middle easteBelief in End Times in America Attributed to Economy, Natural Disasters

Dreams of Glory, in which he blames the apocalyptic thinking in monotheistic iths in part for global terrorism. He accuses the Christian fundamentalists of having a Manichean view of the world. He added that they are trying to foment conflict in the Middle East in the hope it will be Armaggedon, an end times battle prophesied in the New Testament.

Baylor University in Waco, Texas. You can escape all the problems of the past because Jesus will come back and take you out of it.

There is in the Christian right a real belief that in the end there are only two kinds of people. And the others, whoever they are – homouals, ACLU, Muslims, feminists – theyre going to go down, he said.

Johnson is describing what is known as the Rapture – an apocalyptic scenario that experts say a fifth of American Christians believe.

March poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, 44 percent of respondents said the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence the end times are happening now.

And, he argues it can even encourage moral behavior. Many believers say the possibility of an imminent end to it all makes them focus on whats important. They say they try to live every day as righteously as possible, in the hope that when it does happen, they will be among those saved.

Harold Camping speaks during a taping of his show Open Forum during which he said his prophecy that the world would end was off by five months because Judgment Day actually will come on October 21, in Oakland, California, May 23, 2011

Johnson is not a Camping follower, but he is one of many Americans who believe the Rapture could occur at any moment. And experts say such beliefs are fueled by the current mix of natural disasters and economic insecurity.

Princeton Theological Seminary, said such beliefs are rooted in the American middle and lower classes economic insecurity and sense of institutional ilure.

He said that when it does, the believers in Christ are going to be called up, and theyll go to heaven to be with Christ. Then, he adds, oh, it gets complicated – then youve got a thousand-year reign, Satan will be turned loose.

middle easteBelief in End Times in America Attributed to Economy, Natural Disasters,National Air and Space Museum in Washington. With its collection of pioneering airplanes, telescopes and rockets, the museum is a temple to the triumph of science.

Schools dont educate, hospitals dont heal, insurance companies dont insure, pensions dont materialize, banks dont lend money. And that, he says, contributes to this whole sense that something is out of whack, fundamentally not working.

Many people have been mocking followers of U.S. radio preacher Harold Camping, who wrongly predicted that the Rapture would occur on May 21.

People have financial panic, they have political turmoil, they have uncertainty in their personal lives and you can use a negative word here but this is kind of an escape theology, says Doug Weaver, a professor of religion at

Historians say there have always been people who thought they were living in the end times. But surveys suggest that apocalyptic sentiment is strong in America today.

But another school of thought sees apocalyptic belief as having a mostly benevolent effect, helping people cope with their immediate problems.

Billy Johnson said thats all fine and good, but he puts scripture above science. The gentleman from Mississippi, which recently has been hit by floods and tornadoes, believes what the Bible calls the end times cmiddle eastern health beliefsould begin at any moment.

I think you have to take into accountmiddle easteBelief in End Times in America Attributed to Economy, Natural Disasters that America has a safety net that is r thinner, r weaker, has more holes in it, than comparably industrialized nations, say, in Western Europe, said Fenn, suggesting that the prospect of cing a job loss or health catastrophe without support can intensify existential fears.

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