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  • Palin as the Leftwing Anti-Christ

    Posted by Shannon Love on September 18th, 2010 (All posts by )

    I started this post as a followup to my previous post on Palin hatred, and then I noticed this Instapundit post on the cluelessness of reporters who cover religion. I think it’s pretty safe to say that most reporters don’t know much about religion and neither do most academics or leftists in general.

    That would certainly explain the following bizarre claim which I have seen more than once.

    Palin is not bright, amoral, and divorced from reality. She is also a devotee of an apocalyptic toxic fundie xian cult, Assembly of god. I’d be afraid that President Palin would decide to help jesus bring about the End Times by launching our 5,000 nuclear weapons. Jesus is 2,000 years late and the Rapturists are getting more and more frantic about his nonappearance as time goes on.

    WTF? The Assemblies of God is an apocalyptic cult? Since when? Isn’t like half of Kansas Assemblies of God? What, are they sneaking up on the missile silos?

    I’d like to say that this is a rare comment but it isn’t.

    If you look though any leftwing anti-Palin threads you will see this specific claim repeated at least once per thread, and just as with the thread this one shows up in, none of the other Palin critics seem to see anything bizarre about it in the least.

    If nothing else, this claim reveals a stunning lack of understanding about Christian theology. None of the many variations on Christian theology hold that humans can accelerate the Second Coming. All agree that the date of the end of days is ordained by God. Heck, there isn’t even a Christian version of Kabbalism. There have been a lot of Christian sects or cults who have believed that the Rapture was going to happen any day now, but that is a far cry from thinking they could cause it.

    I think this weird claim is some the best evidence for my hypothesis that the over-the-top Palin hated results from the status anxiety of leftwing intellectuals. I think they first experience an intense anger and hatred caused by their status anxiety. Then they have to rationalize those intense emotions, so that they can justify the emotions to themselves and others. They have little understanding of evangelical Christianity, but they have a vague idea that Christianity has an apocalypse, so they say to themselves, “That’s it! I feel so strongly about Palin because she plans to bring on a nuclear war!” Of course all of their social peers experience the same anxiety, so they buy right in to the claim and create a feedback loop. Before they know it, everyone in the peer group thinks it is perfectly reasonable that a major American political figure wants to start a nuclear war for mystical reasons.

    Status anxiety is a very powerful emotion. It explains why supposedly intelligent, well educated people can suddenly revert to being the vilest religious bigots and see nothing odd about doing so.

    But it has more serious consequences. If someone really believed that Palin or some other political figure was part of a cult that wanted to start a nuclear war, what could they justify doing? It would be easy to justify not only assassination of individuals but the deaths of thousands. Historically, when people started claiming that their political opponents represented the ultimate physical threat, things did not end well for the political opponents.

    This is why I think we need to start calling leftists out on their emotional overload. We need to calm them down and stop them from working themselves up into a dangerous frenzy.

     

    23 Responses to “Palin as the Leftwing Anti-Christ”

    1. chuck Says:

      Hmmm, when I hear the left saying things like that, and this isn’t the first time, my impression is that they are making an argument that they think will appeal to the benighted intellects of the religious. As such it tends to sound like an old fart trying to sound cool by using teenage slang, that is, it sounds weird and clueless.

    2. Yehudit Says:

      “….Heck, there isn’t even a Christian version of Kabbalist…..”

      Not sure what “Kabbalist” means in this context, but – speaking of not knowing much about religion – there is a Christian version of Kabbalah

      What does that sentence mean anyway?

    3. RayJ Says:

      This is why I think we need to start calling leftists out on their emotional overload. We need to calm them down and stop them from working themselves up into a dangerous frenzy.

      I don’t know about that.
      I’m kinda enjoying it…

    4. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I think you are right about the feedback loop … within their own tight lefty circles, the same kind of nonsense is passed around and amplified, louder and louder until it’s impossible to hear anything else.
      Like she was elected governor of a state … and had something like eighty-percent approval ratings of her administration from the citizenry of it.
      Insisting that she is stupid, amoral and an apocalyptic fundamentalist seems pretty hysterical. I guess there’s no way we can reach out and slap sense into them.

    5. Shannon Love Says:

      Yehudit,

      One branch of Kabblah in the late medieval/Renaissance believed that the return of the Messiah would be heralded by certain specific portents. According to some, the Kabbalist believed that they could trigger the coming of Messiah by causing the portents occur. Both Jewish and gentile critics of Kabblah, took this to mean the Kabbalist were engaged in a conspiracy to destroy the world. Most likely, the Kabbalist were merely watching for the portents.

      I stumbled across the whole “bring about the end of the world” episode in my studies of scientific history. Kabbalist played a major role in the development of alchemy as proto-chemistry so they pop up a lot in scientific history between the late 1400s through the early 1700s. I’m not sure how wide know it is otherwise and I don’t think it plays any role in modern versions. I don’t think anyone knows whether any Kabbalist actually believed they could force the coming of the Messiah or whether that was projected onto them by their critics.

      My point was their isn’t even the suggestion of a similar concept in Christianity. The idea that any Christians believe they can trigger the rapture is silly.

    6. Tom Holsinger Says:

      This is why my first post in the original thread said that Palin’s life was in danger. Right now Obama being President is keeping the left from going wholly off the rails but, when he leaves office in 2013, watch out.

    7. Rich Casebolt Says:

      Shannon, a few years back (when I was blogging regularly), I wrote a post that addressed this subject, involving a different target of the Progressive Left. Take it FWIW; hopefully it will add to the discussion …

      http://casebolt.blogspot.com/2004/10/clueless-aspiring-to-leading-clueless.html

    8. i slamist Says:

      Mostly intellectual poseurs and imposters go around slamming people for their supposed low IQs and brows. Funny how the self-styled smart and beautiful people aren’t even savvy enough to realize they embarrass themselves with such condescending hysteria and twisted gossip. Too many of the media commentariat sound like bitchy high school girls. Graduate already, guys.

    9. anon, good nurse Says:

      I agree with your assessment, Shannon. To us “little people,” the denigration and mockery look more like projections of their own insecurities, malice and fear.

      Worse, it’s NOT smart and completely foolish for the “bien-pensant” to engage in cheap hyperbolic slander against Palin; no doubt through a lot of personal hurt, she is managing to turn the fact of her withstanding their withering attacks into a net political plus for her.

    10. Ric Locke Says:

      good Nurse, I’ll go farther.

      Vaingloriously claiming membership in the “intellectual elite” is one sure sign that the braggart isn’t either intellectual or elite.

      Regards,
      Ric

    11. renminbi Says:

      People who are superior don’t have to say they are-others will notice. Why are most people who think of themselves as intellectuals usually so incompetent at making a case for their beliefs?

    12. bgates Says:

      The idea that any Christians believe they can trigger the rapture is silly.

      There’s around 2 billion of us running around. Surely some are confused on that point.

    13. Everett Hamilton Says:

      Your observations about the media dovetail pretty much with Codevilla’s observation that the ruling class are determined to destroy religion and family. They can’t understand it, thus, in their worldview it is wrong since they have decreed so.

    14. Shannon Love Says:

      Bgates,

      There’s around 2 billion of us running around. Surely some are confused on that point

      I guess there might be just by sheer randomness but it is certainly nothing that shows up in mainstream Christianity which the Assemblies of God quite definitely are (they are IIRC the 6th largest Christian organization in the world.) I made a study of cults some years back and cult leaders who exploit Christian cosmology almost always claim that the apocalypse is nigh and some claim a role in it. However, I never read any who thought they could trigger it with their own actions.

    15. David/California Says:

      Shannon, I believe I’ve encountered a classic clinical case of the psychopathology of status anxiety – Jacob Weisberg at Slate. Unfortunately, the syndrome seems to be exacerbated by the neuroses of projection, narcissism, and cult worship.

      Or maybe he just a moron.

      Diagnose him for yourself at http://www.slate.com/id/2267685/pagenum/all/#p2

    16. and maximilian I of mexico Says:

      Remember how Kerry was allegedly so much more intelligent than dumb Bush, even though their testing was comparable and Bush’s Ivy League grades were slightly better? The Left seems to prize intellect over logical common sense, but displays little of either, itself.

      Leftists speak of the importance of eloquence but too often use theirs to communicate a decided lack of grace. When you combine their almost axiomatic antipathy toward Religion with the fact of their own moral dogma that justifies PC policing, sneer, innuendo and alarmism, if what you get isn’t a dangerous blind faith, then there is no Truth.

      Palin’s elocution and professed faith are not the prob.

    17. Ginny Says:

      Actually I can’t take anyone’s intellectual pretensions seriously if they don’t understand the importance of religion; someone who treats it superficially has pretty much proven they know little about history, phiosophy, or human nature. They don’t have to believe and they certainly don’t need to understand theology, which has become an understudied area even among the religious, but they need to have some sense of its importance. And they need humility.

      An intellectual may find gay marriage a step our society should take and may not consider our current demographic trends necessarily bad; such an intellectual, however, is not a serious thinker if he doesn’t understand, with some humility, the weight of tradition & biology, culture & economics.

      I’m constantly reminded of Krauthammer’s refusal to attend the signing by Obama of the bill that would reverse Bush’s position on stem cells. Krauthammer had not agreed with Bush’s position, but had seen it as arrived in a “serious” manner. He didn’t want people on his side (even if that person was the president) who didn’t understand that this was a complex issue.

      My impression is that in issue after issue like this the seriousness is on the right. Arguments might be appropriately raised on the left, but they are too busy denigrating their opponents to voice them. Often, I wonder if they really do consider them in a serious way, one that understands the great context of our culture. I suspect not.

    18. Andrew X Says:

      I remember arguing with someone about four years ago that “you watch, about ten years from now, some Republican will come along and be popular, and what will you say??” “You know, this new person is stone crazy, a complete idiot, etc etc…. I mean, even George W. Bush was not quite this bad, had some good things going for him, I could respect X Y Z about him….. but this NEW guy, no way. Total (idiot, loon, nutcase, fanatic, fill-in-the-blank), etc. FAR worse than W. Bush.” Just watch.

      And even as I said it, part of me said to myself “No way. This hatred of Bush is SO over the top relentless, there is no way I could ever hear anything like that from them, now or in the future. Just no way.”

      And now what? Lo and behold, on the mosque issue “Oh, even George W. Bush got it that we cannot go around offending Islam, blah blah blah. Now is the time for him to step up and bring his horrible party into line, yabbada yabbada”. And if Palin leaps to the forefront, does anyone have even an iota of doubt that we will suddenly hear a charming appreciation of Bush that there was never a hint of when such a statement would actually have meant something other than cheap tactics for the current fight? Can anyone say “Ronald Reagan”?

      These people will run this drama queen crap until the end of time. And I fear there will always be a new crop of system-educated 20 year olds, who want to feel good about themselves and their politics above all else, and who will swallow it all wholesale…. again.

      And so it goes.

    19. Snorri Godhi Says:

      In the last post, I was surprised to see no mention of “ad hominem”. Here, I am surprised to see no mention of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    20. Douglas2 Says:

      Off topic to the main point, but slightly weakening it: There is a strain of evangelical/charismatic thought along the lines that the Jesus will come again when every ethnic or linguistically distinct culture finally has some adherents.
      So there are a few people saying that if they club together to reach the last few-hundred such groups with the message, we can hasten Jesus’ return.

    21. Shannon Love Says:

      Douglas2,

      Interesting, but not exactly “let’s start a nuclear war” is it?

    22. Charles Cameron Says:

      It’s hard to determine the exact nature of Sarah Palin’s own theology.
      The Assemblies of God Church officially disapproves of some “revival extremes” that are “harmful and bring reproach on the cause of Christ” including “Kingdom Now or Dominion theology” – but the Wasilla Assemblies of God Church where Sarah Palin received her anointing by Thomas Muthee recently invited Rick Joyner to guest-preach at “The View: A Conference of Supernatural Perspective” (April 1-4, 2010) – and Joyner would surely fall into the “Kingdom Now” category.

      Joyner teaches that we are approaching a “spiritual civil war” between “those who may be genuine Christians, but who live mostly according to their natural minds and human wisdom, and those who follow the Holy Spirit.” It doesn’t seem unreasonable to want to know how this martial language should be interpreted, especially when Joyner also teaches:

      as the church begins to take on this resolve, they will start to be thought of more as military bases, and they will begin to take on the characteristics of military bases for training, equipping, and deploying effective spiritual forces. In time, the church will actually be organized more as a military force with an army, navy, air force, etc.

      and:

      The Lord will raise up a great company of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers who will have the spirit of Phinehas. Just as the son of Eleazar could not tolerate iniquity in the camp of the Lord, this “ministry of Phinehas” will save congregations, and at times cities and nations, from the plagues that will be sweeping the earth (See Numbers 25:1-13). They will be moved by the jealousy of the Lord for the purity of His people.

      Furthermore, Joyner’s teaching is viewed as blatantly unbiblical by such evangelical sources as Apologetics Index and Herescope.

      But while these teachings are apparently acceptable to the Assemblies of God Church in Wasilla – though presumably not to the General Council of the Assemblies of God – this still doesn’t tell us anything definitive about the theology of Sarah Palin herself. From my POV it would be interesting to learn more of her views, however — for both the “spiritual warfare” ideas of C Peter Wagner and Rick Joyner and the Dominionism of JR Rushdoony as expressed in his magnum opus, The Institutes of Biblical Law are undeniably influential in some circles on the Christian Right.

      As to the possible implications of her theology for foreign policy, it would IMO be her views on Israel and the End Times — not the likelihood of her triggering a nuclear spasm to hasten the Second Coming — which would require some detailed inquiry and understanding.

      I hope to dig further into these matters in a future post on ChicagoBoyz.

    23. Charles Cameron Says:

      The topic of “hastening the coming” is also of great interest to me, and I’d like to explore it at length in a later post, comparing and contrasting the concept Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

      In Judaism, the idea of “hastening the coming” exists, but is clearly pacific:

      The belief that human conduct can speed things along did indeed become a commonplace in the rabbinic period. Aphorisms are spun around this doctrine, for example the well-known statement in Exodus Rabbah (25.16): “If Israel would repent even for a single day they would be instantly redeemed and the son of David would instantly come. For it says (Psalm 95.7) ‘today, if you will listen to his voice.'” Similar dicta have keeping the Sabbath as instrumental. In all such ideas, however, the longed-for salvation is brought about through piety not militancy and, even more crucial, this effect be achieved by Israel as a whole, not by a dissident faction.
       
      Tessa Rajak, “Jewish millenarian expectations”, in Andrea Berlin and J. Andrew Overman, The first Jewish revolt: archaeology, history, and ideology, Routledge (2002), p. 181.

      In Christianity, the key text would be II Peter 3.11-12, it seems to me.

      The New King James Version asks “what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” The New International Version, “what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” and the New Revised Standard Version, “what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire?”

      In each case, the “hastening” appears to be pacific, but the Day of God is described in terms (“the elements will melt”) that could be descriptive of a nuclear holocaust. The NIV Study Bible comments, “the sooner believers bring others to the Savior the sooner that day will dawn”.

      What may be surprising to some, though, is the Islamic and specifically Iranian situation.

      The Hojjatieh are often thought of as the Shi’ite group behind President Ahmadinejad’s presumed eagerness do do nuclear battle with Israel — and thus hasten the coming of the Mahdi. But in the words of my friend Dr Timothy Furnish, speaking in June of this year to an audience at the conservative Hudson Institute in DC, the Hojjatieh “really did not believe in actions to help spark the Mahdi’s return”. Dr. Furnish continued:

      I mean, there’s a great deal of discussion about this, and Glenn Beck talks this quite a bit, and I just think that he gets this wrong. The Hojattieh is not some sort of like fanatical Mahdist cult — it’s an anti-Baha’i organization. Yes, part of that ideology is belief in the future coming of the Mahdi, but that’s not the same as the way it’s characterized by some people.

      Dr Furnish went on to discuss the Israeli analyst Dr Reuven Paz’ phrase “hotwiring the apocalypse” — agreeing that “there’s an apocalyptic strain of thought among al-Qaida that maybe hasn’t been fully explored” — but telling us that he sees it as problematic to apply Paz’ concept regarding a Sunni sect in a Shi’ite context, saying there are strands of thought among the Iranian Shi’i about preparing for the Mahdi’s coming, but that they are, in Furnish’s words, “a quantum leap away from precipitating a nuclear war in order to cause his coming”.

      Dr Furnish’s bottom line: “The Mahdi will not come and rule over a radioactive wasteland — which, I would argue, the Ayatollahs have to know would be the result of any nuclear strike against Israel They know that — they may have turbans and beards, but they aren’t stupid.”

      As I indicated above, I’m hoping to post in more detail about all this later.