Incorporating Washington Post Book World.You might remember godly huckster John Hagee from the 2008 election. He was close to the McCain-Palin maverick juggernaut, and caused them some minor trouble when journalists discovered he held standard evangelical views. You know the sort of thing: God flooded New Orleans for being gay, etc. Oh, and the Holocaust was a necessary part of God’s Plan, because it hastened the creation of the State of Israel, which sets us up for the return of Jesus and the incineration of the world. Hagee’s new book, Can America Survive?, is a helpful guide to those End Times, which he thinks are happening right now because of various Muslims he’s seen on the news. So pour yourself a (final?) G&T, put your ear to the ground, and let’s listen together for the sweet music of clattering apocalyptic hooves.

What is it, exactly, that makes this mega-church version of Thomas Friedman think we’re living through the End Times? Mongolian neo-Nazis have to be a sign. Or organic restaurants for dogs, surely?

Actually, no. Hagee’s apocalypse indicators are 9/11, Iran’s tinkering with the Bomb, America’s “insane addiction to political correctness and commitment to socialism,” and the usual Israel-vs.-whoever wackiness. These things will soon bring on the charismatic Antichrist (which could be anyone: Barack Obama, J.K. Rowling, Arianna Huffington, etc.) and then the “Tribulation period.” But not before all Christians disappear during the Rapture, so they can watch the fun from heaven.

The Tom Friedman of the mega-churches As Hagee explains:

The Rapture is the Great Escape! Escape from what? Escape from the Great Tribulation that will happen as soon as the church leaves the earth. Walk with me through the pages of Revelation…and let me describe the living hell you will avoid by being part of the rapture.

Which he then does: a fourth of humankind slaughtered and a third of the earth’s vegetation burned, hallelujah! Elsewhere, Hagee writes:

Satan’s seduction of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, leading to its destruction in the genesis of time, may have provided the oil that seduces the nations of the world to follow Russia and Iran into the Battle of Gog and Magog, and ultimately to Armageddon.

Makes perfect sense. He continues:

Russia must have oil to become a military superpower again … God makes it clear that Russia will be the leader of the Russian-Iranian Islamic coalition.

Now this is interesting. Russia is known to fight the occasional colonial war against Muslims, and doesn’t seem especially Islamic, but if the Prophet Hageezekiel says so…we’re not too surprised that Iran will form a grand alliance with the Sunni states, and probably with hippie Rumi-readers and Manhattanite mosque-builders as well. All the Muslins are alike, after all.

According to Hagee, the Russian-Islamic army of whirling dervishes and dancing bears will descend on Israel, specifically the hill of Megeddo or whatever, and just cold nuke the place, killing millions. But don’t worry: Christ and the Americans arrive to save the day, and the Arab-Turkish-Persian-Indonesian-Russian-Chinese-North African infidels die in a divine massacre where “blood will flow to the height of a horse’s bridle for two hundred miles.” Then the Jews who are still alive will finally stop being so stubborn and recognize Jesus as their Lord, which will begin a thousand-year block party, blessedly sans salacious dancing.

This is all very fascinating in a mind-melting sort of way. But all of these Apocalypse Soon think-pieces are centered on a nagging fundamental contradiction: everything is predestined in Biblical prophecies, BUT these books present themselves as warnings so that we don’t bring about the inevitable apocalypse, which will be glorious anyway, so uh, what’s the point again? So confusing.

But maybe this is a minor objection. After all, Hagee has a huge following of sad hopeless dunces who believe his every word. He also has more influential admirers, like Benjamin Netanyahu (the prime minister of Israel, in case anyone forgot) and Sarah Palin, who will probably run for President in 2012.

Can America Survive? 10 Prophetic Signs That We Are The Terminal Generation by John Hagee, Howard Books, 288 pages, $15.63

SPEAKING OF THE APOCALYPSE, hasten it by e-mailing book review suggestions to Operatives whose suggestions are reviewed will receive pre-emptive Purple Hearts for their service in the Battle of Gog and Magog.

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  1. A fourth of mankind wiped out? Sounds like bubonic plague! Shit, you guys already MISSED the Rapture.

    Meanwhile, grifters LaHaye and Jenkins will just keep writing those books about Kirk Cameron like it hasn’t happened yet.

  2. Universal health care for the poor is the sixth sign of the new wax lip candy from MickJaegermeister, which markets alcohol to minors in candy form, called “Pack-o-Lips Now.”

    The sevent seal is the third seal from the left; it is honking a rubber horn. Now it is balancing a ball on its nose. Or is that Larry Craig with a ball on his nose singing that old Bob Seeger classic, “Against My Chin,” which talks about some guys balls (maybe truck-nutz) banging against his chin.

  3. Fear + No more than 10 items to contemplate (e.g. better them than us, etc.) = Book Sales
    Fear + No more than three things to contemplate (freedom, guns, God) = Teabag Politics

  4. Yes, YOU will be saved, but don’t you want to luxuriate in the suffering of the non-elect? Aren’t fantasies revolving around the torture of sinners the missing ingredient for piquant late night shame-filled masturbation sessions? These are questions real Christians ask every day.

  5. It’s amazing how wide the distribution for this book is. It’s in every goddamn grocery store and Wally Mall and all other chain stores EVERYFREAKINWHERE.

  6. Hustler’s gotta hustle. ‘Course, I remember back in the ’80s is was the Soviets who were going to nuke everyone and blah blah blah, sane shit, just swap out the bad guys.

  7. Those that are ignorants about history (in it’s long tortured history Russia shown they BE HATING on Muslins long before US Americas was an ache in Ben Franklin’s granny loving balls) are doomed to write books about bullshit to other doofi.

  8. Pshaw, Mr. Hagee is behind on this. The church I grew up in literally taught that there would be a literal battle between JESUS (w/ backup from God) and SATAN (no backup, because he’s got too much pride). We already know the outcome, too: Jesus wins! And throws Satan into a literal lake of fire (which seems counterproductive if Satan lives in hell? Oh, who am I kidding?).

    Yep, years 3-17 of life sure were swell.

  9. I’m going to wait for Jack Van Impe’s (and his lovely wife, Cruella – I mean Rexella) newest book. I like getting my end o’times news straight from the Walking Bible man.
    YAY! Granma’s little Snookems is gonna be raptured ! Praise Jebus!

  10. [re=632635]PabaBritannica[/re]: And that already happened too. On South Park.

    We are living in the end times. Everyone that’s here now is Left Behind. It’s not that bad, really, if I could get my mortgage modified and find a girlfriend that doesn’t give me a headache all the time.

  11. [re=632619]FMA[/re]: Amen. What these morans call the time of tribulation I call a socialist paradise. When that happens Jeebus just might decide its safe to come back.

  12. I remember reading somewhere that some biblical “scholars” had calculated the volume of blood that it would take to fill the Jezreel Valley up to the height of a horses bridle, and then divided this (enormous) figure by the blood content of the average sinner to calculate the number of people who would apparently be sliced and squeezed dry at Armageddon. I would have thought that this level of slaughter porn obsession would warrant at least an overnight stay at a suitably padded facility, but it appears that it’s all in a days work for your average batshit crazy evangelical Xtian. The Final Solution, Jesus-style.

  13. As I recall, pride was the original sin that got the two original hippies thrown out of the Garden. Isn’t it immensely prideful to think the end times will even OCCUR in one’s own lifetime, never mind that you have figured out exactly HOW and WHEN they’re going to happen? Jeebus, please teach these arrogant a-holes some hard lessons.

  14. [re=632624]doxastic[/re]: Think of the jizim expelled by the xians jacking off to that Mel Gibson torture and kill the joo classic. (Also, they found the videos of the water-boarding under the couch in the basement of the White House, they’d been there several years.)

  15. As I recall, pride was the original sin that got the two original hippies thrown out of the Garden. Isn’t it immensely prideful to think the end times will even OCCUR in one’s own lifetime, never mind that you have figured out exactly HOW and WHEN they’re going to happen? Jeebus, please teach these arrogant a-holes some hard lessons. P.S. the antichrist’s initials are SP.

  16. Arab-Turkish-Persian-Indonesian-Russian-Chinese-North African infidels

    Part of me suspects that the Mexicans end up getting lumped in there somehow, as well. Oh, right, they definitely do, because of the Catholicism.

    Something about the “all the ethnic groups that I’m even mildly suspicious of all inexplicably form a Super-League of Evil, to fight America, and particularly, White Christian America, and Israel also, but really White Christian America are the main good guys, just reminds me of that somewhat more overtly racist tripe peddled by white supremacists, where Anglos are the true Israelites, and thus the chosen people, and etc.

  17. There’s a guy at the coffee shop I go to before work who gave me a pamphlet detailing how the world will end in 2011, not 2012. So suck it, John Cusak.

  18. [re=632658]snoidoid[/re]: Try saying “three fourths of a fifth” fast five times after you’ve consumed another fourth of that fifth…….OK, now I’m confused……

  19. John Hagee is full of it. I went to mass this past Sunday and couldn’t find the Whore of Babylon he talked about, much less anyone who didn’t seem offended when I asked when she’d be back, and what her rates are.

  20. Growing up in a fundie home, I often wondered how the rapture would work. Would we, the saints that is, boringly be zapped away in a flash? Here one second, gone the next? Or would we all just sort of drift upwards like so many helium balloons? I wanted to be a helium balloon so bad.

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  22. If we’re lucky, the horse has colic and is lying down. If his head hits the ground, that’s only about three-quarters of an inch of blood. Not so bad, more like a typical small-arms fire incident.

  23. [re=632619]FMA[/re]: Honestly, I’m pretty sure if there ever is a Rapture (hint: no there isn’t), it’s going to take the Quakers and the Unitarians and all the good-natured non-Christians before these people.

    That would be kind of an awesome f-you to these guys, but they’re such self-absorbed, bigoted idiots that they probably wouldn’t even notice anything was different, and keep on waiting for/genocide-fantasizing about the end times.

  24. All of us (including my girl Sharron Angle)are sitting at our computers reading this – there’s no question that we’re “The Terminal Generation”. My Folks were the “Pen and Paper Generation”.

  25. So we’re “The Terminal Generation” (what, again?) What a shitty moniker.

    You see – that’s what happens when you let your ancestors call dibs on “The Greatest Generation”.

  26. What is it, exactly, that makes this mega-church version of Thomas Friedman think we’re living through the End Times?

    Hagee’s next book: The Earth is Flat… Literally.

  27. Goodnesss…it’s a well kept secret among we talibangelicals but the rapture has already occurred and as much as it pains me to admit this, God chose one hundred and forty four thousand starving Haitians to save…snatched ’em up right in the middle of the earth-quake.
    While they’d admittedly had never voted Republican and largely didn’t know who Ronald Reagan was, they were just really nice folks and…well…he’s God, who are we to judge, right?
    So while we languish here under the boot heel of the Beast, they are in heaven singing Hosannas to his holy name, though likely with an up-tempo, Caribbean beat and steel drums (definitely steel drums).
    and to this Gods People can only say….

  28. [re=632680]PabaBritannica[/re]:

    “There’s a guy works down at the chip shop who swears he’s Elvis
    Just like you swore to me that you’d be true.
    There’s a guy works down at the chip shop who swears he’s Elvis
    Well, he’s a liar and I’m not sure about you.”

  29. “…the tribulation that the world will go through after the church leaves the earth…”

    Excuuuuse me, but isn’t “da choich” responsible for a goodly amount of the trouble we seen?

  30. [re=632657]Ducksworthy[/re]: Honestly, given most of how New Jerusalem (bizarro-Rapture-heaven) is described, it’s actually made to sound like a multiethnic socialist paradise, itself. I’m not sure these sorts of people would actually like it there. Too many black and brown people (“the 12 tribes from across the nations,” etc), not enough war, and all the food and accomodations are government handouts? I kinda imagine that that whole “lake of fire” thing might start to look pretty good to them.

  31. Hagee’s missing a bet if he’s not predicting California’s slide into the ocean after yesterday’s ruling. I mean, it’s been predicted by actual scientists for a few decades now, so this sounds like a slam dunk prediction.

  32. [re=632694]Baby who ate the Dingo[/re]: You know, you don’t really need to mock the new spammer. With a name like Tao, it’s pretty clear that someone‘s a Chinaman, and therefore not going to get raptured. I read it, in Hagee’s book. Which == The Book of Life.

  33. When Sarah Palin is presdint of the United States of Amerikkka – as foretold in the bible – this nut will be the power behind the throne. This should be fun.
    The 1/4 of all humans who perish will be illegally residing in the U.S.
    But I want to be one of the 3/4 of humanity who survives, just to see the 10 headed, 7 horned harlot beast. This should be more awesome than anything Ray Harryhausen could have ever imagined.

  34. [re=632745]actor212[/re]: The plate movement is left/right not up/down. Coastal and Southern California are going to stay dry on the way up to Alaska. Oh, and we’re bringing Baja with us so we have Mexicans to clear up after each earthquake. When we get there we are so going to kick Sarah Palin’s ass.

  35. I hope the rapture does claim these shiftless end-timers. They seem to prefer doing nothing in the face of catastrophe other than chalking it up to God’s wrath and blaming everybody else. Plus it’ll just be nicer not having to sit in traffic behind their giant SUVs with the fish logo.

  36. “With the Gods of Magog, swarming around,
    The Pied Piper takes his children underground,
    Dragons coming out of the sea,
    Shimmering silver head of wisdom looking at me.”

  37. I iss the days of the internet when it was the “Internet,” when it took an hour to download the Crazy Frog ringtone. You know, the “Ring ding ding da da ding ding ding ding DAOOOOOOOOO,” and while you waited you went and smoke some cheap mexican pot, because that was all you could find, and at $100 an ounce it wasn’t a bad deal short term like a dollar Double Cheeseburger that seems like a good idea until you gain twenty pounds for twenty dollars, and Jenny Craig costs nothing, except the food is $100 a pound and you go back to the computer and finally, FINALLY you have the Crazy Frog ringtone. And a sore throat from the 30 bong hits, a mild buzz, and the munchies.

    Now I can get the Crazy Gog and Magog ringtone in seconds from the 700 Club.

  38. There was an abandoned junker on the side of the road the other day, with the requisite orange sticker placed on it by the police. It had one of them “In Case of Rapture, This Car Will Be Unmanned” bumper stickers. I thought “Yes!! It’s finally happened!!!” but then I remembered it was a fairy tale. Damn, had me going for a second there.

  39. [re=632630]tribbzthesquidz[/re]: I didn’t see it at my local Walgreen’s in Arlington, Massachusetts. Score one for Massachusetts (we so desperately need points).

  40. ‘Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.’ Luke 12:40

    The fundies are full of shit as usual, follow the money to see what’s really going on, as usual and also…

  41. I’ll tell you what, the people who wrote the bible were masters of the psychological black arts. They knew exactly what they were doing to keep people coming back for more, for life. Give a little comfort, inflict a lot of pain; it’s crazy-making.

    They didn’t care that they were damaging people and society, they only cared about their goal, which was to build a religion, and then to build a new religion. Which makes them all sociopaths. Which means our society is, in large part, run on the morals and parables of a bunch of sociopaths. And then people blame the victims of the bible for how fucked up we all are.

  42. “Satan’s seduction of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden”

    Eve’s gift to humankind is her proof of free will.
    Adam’s gift is love, that he too ate the fruit so as to join Eve in mortality.

  43. [re=632770]poryorick[/re]:
    best part of the rapture – everyone here gets a new car or two (depending on fundie-density in your area). I’ll be headed inland insearch of a black Suv with the Jeehus fish and FBI sticker.

  44. [re=632770]poryorick[/re]: Oh they’re not doing nothing. They are actively working to bring about Armageddon. The plan is to get one of their nutjobs elected pretzeldint (Bush was not really sincere about this) and Bomb Bomb Iran. This is not to protect Israel. It is to get the muslins to nuke the Joos thus assuring Jeebus’s return.

  45. I just watched a movie on Netflix “Waiting for Armageddon”. These people are very scary and they hold positions of power in the United States. Little Georgie was one of them. Sarah Palin is another. These people WANT to start a World War.

    There are 50 million strong Evangelicals/End-Timers in the United States and they vote en masse. We worry about the Taliban, but we have our own Taliban here.

  46. Tribulation Period sounds so discreetly mid-Victorian, and not very frightening at all. Just as the Minor Hassle Period and the Major Hassle Period don’t inspire much fear either. What really jangles my nerves is Das Gesetz der Verschlechtigung aller Dinge, or the Law of the Deterioration of Everything. That I can believe in.

  47. I wish these end times nuts would keep their morbid S&M apocalypse fantasies to themselves, instead of bothering the rest of us who are working to improve the place so it’ll be around until the sun burns out.

    And hey – what’s with the French flag on the book cover?

  48. I like the way the Wingnuts always implicate Russia as going to be on the other side of the Final Battle ™. I thought the Blessed St. Ronnie single-handily won the Cold War? And they complain that Obama always needs an enemy.

  49. And there’s no better way to impress your followers that you are one of them than to let them see you in your Mercedes convertible limo snorting coke off of someone’s penis, taking you to your personal jet that they suffered to buy you.

  50. A horse’s bridle? Oh for cryin’ out loud. If that stuff were so dern predicty then why would they talk about old tech rather than something like “blood as high as the upper bunk of an IKEA TROMSO bed? Or something.

  51. I missed a lot growing up in a school bus with hippie parents and no exposure to religion, apparently. I need to read this bible thing one of these days and figure out why xtians are so pissed about everything.

    [re=632745]actor212[/re]: Oh fuck, I hope CA waits a few more days before sliding into the ocean. I still have 9 days before I move back to the redwoods and neighborhood hydroponic farms.

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