Monday, April 9, 2007

Praying for the Apocalypse

The author of “American Fascists” explores the Christian right’s obsession with armageddon and the self-fulfilling holocaust it will produce.

By Chris Hedges

"......Apocalyptic visions like this one have, throughout history, cowed populations and inspired genocidal killers. They have enticed societies into collective suicide. These visions nourished the butchers who led the Inquisition, the Crusades and the conquistadors who swept through the Americas converting and then exterminating the native population. These visions sustained the SS guards at Auschwitz, the Stalinists who consigned tens of thousands of Ukrainian families to starvation and death, the torturers in the clandestine prisons in Argentina during the Dirty War and the Serbian thugs with heavy machine guns and wraparound sunglasses who stood over the bodies of those they had slain in the smoking ruins of Bosnian villages. Those who promise to purify the world through violence, to relieve the anxiety of moral pollution and despair, appeal to our noblest sentiments, our highest virtues, our capacity for self-sacrifice and our utopian visions of a cleansed world. It is this coupling of fantastic hope and profound despair, along with visions of peace and light and absolute terror, of selflessness and murder, which frees the consciences of those who call for and carry out the eradication of those they have banished from moral consideration. When leaders of this movement, such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, sanction, as they do, pre-emptive nuclear strikes against our enemies, and therefore the enemies of God, they fuel the passions of terrorists in love with the same apocalyptic nightmares. They march us to our own doom cheered by the delusion that once the dogs of war, even nuclear war, are unleashed, hundreds of millions will die, but because Christians have been blessed and chosen by God they alone will arise in triumph from the ash heap........"

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