January 31st 2005
Bill Moyers column, “There is no tomorrow,” is the most dangerous distortion of Christianity I can imagine. It screams for the word “anti-Christianism” to be born so it can stand beside anti-Semitism in the pantheon of ugly and unjustifiable human belief systems. People will read Moyers and believe him, widening the gap of ignorance that keeps the Left from understanding the Morality Vote, and feeding the flames of hatred that will before too long lead to a “Secular Liberation Front” that bombs Christian churches and buildings.
Moyers feeds his anti-Christianism the same way the Nazis fed anti-Semitism: with ignorance. He has attached himself to an ignorant interpretation of Biblical prophesy rather than actually read the prophets.
These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the 19th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative that has captivated the imagination of millions of Americans.
One can argue with the theology of the Left Behind series that Moyers is addressing here (as I do), but you can’t argue with the fact that the storyline of the book was laid down by John on the island of Patmos before AD 100, not by a couple of 19th Century immigrant preachers who applied that theory, as thousands have done for 20 centuries, to the current world situation.
Radical Secularists like Moyers would rather be ignorant than right because they have such an aversion to Christianity that they simply cannot pick up the New Testament and treat it like a source book. They will run to an interpretration that fits his worldview, content in their ignorance, because they don’t have to actually hold the dreaded source book in their hands that way. Because of this aversion to the Bible, Moyers doesn’t even have to get the name of the book right:
And why not? There’s a constituency for it. A 2002 Time-CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that the prophecies found in the book of Revelations are going to come true.
Ignorance leads to multiple misinterpretations. In this case, ubergreenie Moyers flocks to the common conclusion that Christians believe that since the End Times are coming, there’s no need to protect the environment:
And you will come to understand why people under the spell of such potent prophecies cannot be expected, as Grist puts it, “to worry about the environment. Why care about the earth, when the droughts, floods, famine and pestilence brought by ecological collapse are signs of the apocalypse foretold in the Bible? Why care about global climate change when you and yours will be rescued in the rapture? And why care about converting from oil to solar when the same God who performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes can whip up a few billion barrels of light crude with a word?
I am no friend of Greenies and I am a believer in Biblical prophesy, but I don’t see myself in that description, and I don’t know any Christians who hold that view. Moyers couldn’t be expected to understand this because he hasn’t read the reference book; if he had, he’d see that Scripture makes two things abundantly clear: Our relationship to God’s creation is that of steward, not exploiter, and Christ will come as a thief in the night and no one — even Christ himself — knows the time.
More dangerously, he implies that the “fringe,” “delusional” thinking of “these people” drove the US to war in Iraq in order to speed the Second Coming. This is a line of thinking my Inside-the-Beltway Liberal mother would accept, driving her into greater anger at Bush and what he stands for: Conservative Christians.
What’s so unfortunate is that if Moyers and his anti-Christianist brothers bothered to try to understand what their “enemy” believes, they would understand the enemy is not an enemy. But that would get in the way of the hatred they fuel with their ignorance.
Hatred is a strong word, but it’s there, lying just beneath Moyers’ ink:
One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress.
How unfortunate that a man like Moyers seeks to become the David Duke of his own band of brownshirts. And how unfortunate that newspapers around the country run his hate-speech without apology.
(Note: Both Hugh and Lileks said they would be blogging on this Tuesday, so be sure to read their posts. Here’s the Lileks-Link)