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Author Topic: Salon article: Fundamentally unsound
Snuckles
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posted 29 July 2002 06:57 PM      Profile for Snuckles   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Left Behind, the bestselling series of paranoid, pro-Israel end-time thrillers, may sound kooky, but America's right-wing leaders really believe this stuff.
From: Hell | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 29 July 2002 07:36 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The New Yorker recently had a feature about a series of movies on the same theme. They get practically no mainstream distribution, but manage to make a fair bit of money -- distributed on video through churches and what not -- and get seen by millions of people.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 29 July 2002 10:13 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My Dad and I have read the whole series. The books are actually quite compelling, but unlike the more fundamentalist churches, it's not something I really think is true.

Actually, there are fundamentalist churches that don't believe it will happen that way either. Some Christians believe in a pre-tribulation rapture (which is what is described in the "Left Behind" series) and others believe in a post-tribulation rapture, which is I think what the former pastor of my church believed.

Even though I don't believe it's likely to happen, I actually enjoyed the books. One annoying thing about them, though, was their tendency to characterize non-believers as unable to conceive of morality due to their "unsaved" status - whenever a non-believer did something rude or mean, the believer would virtuously excuse them in their minds, remembering that the person wasn't "saved".

Well, I found the series engaging and interesting because I find the whole subject of what people believe fascinating. It also provides real insight into the beliefs and ideas of the religious right in the US, since it's a televangelist and a Christian author who co-wrote the books.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 29 July 2002 10:15 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh man, I didn't realize it was the most popular book in America right now! I thought this series was one of those strange little fringe things that get a small cult following!

quote:
Indeed, the chain of events that lead to the return of Christ depends on the existence of a Holy Land that is under catastrophic assault. No wonder the born-again lobby is obsessed with Israeli self-defense, but opposed to any peace plan.

I have often thought this myself. I think it would be interesting for Israeli people and Zionist supporters to read these books so they can see what their "allies" believe. Basically, Jews, particularly Israeli Jews, are just a means to an end for these fundamentalists. Jack van Impe, a televangelist who reports and interprets current world events as signs of the apocalypse, is almost gleeful when he reports any violence or unrest in Israel, because he sees that as a sign that his Lord is coming soon to rapture him and his fellow believers. Of course, they'd like to see as many Jews as possible be "saved" through conversion to Christianity, but since God has already told us through scripture that all of this violence and stuff will happen in Israel as a sign of the rapture, basically they are not only fatalistic about the violence, but they downright welcome it. The more Jewish and Palestinian blood spilled, the closer they are to being zapped into heaven. The joy I see on Jack and Rexella's faces when they report these kind of events is sickening.

[ July 29, 2002: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolae Carpathia
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posted 29 July 2002 10:23 PM      Profile for Nicolae Carpathia   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's bizarre that more attention hasn't been paid to the series' open hostility to the Jewish religion, if not the Jewish people. Imagine if, say, James Carville wrote a novel in which a band of heroic gay socialists defeated a voracious army of slack-jawed Bible-quoting Republicans to turn the world into a gigantic French-speaking free-love commune.

Hey, that was my plan for Canada!


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Michelle
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posted 29 July 2002 10:29 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
HAHAHA!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 29 July 2002 11:11 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good handle, that, Nicolae. Carpathia: from the Carpathian Mountains, traditional haunt of Dracula and other vampires; and Nicolae, from Nicolae Ceaucescu, vampire ruler of communist Rumania, eventually done to death in classic gothic-novel fashion by a mob of his own people.

Well chosen, my diabolical friend! Any services you need done during the Tribulation, why, you just call on me.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ed Weatherbee
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posted 29 July 2002 11:33 PM      Profile for Ed Weatherbee        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, the "Left Behind" movies seem to be released in the regular theatres for awhile at least in the boondocks north of Toronto. I believe a lot of the local churches buy blocks of tickets for the screenings..
Speaking of the rapture, any opinions on Michael Tolkin's movie of the same name from about 10 years ago. With Mimi Rogers and a pre X-files David Duchovny. One of my favs from the past decade. And anyboy read his new book just out.

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'lance
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posted 29 July 2002 11:44 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Speaking of the rapture, any opinions on Michael Tolkin's movie of the same name from about 10 years ago. With Mimi Rogers and a pre X-files David Duchovny.

I kinda dug it, in a weird way, though I confess that Mimi Rogers (particularly when cast as a libertine) was part of the reason. But another part was the attitude she ended up adopting, and the attitude of the movie -- very un-Hollywood.

Edited to add:

quote:
Actually, the "Left Behind" movies seem to be released in the regular theatres for awhile at least in the boondocks north of Toronto. I believe a lot of the local churches buy blocks of tickets for the screenings..

Yeah, this is something else I remember from that New Yorker piece.

[ July 29, 2002: Message edited by: 'lance ]


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SHH
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posted 30 July 2002 12:16 AM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Good handle, that, Nicolae. Carpathia: from the Carpathian Mountains, traditional haunt of Dracula and other vampires; and Nicolae, from Nicolae Ceaucescu, vampire ruler of communist Rumania, eventually done to death in classic gothic-novel fashion by a mob of his own people.
Drifting Tidbit: A Romanian friend of mine tells me Nicolae’s grave is well kept and always graced with flowers while Elena’s, mere yards away, is desecrated with graffiti, trash and hateful slogans. Being HR director just never pays it seems. I’m going to Budapest next month (for work reasons) and plan to travel east thru Romania to the Black Sea. I’ll report of any ‘sightings’.

More to topic, I know of many non-religious types that enjoy the series. I wouldn’t make too much of it; the Rapture visions of certain right wingers and all. They’re there, but thankfully, a highly marginalized minority.


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DrConway
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posted 30 July 2002 12:57 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A highly vocal minority. Don't misunderestimate how many people actually believe that stuff.
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Michelle
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posted 30 July 2002 10:13 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And a highly placed minority too - you can bet that Ashcroft believes it, as well as other influential Bush cronies.

quote:
Actually, the "Left Behind" movies seem to be released in the regular theatres for awhile at least in the boondocks north of Toronto. I believe a lot of the local churches buy blocks of tickets for the screenings..

Wow. Well, I do know that the Free Methodist church down the road from me showed the series to its congregation for a while. According to my former pastor, Jack van Impe has a cameo in the made-for-church series.

I watched the Kirk Cameron one, and it was okay, I guess. I liked the books better. I should see if I can find the movies and order them for my father. He's a real fan of the series.

Look who else is shilling the books.

[ July 30, 2002: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Terry Johnson
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posted 31 July 2002 01:32 AM      Profile for Terry Johnson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I tell you one thing, though. Their politics may be appaling, but fundamentalist Christians make better movies than Scientologists.
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charlessumner
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posted 31 July 2002 01:35 AM      Profile for charlessumner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But if we let the Moonies count...
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clockwork
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posted 31 July 2002 01:44 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Speaking of which, has anyone ever read L. Ron Hubbard's series Mission Earth (called the Invaders Plan)? I think the guy is a nut (or clever, depending on how you view fraud), but I laughed my ass off reading the first book in the series, of which there were ten. I read most of the rest of the books, but it just became really boring by book three.

The story had promise. Now, whether I would read the first book today and think it was still funny, I'm not sure. I just remember going through the thing (600 pages) really quick as a young adult that was pretty impressive for me.

And I picked up the book long before I knew who L. Ron Hubbard actually was in case anyone was wondering. Otherwise I'm sure I wouldn't have bothered.


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 31 July 2002 10:20 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It wasn't that long ago that I presented the idea that religious faith was a kind of mental disorder.

I see the evidence supporting my assertion keeps on mounting as time goes on.

Homer: "It's the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!!"

Marge:"Are you wearing clean underwear, Bart?"

Bart: "....not anymore...."

Bottom line about these apocalyptic movements is they are bound to be right someday. The world has ended before, and I'm sure it will again. Personally, I prefer Elton Motelo's "Apocalipstic", but then I'm funny that way.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ed Weatherbee
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posted 31 July 2002 10:56 AM      Profile for Ed Weatherbee        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Elton Motello did something else besides "Jetboy". Amazing what you learn here.
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Tommy_Paine
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posted 31 July 2002 11:01 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My daughters are of an age where they think their "Eminem" is outrageous. I played "Jetboy/Jetgirl" for them, and you could hear the heard it all before, jaded generations jaws drop on the floor in unison.

Nah na na nana, na na na nana na na na nana, na na na na.....


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ed Weatherbee
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posted 01 August 2002 12:40 AM      Profile for Ed Weatherbee        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rachel Griffiths pogoing to "Ca Plane Pour Moi", the French version of the song, was the best scene in Me Myself I movie from a few years ago.
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audra trower williams
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posted 01 August 2002 12:18 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The lyrics are totally different, though.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 01 August 2002 04:46 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tommy, I think we could probably play Marianne Faithful's Why'd You Do It To Me for them as well.

Edited to add: Orgasm Addict by the Buzzcocks too

[ August 01, 2002: Message edited by: Rebecca West ]


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 01 August 2002 04:56 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Broken English was the first album I can recall seeing with a sticker on the cover reading 'explicit lyrics' or whatever. It much predated Tipper Gore's PRMC and the b/w sticker that Mr. Mathers busts his nuts to get put on his CDs.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Terry Johnson
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posted 01 August 2002 05:52 PM      Profile for Terry Johnson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Rachel Griffiths pogoing to "Ca Plane Pour Moi", the French version of the song,

To be precise, "Ca Plane Pour Moi" by Plastic Bertrand was the original song. I think it's still the only song in French to ever crack the Billboard Top 100.

The "Jet Boy/Jet Girl" lyrics are completely different. I liked the French lyrics: the guy's cat lapping at his whiskey, he, hung over, dimly remembering waking up in the gutter. Very punk.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Snuckles
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posted 01 August 2002 06:53 PM      Profile for Snuckles   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is Tim LaHaye (one of the co-authors of the Left Behind books) related to Beverly LaHaye, founder of Concerned Women for America?
From: Hell | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 01 August 2002 10:38 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think he's her husband.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 15 August 2003 06:00 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Snuckles:
Left Behind, the bestselling series of paranoid, pro-Israel end-time thrillers, may sound kooky, but America's right-wing leaders really believe this stuff.

I got my hands on some of the books, and I have to say I've been just riveted reading the first two, even if I think the whole premise is bunk.

Say what you will about LaHaye and Jenkins, but they sure as shootin' know how to write.

One thing I really dislike about the Left Behind series, though, is the tendency to be patronizing to Jews who have every legitimate reason to believe the Messiah has not come.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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