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A Coronavirus Apocalypse: Are Trump's Evangelical Advisors Too Eager to be Raptured?

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The Rapture of Rapturists
The Rapture of Rapturists
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It certainly looks like it.

Maybe the administration would take a bit more care with the coronavirus pandemic if it weren't loaded with folks who are looking forward to the end of the world. Welcome to the Trumpocalypse - Rolling Stone April 11, 2020

Of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the star attraction of the moment is Pestilence. After all, Death and Famine result from Pestilance and War is one Horseman we've all learned to deal with at some time In our lives.*

Yes, with the Coronavirus, Pestilence is today's End Times darling. And there are people (rapturists) who embrace the End Times ideology with a certain amount of satisfaction if not outright gleeful giddiness; it is an ideology that embraces war (Armageddon) as a precursor*** and paints notables like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey as the anti-Christ.

Oprah is evil!
Oprah is evil!
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Theirs is an ideology that sets persecution-perceived Christians above all else, making them (as David Frum puts in his forthcoming book Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy) part of a movement seeking "cultural revenge".

The intensity of rapturist thinking can be startling: We saw the frenzy of preparation when Harold Camping was alive and gave us warnings with an exact date, the certainty, the eager anticipation with which young and old looked towards the heavens.

Rapture frenzy!
Rapture frenzy!
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And while a Fundamentalist view of the Book of Revelations** allows any number of translations to take place, one point is clear: it is a mystical, god-inspired chronicle of the End Times in which the righteous will be rewarded and be with Jesus Christ in heaven and all others will suffer terribly, ultimately going to the other place.

Bloody Indifference and a Lack of Human Empathy

The laxity of the Trump Administration in its response to the pandemic could have been due in part to his Evangelical rapturist advisors, telling him to "trust in God, not science" and allowing him to take an indifferent outlook at the spread of the virus. End Times is very finite once it takes hold of the inevitable: "All the signs say the Apocalypse is coming and the good will be raptured." Robert Jeffress, megachurch pastor and influential Trump advisor is a rapturist and one who dismisses everyone outside his sphere as next to worthless.*** He embodies the righteous arrogance of rapturists and wears empathy as the thinnest of veneers.

For rapturists' "empathy" lacks true human empathy as we perceive it: "We feel your pain, but at the same timeï ï we rejoice that God's will is being done." The sufferer, in other words, should see the good in his suffering. Sadistic empathy? Perhaps, but probably more like "You're suffering is part of God's plan so be brave and stop whining!"

It is an "empathy" that has allowed The Chosen One to be himself: "reopening" the country because of a concern for business, ratings and re-electability.

ReOpen Church Sunday

Last Sunday, we saw a movement purporting to help worshipers practice their faith the way God intended: gathering in churches to praise Him, ask forgiveness. and implore mercy. It mostly defied stay-in-place orders. Spearheaded by Mat Staver, who said that stay-in-place was in fact criminalizing Christianity.

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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books " Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)
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