Never have the ancient, dusty streets of Jerusalem seen so much polyester. Surely, this is a sign that Armageddon is nigh!
Meanwhile, hardened Israeli experts in multi-denominational blood-letting and racist fear-mongering like Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert gush about love, brotherhood, and oneness before adoring crowds of bible-thumping evangelicals.
Back on the Mall in Washington, President George W. Bush recently addressed a rally sponsored by the Christian Coalition by video link-up, emphasizing Good and Evil as America’s new foreign policy directives, faintly echoing Rev. Jerry Falwell’s pronouncements that the Prophet Muhammad was the Original Terrorist.
Unnamed sources in the inner security sanctum of the Bush administration relate that the reigning high priests of the Neo-Con gospel just can’t decide whether to wear “What Would Jesus Do?” beaded bracelets or traditional Jewish prayer shawls as they plan their righteous, multi-pronged Crusade against the Evil-Doers and Enemies of Goodness and Light (formerly known as Muslims and Arabs).
Mingling with the assembled faithful of the Christian Coalition on the Mall recently, Israel was all that the true believers could talk about: “Yep, this here is our Goy Pride movement! We are proud and honored to come out to stand by Israel at her hour of direst need, as the forces of Ay-Rabic and Eye-slam-ic darkness gather, threatening to extinguish her ee-ter-nal light!”, exclaimed Jeremiah Parker, Jr., periodically falling into a rapturous trance and speaking in tongues of praise about Eliott Abrams, Richard Perle, and other Banishers of Darkness and Battlers of Evil.
“Oh, yes! All of the signs are falling into place according to prophesy!” enthused Mrs. Gloria Parker, waving her hands heavenward every few minutes with high-pitched peals of “Praise Jesus!”
“Iraq is the Whore of Babylon, as prophesied in the Book of Revelations! All the Jews will now return to Israel! The End Time is Near! We will all be raptured to Heaven—Well, maybe not all of us, maybe not you!”, she said, peering suspiciously at my name tag and press credentials.
“Al-Bassaleh? Al-Malikeh? Those are godless Ay-rabic words, aren’t they!?” she snarled, as she quickly pulled Mr. Parker away.
So, what happens to non-Evangelicals when Armageddon hits?
For an answer to this and other burning questions of the day, I turned to a nearby preacher man holding aloft a bible covered with American flag decals as his long white beard swayed in the breeze.
“Well, young lady, you should be grateful to the Lord to be living at this momentous time! The signs are clear, but we have to do our utmost to help them along. The Whore of Babylon must be Destroyed! All the Jews must be returned to Israel! And then the End Time—Praise God!—will be ushered in and all Jews will either convert or be burned in the coming, horrendous conflagration of fire and brimstone!”
“Convert? To what?” I inquired.
“Well, our kind of Christianity, of course!”
“Including the Sunday picnic pork barbecues?!” I asked.
“Why, naturally….” said the preacher man.
He backed away when I asked him if he knew the meaning of the word “kosher.”
So that’s my report this week from Washington, where there sure are a lot of clever snakes in the grass, and even more pigeon-brained folks walking naively among them, all forgetting a pearl of wisdom uttered by a famous Palestinian 2000 years ago: “Be Wise as Serpents, yet Gentle as Doves.”
Surely it’s a sign that some kind of conflagration is nigh when political and religious leaders—Jewish, Christian, and Muslim—have turned that wise advice upside down, transforming the Holy Land into a site of unholy scenarios in the process.