Dear Internet Diary,
According to recent opinion polls, 52% of Americans not only believe there will be an Armageddon, but they believe Jesus is coming withing the next thousand years to clean house terminator style. Gives em a wide berth "in case they're wrong," I suppose.
The end of the world scenario is a common one among dualistic religions. Apocalyptic writing was certainly not new in John the Elder's time. There were many such documents rolling around the holy land when he wrote his steamy little potboiler. Actually, "apocalypse" does not mean Armageddon or the end of the world. It simply means revelation. Peeling away what's hidden to reveal the truth. Many cultures' scripture and religious teachings have this aspect of a sort of armageddon of the self, the destruction of one life to reveal a new one. Reincarnation, explaining the use of wildfires in forests, enlightenment--it's all a sort of armageddon. Jungian psychologists like to point to the dreams of bloody childbirth and fiery, or watery destruction to be revelations of human creativity caused by a sort of collective unconscious. Perhaps it's due to evolutionary psychology, as mankind has witnessed the powerful effects of nature and must have gone through all kinds of attitude changes as he learned about the world around him.
But that's not what most people believe in North America. They believe that there are good people, and there are bad people. They believe that there are creatures that exists that actually embody the concepts of good and evil. They believe that these creatures are going to do battle, and that the bad people who are on earth at the time will be killed by both the evil and the good creatures, and that the bad people and bad creatures will all be thrown into a lake of fire by the good creatures. They believe the good creatures and the good people will all live together in harmony in a magical land called New Jerusalem, where nobody will speak out of turn, everybody will live in a constant state of bliss and orgasm, and the flowers will dance and sing for a thousand years. And then they'll all go to heaven again for something supposedly different. And Jesus will be a lamb with seven eyes and seven horns and then there's the locusts with the human faces and the scorpions with women's hair, and some scary beast woman who gives birth to something that gets eaten by a dragon.
But it's all symbolic, you say. Sure it is. And it's believed literally by many people. When you get into the funny cartoon creatures, people kind of shy away and start talking symbolism, but they somehow don't believe that the war itself is symbolic too. If you're going to believe the bible is symbolic, then Jesus and Moses and heaven and hell: they're symbolic too.
But it is, as all apocalyptic writing. The persecuted christians and or jews or whatever were going to kick Rome's ass with the help of Jesus, and Then They Will Be Sorry. And so will the nonbelievers. Symbolically sorry, I suppose. Rome, the Whore of Babylon, will finally learn the truth but then it will be too late because they will all be killed by God. Or the symbolic god. All this before Paul and Peter and all those guys died.
But it didn't happen.
So it will never happen. Unless you don't believe Jesus. You wouldn't think of doing that, would you?
Totally symbolic, partly symbolic or literal, it's an evil, immoral doctrine. When the "good guys" kill all the bad guys, that turns the good guys into the bad guys. The bad guys being all the people who didn't believe the "good guys'" rantings and ravings about ferocious beasts and talking snakes and men who shoot up into the sky like rockets who can magically absorb all the bad things you do so you can live in Happy Land.
But people don't want to believe that killing everyone on earth except for christians is an evil act. Because that would make them wrong. And nobody wants to be wrong.
People will say all kinds of crazy things when a gun is pointed at their heads. I guess, even when it's an invisible gun.
Thanks for listening, diary.