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Waiting on the World to End: Apocalyptic Christians and Climate Change

We’ve spent the past week taking an in-depth look at Christianity, its politics, and how those line up with the stories in the Bible. For those on the right to deny the poor access to healthcare or benefits, homosexuals basic civil rights, and other such issues actually makes sense when one realizes that for many of the constituency—not so much the politicians and money-men—these positions from a place of fear, that somehow by the changing ethnic, economic, and sexual make-up of America they are threatened.

Yet, what still remains baffling to many non-religious on both the right and the left—again outside of politicians and sensationalist media—is the vehement denial of certified scientific discovery, such as evolution, the age of the Earth/Universe, and climate change.

It is the latter of those three, however, that represents a clear and present danger to not just American people, but all of humanity. The overwhelming scientific consensus—more than 97% at the time of this writing—does very little to sway those who remain opposed to it.

Again, for politicians who are funded by moneyed interests who got so moneyed from fossil fuels, fighting against reducing the world’s carbon emissions is simply good business if not extremely shortsighted. Still this does nothing to explain why their constituents buy in to their malarkey.

While there are many factors at play here, one worth mentioning is a specific sub-sect of Christianity that can only be called Apocalyptic. Apocalyptic Christians, perhaps most famously those from John Hagee Ministries, are Christians who simply can’t wait for the End Times. Their opposition to addressing climate change is not necessarily because they disagree that it’s happening, but are actually pleased that weather is growing more violent and natural disasters are happening more often. It means that Jesus Christ is on his way back and he is pissed.

The Book of Revelation contains some of the best literary language in the bible. It’s all hellfire and disaster, death and blood, angels with trumpets and death on a pale horse. Yet for Biblical Literalists, the change in the climate and the threat of the end of all life on Earth simply makes them look up to the sky, looking for a woman giving birth before a hungry dragon.

To Apocalyptic Christians “climate change” (if that’s what you want to call it) is man-made, but not because of carbon emissions but a culture of “perversion” and “sin.” These folks have no stake in saving the planet because before the Earth cooks all life of herself like some kind of planetary “reset” button, the faithful will be taken up to Heaven while the heretics burn for eternity.


Image via North Carolina Museum of Art

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.

  • dacr555

    You know, I’m beginning to think that Islam has nothing on evangelistic, apocalyptic christians. I believe the bible states that man will not know the day or the hour…. (if you take the bible strictly and literally). But these arrogant religious fools think they are above that. I believe the Pharisees have returned in the form of right-wing, religious christians.

  • Ronald N. Wall

    This apocalyptic Christians are a very real danger, and there are more of them than just the John Hagee believers. The second coming and the signs of end times (never good) is a central creed for most Evangelical fundamentalists. Even President Reagan believed in it. For those who think they have been born again, they cannot wait until the world ends. Normally, this would be laughable, but today many of these believers have been elected to Congress. I believe in tolerance of religious belief, except for this one. I was raised in a Pentecostal church. Today it is a very large denomination and considered mainstream. This topic was, and still is, preached almost every Sunday, Wednesdays and at all revivals. Religious freedom is fine until it becomes a danger to all of us. It is unfortunate but oil and gas monopolistic companies actually play up to this fantasy because these people resist changing how we all live.