Fluorescent yellow Bible-bashers on acid

NOVEMBER 05 04

It's easy to get carried away, descending into the world. So America is being driven into the future by a bunch of rabid foaming-at-the-mouth evangelical Christians intent on ushering in the Apocalypse. I didn't actually know until the other day, reading the excellent Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler, that George W Bush wanders around the White House clutching a bible and is often seen on his knees in the Oval Office praying. Well he has a lot to pray about. But somehow I thought this Christian stuff of his was just a put-on for votes. When Jeremy Paxman asked Tony Blair ultra-straightfaced whether he got down on his knees with George W to pray I naturally assumed Paxman was just ripping it out of him. Tony tried to play it off lightly but Paxman kept up his poker face and said this is a serious question. Tony looked uncomfortable. What a great question. Do they talk about the lamb and the beast on that hotline of theirs? I wonder whether sections of Dubya's bible are highlighted in fluorescent yellow marker pen, like most of the bibles of these strange people.

But really, what the fuck do I care. I'm like a tourist down in this heavy gravity well of the earth viewing the recent political manoeuvres like a foreign correspondent reporting for the Alpha Centauri Times. I can't take it seriously. I should just go back up to the cloudheights, but I confess, there is something moth-to-light attractive about this fracas. I mean, what's going to happen in real terms? Bush is going to invade Iran, and then maybe some of the other oil nations. His electorate, why do they think that's happening? Do they see it as the Endtimes, and so a necessary scenario to be played out before The Rapture? I think they must do, why else be so enthusiastic? Bible-bashers with nuclear weapons brought up on a doctrine of Apocalypse. You can see why a few outspoken Muslim clerics might take the concept of a holy war seriously. Hell, America has effectively issued its own jihad. Go George Go! That man has a serious hard-on for power now, he's enjoying himself, he can't do any wrong, he's got his toy soldiers out the box and he isn't going to put them away, even if they do get a bit bloody. He's on a Holy Mission from God to secure the oil of the Infidel for his own Chosen People. Have another few years with their ostrich heads in the sand before the global oil production peak, when even those who think God will provide may just notice they're rapidly rolling downhill on an empty tank, the pharmaceutical industry's collapsed, and the stock market is skidding on black ice. But that's the future, they could all be in heaven by then, in the meantime (sorry, endtime) they've got great gas-guzzling SUVs to run down the six-lane highway to Walmart to obtain sustenance for their godfearin' Christian families and spread the word of the Lord via glittery messages of love plastered all over the windows, like 'Jesus Votes Republican'. So 100,000 Iraqi civilians dead, according to my old alma mater The Lancet, hardly matters so long as they've got their beloved oil. It's Satan exaggerating the figures. It's no more than 5,000 really, and in war you have to pay the price. And besides, those are the same women and children who were dancing in the streets on CNN when the Twin Towers got hit. They may have been killed a thousand times over by now, but it's their own fault. Can't do the time, don't do the crime.

These evangelical god-lovin' people are in for the duration. They've decided. This is great, this is what we've been waiting for, this is the bible coming true, preacher says so. All the bibles in the house naturally open to dirty-fingerprinted Revelation, highlighted in so much fluorescent marker they may as well have just bought bibles printed on bright yellow paper and crossed out the boring bits. Here's today's little lesson over the burgers and fries, chosen at random, a passage from Revelation 17:

10. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

11. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Well that makes sense. I can see why you'd get excited about that. Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming! Doesn't matter what it says, it means Jesus is coming. It could be a passage from The Pet Goat for all they know. Hermeneutics isn't their strong point.

I feel sorry for the average intelligent American. America is the laughing stock of the world. As for the UK–US 'special relationship', that's been reduced to a two-man bible study class, because as far as the rest of us are concerned we wash our hands of it.