A Marriage Made For Heaven
  By Daniel Levitas - Summer 2003
(From Reform Judaism, Summer, Vol. 31, No. 4)

After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth....One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed...."These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb."

--Revelation 7:1-14

One month after Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, published The Jewish State (1896), he received a visit from a man with the long grey beard of a prophet who would become one of his most enthusiastic supporters--the Rev. William H. Hechler, chaplain to the British Embassy in Vienna. Herzl's plan for creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine offered the Christian minister tangible proof for his own reading of Bible prophecy: that the Jews were about to be "restored" to the Holy Land to help usher in the Second Coming of Christ. Hechler drew his inspiration from the teachings of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), a British clergyman who had popularized the belief that Christ would soon return to earth, defeat the anti-Christ in the battle of Armageddon, and establish God's thousand-year reign.

Faith Matters: George Bush and Providence
  by Andrew Austin - March 18, 2003

Rutgers University history professor Jackson Lears, in a recent letter to The New York Times, “How a War became a Crusade” (3-11-03), suggests a reason why Bush is so cavalier about the possibility that war in Iraq will have unintended consequences. Bush, according to Lears, “denies the very existence of chance.” “Events aren’t moved by blind change and chance,” Lears quotes Bush as saying; rather, events are determined by “the hand of a just and faithful God.”

Bush uttered these words at the fifty-first National Prayer Breakfast, held February 2003 in Washington DC. In his remarks, Bush assured Americans that they can “be confident in the ways of Providence, even when they are far from our understanding,” History, according to Bush, is the unfolding of God’s will. “Behind all of life and all of history, there’s a dedication and purpose.”

In the unfolding of history, God calls on special persons to make history in His righteous name. In a worldview that rests upon providence, the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are interpreted by many, including members of the Bush administration, as signs from God that Bush is ordained to lead a crusade against evil.

More by PRA:

  • The Left Behind Series
  • Dances with Devils by Chip Berlet

    Off-site articles:

  • Bush's Faith-Filled Life, By Bill Berkowitz
       Online column, Working for Change, November 5, 2003
  • Bush's Messiah Complex by Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive
  • God, Satan and the Media by Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times
  • Bush, the Bible, and Iraq by Stan Crock, Business Week
  • When U.S. Foreign Policy Meets Biblical Prophecy by Paul S. Boyer, AlterNet
  • An Evolving Faith: Does the president believe he has a divine mandate?
       By Deborah Caldwell
  • How I created the axis of evil -  Julian Borger interviews David Frum
  • A Just War? Conservative Christian Perspective, Moody Bible Institute
  • Article on Bush apocalypticism challenged by Christians who sadly are also flirting with antisemitic conspiracism (Just say no to both)
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