Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

Creating the “End Times” in Religion and in Politics

Today, I read an email from the leader of a right-wing Patriot group, known as “Oath Keepers” that the group was planning to “go 1ceremony2operational”.   I’ve paid attention to “Oath Keepers” for some time, because of their interpretation of the Oath of a Federal Officer that I have also taken… the part about protecting the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic.  In particular, I have paid attention to their interpretation of just exactly who might be a domestic enemy of the United States.

A version of the email is also an article on the Oath Keepers’ website…

Oath Keepers is not a small, easily ignored organization.  In many ways, they are the most “mainstream” part of what I think of as the militia movement.  They are designed to be attractive not to right-wing separatists, but to members and former members of the U.S. Military, Police Officers, and Federal/State agents… anyone who has taken the formal Service Oath of the United States.  Here is that oath, for those who have never had to take it.

I personally have taken both oaths at different points in my military career, and have meant and still mean both of them.  Yet I find my interpretation of just who might constitute a “domestic” enemy of the constitution is radically different than the interpretation offered by the “Oath Keepers”.  Reading this morning about their plan to create “Civilization Preservation Teams” based on the Special Forces ODA-Team model (a model I am very familiar with from my time with the 7th Special Forces Group in the 90’s) highlighted for me something I had not seen before.

It reminded me of the Christian groups who have for decades paid to send people of Jewish heritage and religion back to Israel, hoping to speed up the coming of the End Times of the book of Revelation, based upon the interpretation of many scriptures in the Hebrew and Christian faith about the return of the Jewish People to the Holy Land being a precursor to the Apocalypse.  Wanting to see the return of Jesus as soon as possible, they take to “help God along” by purposely creating the circumstances for their vision to be fulfilled.

Now, cut to groups such as Oath Keepers, who have a vision of the current political, economic, and social system of the United States suffering a complete collapse, our own domestic and secular Apocalypse.  Into the gap created by the collapse of the government and social systems, these groups envision they can step in to restore order, and then create a new society… or rather they might say “restore” an American society based upon “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  Their vision of moving into the center of importance and power is dependent upon the complete collapse of all economic and governing institutions.

It is good to have a vision… and this is not a new thing for them.  Oath Keepers and groups like them have had similar visions for some time.  What I’m beginning to wonder is this… is there a connection between the way that some on the Religious Right have been trying to help the vision of the Book of Revelations “End Times” along by helping people of Jewish faith and heritage return to Israel, and the way some organizations on the right, Oath Keepers included, have seemed positively giddy about the possibility of an economic and governmental collapse brought on by the paired self-inflicted wounds of the Government Shutdown and the possible U.S. Debt Default?

Have such groups on the right moved from patiently waiting on their predicted apocalypse, to actively trying to make the catastrophe they have so long dreamed of happen to hasten the day of their own ascendance?  It does not have to make sense to us… the question is does it make sense to them?

Oh, sometimes I wish I could just stop thinking like the Intelligence Analyst I used to be… I keep my political paranoia in check most days, and this morning I really hope that is all it is.

Yours in Faith,

Rev. David

3 Thoughts on “Creating the “End Times” in Religion and in Politics

  1. I find this alarming, in part because I have one brother who is a libertarian gun rights enthusiast and evangelical, and another who is a druggie anti-government extremist whom I “unfriended” on FB yesterday for posting racist, misogynistic comments on my posts. I wonder to what extent Republican congresspersons and their constituents are making this same connection. Should we be concerned about armies of George Zimmermans in every state, with less government capacity than we have seen in the past to protect civil and human rights?
    I won’t turn my back on my pacifism nor on being an ally of people of color and GLBTQ and immigrant movements. I don’t want to be paranoid, either, but I do want to take seriously every concern that can help us organize for peace and freedom.
    Be well, David. The P & J group at UCE continues to appreciate your insights and contributions.

  2. David, explain to me why actively seeking the destruction of the US government in not treason.

  3. Virginia Sayad on Tuesday October 15, 2013 at 20:46 +0000 said:

    I appreciate your posts

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