Ronnie Ray-Gun & the end of the world.
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|The following is excerpted from "Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right"
by Sarah Diamond pp131-2.
Armageddonism in high places
As for Ronald Reagan's belief in the Armageddon prophesies, the
documentary evidence dates back to 1968 when Reagan told a reporter for
a Christian magazine about a conversation he had with his pastor about the
"signs of the times."54 In1971, Reagan discussed his eschatological views with
James Mills, then president pro-tem of the California state senate. Mills recalls
that the discussion centered around Ezekiel 38 - 39, passages cited by christians
who believe in a future Soviet invasion of Israel followed by the
destruction of Soviet military forces in the Middle East and the outbreak of a
nuclear war. Ezekiel 39:6 reads : "I will send fire on Magog and on those who
dwell securely in the coast lands."55 Then, at a lobbyists' banquet honoring
Mills, the senator asked Reagan whether he had ever read chapters 38 and
39 of the book of Ezekiel in the old Testament. Reagan reportedly replied:
In the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, it says that the land of Israel will
come under attack by the armies of the ungodly nations, and it says
that Libya has now gone communist, and that's a sign that the day
of Armageddon isn't far off... All of the prophecies that had to be
fulfilled before Armageddon have come to pass. In the 38th chapter
of Ezekiel it says God will take the children of Israel from among
the heathen, where they'd been scattered, and will gather them
again in the promised land. That has finally come about after 2000
years. For the first time ever, everything is in place for the battle of
Armageddon and the second coming of Christ.
Mills recalls that Reagan said:
Everything is falling in place. It can't be much longer now.
Ezekiel says fire and brimstone will be rained upon the enemies of
God's people. That must mean that they'll be destroyed by nuclear
weapons. They exist now, and they never did in the past...
Ezekiel tells us that Gog, the nation that will lead all of the other
powers of darkness against Israel, will come out of the north. Biblical
scholars have been saying for generations that Gog must be Russia.
What other powerful nation is to the north of Israel? None. But it didn't
seem to make sense before the Russian revolution, when Russia was a
Christian country. Now it does, now that Russia has become communistic
and atheistic, now that Russia has set itself against God. Now it fits
the description of Gog perfectly.56
In 1980, while campaigning for the presidency, Reagan appeared on
Jim Bakker's PTL network and told the audience, "We maybe the generation
that sees Armageddon." Jerry Falwell recalls a 1981 conversation with Reagan
in which the president said, "Jerry, I sometimes believe we're heading very
fast for Amageddon fight now. "
But by 1988 there was no telling what Ronald Reagan personally
believed. Former White House chief of staff Donald Regan published a book
charging that Nancy Reagan lived by the dictates of her astrologers reports.
Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan made his historic visit to Moscow, wined and
dined with the head of the Evil Empire, and signed the INF treaty which was
seen by many among the Christian Right as a sacrilegious capitulation to the
- See Lawrence Jones, "Reagan's Religion," Journal of American Culture,
Vol. 8 (1985) pp59-70 and Larry Kichham, "The Theology of Nuclear War," Covert Action Information Bulletin, Spring 1987, pp9-14.
- James Mills, "The Serious Implications of a 1971 Conversation with Ronald Reagan," San Diego Magazine, August 1985.