evangelicals: 40 PERCENT OF THE VOTES FOR GEORGE W. BUSH came from their ranks

  1. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in611661.shtml

    April 14, 2004

    (CBS) The latest of the "Left Behind" novels, "Glorious Appearing," has been a phenomenal success at the book stores...

    ...Its central audience are the estimated 100 million Americans who call themselves evangelical Christians - and their influence on politics is undeniable. In the last election, 40 PERCENT OF THE VOTES FOR GEORGE W. BUSH came from their ranks...

    ...The books give a graphic version of the New Testament prophecy of the end of the world, happening in our time, in which only the righteous are saved. "Glorious Appearing" tells the story of an avenging Jesus who slaughters non-believers by the millions.

    ...Why this sudden surge of religiosity? In this 60 Minutes Classic, Correspondent Morley Safer went back to two men who've been profiting from the "Left Behind" series for years: Jerry Jenkins and Rev. Tim LaHaye, who among other things co-founded The Moral Majority, with Rev. Jerry Falwell, in 1979....

    And it's an image of Jesus that many evangelicals say is long overdue. "Unfortunately, we've gone through a time when liberalism has so twisted the real meaning of Scripture that we've manufactured a loving, wimpy Jesus that he wouldn't even do anything in judgment," says LaHaye. "And that's not the God of the Bible. That's not the way Jesus reads in the Scripture."...

    ...It's an event evangelicals call the Rapture, when every true believing Christian and every child under the age of 12 will vanish in an instant to a better place. All others will face tribulation...

    ...Rev. Rossing, a biblical scholar, teaches at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She spent a year studying the "Left Behind" novels, and now, she's written her own book, "The Rapture Exposed," designed to debunk the theories of LaHaye and Jenkins.

    "You can piece together that vengeful warrior Jesus. You can find him here and there. But the heart of the Bible, the overwhelming message, even in the Book of Revelation, is a non-violent lamb who conquers, not by killing people, but by giving his life," says Rossing, who believes that the "Left Behind" authors are marketing a false view of the Bible.

    "The message of Revelation is that oppression will be ended. They take the message and personalize it to evildoers. They make this an us vs. them kind of theology. If you're not with us, you're against us. They forget the message of the Bible is that each person is created in the image of God

    "It was developed by this British preacher John Nelson Darby, not even 200 years ago," says Rossing. "And now it's become so ascendant in our culture that people think this is what the Bible says. But it isn't."

    However, LaHaye and Jenkins say their novels are all based on Scripture - and that their novels are as much about the U.S. as they are about the Bible.

    "There's a good reason for that. I think if Jerry and I were cut, we'd both bleed red, white and blue," says LaHaye. "We believe that God has raised up America to be a tool in these last days, to get the Gospel to the innermost parts of the Earth."...

    ...And fans of the books, who gather in the thousands, believe that LaHaye and Jenkins have all the answers.

    "Well, we know that we're right, so we just present our position,"...
    ...The "Left Behind" novels are based on the Book of Revelation. But Rev. Peter Gomes, a Baptist theologian at Harvard University, and one of the country's preeminent Christian thinkers, says the Book of Revelation has questionable roots.

    "It's the only book of all the Scripture written in a kind of metaphorical, metaphysical code. It's unlike any Gospel, unlike any poetry or history," says Gomes. "And it's called Revelation, because it's the inside of the head of this fellow John. And some people have said the inside of the head of a man who was filled with splendid and glorious hallucinations."...

    ...Politically, these have been good times for evangelicals. And back in the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush left no doubt about his evangelical convictions when he said that the political philosopher and thinker he most identified with was Christ: "He changed my heart. When you accept Christ as your savior, it changes your heart. It changes your life."

    "Evangelicals have been on the cultural defensive, but they have waited in the wilderness, and now, in the fullness of time, they have come into possession of what they felt was once rightfully theirs," says Gomes.

    "With the White House and - and Tom DeLay in the House of Representatives, the attorney general, talk radio, the conservative Fox News. These are parts of the righteous army that has finally come into its own."...
  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   donmurray
    This comment kind of ties in.... I know, I know. It's that pinko Guardian again, and the author is a Clinton man!

    Hear no evil, read no evil, speak drivel

    Bush's press conference shows just how ill-informed he is about Iraq

    Sidney Blumenthal
    Thursday April 15, 2004
    The Guardian

    On April 21 1961, President Kennedy held a press conference to answer questions on the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles that he had approved. "There's an old saying," he said, "that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan ... I am the responsible officer of the government and that is quite obvious."
    On Wednesday, President Bush held only his third press conference and was asked three times whether he accepted responsibility for failing to act on warning before September 11. "I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't [sic] yet," he said. "I just haven't - you just put me under the spot here and maybe I'm not quick - as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one."

    Bush's press conference was the culmination of his recent efforts to staunch the political wounds of his bleeding polls since the 9/11 commission began public hearings and violence spiralled in Iraq. Bush had tried to divert blame by declaring that the August 6 memo he was forced to declassify at the commission's insistence contained no "actionable intelligence", even though it specifically mentioned the World Trade Centre and Washington as targets.

    Bush, in fact, does not read his President's Daily Briefs, but has them orally summarised every morning by the CIA director, George Tenet. President Clinton, by contrast, read them closely and alone, preventing any aides from interpreting what he wanted to know first-hand. He extensively marked up his PDBs, demanding action on this or that, which is almost certainly the likely reason the Bush administration withheld his memoranda from the 9/11 commission.

    "I know he doesn't read," one former Bush national security council staffer told me. Several other former NSC staffers corroborated this. It seems highly unlikely that he read the national intelligence estimate on WMD before the Iraq war that consigned contrary evidence and caveats that undermined the case to footnotes and fine print. Nor is there any evidence that he read the state department's 17-volume report, The Future of Iraq, warning of nearly all the postwar pitfalls, that was shelved by the neocons in the Pentagon and Vice-President Cheney's office.

    Nor was Bush aware of similar warnings urgently being sounded by the military's top strategic analysts. One monograph, Reconstructing Iraq, by the US Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, predicted in detail "possible severe security difficulties" and conflicts among Iraqis that US forces "can barely comprehend". I have learned that it was suppressed by the Pentagon neocons, and only released to US central command after Senator Joseph Biden, the ranking Democrat on the foreign relations committee, directly intervened. A revolt within the military against Bush is brewing. Many in the military's strategic echelon share the same feelings of being ignored and ill-treated by the administration that senior intelligence officers voice in private. "The Pentagon began with fantasy assumptions on Iraq and worked back," one of them remarked to me.

    As the iconic image of the "war president" has tattered, another picture has emerged. Bush appears as a passive manager who enjoys sitting atop a hierarchical structure, unwilling and unable to do the hard work a real manager has to do to run the largest enterprise in the world. He does not seem to absorb data unless it is presented to him in simple, clear fashion by people whose judgment he trusts. He is receptive to information that agrees with his point of view rather than information that challenges it. This leads to enormous power on the part of the trusted interlocutors, who know and bolster his predilections.

    At his press conference, Bush was a confusion of absolute confidence and panic. He jumbled facts and conflated threats, redoubling the vehemence of his incoherence at every mildly sceptical question. He attempted to create a false political dichotomy between "retreat" and his own vague and evolving position on Iraq, which now appears to follow senator John Kerry's, of granting more authority to the UN and bringing in Nato.

    The ultimate revelation was Bush's vision of a divinely inspired apocalyptic struggle in which he is the leader of a crusade bringing the Lord's "gift." "I also have this belief, strong belief that freedom is not this country's gift to the world. Freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world. And as the greatest power on the face of the earth we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom." But religious war is not part of official US military doctrine.

    - Sidney Blumenthal is former senior adviser to President Clinton and Washington bureau chief of Salon.com

  4. by   athomas91
    well - let me give you a little lesson - I was brought up Evangelical Methodist and much of what you quoted from that article was absolutely distorted and wrong.....again - just goes to show you - that you can rarely believe what you read. they took facts and twisted them ... and that is all i have to say on this issue. i have so had it with the "political bashing" on these threads.
  5. by   NurseHardee
    What part was wrong?

    Quote from athomas91
    well - let me give you a little lesson - I was brought up Evangelical Methodist and much of what you quoted from that article was absolutely distorted and wrong.....again - just goes to show you - that you can rarely believe what you read. they took facts and twisted them ... and that is all i have to say on this issue. i have so had it with the "political bashing" on these threads.
  6. by   Tweety
    I'm actually surprised that only 40% voted for Bush.

    It does seem that when a religious republican is in office we seem to hear more from the evangelicals. When Clinton was in office, even though he was a church goer, they seemed more subdued. Just a theory.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    I saw the authors of the "Left Behind" books, films, and comics interviewed on 60 Minutes Two television last evening. The quotes are exactly what these two said.

    Clearly all evangelical Christians do not believe this way.

    I am Christian too. I have attended services with friends, neighbors, and coworkers where people spoke in tongues, killed chickens, and taken care of a patient who believed in Voodoo spells.

    One man said his blood would run red, white, and blue because, "God has raised up America to be a tool in these last days, to get the Gospel to the innermost parts of the Earth."

    I love my country but cannot believe God suddenly decided we must "get the Gospel to the innermost parts of the Earth."

    I believe in a loving God. The God who said, "Blessed are the Peacemakers"

    Does anyong truly think or believe we can bring people to peace (and God) with bombs?
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Apr 15, '04 : Reason: spelling
  8. by   athomas91
    i am not disagreeing that those individuals said those things - i am just saying that they are wrong. Nurse Hardee - there really wasn't much of what they said that i could agree w/ -

    1. we do have a loving God - not a God of war
    2. if you believe the New Testament - he will however only give the world so long to "repent" and then will withdraw himself - that is where the destruction comes in - from a lack of God
    3. the evangelical belief in itself has always taught the "tell it to the world" gospel - it is not new - and it is what distinguishes the evangelicals from other branches
    4. if you believe the Bible - you believe ALL OF IT OR NONE OF IT - that is why it is a faith based religeon
    5. God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is not/never has been/never will be a "slaughtering" being - again the human race can do that for itself - and the phenomena will worsen with the removal of "God"

    those are just a few points i quickly spotted - forgive me - i am tired the lines are kinda blurring together....
  9. by   caroladybelle
    I have read the "Left Behind" series.

    While it is not the most fabulous writing, it was an interesting take on Revalations.

    But it is highly unlikely to "convert" me.
  10. by   gwenith
    It is always a huge mistake to mix religion and politics - the lessons are there in history - that is why the Westminster system of parliment is so careful to ensure a separation of powers.
  11. by   duckboy20
    I also think the Left Behind series is an interesting take on the Book of Revelation. It is a work of fiction so they can do what they wish with it. I think the reason most "evangelicals" voted for Bush was the fact that many saw Clinton as a person with low morality. For that reason they did not vote for Gore because they associated him with Clinton. Stereotyping-Yes. I didn't vote for Gore because I thought he was an idiot, but didn't seem like Bush was a whole lot better. People will tend to follow those who they seem to have most in common with and those probably didn't see Gore as a deeply religious man, although he might be. Just my thoughts
  12. by   NurseHardee
    Athomas, why does one have to think that? Why cannot it just be believed that people who wrote the Bible believed in God, rather than that they literally put the ETERNAL word of God into just one book? Other religions have religious teachings and holy scripts, but this elevation of one book to being eternal truth is making a fetish out of the book. It is making an idol out of the book. I think that Christianity does itself a true disservice when it reduces itself down to such. And many Christians actually agree to some, or the whole of what I am saying.

    Nurse Hardee
    <<4. if you believe the Bible - you believe ALL OF IT OR NONE OF IT - that is why it is a faith based religion>>athomas91
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    I invited in the integrated group of Christians who knocked on my door, one was a former patient. We hugged, I was so happy to see her feeling well.
    They went over selected quotes from the Bible. Although they are kind and friendly their interpretation seems like nonsence to me. I assume my beliefs seem the same to others.

    It is a bit frightening to think that an administration leading the great superpower would think the time for the end of the world will be in our lifetime.
    I don't know that the President or Attorney General believe the same as the people who knocked on my door but they said they don't care if world war three is tomorrow because all those who have Jesus in their heart will be saved.

    Sorry, I am still of this Earth.
    My belief is that if I truly believe I will treat my fellow humans with the kindness and peaceful ways I think my God wants. Why else did we receive the Commandments?
    The Golden rule?