At the risk of ticking off "S.S." and receiving another grammatically challenged email (I'll take that chance, since she swore that "I will not allow you s--- th go any further on my computer ever again"), I feel the need once more to state that Hal Lindsey is a lunatic.
In this week's edition of The Hal Lindsey Report, we were treated to an extended defense of Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf. As Lindsey sees it, Musharraf is the sole barrier to a Taliban-led Pakistan and the annihilation of Israel.
According to Lindsey, in Pakistan we either have Musharraf (who even by Lindsey's admission is not perfect), or we have raving hordes of Islamofascists. Lindsey applauds Musharraf's decision to suspend the Pakistani constitution and illegally remain both president and head of the military, in defiance of the country's supreme court. (Musharraf has fired the judges and arrested the chief justice.) He argues that if Musharraf were to remain president but resign his post as commander in chief, he would be merely "an empty suit." It is essential, in Lindsey's view, that Musharraf maintain total control of the country.
Yes, it's an open hymn to military dictatorship. Free and democratic elections in Pakistan, predicts Lindsey, would result in putting the terrorists in charge, as in Palestine. He neglects to mention that Musharraf's main rival for power in Pakistan is Benazir Bhutto, who as a woman is hardly representing the "Islamofascists."
He makes this claim despite having argued just moments earlier, as an attempt to legitimize the presidency, that Musharraf won a decisive electoral victory in October. He only neglected to mention there were no other candidates and the supreme court was about to invalidate the results. And here I thought "the liberals" were the moral relativists: yay Democracy!, but only as long as our guy wins, and if that means throwing out the constitution and invoking martial law, so be it. (Here's an idea: let's invoke our Constitution and throw out Bush.)
If Musharraf falls, warns Lindsey, a nuclear confrontation with India is inevitable. They'll bomb Israel, too, because that's what Muslims do. The regional conflict will engulf China, and then Iran, and then it will be Armageddon, unless Musharraf controls Pakistan. (But since, according to this "theology," Jesus' return is tied to this final cataclysmic global conflict, I am unclear as to why we should support averting it. But then again, nothing else he's said makes any sense, so I guess I'm holding him to unrealistic expectations.)
Speaking of Jesus, what the hell? At the end of his half-hour program, after showing video clips of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad furiously shaking hands with Hugo Chavez, reporting on the results of a Gallup poll that shows 1 in 10 Democrats rate the U.S. as the greatest threat to global security (compared to 1 in 99 Republicans) and then claiming that China has completely infiltrated the entire U.S. with spies, he remembers that he's there to talk about the Bible.
But he doesn't, really. He offers up one verse, Matthew 24:8 -- "all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs."
Now, Matthew 24 is a troubling, complicated chapter, but in it Jesus pointedly cautions us against false prophets and those who would lead us astray. "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars," says Jesus in verse 6, a phrase which Lindsey also quotes, "but see that you are not alarmed," which naturally Lindsey does not quote. Because alarmed is just what Lindsey wants us to be.