Goldblog makes a phone call:

I called the executive director of the Pre-Trib Research Center at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Dr. Thomas Ice. The Pre-Trib Center is one of the preeminent evangelical institutions in this country arguing for literal Bible prophecy, and especially for pre-millenial dispensationalism, a complicated belief system that concerns the conditions that must obtain on Earth before Jesus can return ("Pre-Trib" is short for "pre-tribulation.") [Ice said,] "Over forty percent of the world's Jews now live in Israel. What Sarah Palin probably believes is that this is the first regathering," when the Jews all migrate to Israel.

"This is a condition for the second regathering, the regathering in belief, when the Jewish nation is converted. Then there will be the battle of Armageddon, because remember, Satan wants to wipe out the Jews to prevent the Second Coming, but Jesus comes to rescue the beleaguered Jews. We believe that the Jews are going to be converted so that they can call on Jesus to rescue them from Satan."

And people wonder why she wants more Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Or why we read sentences like this in the press:

She quizzed [Billy Graham] on the presidents he's known and wanted his take on what the Bible says about Israel, Iran and Iraq, Franklin Graham reported.

The fear on my part is that if the neocons lose the conservative elite on the Middle East (as the objective evidence keeps piling in), they will double-down by throwing in their lot even more comprehensively with the Palin "Bring-On-Armageddon" crowd. The only thing worse than the pathological anti-Semitism of the Islamists is the pathological philo-Semitism of the Christianists that ends with the real elimination of Jewish people from the face of the earth - through mass conversion to evangelical Christianity.

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