TIME 2 WAKE UP: There is NO Tomorrow, by Bill Moyers    
 There is NO Tomorrow, by Bill Moyers1 comment
Sunday, February 27th 2005, by Brenda McCann

Bill: "I'm not making this up. Like Monbiot, I've read the
literature. I've reported on these people, following some
of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere,
serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to
help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical
prophecy. That's why they have declared solidarity with
Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their
support with money and volunteers. It's why the invasion of
Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of
Revelations where four angels *which are bound in the great
river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of
man.* A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something
to be feared but !!welcomed!! - an essential *conflagration on
the road to redemption*. The last time I Googled it, the
rapture index stood at 144 - just one point below the
critical threshold when the whole thing will blow, the son
of God will return, the righteous will enter Heaven and
sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire."

So what does this mean for public policy and the
environment? Go to Grist to read a remarkable work of
reporting by the journalist Glenn Scherer - "The Road to
Environmental Apocalypse." Read it and you will see how
millions of Christian fundamentalists 'may believe' that
environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but
actually welcomed - !even hastened! - as a sign of the coming
apocalypse.

As Grist makes clear, we're not talking about a handful of
fringe lawmakers who hold or are beholden to these beliefs.
Nearly half the U.S. Congress before the recent election -
231 legislators in total and more since the election - are
backed by the religious right.

Forty-five senators and 186 members of the 108th Congress
earned 80 to 100 percent approval ratings from the three
most influential Christian right advocacy groups. They
include Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Assistant
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Conference Chair Rick
Santorum of Pennsylvania, Policy Chair Jon Kyl of Arizona,
House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Whip Roy Blunt.
The only Democrat to score 100 percent with the Christian
coalition was Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, who recently
quoted from the biblical book of Amos on the Senate floor:
"The days will come, sayeth the Lord God, that I will send
a famine in the land." He seemed to be relishing the
thought.

And why not? *There's a constituency for it*. A 2002 Time-
CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that the
prophecies found in the book of Revelations are going to
come true. Nearly one-quarter think the Bible predicted the
9/11 attacks. Drive across the country with your radio
tuned to the more than 1,600 Christian radio stations, or
in the motel turn on some of the 250 Christian TV stations,
and you can hear some of this end-time gospel. And you will
come to understand why people under the spell of such
potent prophecies cannot be expected, as Grist puts it, "to
worry about the environment. Why care about the earth, when
the droughts, floods, famine and pestilence brought by
ecological collapse are signs of the apocalypse foretold in
the Bible? Why care about global climate change when you
and yours will be rescued in the rapture? And why care
about converting from oil to solar when the same God who
performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes can whip up
a few billion barrels of light crude with a word?"

There Is No Tomorrow. an article by Bill Moyers BELOW

Dear Friends~

Please take the time to read this thought-provoking article
from Bill Moyers. I feel inspired to do what I can to
awaken people to the poor choices that are being made by
our "leaders" every day. I am generally an optimist but I
know that there is allot that needs to be done to heighten
the awareness of the general public before things will turn
around.

Will you please pass this on if it touches you in some way?

Thanks bunches~
Shalamee & Brenda
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"There Is No Tomorrow"

By Bill Moyers

The Star Tribune

Sunday 30 January 2005

One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is
that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in
from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval
Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history,
ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in
Washington.

Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true;
ideologues hold stoutly to a worldview despite being
contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. When
ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not
always bad but they are always blind. And there is the
danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the
facts.

Remember James Watt, President Ronald Reagan's first
secretary of the interior? My favorite online environmental
journal, the ever-engaging Grist, reminded us recently of
how James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting
natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent
return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, "after
the last tree is felled, Christ will come back."

Beltway elites snickered. The press corps didn't know what
he was talking about. But James Watt was serious. So were
his compatriots out across the country. They are the people
who believe the Bible is literally true - one-third of the
American electorate, if a recent Gallup poll is accurate.
In this past election several million good and decent
citizens went to the polls believing in the rapture index.

That's right - the rapture index. Google it and you will
find that the best-selling books in America today are the
12 volumes of the "Left Behind" series written by the
Christian fundamentalist and religious-right warrior
Timothy LaHaye. These true believers subscribe to a
fantastical theology concocted in the 19th century by a
couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages
from the Bible and wove them into a narrative that has
captivated the imagination of millions of Americans.

Its outline is rather simple, if bizarre (the British
writer George Monbiot recently did a brilliant dissection
of it and I am indebted to him for adding to my own
understanding): Once Israel has occupied the rest of its
"biblical lands," legions of the antichrist will attack it,
triggering a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon.

As the Jews who have not been converted are burned, the
messiah will return for the rapture. True believers will be
lifted out of their clothes and transported to Heaven,
where, seated next to the right hand of God, they will
watch their political and religious opponents suffer
plagues of boils, sores, locusts and frogs during the
several years of tribulation that follow.

I'm not making this up. Like Monbiot, I've read the
literature. I've reported on these people, following some
of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere,
serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to
help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical
prophecy. That's why they have declared solidarity with
Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their
support with money and volunteers. It's why the invasion of
Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of
Revelations where four angels "which are bound in the great
river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of
man." A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something
to be feared but welcomed - an essential conflagration on
the road to redemption. The last time I Googled it, the
rapture index stood at 144 - just one point below the
critical threshold when the whole thing will blow, the son
of God will return, the righteous will enter Heaven and
sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire.

So what does this mean for public policy and the
environment? Go to Grist to read a remarkable work of
reporting by the journalist Glenn Scherer - "The Road to
Environmental Apocalypse." Read it and you will see how
millions of Christian fundamentalists may believe that
environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but
actually welcomed - even hastened - as a sign of the coming
apocalypse.

As Grist makes clear, we're not talking about a handful of
fringe lawmakers who hold or are beholden to these beliefs.
Nearly half the U.S. Congress before the recent election -
231 legislators in total and more since the election - are
backed by the religious right.

Forty-five senators and 186 members of the 108th Congress
earned 80 to 100 percent approval ratings from the three
most influential Christian right advocacy groups. They
include Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Assistant
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Conference Chair Rick
Santorum of Pennsylvania, Policy Chair Jon Kyl of Arizona,
House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Whip Roy Blunt.
The only Democrat to score 100 percent with the Christian
coalition was Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, who recently
quoted from the biblical book of Amos on the Senate floor:
"The days will come, sayeth the Lord God, that I will send
a famine in the land." He seemed to be relishing the
thought.

And why not? There's a constituency for it. A 2002 Time-
CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that the
prophecies found in the book of Revelations are going to
come true. Nearly one-quarter think the Bible predicted the
9/11 attacks. Drive across the country with your radio
tuned to the more than 1,600 Christian radio stations, or
in the motel turn on some of the 250 Christian TV stations,
and you can hear some of this end-time gospel. And you will
come to understand why people under the spell of such
potent prophecies cannot be expected, as Grist puts it, "to
worry about the environment. Why care about the earth, when
the droughts, floods, famine and pestilence brought by
ecological collapse are signs of the apocalypse foretold in
the Bible? Why care about global climate change when you
and yours will be rescued in the rapture? And why care
about converting from oil to solar when the same God who
performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes can whip up
a few billion barrels of light crude with a word?"

Because these people believe that until Christ does return,
the Lord will provide. One of their texts is a high school
history book, "America's Providential History." You'll find
there these words: "The secular or socialist has a
limited-resource mentality and views the world as a pie ...
that needs to be cut up so everyone can get a piece."
However, "[t]he Christian knows that the potential in God
is unlimited and that there is no shortage of resources in
God's earth ... while many secularists view the world as
overpopulated, Christians know that God has made the earth
sufficiently large with plenty of resources to accommodate
all of the people."

No wonder Karl Rove goes around the White House whistling
that militant hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers." He turned
out millions of the foot soldiers on Nov. 2, including many
who have made the apocalypse a powerful driving force in
modern American politics.

It is hard for the journalist to report a story like this
with any credibility. So let me put it on a personal level.
I myself don't know how to be in this world without
expecting a confident future and getting up every morning
to do what I can to bring it about. So I have always been
an optimist. Now, however, I think of my friend on Wall
Street whom I once asked: "What do you think of the
market?" I'm optimistic," he answered. "Then why do you look
so worried?" And he answered: "Because I am not sure my
optimism is justified."

I'm not, either. Once upon a time I agreed with Eric
Chivian and the Center for Health and the Global
Environment that people will protect the natural
environment when they realize its importance to their
health and to the health and lives of their children.
Now I am not so sure. It's not that I don't want to believe that
- it's just that I read the news and connect the dots.

I read that the administrator of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has declared the election a mandate for
President Bush on the environment. This for an
administration:

That wants to rewrite the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water
Act and the Endangered Species Act protecting rare plant
and animal species and their habitats, as well as the
National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the
government to judge beforehand whether actions might damage
natural resources. That wants to relax pollution limits for
ozone; eliminate vehicle tailpipe inspections, and ease
pollution standards for cars, sport-utility vehicles and
diesel-powered big trucks and heavy equipment. That wants a
new international audit law to allow corporations to keep
certain information about environmental problems secret
from the public. That wants to drop all its new-source
review suits against polluting, coal-fired power plants and
weaken consent decrees reached earlier with coal companies.
That wants to open the Arctic [National] Wildlife Refuge to
drilling and increase drilling in Padre Island National
Seashore, the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island
in the world and the last great coastal wild land in
America.

I read the news just this week and learned how the
Environmental Protection Agency had planned to spend
$9million - $2 million of it from the administration's
friends at the American Chemistry Council - to pay poor
families to continue to use pesticides in their homes.
These pesticides have been linked to neurological damage in
children, but instead of ordering an end to their use, the
government and the industry were going to offer the
families $970 each, as well as a camcorder and children's
clothing, to serve as guinea pigs for the study.

I read all this in the news.

I read the news just last night and learned that the
administration's friends at the International Policy
Network, which is supported by Exxon Mobil and others of
like mind, have issued a new report that climate change is
"a myth, sea levels are not rising" [and] scientists who
believe catastrophe is possible are "an embarrassment."

I not only read the news but the fine print of the recent
appropriations bill passed by Congress, with the obscure
(and obscene) riders attached to it: a clause removing all
endangered species protections from pesticides; language
prohibiting judicial review for a forest in Oregon; a
waiver of environmental review for grazing permits on
public lands; a rider pressed by developers to weaken
protection for crucial habitats in California.

I read all this and look up at the pictures on my desk,
next to the computer - pictures of my grandchildren. I see
the future looking back at me from those photographs and I
say, "Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do."
And then I am stopped short by the thought: "That's not right.
We do know what we are doing. We are stealing their future.
Betraying their trust. Despoiling their world."

And I ask myself: Why? Is it because we don't care? Because
we are greedy? Because we have lost our capacity for
outrage, our ability to sustain indignation at injustice?

What has happened to our moral imagination IN THE USA?

On the heath Lear asks Gloucester: "How do you see the
world?" And Gloucester, who is blind, answers: "I see it
feelingly.'"

I see it feelingly.

The news is not good these days. I can tell you, though,
that as a journalist I know the news is never the end of
the story. The news can be the truth that sets us free -
not only to feel but to fight for the future we want.
And the will to fight is the antidote to despair, the cure for
cynicism, and the answer to those faces looking back at me
from those photographs on my desk. What we need is what the
ancient Israelites called hochma - the science of the heart
... the capacity to see, to feel and then to act as if the
future depended on you.

Believe me, it does depnd on you.
------- -----------------------------------------------------------
Bill Moyers was host until recently of the weekly public
affairs series "NOW with Bill Moyers" on PBS. This article
is adapted from AlterNet, where it first appeared. The text
is taken from Moyers' remarks upon receiving the Global
Environmental Citizen Award from the Center for Health and
the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Via, Brenda McCann - Idaho USA
[link]
New Civilization Network News Log : [link]


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1 comment

28 Feb 2005 @ 22:29 by craiglang : The thing that they forget
is that the ones who lose in the second coming are the rich and powerful.
Nuff sed...  



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