There are so many things going on, here.
In a radio interview last week, Bachmann, the former Minnesota Republican congresswoman, told “End Times” host Jan Markell, “We need to realize how close this clock is getting to the midnight hour.”
“We in our lifetimes potentially could see Jesus Christ returning to earth and the rapture of the church,” Bachmann said. “We see the destruction, but this was a destruction that was foretold.”
Bachmann cited the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran as a cause. The U.S. and five partner nations are discussing a deal with Iran that would prevent the country from developing or obtaining nuclear weapons.
“We are literally watching, month by month, the speed move up to a level we’ve never seen before with these events,” Bachmann said. “Barack Obama is intent. It is his number one goal to ensure that Iran has a nuclear weapon.”
There is a sarcastic component I sometimes work into discussions of evangelical Christianity in politics, that there is something amiss about taking the advice of people who are praying and working toward the end of the world. Obviously, Bachmann’s expression is a straightforward example, but neither is it wholly extraordinary. Still, keep an ear to the End Times chatter, because it really does touch on a lot. Bachmann went on to include abortion and gay rights as harbingers of the Apocalypse; Brian Tashman of Right Wing Watch explains:
After Bachmann said that Obama intends to “lift up the agenda of radical Islam,” Markell added that legal abortion and marriage equality for gays and lesbians are bringing about divine punishment on America.
“You are right,” Bachmann responded, lamenting that God will soon lift His “hedge of protection” over “pagan” America “and we will suffer the consequences as a result.”
It would be funny, recalling that bit about God damning America, except that we knew back then it was a specific rule assigned under particular circumstances in order to further the cause of equality: We might loathe Jeremiah Wright, but we should admire Rod Parsley, John Hagee, whoever that dude was at Sarah Palin’s church, and Michele Bachmann, at least. How dare one be angry at racism in these United States; God is really sending hurricanes and floods and tornados and terrorists to punish us for not being mean enough to women and gays.
So here’s the reason: End Times delusions are a dime a dozen, but between, say, Bachmann’s particular flavor and, say, the rumors of war coming from such diverse fellows as James Dobson and Republicans ranging from Sharron Angle to Joni Ernst to Ted Cruz, at what point do we pause to consider the difference between fretting over the End Times and trying to bring them about?
I mean, hopefully that point comes sometime before someone gets stupid enough to start shooting and everyone else in those quarters get stupid enough to throw in.
No, the sky isn’t about to fall. But keep an ear to the rumblings. How far are they willing to take this? We’re already up to paganism.
Fang, Marina. “Michele Bachmann: The Rapture Is Coming And It’s Obama’s Fault”. The Huffington Post. 20 April 2015.
Tashman, Brian. “Bachmann: Rapture Imminent Thanks To Gay Marriage & Obama”. Right Wing Watch. 20 April 2015.
Benen, Steve. “Leading Republicans differ over armed ‘insurrection'”. msnbc. 17 April 2015.