Monday, April 11, 2005

Armageddon Insurance

"In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point." Friedrich Nietzsche

"They come into my tent as shit-scared sinners, and they leave feeling fully insured." Billy Bob Magdalene, fictional Evangelical preacher.

Blogmeister Swami Uptown asks: Is Christianity the only religion that seems to welcome the end of the world? ... what is it about Christianity--or some strains of it, anyway--that sees this world as ripe for purging?

First, a disclaimer: I don't know much about the world's religions, but I know what I like. Or to put it more bluntly, I know what makes sense and what sounds like dialectic hooey.

It seems to me that far too many Christians spend far too much time bingeing on purging. I don't think they're hungry for the end of the world so much as they like chomping on the idea of Divine Retribution for their perceived enemies.

So I would ask: Why do Christians -particularly Evangelical (Born Again) Christians- believe they have a corner on the morality market, and thus on the vengeance business?

I think it stems from fear. The kind of we're-surrounded-by-the-enemy mentality that usually signals a much more dangerous enemy within. And breeds an appalling lack of humanity or empathy. And absolutely zero conscience.

So they choose to imagine an Angry God, poised to punish them mightily at any time. Then they create the self-serving Born Again scenario: acknowledge your sins in the Here and Now, claim Jesus Christ as Your Savior, and become instantly forgiven. And protected from retribution in the Hereafter. And therefore morally superior.

What chutzpah. It takes a special kind of hubris to see yourself as bound for glory while all Non Believers are headed for eternal damnation. To assert that the only real measure of worth in God's eyes lies in following your path. And that everyone who doesn't is immersed in sin and corruption ... and doomed.

To Evangelicals, the outcome is preordained: God will choose Us over Them.

So there's your answer, Swami. Christians who welcome the end of the world do so for Other People. They won't be there when the rest of us burn in hell. They'll be enjoying their restricted Christian heaven, open to True Believers only.



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