Prominant members of the Republican party apperatus, former elected and appointed officials are calling the Israeli-Hesbolah-Lebannon part of "World War III" and talking about Iraq, as the Secretary of State did as suffering through the "birth pangs" of democracy. It is no accident that these lines of rhetoric match up with lines from the Holy Bible, especially the Revelations of St. John.
Condi Rice didn't show up to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting recently just for fun, but to send a coded message to Bush's most ardent supporters: we are entering the End-Times, don't worry about the implications of our foreign for the middle east or world peace, because Jesus is on his way.
This morning on the Today show, it was Reagan's anti-Education Secretary Bill "Slot Machine" Bennett who repeated the Apocolaptic talk. The world is indeed going to Hell in a Handbasket, but it is not because the world is coming to an end and Jesus is about to return, it is because George W. Bush has made the world, and especially Americans, less safe, less peaceful, and less prosporous.
The idea that we can steer the ship of state off a waterfall because Jesus will return any minute now is disasterously wrong both morally and policy-wise. Whenever the second coming is, whether it be when we each die or some time next week, we shall all be judged by our deeds, what we have done, and what we have left undone. Whether we have loved our neighbors as ourselves. Whether we have forgiven those who have trespassed (as in sinned) against us. How we have handled temptation. How we have treated the poorest, weakest, and most vulnerable amounst us. How we as stewards of God's Earth (and Universe) have tended the garden while he was away.
Given that prominant Republican leaders, including the President and his Cabinet, have started a war out of vengence, lust for oil and power, ignored genocide, disease, and famine, formented hatred towards our neighbor to the South, succumed to greed by defrauding stockholders and taxpayers, created more crime and poverty and made live more difficult for the poorest weakest and most vulnerable, as well as pillaged the Earth for its resources with reckless disregard for the Earth, I would have to guess that Jesus would give them a big thumbs down on Judgment Day.
People of faith need to reject this fundamentally selfish and shortsighted view of the world, even if it is encoded in biblical language. The modern Republican Party is the party of Me. How do I get richer, how do I keep healthy, how do I protect my family?
The Democratic Party, by contrast, is the party of We. How do we combat poverty, disease, homelessness, hopelessness, corruption, war, hatred, and fear? We are all in this together. Whether we like it or not, this world is so interconnected and interdependent that we cannot go it alone and lookout only for ourselves. Because selfish actions only come back to bite you twice as hard as socially-conscienious decision would. That doesn't mean you let others walk all over you, but you approach matters in a way that looks out for everyone's interest such that we all benefit.