Condi Uses Biblical Code Words To Speak To Her Rapture Ready Base
When evangelicals are discussing End Times prophecy, they often use the term "birth pangs" as shorthand to refer to a core "prophetic" verse in Matthew:
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs." (Matthew 24:3-8 RSV)
Simply put, they believe that when the "pangs" (aka wars, earthquakes, etc) begin to intensify the Rapture is about to occur. (Similar to the way a woman can tell she is about to give birth when her birth pangs intensify and become closer together). You can see the term used everywhere in Christian's online chatter. Most evangelicals also believe that conflict in Israel is the most telling sign of the End Days.
Given this, we find a statement made by Condi last week very alarming:
"What we're seeing here ... are the birth pangs of a new Middle East and whatever we do, we have to be certain that we are pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old one."
Condi is a self-professed evangelical and is undoubtedly familiar with this religious code word.
We couldn't agree more with Digby who says:
Aside from the unbelievable arrogance of that statement, which is virtually designed to piss off just about everyone in the region, this "birth-pang" characterization struck me a bizarre when I heard it. It seemed like an odd image to evoke under the circumstances and I didn't quite understand what she was referring to since the "democracy baby" she and her unofficial husband call Iraq is dying a violent death before it is even born.
Now I get it. Members of the Bush administration have been speaking in code to the Christian fundamentalists for years. In fact, they've been praised for their innovation by the mainstream press. From "culture of life" to "Dred Scott" to "wonder working power" the administration is often talking above the mainstream discourse directly to its Christian Right base.
The only explanations for employing such language at a time like this are that the Secretary of State of the United States is a flipped out fundamentalist herself --- or Karl Rove is deeply involved in the diplomatic language Rice is employing in order to stimulate their base. I lean toward the second (Karl's legacy depends upon his holding the congress this fall) but I wouldn't rule out the first.
Either way, it's unbelievably inappropriate for the top diplomat of the US to be using coded Christian fundamentalist language to discuss this, of all topics. What is wrong with these people?