It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. And if I can add to Dickens, it was the end of times. The end of all times. The Peace Train is coming. Even Dickens was not immune to Christian kitsch. And although its easy to deride the series of books known as The Left Behind Novels from Tin LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins is this type of apocalyptic Christian fiction that much more “wacky” than academic drivel of pie in the sky, the old man in the sky philosopher of a heavenly kingdom of secular utopia where everyone is a pop culture Marxist looking to save some oppressed nation whether of the Avatar variety or films like The Help; the same beleaguered authenticity hoax that is equally as far-fetched, violent and nihilistic as Protestant fundamentalism. Its easy to deride , but a splitting off of our collective personality we don’t want to see and of our love-hate relationships just bubbling between a desire to burn a koran or our own holy books.
In the left behind books, the world is tyrannized by a former united Nations secretary general, an illuminati figure, implied to be connected to the Vatican and he has his “peacekeepers” in an Orwellian dystopic use of language. Rabbis evangelize for Christ; a team of pop culture Schmuley Boteach’s somehow meld Chassidic messianism into a mutated version of the Messiah atoning for Israel’s specific national sin, and now welcome at the cosmic poker table as full fledged participants, part of god’s army against the anti-Christ. Its wild stuff, it makes the radical left cringe, but to be honest its less boring than listening to a Slavoj Zizek lecture; god is not dead and he’s making up for lost time.
Israel is the kicker to the theology that dominates Left Behind . The chain of events that lead to the return of Christ depends on the existence of a Holy Land that is under existential crisis and catastrophic assault. There is kind of a torment here whether jews are willing partners in this drama, or heavy lifters of the Egyptian variety to be vampired to leech some of the Exodus mojo. Be that as it may, there are affinities; whether these are “lost tribers” struggling to reconnect, out of context Maccabees, their conviction is almost refreshing compared to the suffocating depression of absorbing the interminable cant of Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now, Naomi Klein, et al. The Left behinders were definitely not the ruling oligarchs and their sycophants who fled Egypt after the Destruction. They want a one state solution but of a different variety.
What is interesting, is that in the Torah, the jew is supposed to thank god every morning for not being created as gentiles. The infamous “goy” ; yet the jewish people are referred to as goy in the torah many times. So, they are goyim too. Maybe everyone is a goyim until the redemption, which is supposed to happen “in the blink of an eye.” Goy just means “nation” ; so why should they thank god for not making them goyim when they are themselves, the Jewish people as a whole, goy….
( see link at end) ……Those Israeli settlements in the West Bank that add so much kindling to the conflagration in the Middle East are often “adopted” and funded by American evangelical churches whose members are devouring a novel that depicts Jews reclaiming Palestinian land, moving Al-Aqsa Mosque out of Jerusalem and rebuilding the second temple on the Dome of the Rock. The chosen people are suddenly the darlings of the religious right, while a bestseller promotes the idea that Jews will soon convert to Christianity — and atone for their centuries of stubbornness — en masse.
By having even minor characters recount their conversions, Jenkins and LaHaye make sure that each volume has moments when readers can enjoy a bit of high-minded revenge against mocking urbanites.
The writers take a special pleasure in the self-abnegation of supposedly sophisticated media types. In “The Remnant,” a British reporter makes an appearance solely to explain her salvation. “All I can say is that the enemy has a stronghold over the mind until one surrenders to God,” she says. “I was a pragmatist, proud, a journalist. I wanted control over my own destiny. Things had to be proved to me.” Now born-again, she tells Steele that she’s mystified by her former “lunacy.” Seeing the self-defeating delusions of erstwhile elites exposed may be the greatest pleasure the Left Behind books offer their readers. Read More:http://www.salon.com/2002/07/29/left_behind/
According to the apocalyptic narrative of Christian Zionists, of which Left Behind presents a strain of, although it is a caricature lacking dimension and depth, jews will have to raise their game and either convert, come up with some compelling reasons, or beocome partners in something similar but different. But these Christians also find themselves bogged down in the same mud as Israel’s religious Zionists. That is, Zionism is a secular ideology that detests spirituality at heart. it is anti-religious. So, Zionism binds christians and jews under the flimsiest of pretexts which is maybe just a discardable point of transition for both.
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