MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid mocked Christian beliefs on Saturday, calling them “something out of a novel.”
Speaking with her guest, author Frank Schaeffer, Reid was incredulous at the fact that Christians believe what is written about the Israeli capital of Jerusalem.
She read part of a story from Haaretz, what Reid called a “one of the more liberal publications in Israel,” about President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
In order to truly understand the centrality of this “theological dog-whistle” to Trump’s evangelical base, you must take their religious beliefs seriously, argued progressive Christian commentator and pundit Diana Butler Bass, in a widely circulated thread on Twitter. Bass said the Jerusalem issue was so important to evangelicals because it is necessary to regain Judeo-Christian control of the Temple Mount.
This is vital, she explained, because rebuilding the Temple would initiate the “end-time” laid out in the Book of Revelation. End-time is a fundamentalist Christian belief in a prophecy that the living and the resurrected will one day be delivered from the Earth by God, their bodies transformed and protected in heaven, as he pours out his wrath on the sinners left behind.
Reid was stunned that anyone would believe that.
“That sounds like something out of a novel,” she said.
“Is it true that there are people who really believe that having Israel unified under, I mean having Jerusalem unified under total Israeli control will bring on the end times?” she asked Schaeffer.
“Why yes Joy, you know I come from a fundamentalist Evangelical background and I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, I’m 65, and when I was a child this was the Gospel end times version of reality that my parents believe in and many other Evangelicals,” he replied.
“Essentially, when you look at this, it was nothing to do with the Middle East or peace, or Palestinian rights or any of the difficulties that have presented themselves to responsible American political leaders or world leaders,” he added. “This was all about what we’re so familiar with, with Donald Trump and his nepotistic plan, throwing a little red meat to supporters and to big donors.”
Schaeffer went on to call the belief an “adolescent fantasy” and “lunacy.”
But recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was not the idea of President Trump.
The United States Congress voted to recognize Jerusalem as the capital in 1995 when it voted for the Jerusalem Embassy Act.
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