Tuesday, November 03, 2015

November 3, 2015--Ben Carson's End Times

It was fair to grill presidential candidate John F. Kennedy about his Catholicism. Especially, if he were to be elected president would he take his orders from the Vatican or the U.S Constitution.

At a meeting with Protestant miniseries he assured them that he wouldn't and that if there was ever an irreconcilable different between Church dogma and his oath to defend the Constitution, he would step down from the presidency.

What he didn't tell them was that he was not that observant. In fact, he went to church more for political reasons than because of faith. And he would never step down and turn the Oval Office over to the Kennedy-family-hated Lyndon Johnson.

And if it was fair to wonder in public about Mitt Romney's Mormon beliefs--he holds them strongly--particularly if as a Mormon he was or was not a Christian (many Christians claim Mormons are not of their faith), then isn't it fair to question Republican front-runner-at-the-moment Ben Carson about his beliefs?

Especially since as a Seventh Day Adventist he may hold some views that voters should know about before voting.

The Seventh Day sect is derived from the apocalyptic beliefs and preaching of William Miller, who as founder of the Adventists attracted a large following toward the middle of the 19th century when he prophesied that the end of the world would be coming in 1843, ushering in not just the end in a fiery conflagration but the Second Coming of Christ and ultimately the Last Judgement.

His followers, Millerites, in 1843 gave up all their worldly possessions and moved to high ground so they could have a front row seat for the apocalypse.

1843 came and went, even 1844 came and went and so, in turn, did the good reverend.

A few years later Miller's Adventist Church morphed into what we now know as Seventh Day Adventists. The "seventh day" refers to that aspect of Carson's church's doctrine that most of us know--the fact that they celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday, not Sunday.

But, informed voters may want to know that at the heart of the Seventh Day Adventist belief system is still the apocalyptical teaching, the eschatology, and prophecies of Reverend Miller. Adventists are still waiting for, looking forward to the end, the destruction of the world.

I would want to know what Doctor Carson thinks about this.

This is important to me as many Adventists think, believe the literal End is near, not centuries or millennia in the future.

If the End is that imminent what are the political policy implications?

Why bother fixing the infrastructure if it all will soon go up in smoke. Why set policy to improve schools as soon there will be no need for schools? Why provide health care coverage when we're all about to die in a global conflagration? Why worry about the proliferation of nuclear weapons when God has something much more explosive in mind?

A friend sent me a link to the October 28th Borowitz Report that appears regularly in the New Yorker.

This one is a satirical piece about a debate between Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, also a millennialist, about whose presidential policies would be more effective in bringing about the End Times.

According to Borowitz, the doctor promised he would end the world during his first term. Cruz one-upped him, pledging to do so on "day one." The same day he would rid us of Obamacare and tear up our nuclear agreement with Iran.

This is all very amusing, we can joke about not having to worry about the fact that half our highway bridges are about to collapse or the Social Security Trust running out of money. But it is also scary since they both really believe this stuff!

Too bad the CNBC moderators who so botched the last debate didn't ask Cruz and Carson to talk about  this rather than seek their views on on-line sports betting.

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