Hagee, McCain, Aipac: The Audacity of Cynicism

John McCain was shocked, shocked to know that there were horrid thoughts going on around Rev. Hagee’s brain about the positive side of the Holocaust. These comments, from a sermon on how God used Hitler to get the Jews to return to their land, in case you missed the news all weekend, include:

“How is God going to bring them back to the land? The answer is fishers and hunters,” Mr. Hagee said, referring to how Jews ended up in the modern state of Israel. “A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and forces you. Hitler was a hunter.”

As we know, McCain actively pursued Hagee’s endorsement. As the NY Times notes,

At a speech last year before Mr. Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, he thanked Mr. Hagee for his “spiritual guidance to politicians like me” and said, “It’s hard to do the Lord’s work in the city of Satan.”

Hagee has every effort to make his views public via every media available. His comments expressing empathy for Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin appeared in a book that became a bestseller in its market. The same book looks forward to an apocalypse in which enough blood is shed on Israeli soil to create a river of blood 200 miles long. One of the scholars who introduced me to this literature correctly spoke of the “pornographic violence” of the visions of the end promoted by Hagee and others of his school.

Read more