Friday, December 06, 2019

Holy-Holy -The Fourth Great Awakening Has Still Not Run Its Course-The End Times, The Fire In The Lake, The Book Of Revelations And Much More

Holy-Holy -The Fourth Great Awakening Has Still Not Run Its Course-The End Times, The Fire In The Lake, The Book Of Revelations And Much More

By Seth Garth

One of the great political mysteries of the age, the age of Trump, is how faithfully those who call themselves evangelicals (white brethren portion) have supported the heathen city dweller and philanderer over the past four years. In the end they may be his last bulwark against the flood tide coming down on his head not so much from the impeachment process which is very iffy but his bid for reelection. Recently I was re-reading some articles by the late Gonzo journalist (the father of the genre) written a couple of years before the 1988 elections for the San Francisco Examiner.  In one article (maybe more than one) he noted that the previously fringe evangelicals hovelled up in their local churches had begun via tele-evangelists to break into the political sphere-and organize around that idea of political power, bringing it to bear. That factor got me wondering about when the latest “great awakening” will run its course since it already is and remains a major factor in American political life.  

These great awakenings have a certain cycle. The first one came as far as I know sometime in the 18th century when the likes of Cotton Mather ruled the roost and some of the old-time pilgrim pioneers “got religion” after they had started the road to devastation of the continent. The second awakening came and “burned over” areas outside the East Coast citadels. Names like Grandison and Pike played to large tent crowds from Albany to South Bend. The third great awakening was more problematic since it edged considerable on politics although the evangelicals themselves were at the margins in campaigns like William Jennings Bryan and the ill-advised Prohibition Amendment which had to be revoked. And now the fourth awakening which seems to have started around the late 1970s in reaction to what some saw as the excesses of the 1960s to provide some space for the woe-begotten and lost.     

This fourth awakening is of its own kind since along with the dramatic increase of numbers the cash started rolling in once the major tele-evangelists found out that their message played well out in the heartland to those with televisions and credit cards. The rise of big mega-churches, conventions, sale of merchandise, etc. got some of those preachers like Jerry Farwell and Pat Robinson to dream bigger dreams especially when what they were advocating socially fit in nicely with what the Republican Party was espousing. In tried and true political ABCs fashion they began to fill the branches of the Republican bureaucracy, state and local. And there we have it except to say that for the look of things even after the heathen Trump finds the door these evangelical will play a part in public life.    

In the headline I mention “end times,” the “fire in the lake” and the dreaded Book of Revelation. The reason for that is once you buy into these concepts (and the search for the lost tribes of Israel) then whether the POSTUS is a heathen, a philanderer, a habitual liar, so crooked that he needs a phalanx of valets to put on his pants and a little crazy does not matter. Judgement day is coming and everybody should be ecstatic.     

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