Mona Charen

 "Drive across the country with your radio tuned to the more than 1,600 Christian radio stations or in the motel turn on some of the 250 Christian TV stations, and you can hear some of this end-time gospel. And you will come to understand why people under the spell of such potent prophecies cannot be expected ... to worry about the environment. Why care about the earth when the droughts, floods, famine and pestilence brought by ecological collapse are signs of the apocalypse foretold in the Bible? Why care about global climate change when you and yours will be rescued in the rapture?"

 And then the kicker: "No wonder Karl Rove goes around the White House whistling that militant hymn 'Onward Christian Soldiers.' He turned out millions of the foot soldiers on Nov. 2, including many who have made the apocalypse a powerful driving force in modern American politics."

 Someone needs to get this man some Prozac. His imagination is torturing him.

 I checked in with Michael Cromartie, author of many books about American Protestantism. He said rapture thinking was much more pronounced during the Cold War. Today, it is greatly diminished. I also followed Moyers' suggestion and looked at Rapture Index on the web. Adorning the site were numerous ads showing the faithful how to make contributions to victims of the tsunami. So if these rapture types believe that the end times are upon us, why would they help tsunami victims? For that matter, as Cromartie points out, why would they support conservative candidates for public office?

 One can imagine Moyers' Cambridge audience lapping up his lurid and ignorant portrait of conservative Christians. But if the party of gloom is ever to regain its footing, it will have to start by understanding that those who defeated them are not a bunch of ignorant yahoos looking forward to Armageddon.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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