Does anxiety over what some fundamentalists believe is the coming “biblical apocalypse” motivate Republicans to vote for a particular candidate?
According to a recent op-ed published in the New York Times, the answer is yes. The author of the piece, Matthew Avery Sutton, is an associate professor of history at Washington State University and is the author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America. In his article, Sutton claims that a “small but vocal minority” of Republicans associate the recent economic crises, the rise of “radical Islam,” and diverse natural disasters with the “last days” of the earth and as such they are searching for the candidate they believe will lead them safely through this eschatological maelstrom.
How does religion, particularly the branch of Christianity called “fundamentalism,” influence presidential politics? According to Sutton:
Christian apocalypticism has a long and varied history. Its most prevalent modern incarnation took shape a century ago, among the vast network of preachers, evangelists, Bible-college professors and publishers who established the fundamentalist movement. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and independents, they shared a commitment to returning the Christian faith to its “fundamentals.”
A fundamentalist Christian, says Sutton, will read the Bible and find therein various prophecies of “Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation” predicting the moral collapse that will presage the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. “The return of Jews to the Holy Land, evolutionary science and World War I” convinced some evangelical Christians that the Second Coming was nigh and that meant so was the coming of the Antichrist.Continue Reading on www.thenewamerican.com