Monday, June 8, 2009

Biblical Prophecy as Public Policy

In yet another response to the question, "What's the harm?" when people believe in superstition, a new book published in France last March claims that France's President Jacques Chirac was "disturbed" by ex-president George W. Bush.  In 2003, when he was seeking allies to invade Iraq, Bush claimed that prophetic characters Gog and Magaog from the Book of Revelation were raging in the Middle East:
In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:

"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."

Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:

"This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people's enemies before a New Age begins".

Thus, thousands of American and allied soldiers were killed in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed, and countless Christian Iraqis were displaced from their homeland, all because one man thought God instructed him to wage war against obscure Biblical characters--characters of which even devout Christians disagree on their true meaning?  When a Muslim man kills in the name of his religion, Christians denounce both the man and the religion.  But when a Christian man does the equivalent, where is the outrage, particularly among American Conservative Christians?

1 comment:

Vinny said...

I think I find this story as profoundly disturbing as anything I have read about the decision to invade Iraq. The President of the United States thought that a mideast ruler was a scary monster from his magic book and his Secretary of Defense and Vice-President exploited his superstitions.

I am also very disturbed that this story has gotten so little coverage. I would be thrilled to see it debunked because I don't want it to be true.