Christian America and Fox Populi

While I was away over the Easter holiday, I read Newsweek editor (and On Faith co-moderator) Jon Meacham’s cover story … Continued

While I was away over the Easter holiday, I read Newsweek editor (and On Faith co-moderator) Jon Meacham’s cover story on “The End of Christian America,” but somehow I missed Newsmax magazine’s cover story entitled “Will He Return?” He, as in Jesus.

Both Easter-week issues reflected signs of the times: Newsweek on America’s changing religious and political demographics and Newsmax on conservative religious reactions to those changing demographics.

The Newsmax issue included commentaries by Bill O’Reilly, Ben Stein, Dr. Laura Schlesinger and other conservative culture warriors. “There is rising concern over the economy and national security, as well as downright open alarm at the leftist drift of our national government in the Obama era,” Tom Minnery, a Focus on the Family executive, told Newsmax.

The most interesting comment I saw came from Fox News Channel’s resident eschatologist, Glenn Beck:

“Some of the things that have caught my eye as far as end times: The fact that, for the first time, Russia and Iran have alliances–something that has to happen for end-times prophecy to be fulfilled; America’s weakened standing in the world. America is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, implying that it would be crippled or taken out of the picture in some way.”

The last book of the New Testament was written in the first century of the common era, about 1,400 years before the word America appeared for the first time on a map. So I don’t suppose it’s surprising that America is not mentioned in the Bible. Perhaps Beck was being facetious. He is working on a live comedy show.

Then again, this is the same guy who declared on CNN last year that August 22 “is the day that Israel might be wiped off the map, leading to all-out Armageddon,” and “could be the day that agnostics get down on one knee and start to pray, ‘Sweet Jesus, are you coming today?” Several weeks later, Beck was raptured to the Fox News Channel.

Beck is not alone in his End Times concerns. According to a 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 79% of American Christians say they believe that Christ will return to Earth someday. One in five believe he will return in their lifetime.

As Newsweek’s Lisa Miller pointed out last November, President Obama’s election has stirred up End Times conspiracy theorists. “The people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are perhaps jumping to conclusions, but they’re not nuts,” Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University’s law school, told Miller. “They are expressing a concern and a fear that is widely shared.”

Those fears are finding expression in the popularity of apocalyptic populists like Glenn Beck. In entirely sincere enterprises like the Rapture Index (now at 164, it’s highest level since it was at 182 in September 2001). And in national surveys that show the declining number of Americans who identify themselves as Christians.

As Newsweek’s Meacham pointed out in “The End of Christian America,” while surveys show that America is becoming less Christian, that doesn’t mean we’re entering a post-Christian era. “A third of Americans say they are born again,” Meacham wrote. “This figure, along with the decline of politically moderate-to-liberal mainline Protestants, led the ARIS (survey) authors to note that ‘these trends . . . suggest a movement towards more conservative beliefs and particularly to a more ‘evangelical’ outlook among Christians.’”

So, what do you think? Is America becoming less Christian? Or is Christianity in America becoming more conservative, reactionary and apocalyptic — in reaction to changing demographics, politics and times?

About

  • workingclassrepub

    Christians have to realize that we are strangers here on earth and we will never be popular or understood by people who have no faith. Why make fun of Glenn Beck because he takes the Bible literally? I take the Bible literally also. I don’t know if this is the end of times. But, I sincerely believe that Jesus will return one day, just as it says in the Bible. So make fun of me, persecute me, whatever I have my beliefs and I am not going to change them. It may surprise you people who are so eager to categorize everyone that just because you are a born again Christian doesn’t make you an ignorant bigot. Two of my closest friends are gay and half of my famiy are democrats. We disagree but they at least look at me as a whole person not as a nut job becaue I am a Christian.

  • WmarkW

    To workingclassrepub: Do you think human beings and hermit crabs have existed for about the same amount of time? If so, THAT’S what makes someone of your beliefs ignorant.If you think people need forgiveness for sins, that’s just faith. When unproven beliefs contradict facts, that’s ignorance.

  • josephs1

    Not much of a difference between the extreme Muslim mullahs who believe THEY know God’s intentions and wish to construct society after their vision and the Christian extremists who believe they are privy to God’s will and are dutibound to shape the U.S. to this vision. Most Christians forget that the subject Jesus addressed the most in his preachings was the poor; go count.

  • RosslynSack

    Glenn Beck = Jiminy Glick

  • clarkesq

    The problem is that Christianity has been politicized. The conservatives become more fervent, and the moderate and liberals are turned off because of the perceived association between Christianity and right-wing politics. This undermines the support that Christianity has in society, leading to either religious inactivity or disaffiliation. I seriously doubt this is what Christ intended. On another note, while many Christian faiths are exercised over the pending second coming, my own faith (LDS) rarely talks about the second coming as it did 40 years ago and more.

  • outragex

    As a progressive Christian I am actually hopeful about the trends in American Christianity. The weaknesses of the Evangelical Right and conservative Christianity have been revealed and these trends have largely run their course. Many Christians I know are returning to the center and rediscovering the peace and justice Gosple that has long been criticized by the Right. Conservative and fundamentalist Christianity will not dissapear (which is good because it has value), but the scales are rebalancing. All the six major types of Christianity (as indentified by Richard Foster) have value, and a balanced mix of all six is healthy IMHO.

  • gimpi

    Workingclassrepub, you said,”So make fun of me, persecute me, whatever I have my beliefs and I am not going to change them. It may surprise you people who are so eager to categorize everyone that just because you are a born again Christian doesn’t make you an ignorant bigot. Two of my closest friends are gay and half of my family are democrats. We disagree but they at least look at me as a whole person not as a nut job because I am a Christian.”I’m not sure where, from this thread, you’re getting any of this. How are you being persecuted? I’m glad your friends and family view you as a whole person. I hope you return the favor. (I’m just asking, not making fun of you. I know some of your faith that don’t, as well as some that do.) I hear from conservative Christians how they are “being persecuted” and that seems to mean not being deferred to. FIY, not agreeing with you, calling you on facts you may have in error, and working to advance my own viewpoint (as opposed to yours) is not persecution.That’s the problem I have with Beck, FOX news, et all. Right now, because conservatives have just lost an election, they seem to be unwilling to allow the electorate to try something else. Minor changes in taxation policy are being called “oppression.” Having someone not defer to your beliefs is “persecution.” I also don’t understand your “I have my beliefs and I’m not going to change them,” reference. Does that mean you aren’t even willing to take anyone else’s viewpoint on board? Is this just about your religion, or is that how you approach life? If it’s just about religion, how does that work? Why is one topic off-limits for new information? Just out of curiosity, what (if anything) could change your mind? Please don’t take this as persecution. I really don’t understand this mind-set, and if I don’t ask, I never will.Believe me, workingclassrepub, people can disagree with you without persecuting you. I think we need to allow for honest disagreement, even on substantial issues, without calling that disagreement an attack. Lets let that word persecution reflect real suffering on the part of the persecuted, not honest disagreement.

  • bjlopez1130

    Glen Beck is something else. I want to call him rightfully what he is but the Christian in me won’t allow me too.

  • BennyFactor

    What amazes me about these “end times” prognosticators is that -A. They ignore God’s admonition that we are not to know the time or placeB. They seem to feel that God’s plan cannot be achieved without their manipulation of the situationBoth of these reactions point to a tacit lack of faith in God that characterizes much of theology that gets filtered through worldly political prisms. Leave God be to do his thing in his time and place. All we need to do is be sure that as individuals (not groups) we are in-line with His Word and His Way.

  • sharon-jefferson

    Great comments Communista!

  • coloradodog

    America is becoming less Christian. Every day the inbred neochristian cousins of Limbaugh and Beck are becoming less and less Christ-like as they only harp on abortion, gays and attacks on Obama. If I were Jesus, I would change my last name.

  • spritey

    Well the right wing’s hatred of Obama negates his ability to be their hoped for anti-Christ issuing their one-way tickets to the Pearly Gates/rapture pogrom of global genocide.The requirement of the anti-Christ is that ALL people will adore him and as we witness the funerals of right wing extremist’s murder victims simply because they do not adore Obama, their dreams of global extinction are only dreams.

  • mdshumaker

    pikaart, you comment….”yall do realized that Mr. Beck’s a member of the LDS? The Book of Mormon certainly *does* speak to uniquely American history and culture; the coming of the Messiah in a specifically American context is quite consistent with Mr. Beck’s theology.”Of course the Book of Mormon *does* speak of American history and culture….it was written by an American!!

  • richardrgolden

    Other day , Bill O’reilly showed his abilities as a low level propogandist when he set up a strawman, by asking why christians were being attacked in america. ( I didn’t know they were, none seen hanging from lightposts, no churches on fire ). His religion commentator opted that christians were easy targets because they ” turn the other cheek” and because others are po’ed because christians ” know the truth”. Another young lady (one of the many large breasted blondes on this conservative network ) pointed out that the press is ” anti-christian “. ( no metrics given). O’reilly said ” you are both wrong. THEY are attacking US because we are pro-life and anti-gay marriage.”

  • TJLinBallston

    Reading these comments is so depressing. The Liberalism of my youth in the 60s was open-minded and inclined to be inclusive. Liberals today are fierce haters! The kind, long-hair peacenik in sandals is now a snarling, leftist elitist who hates everyone who dares express a preference for conservativism or even a dash of true independent.

  • mebutle

    “Or is Christianity in America becoming more conservative, reactionary and apocalyptic…?” I’m not religious myself, but I think it’s insulting to the mass of American Christians to think that they are represented by the demagogues on the airwaves. Their behavior certainly is not “Christian.”

  • mebutle

    “We are still a judeo-Christian nation”How so? Since when? Where in the Constitution, or even the Declaration of Independence, does it say to love our neighbor as ourself? Or not to make unto ourselves any graven images?

  • jpenergy

    The power mongering of the so called Christian right is not new they use God as a tool for their own agenda. an age old method….

  • theobserver4

    “Some of the things that have caught my eye as far as end times: The fact that, for the first time, Russia and Iran have alliances–something that has to happen for end-times prophecy to be fulfilled; America’s weakened standing in the world. America is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, implying that it would be crippled or taken out of the picture in some way.”Does anyone else remember that email that was floating around before the Iraq War started claiming we were the eagle in revelations and we were destined to claw the eyes out of Babylon or something else equally gross? The bridged version is the bible foresaw America going to war in the Middle East and kicking some serious butt. F with the bull you get the horns….America F YEA!! So now that we’re in a recession Glenn Beck is going out of his way to draw attention to our sudden absence in the bible and give it sinister overtones? What happened to the Eagle? We are no longer the soaring champions about to kick some heiny that inspired the gullible to drive up to that recruitment office. Well according to Glenn Beck we’re not.The bible is open for interpretation….it has to be it was written thousands of years ago. Just like reading Hobbes or even Locke the message is within the reader.

  • KennyBoy

    I take great comfort in the fact that everyone who has predicted the end of times, and there have been thousands, have been wrong. Undeniably, 100%, Wrong, Every Time. That being said I kind of hope they are right someday because as I understand it the “rapture” means that all of the christians leave and the rest of us are condemned to live under a thousand years of rule by JC. Sounds like a good deal to me.

  • tewers1

    The Bible was written when America did not exist. So if you take the Bible literally, does that mean you live in an imaginary land?

  • analyst72

    As a clown, Glenn Flake makes me laugh. I have never seen anyone (besides Insanity), who can vomit so many stupidities in such a short period of time.

  • altagrl

    I’m not sure America is becoming “less Christian” but I do think it is becoming more polarized as people are less tolerant of those who hold beliefs contrary to their own. Witness the tone of the piece as well as some of the comments concerning Conservative commentators and fundamental Christian beliefs such as the second coming of Christ. Let me ask this: what does it hurt if people believe something different than you? Isn’t that what America is all about?

  • Chops2

    Geez, u lose one election and suddenly its the apocalypse. Chill out and get a grip, seriously.”One in five believe he will return in their lifetime”.

  • jamesmmoylan

    Of course America is becoming less christian. This can be viewed as becoming more sane and less barbaric.

  • Regeman

    OH GOD DO I LOVE THIS POST!”OK the rapture index is high. The Beast is loose. Apostasy is at an all time peak. The rapture is here. To those of you who are believers…just GO already. And don’t let the door hit you in the behind as you exit.

  • Counterww

    Nice, many of you have fulfilled what Peter said in one of his two letters-”3knowing this first: that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts Lots of scoffers here. Too bad….

  • RobertLeeHotchkisss

    I think the main thing has happened is that Christianity has become more insular. I find myself intensely uncomfortable with most conservative Christians, because they don’t seem welcoming unless you make constant displays of conformity. I think a lot of people who where Christmas and Easter Christians have decided the pretense just isn’t worth it anymore. I think this a problem for Christianity, but not necessarily for religion.

  • michael_from_sydney

    As a Catholic Christian from Austrlia, I find both evangelical Protestantism, and the general American take on faith, to be a far cry from the simple “love God and love thy neighbour” taught to me by the Church of which I am a member.To Glenn Beck – America is not mentioned in the Bible for the very simple historical reason that America as a geographic entity was unknown to the people of Palestine who wrote the Bible, and America as a political entity did not exist for another 17-and-a-half centuries.To Protestants who more generally seek to predict the date or time of the Second Coming, please read Matthew 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” The Church has always taught me that all the faithful should ALWAYS try to live their lives as if the judgement of their souls were imminent – remember Jesus’s warning: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” [Matthew 24:42-44]To political barrackers of either the Left or the Right who seek to appropriate the message of Jesus Christ for their own partisan affiliation, remember Jesus’ words to Pontius Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place”, and later, “In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Jesus’ Kingdom is one of the heart, of adherence to God’s Word, NOT one of earthly political, social, economic or military power.

  • Jean_dNalgar

    If the end of Christianity as we know it today also means the end of this present frenzy of flummery, this nutty, dangerous end-times codswallop that is pandered by clever idiots like Glenn Beck, then it can’t come quickly enough. What would Jesus do? For starters, he’d tear down gilded country-club churches and turn out the charlatans who peddle false promises and pillage the poor in his name. Jesus has not returned because the fires for their special place in Hell aren’t hot enough yet!

  • WmarkW

    In the religion section of my local used bookstore, one can find a half-century of titles that can be paraphrased “The current state of the middle east in biblical prophesy” and usually end with some false conclusion that Revelation is about to come true.This is one of the few purely speculative religious dogmas that troubles me greatly. (I don’t care if people believe in heaven.) What if everyone thought the world was going to end soon, AND THIS WAS A GOOD THING? But, as to Fox news “populism”: a lot people have turned off mainstream news because it seems to come from a parallel universe where the homeless are never drunken bums or people with AIDS aren’t promiscuous gays. The media doesn’t seem to mind that most Americans don’t know 2/3 of black children are born to unmarried parents, or that many think women are paid 23% less than men for the same work. When the media starts correcting public mis-perceptions that help advance a liberal agenda, I’ll worry about the mis-perceptions that advance a conservative one.

  • Blondenfreude

    The most interesting comment I saw came from Fox News Channel’s resident eschatologist, Glenn Beck:1. “…America’s weakened standing in the world…”: Blame it on Rio.2. “…America’s weakened standing in the world. America is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, implying that it would be crippled or taken out of the picture in some way.”: It depends – “God” and ‘Jewish God’ are two distinct entities, not to mention there is ‘Allah’ to deal with too.

  • remembermilo

    @WMARKW I really don’t understand at all what the liberal and conservative agendas even are anymore. Since when did ignoring gender discrimination in pay become a liberal agenda? Are liberals no longer pro-women’s rights? I’ll make sure to note that. This is just goes to show how the words “liberal” and “conservative” don’t even exist anymore, at least not outside of TV news anchors’ and pundits’ heads. Religion spans the whole political spectrum, despite what some of the louder zealots would have you believe.

  • jhpurdy

    I think that fundamentalist Christians have just endured their greatest disappointment. For the first time in American history, an explicitly born again conservative, George W. Bush, was elected president. And he proved to be the most feeble, inept steward of the oval office since Franklin Pierce, leading directly to a rejection of conservative doctrine by the vast majority of the American people. Meanwhile, the yokel fundamentalists, who have not advanced one whit since the Scopes trial, realize that their best chance to establish a near-theocracy in America is, indeed, “gone with the wind.” So they are agitated and listen to fools like Glenn Beck, who speculates as to why America is not mentioned in the Bible. Thank God (or some other power) for the shifting demographics that will, in a few generations, render these superstitious fools as obsolete as the Yugo.

  • irv1

    OK the rapture index is high. The Beast is loose. Apostasy is at an all time peak. The rapture is here. To those of you who are believers…just GO already. And don’t let the door hit you in the behind as you exit.

  • Comunista

    Any notion that the US is becoming “less Christian” seems to be based on the assumption that Christian == Fundamentalist Right. Though perhaps overall numbers might be ebbing, which is part of the American cycle (look up the historical ‘Great Awakenings’), there are clear intra-Christian migrations going on, towards ‘born-again’ groups away from mainline Protestantism as mentioned in this article, or towards politically-moderate evangelical groups from hardline right-wing Fundamentalism. To me it confirms that Christianity (and religion in general) has theology robust enough to weather the storms of generational/historical change, even as what I consider ‘fad denominations’ come and go. Should anyone, religious or not, be concerned with any increase/declines in fellowship? So long as the US has real freedom of religion, heck no. The numbers of faithful aren’t dramatically down from previous points in history, despite the doom and gloom talk or errant conclusion that “the right-wingers lost out, so that must mean Christianity is on its way out”.

  • georgereston

    I believe the answer to both questions is yes. Christianity in America is becoming more conservative, reactionary and apocalyptic which explains why fewer people in this country identify themselves as Christians. The radicalization of Christianity has done more to destroy Christianity than any anti-religious movement could have ever done.

  • arancia12

    The Bible clearly states that no one will know when Christ will return. I can’t figure out why bother to look for the end-times. If it is destined to happen, it will happen whether we are prepared or not, just as Jesus said the servant at the door must wait. Do these conservatives plan on asking for forgivness just before the rapture? The only reason for these end-time prophesies is to stir up fear. Fear brings in money. The Becks and others are fakers who found a niche in which to make huge sums of money. These false prophets have always brought in followers. How many times have people gathered in fields waiting for God to come, or committed suicide? People do not “scoff” that the end-times will come (at least not everyone), simply that no one, not Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, et al, can say when it will happen. So mind your own soul. Be like the faithful servant and wait. But please do so quietly.

  • 1ken

    I prefer to leave religion to the men of God, Ministers, Preachers, etc. and not fools such as Beck, O’Rilly and bunch or any conservative politician. Fox news as with Limbaugh are after only one thing and that is audiance and the one way to get that is to be controversial with half truths and outright lies not sincere,fair or truthful rectoric.It is a shame there are people such as this but they are really no better than a disbeliever. Using Gods word and meanings as a means to a commercial end will not reap any rewards at judgement time. These talking and attention seeking fools are best just ignored.

  • drzimmern

    When first I saw the cover of Newsweek about declining Christianity, I was offended, especially since Newsweek has been pushing Islam lately. Christianity is going nowhere, its just fundamentalism that is weakening. Hispanics are bringing greater numbers of Catholics, and religious extremism is losing its fire with many of the aging population. We are still a judeo-Christian nation, just tired.

  • foreoki12

    The Christian Conservative movement was a reaction to the perception that America was losing its moral center during the 60s and 70s. Now, thanks a great deal to Bush’s terrible presidency, the pendulum is swinging the other way. This has happened throughout America’s history, and will continue to, as Comunista points out, as long as we maintain our religious freedoms.This is healthy and good. No one perspective should maintain dominance lest it become corrupted and a vehicle for oppression.

  • clairevb

    Having watched and listened to Glen Beck quite enough, I’ve come to the conclusion that his parents took heavy doses of acid when he was conceived and developing in his mothers womb.

  • edbyronadams

    Deriving generalities from some anecdotal elements such as opinion pieces in magazines is a fool’s errand.Have at it.

  • pikaart

    yall do realized that Mr. Beck’s a member of the LDS? The Book of Mormon certainly *does* speak to uniquely American history and culture; the coming of the Messiah in a specifically American context is quite consistent with Mr. Beck’s theology.

  • Billy1932

    Christianity should only be applied to those who practice it, and most who call themselves Christians do not..see the Golden Rule, Sermon on the Mount and remember the rich man and the camel through the eye of a needle. Maybe there never has been a true Christian America.Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian, he did not believe in the virgin birth, miracles or resurrection. He saw Jesus as a moral teacher. Many other founding fathers where with him on this.I believe America is big enough for theists, deists, agnostics and atheists.

  • justillthen

    I for one am appreciative for the failed policies of the Christian Right. One positive thing that came out of the Bush Administration, (of very, very few), is the crystalline clarity of the unmasking of the intentions behind the conservative rights policies and politics. Corroded, greedy, self-centered, exploitative. Far from the origins of christian theology. Far from the true Christian message. Degraded and foul. Not to suggest that the left is some beauteous thing. But it sure looks a better call in the moment, looking at the ruins of the debacle of conservative christian rule of the last years. I believe that Christianity is continuing on a decline. It is not something new, this. Throughout the West Christianity has been on a decline. Two hundred years ago in Europe monarchies were aligned with christian churches, and virtually the whole population were christian, (if only to save their own necks!). Reality has been and will continue to whittle away at the myths and fallacies of most religions, particularly those of Abrahamic roots. The clear light of science will make it harder for religions to hold onto their sacred texts as anything but metaphors. Beautiful perhaps, guiding lights perhaps, but very definitely not literally valid works. Belief in God or a Spiritual Source will persist, I hope and trust, but it will be difficult for believers in these mainstream religions to evolve their faith from the tightly held illusions of their dogma to a more realistic and inclusive faith in causality. Perhaps it is again science that will help show the way. There is no doubt that evangelism and End Timers must confront the hypocrisies of their beliefs and at some point face the obvious music. What will they do?It is always toward the end of a cycle or era that fundamentalism re-emerges, yes? We have fundamentalism around the globe. We are on the edge of the evolution of belief.

  • chowlett1

    The “end-times”, rapture theology typically preached in fundamentalist churches is such a hodgepodge of bits and pieces of the Bible – one line from here, another line from there, pieces from Revelation, more pieces from non-canonical writings – that no one who actually reads a Bible should be able to take it seriously. And yes, we liberal Christians who take our studies seriously are alive and well.

  • justillthen

    Hey swatkins1, “That hippie was gutter stomped and burned at the stake by neo-conservative trash and hate spewers over the last 40 years. The neo-conservative ideology of hate crashed on America’s shore in a deafening crescendo, and took in its wake the soul of America. There will never be an end to troglodyte neo-cons, but rest assured. We’ve had enough of them. The hippie is now prepared to fight them at every turn, trade barrage with barrage, and eventually beat them back to the caves they prefer to keep their women beaten and chained in.”Wow, a whole other direction than I took, and you showed it off well! Nice job. Perhaps I a still looking for room for the peaceloving hippie way, refreshed to current day. Non-violent change and all that. You seem to opt for the club as a result of being clubbed. Thoroughly understandable. I like clubs too…

  • rutoft64

    The right wing in America will use any means they can to disrupt the Government of the United States. Yes even a persons religon. We all must be very alart to what is going on. They hate our elected President and will stop at nothing to discredit him. Keep homeland security informed.

  • CCNL

    From Father Raymond Brown’s, An Introduction to the New Testament, 2 Peter was

  • KilgoreTrout2

    So, basically anyone who disagrees with the “enlightened” progressive liberal point of view is an intolerant, hateful liar, that will stop at nothing to express themselves. I guess we need the government to step in and put a stop to this nonsense through the Fairness Doctrine. By the way, what defines a conservative Christian anyway?

  • Counterww

    Actually Observer, you are wrong-IF I can convince voters to vote in representatives to codify what I believe from a Christian POC, yes, it can be part of how we influence govt.Many around these parts think that religious people, and their beliefs, should not influence govt or vote their conscience or let their faith be a force in the political world. This is far from what the Founders felt, they just did not want one religion,or one denomination, to be the state church.read up on what washington had to say about the religious folk and their influence on govt. You will be in a for big surprise.As far as the rapture goes, yes, it will happen, but it could be tomorrow or 1000 years from now. Who knows. Someday Christ will be back, but to predict it down to the day , year or hour is foolishness.

  • abhab

    I firmly believe that America’s greatness is the direct result of its Christian ethics. If that ethics goes so will its greatness. I have no shred of doubt about that.

  • mono1

    america is fading theologicaly(godly) and ideologicaly(secularlogicaly).its time to import other religion and ideology,i recomend islam.juchristianity along with human secularism done too much damage to the mentality of mankind ,juchristianity brainwashed people into the *sony* who died for people sin ,while humansecularism brain washed people into liberalism and denying the existance of almighty creator god.what do you expect from a society who claim that for so god love the world he nailed his *only* begotten son to the cross for the sin and sake of mankind ?or the infallible pope who driving a flock of 1 billion delusional heads?or the delusion that possesed saint george bush and told him to invade people land and steal their property ?the above society scored a couple of rotten shoes on the scale of human civilization!!!!!!!!

  • kevink2

    “The people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are perhaps jumping to conclusions, but they’re not nuts,” Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University’s law school, told Miller.Oh, yes they are.

  • Fiftyeight

    Since every Bible scholar (not of the ‘junk religion/junk science’ stripe) has clearly demonstrated that Matthew, Mark, et al did not exist- and the Bible is just an oral history with lots of religious and political agendas of the time and authors- I see no reason to get excited about Revelations.As more of the evangelicals face the fact that the Bible is not God’s word, but rather men’s usual ‘stuff’- their numbers will continue the trend downward.I just wish they would absrob the ethical lessons in the book as avidly as they have the ‘end times’ message.

  • swatkins1

    The conservative right has not got God’s ear, but they want you to think they do. But just because they say they are God does not make it so. Sorry all you conservative fascists.

  • berniesilverman

    Do you for a second believe that people like Glenn Beck are interested in anything deeper than ratings?He and his ilk, throw out all kinds of poorly thought-out flotsam and jetsam, then claim that they don’t have to be factual since they’re just entertainers.Beck’s best line was uttered the other day on Fox when he asked how anyone believed there was global warming since the earth’s temperature had only gone up 7/10 of a degree, “not like 20 or 30 degrees.”I’m glad he’s not a scientist…

  • tphishs

    On Faith, Under God … how can anyone consider this column “religious” with a picture of Bush eclipsing the Pope?Face it, this is propaganda in the worst way trying to use your faith to support a political party that has proven it is only religious in the pursuit of power …. shame on you!

  • ravitchn

    Most Christians, including lunatic Glenn Beck, know very little about the real beginnings of Christianity. Jesus was caught red-handed by the authorities in civil rebellion against Roman rule and Jewish priestly authority and was executed as a result. The Christianity we know is based on a considerably cleaned up version of events which made Jesus an innocent victim of judicial error and a divine being. Nothing is further from the truth.

  • rslavelle

    Abhab: America does not have “Christian ethics.” “Christian ethics can mean whatever someone syas they mean. We do not turn the other cheek. What did Jesus say to the rich man? American “ethics” revolve around money.Tax the businesses owned by the churches!

  • beury

    Glenn Beck is an idiot. The Philistines and Babylonians are mentioned in the Bible and they no longer exist. Beck should stick with what he knows best… no-drip mascara.

  • Chops2

    I have a serious question for someone who believes christ will return:How many years/generations must pass before u will realize that it simply wont happen and that u will admit that this has all been made up and a fantasy?How long and be honest?

  • Jacquiem

    I HATE that Christians have aligned the faith with a political party. The result hasn’t been the change to a more morally upright culture like these “culture warriors” thought they’d get, but a disrespect and disdain for the faith and those of us who are believers. I believe that if Christians live our lives according to the Biblical truths we believe in, answer the questions people have about the faith, and love others as Christ loves us, THEN we’ll be a shining example that draws people to faith. Pitting people against one another based on acceptably-moral political beliefs – including the horrible outcome of pitting Christians against Christians who have divergent political beliefs – has done nothing more than create an environment in which bashing Christians is sport, and the reputation of Christ is synonymous with conservative political ideals. Nevermind that some so-called liberal-focused issues – caring for and helping the poor, caring for the environment, fair and equal pay for honest work for everyone – are Christian values, too. The Religious Right has done more harm to the faith than good. We Christians can and should still be active in politics and every other aspect of American life and society, but we need to get rid of the blatant endorsement of one party over another as some type of litmus test for morally-acceptable policy. I’m sick of these people hijacking my faith.

  • Chops2

    “The people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are perhaps jumping to conclusions, but they’re not nuts,” Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University’s law school”Mr. Staver, as a lawyer, do u teach evidence at liberty? What evidence do u have of the antichrist? I know these interogetories can not be answered by u becuase your legal team DOESNT HAVE D#CK TO PROVE IT you imbecile. They are nuts and so are you and your thin legal team and religious loon subjects being taught at Liberty to poor ignorant hick morons who dont see the hypocrisy of teaching religious garbage with no evidence of it even though thats the basis of the profession. Obama is a man. He was elected by Americans. U r a fruitcake and so are those that believe he is the antichrist.Prove it.

  • adrienne_najjar

    This crap has to end. The sooner humans realize that their idiotic superstitions are the underlying cause of all the world’s ills, the better. Wake up you fools. There is no god.

  • agapn9

    Yes people who think Barack Obama or Bill Gates is the antichrist are nuts. They haven’t read scripture and they are in deep need of medication.

  • jaxas

    There is nothing new in all of this. Crackpots like Glenn Beck have always been with us. But today, they have a limitless number of media forums to peddle their weirdness.One of the prices we pay in a country that values freedom of speech, religion and assembly, is that occasionally, we have to put up the crazies and cranks and near insane zealots who always insist that they have some clear piritual insight that the rest of us lack.I have always believed that if by some magic, Christ actually did return to earth in precisely the form he left 2000years ago, draped in a robe, sandals and sprting a beard, people like Glenn Beck would turn him away as some leftist kook.But, we are stuck with this over-thetop dork as long as our ratings hungry mainstream media is willing to actually treat his whacked out ravings with a degree of seriousness. As I said. Freedom is not free. Having to put up with the odious Glenn Becks of the world is part of the price.

  • jaxas

    What is so amusing about all of this is that every generation since Christ walked the earth was convinced that He would return during their lifetime. There is absolutely nothing new here. Beck is simply the latest in a long historica parade of carny hypnotists who have used faith and fear to peddle their self serving nonsense.Imagine it is 2109. A hundred years have past and we have a noew generation of fundamentalists who have been pretty much brainwashed in this religious tradition. There will be another Glenn Beck, another James Dobson representing an ever narrowing slice of humanity, telling the other twelve billion people on earth that they absolutely must prepare themselves for He Who Should Be Coming Along Anytime Now.

  • sux123

    The only index higher than the “rapture index” right now is the “delusion index”. These are the same type of people waiting for the aliens that left us here on Earth to come back to claim us. They should be in therapy, not of public media.

  • Boko999

    Glenn Beck = Jiminy GlickPOSTED BY: ROSSLYNSACK | APRIL 15, 2009 1:47 PM Roz, you’re a genius.

  • rb-freedom-for-all

    These so-called “conservatives” are really traitors in America. When the terrorists struck on 9/11/2001, all Americans, definitely including liberals and Democrats, supported the President in a crisis. Due to the Bush team’s inept leadership, this support proved almost disastrous to the country.Now that we have a new President who is trying very hard and with some success in dealing with the huge financial, environmental, and geo-political messes left by the “conservatives,” the right wing is attacking our country’s President as never before. These people are traitorous dogs who should be held accountable by good Americans in the mid-term and next Presidential elections.Next time you see them on TV, keep going and pass them by. Their bankrupt ideas can only corrupt the minds of susceptible people who need a scapegoat to blame for everything in their lives that has gone wrong.What’s Christian about attacking patriotic Americans who are doing the right thing to try to rescue America from the huge mess were in? These so-called “religious” people have anything but Christ in their hearts. Christ wasn’t about hatred and fueling hatred against good people.

  • INGOODFAITH

    America & Friendly’s; Please, “… If Ye Knoweth, Smell or see something fishy, Not Kosher or not Hallal, then please please say something!”Beware The Day: 09.09.09 {999} , aka Sept.9th.2009, opposite 06.06.06 {666} of this coming post “DURBAN-2″ fiasco!Never forget, post “DURBAN-1″ and its 09.11.01 aftermath in New York City; & the 03.11.2002 train bombing in Madrid & Other Islamic Mystical Numberd Prophecy Systems via their Clanish/Tribal beliefs & via their self-serving HISTORY MAKERS?”Fanatical-Containment” means “Biblical-Containment”, as if in, “WMD”! SoA Islamic “Shia-A-Bomb & a Islamic “Sunni-A-Bomb” must never be allowed! SoIf U.S.A.s “PLUTOCRACYs, not OLIGARCHYs, can magically, suddenly, willingly & knowingly come-up with 3-Three Trillion Dollars [3,000,000,000,000,000?] to it’s Own Nation from Economic Calapse & help it’s Friends THENWhy give 1-RED-CENT to a “Shia-A-Bomb Pakistan; now also known as “The VANGUARD OF ‘AL TAQIYA’” instead of “Containing” {Giving Up to the likes of the IAEA or surrender them to the U.N’s SECURiTY COUNCIL} their own Weapons of Mass Destruction 1st.Note: Don’t Kid Yeselves Sweet Sweet, Genuine, AMERICAN(s)!Be carefull of them Jealoust Atheist/Agnostic so called (not) Atheists CHINESE & RUSSIAN “COMMiES”? suddenly turned or morphed into Us “CAPITALISTS in disquise?” With Dagger in Hand or Poison; They {Cinamen & Rissiamen} Like Satan, DEvil, Jinn, Kali, Dragan’s etc.. They [Commies turned Capitalists] Smile, call you “Brother” or “Sister” now, but always plan to out-fox or Sucker-US via ill-Will & not Good-Will!Besides “Double Standard Spychosis” that The “NEW COLD WAR” is a Two Sided Sword:1) The “Sia & Suni A-Bomb Threat to themselves.2) The Ex-Commies (Soviets/Sinos) who know that if they winn the Islamic Worlds Trust via the New ISLAMIC-CURRENCY” (comming Soon) that U.S.A & Euro will be defeated! And Then Take Over SOUTH AMERICA with IRANS & ISLAMs Blessings & Help! Ask: Russia & China & the Islamic WAHABi’s & MULAH’s; What will Ye Islamic AlQuaeda Brethrens & Sisters & Co., do Next?

  • motiv8ed

    Talk about “crisis management!” The “Allah” of the Islamic Religion is the same “God” of Abraham that the Jewish and Christian faiths issue prayers.This would indicate that Osama Bin Laden and George W. Bush have both been praying to the same God. One of the two should be able to get their prayers answered, and all evidence points to that not having been our born again Christian. Darn!

  • Dieterman

    If American Christianity continues on the rightward path it embarked upon some thirty years ago it will become ever more discredited in a country that’s constitutionally allergic to protracted fanaticism. I know Hitler analogies are a rhetorical no no, but it’s too tempting when thoughts of the religious right conjure the adjectives suicidal, fascistic and nihilistic and as with Hitler in the case of Germany it can hardly be denied any longer that there are in fact fanatical leaders within conservative American Christianity who would rather see this country go up in smoke than fail to bend to their authoritarian will.

  • dj333

    “Let me ask this: what does it hurt if people believe something different than you? Isn’t that what America is all about?”If your belief leads you to commit destructive acts in an attempt to provoke the end of the world then yes, it does hurt me. Many rapture theologians think that the End Times are being held back by the failure of Israel to rebuild the temple – a failure caused by the existence of Islam’s 3rd holiest site. Because of this, a weak theology (as has been pointed out, attempting to force God’s timetable goes against express Biblical teaching) leads to further instability and war in the middle east.What is more, we are seeing a return of the kind of rhetoric that led to the terrorist bombings in Oklahoma City and Atlanta – both of which were carried out by self-identified conservative Christians. Saying that Obama is the Anti-Christ or a muslim agent attempting to destroy American Christianity makes him a legitimate target for violence. If your beliefs lead you to inflict a scar on my nation, that definitely hurts me, and everyone else.America has always been home to a sort of Christianity that needs to see itself as persecuted, and will do whatever it takes to fulfill that vision – this goes back to our founding myth about the Mayflower, and the Pilgrims (who had been run out of England for their political views.) These people saw themselves as a persecuted minority during the Reagan, and both Bush administrations, too. Of course, during the Clinton years they became dangerous, and look that way again.If we are going to insist that moderate muslims have a duty to control their dangerous coreligionists, the same must hold true of christians. We do not accept that it is anyone’s right to think that others should be killed for your faith, and it sounds a lot like that’s what we are hearing from some corners of the Right.

  • harrytam

    We often hear “Islam and the concept of jihad has been hijacked by the fundamentalists and the extremists in the Muslim world”. Here in America, Christianity and all it stands for has been hijacked by the right wing conservatives, Fox News Channel, and the ilk of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh. It pains me as a Christian to see how the name of Christ can be used to be associated with hatred and intolerance. When our Lord Jesus Christ taught us how to pray, it starts with “Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name”. We are supposed to treat God’s name with the utmost respect and dignity. Instead we use it to condemn people whose lifestyles we disagree with. Christ said, “If you love me, keep my commandments”, which is to love one another, be tolerant, be meek, be mild. Instead, we use His name to condone acts of violence and abuse of power and vilification of people who we disagree with. I can keep my faith because I don’t associate myself with the conservative Christian right’s views. Otherwise, I’ll be so ashamed of what “Christianity” stands for that I would turn away from Christ and become an atheist. To everyone out there, think through things and pray and you will see the wonder of God and His Love when you have no agenda.

  • rb-freedom-for-all

    Some commenters on this topic have prefaced their remarks with a statement to the effect that “everyone has the right to believe whatever they want and practice their religion ….” Is this really true? What about cults? What about religions that promote polygamy and sex with minors? Courts are empowered to override parents when they put their child’s life in danger and withhold medical treatment because of their religious beliefs, so there is a limit. The Army of God bombs abortion clinics. The charismatic movement in the Catholic church has its cult priests. Pedophelia? Scientology? When does society have the right to step in and say “your delusions are endangering or threatening other people and you must stop”? Do we let people go too far in their practice of religion in America? I’d like to hear the posters to this site talk about that issue.

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