“Jamie, assuming that you do another piece on the Syria bombing, you might want to consider the fact that this will be the first time in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives that the RAPTURE will be a significant if unstated force in favor of passage.” The Rapture is the evangelical belief that the elect will be swept up into the clouds to meet Jesus when he returns to dispense ultimate justice to the rest of us. It was brought to prominence in the New World by Increase and Cotton Mather, the father-and-son team of 17th-century Puritan divines who were the driving force behind the Salem Witch Trials. When you have no doubt of your own righteousness, you have little fear of Judgment Day.
Remember, in the wake of 9/11 and the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions that followed, how horrified we were by the epidemic of suicide bombings that killed thousands of innocent people? Who could do such a thing, we asked? Only zealots, we were told, young men (mostly) who had been drugged or blackmailed or, above all, promised a paradise filled with dark-eyed virgins just for them. Such fanaticism, we were assured, is the foundation of radical Islam. This is not a clash of civilizations. We are engaged in a war between civilization and barbarism.
For those who are convinced of their place in heaven, the fate of the earth becomes less important. We should beware of going to war for those who eagerly anticipate Armageddon.