Judge Royce Lambert said Jacob Chansley's role as a leader among those who went into the Senate chamber and disrupted the electoral vote tally compelled a serious prison sentence. | Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images | Politico
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Civilization, COVID-19, Environment, Existentialism, Fascism
Note: The title of this post is from the famous movie Apocalypse Now, which was popular during my senior year in high school.
Nathaniel P. Grimes is a Theologian, someone who "dedicates her or his life to the scholastic vocation of seeking after knowledge of God and the things of God." In other words, graduate school. Dr. Grimes published a paper that I feel should have gotten much more traction and explains the abject lunacy on the right: "The Racial Ideology of Rapture." In it, he posits that the viewpoint was not scriptural; it was political, as in an existential crisis for a South who had brainwashed themselves after losing the Civil War, or more aptly, mass cognitive dissonance before Leon Festinger.
Cognitive dissonance was first investigated by Leon Festinger, arising out of a participant observation study of a cult that believed that the earth was going to be destroyed by a flood, and what happened to its members — particularly the really committed ones who had given up their homes and jobs to work for the cult — when the flood did not happen.
While fringe members were more inclined to recognize that they had made fools of themselves and to “put it down to experience,” committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along (the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members). Source: Simply Psychology
They lost the Civil War after Chief Justice Taney spouted the worst Supreme Court decision to Dred Scott that a black man "has no rights that a white man should respect." The institution of slavery, whether they owned any or not, meant that due to a lack of Melanin, the so-called "white" peasantry was magically "superior" to enslaved Africans. They didn't have to do anything to be superior. The society was exquisitely designed to reinforce the claptrap in the science of the day and from the pulpit that, upon further examination, was the framework for pseudoscience. As formerly enslaved Africans began running for office, gaining property, and establishing successful townships, [for] the psyche of the southern poor who risked life and limb to defend plantation oligarchs' ownership of other humans was an existential crisis. If the "whites" were not "superior," then what were they? The surviving confederate soldiers and their descendants got the battle ensign of Robert E. Lee (popularly, but inaccurately, the flag of the insurrectionist Confederacy) and shell shock.
The plantation oligarchs got reparations from the US government, the foundation for generational wealth passed down to their posterity. Equally, the descendants of potentates and peasants are hellbent on "conserving" the sadistic societal status quo.
John Nelson Darby was the "OG" of dispensationalism eschatology, or epochs in which humanity would be judged and punished, similar to the plagues of the Old Testament. John Scofield was a Confederate deserter (a broken clock can be right once or twice). After a conversion experience, he began writing dispensationalist literature, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, the foundation for the Dallas Seminary, and his Scofield's Reference Bible, which many trained theologians used during their graduate studies. His 1917 reference Bible referenced Genesis 9 as a "prophetic declaration" that "Ham will descend an inferior and servile posterity," probably the fanciest way I've seen someone use the n-word without using the n-word. Scofield's reputation was built on an "anti-black, anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish theology." Moody followed in his footsteps, as his vision of a "perfect, raptured Heaven" was of "the Scotsman, the Englishman, the Frenchman, the German, the Italian, the Russian": all those who "hungered after righteousness." It was White-topia before Levittown.
Rapture was the escape hatch from Reconstruction and the previously enslaved Africans, newly by the 14th Amendment African Americans, to gain genuine electoral power and some property. The paper mentioned a diagram of the Earth's population in 1886 that I've seen in various forms. This was surrounding the International Prophetic Conference, showing the population of the world to premillennialists as "white squares" and "black squares," the noir geometry representing "Jews, Catholics, Mohammedans, and Heathens."
On page 219 of the paper: "in order to hasten Christ's coming, **the conditions here on earth must decline dramatically.** So they chose to pull back from social reform not only because the conversion was deemed more important but because reform itself 'delayed the Second Coming and deluded those who would be converted."
"Conditions on earth must decline dramatically": like climate change? Diversity, equity, and inclusions? Income inequality? Debt ceiling default? Social justice and police reform? Elections in a federal republic? Governing? Bodily autonomy for women, the transgender? What's the reserve against prosecuting wars all over the globe? We relocated the US Embassy to Jerusalem in the last administration. The current administration hasn't moved it back since there's a sizeable percentage of the electorate that wants to hurry apocalypse like it's a "GI Joe: Real American Hero" Saturday morning cartoon where we do battle with Cobra, lasers blasting, and no one really wounded or dying. If premillennialists apparently had the "mess up the room, so the parent shows up" theory of the Second Coming, their descendants still have it. There will definitely be a "new Heaven and a new Earth" as the first Heaven and first Earth (the current one) passes away (Revelation 21) after the throws of a nuclear exchange. Seas probably would dry up if they hadn't overflowed from melted poles causing rising tides or becoming so irradiated for thousands of years. Your favorite salmon, lobster, or tilapia would, from then on, be aquatic SPAM.
This attitude fuels one political party currently in charge of the House of Representatives. The "weaponization of the government" hearings are going about, as well as Jim Jordan was in not protecting his athletes from sexual assault. Dr. Barbara Rossing, author of "The Rapture Exposed," starts her first chapter with these words reminiscent of Smedley Butler: "The Rapture is a Racket." Throughout the book, she shows that basing our Middle East strategy on "clean up on aisle 5" is part of why there hasn't been a "two-state solution" in Israel/Palestine. "The conditions on earth must decline dramatically."
People like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr used the Bible, the fact that pastors essentially had confidential meeting halls, to motivate a nonviolent movement to change the country for the better: "I want to go to Heaven, but I want some shoes down here!" He practiced "here-and-now" ministry and left it for history and the universe to judge him.
Or, we can have the eschatology of the insane. We can have faux theists that follow a cruel, psychopathic nincompoop that they've built a graven image while a disturbed man parades the Capitol in buffalo horns, war paint, and buckskin. Like QAnon, the eschatology of the insane "rationalizes the fantastical" and makes a few insurrectionists chairs of a "weaponization of government" committee, ignoring the last administration when the weaponization occurred.
The idea of white supremacy rests simply on the “fact” that white men are the creators of civilization (the present civilization, which is the only one that matters; all previous civilizations are simply “contributions” to our own) and are, therefore, civilization’s guardians and defenders. Thus, it was impossible for Americans to accept the black man as one of themselves, for to do so was to jeopardize their status as “white” men. But not so to accept him was to deny his human reality, his human weight and complexity, and the strain of denying the overwhelmingly undeniable forced Americans into rationalizations so fantastic that they approached the pathological. – James Baldwin, “Notes of a Native Son.”
Very soon in the founding of a new nation, however, White Christians began to establish their well-being by using the resources, bodies, and lives of others. Through their own "witchcraft," European Christians employed a mysterious and threatening potency that was the practice of using the other for their own gain. In [James W.] Perkinson's description, through the projects of the modern Christian empire, "a witchery" of heretofore unimaginable potency ravaged African and aboriginal cultures...For Perkinson, the witchcraft of White supremacy was conjured through racial discourse as an ideological and practical framework that he identifies as the 'quintessential witchery of modernity.'... In Perkinson's chilling words, "Whiteness, under the veneer of its 'heavenly' pallor, is a great grinding witch tooth, sucking blood and tearing flesh without apology."
Excerpts: The Sin of White Supremacy: Christianity, Racism & Religious Diversity in America," by Jeanine Hill Fletcher, CH 2: The Witchcraft of White Supremacy, 47, 48.