Apocalyptic Christian Theology’s Role in Government Shutdown

bachman-end-times-350The Republican Party is out in full force at the Value Voters Summit in Washington D. C., serving up the traditional menu of “family values” and anti-government rhetoric. My personal favorite quote so far of the convention is Dr. Ben Carson’s assertion that “Obamacare is, really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery…it is slavery, in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government.”

I’m also sure that anyone who was enslaved in America or anywhere else would disagree.

It’s this kind of loaded rhetoric, of course, that’s holding the Elephant hostage. The Bully Pulpit of The Values Voters Summit has always been a place for Republican “luminaries” like Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Tim Scott, Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Carson to declare their allegiance to conservative religious values of limited government, opposition to reproductive rights, and Ayn Rand capitalism.

What’s different this year is that the government is closed, and the hard end times, apocalyptic political theology promoted by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and countless other groups has finally pushed the party over the edge of reasonableness. Moreover, the political leadership and the religious leadership are interchangeable. Both are holding fast to their political theology that amounts to: destroy Obamacare at any cost, including Armageddon.

Many have written in the last few days about race being at the core of how the Republican Party came to this governmental impasse. Apocalyptic Christian Theology is just as much a part of this change. While pundits try to figure out if we are headed for financial destruction, faithful end time believers of the Republican Party have already decided that Armageddon is happening. Rep. Michele Bachmann claimed in an interview with Jan Markely on her radio program “Understanding the Times” that “We are to understand where we are in God’s end time history.”

Bachmann isn’t the only one who thinks the end times are nigh. Rick Joyner beat Bachmann to the punch on his show “Prophetic Perspective on Current events,” in which he surmised that America’s only hope during the shutdown is a military takeover. In a follow-up to his October 1, 2013 show, Joyner said in Prophetic Bulletin #81 that “American Democracy is failing, and we are headed for Martial law”

anthea butlerModerates of the Republican party must face a hard, crushing fact: the “religious right” fringe of the party that they relied on for votes has become the center of the Party. In fact, the Republican Party is a new religious movement: A religion that relies on a Jesus that says affordable health care is wrong, being poor is your own fault, and that anyone who says otherwise doesn’t believe in Freedom, the founders, or the American People.

Toss in limited government and states rights, and you have the foundation for a fundamentalist religion that has America sitting on a precipice. The government shutdown may be averted, but the ramifications of Republican Religion will be with us for years to come.

Anthea Butler
Religion Dispatches

Friday, 11 October 2013

Published by the LA Progressive on October 11, 2013
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About Anthea Butler

Anthea Butler is a Contributing Editor to Religion Dispatches. Her forthcoming book, "The Gospel According To Sarah: How Sarah Palin and her Tea Party Angels are Galvanizing the Religious Right" will be out in 2012.