Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

End time bollocks

Here's another amplification. As I understand it, one of the differences between Al-Qaeda and Daesh/ISIL is that both have an end time theology but that Al Baghdadi believes himself entitled to declare himself caliph with minimal authority from theologians and start the clock ticking whereas Al Qaeda defer to the major universities to let them know when the end times start.

This is private Islamic business - which I may have hopelessly mis-stated - and for Muslims to sort out among themselves.

However, one thing that the Christian world could do is de-escalate Christian theology about the End Time. The Christian Right in the US and elsewhere started the clock ticking long ago, and this has particular ramifications for politics. Part of this is the assumption that eg equal marriage is a provocation to god and evidence for climate change is a sign of his wrath.. There is also the stuff about Obama or Putin being the Antichrist. More importantly, in relation to Middle Eastern affairs, there is the backing of Israel beyond all reason on the assumption that the Apocalypse kicks off with a lot of Israelis suddenly converting to Christianity and the rest all dying horribly. The Israelis find this belief on the part of most Republicans and many others convenient - bar the conversion/horrible death stuff.

I am suggesting a convention of those major branches of Christianity who think this is all impious bollocks to say so, loudly. I don't normally think the Pope should tell other Christians that something is heretical nonsense, but in this instance...

If you want to put out a signal, that might be one of the ones to put out
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