Kathleen Parker

WASHINGTON -- These are rich times for conspiracy theorists, and the mother lode these days may be found in the fevered minds of anti-Christianists.

Among paranoiacs who see a Jerry Falwell or a John Hagee in every burning bush, U.S. support for Israel isn't about protecting the only healthy democracy in the Middle East, but about advancing Armageddon and, yes, the Second Coming.

At last, we'll get to know what Jesus would drive. Most likely, he'd drive out the conspiracy theorists on both sides of this imagined apocalypse.

For those who do not spend their days pulling imaginary bugs out of their eye sockets, ``Christianist'' is a relatively new term that roughly refers to a virulent strain of right-wing political Christianity that, supposedly, parallels Islamist lunacy.

Although both groups may be ``true believers,'' those who try to connect the dots of Christian belief, specifically evangelical Christianity, to Islamism seem willing to overlook the fact that Islamists praise Allah and fly airplanes into buildings while Christianists praise Jesus and pass the mustard.

And though both groups of people may use scripture to shape their approach to the public square, Islamist interpretation of doctrine permits religious expression through suicide-murder, beheadings, public stonings (preferably of women) and Jew-hating, while Christianist doctrine deals in such wimpy notions as forgiveness, tolerance, redemption and cheek-turning. Weirdos.

A slew of new books have emerged with titles like ``American Theocracy,'' and ``Kingdom Coming,'' that tackle the perceived emerging Christocracy, while op-ed-ists opine that right-wing evangelicals are directing foreign policy through the White House. Words like ``theocrats'' and ``American Taliban'' have become commonplace in describing those who fill televangelism's La-Z-Boys.

Certainly, there's an element among some Christians who believe that Armageddon and the Second Coming are related to current events in the Middle East. For instance, John Hagee, televangelist and pastor of an 18,000-member mega-church in San Antonio specifically believes that Israel has to strike Iran's nuclear facilities in order to move things along toward Jesus' new millennial reign.

And though life may get messy for a time, all's well that ends well. Once Jesus gets back on board, Russia and China will have been dealt with, the Garden of Eden will reopen for business, and the righteous will rule the nations of the Earth. ACLU, beware.

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
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