This might be hard to believe, but there was a time when I didn’t give a shit about the Bible. That was before I found out the world was about to end.
I remember it like it was the nineties. I remember it like the first time I found a Playboy (which was actually a Penthouse, a mildly frightening disappointment). It was the summer I turned eleven, and as I sat on the living room carpet pretending my stuffed animals could talk, my mom’s second husband was in the kitchen, trying to win my mom back by convincing her that he found Jesus. It was all pretty standard divorced-parent talk, until he got to the part about the Rapture, and the Final Judgement. The world was coming to an end, but that wasn’t all. There was so much more terrifying, awesome shit that was set to go down in the twinkling of an eye. There would be dragons. Mountains would fall flaming from the sky. Massacres, plagues, the mark of the beast, the sun blotted out with blood; this stuff was more exciting than GI Joe, and a hell of a lot more metal than Def Leppard. And unlike GI Joe, all this stuff was supposed to be true.
Hot damn. From that day on, Jack Van Impe and John Hagee became for me what Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees were for normal kids. The Book of Revelation was the ultimate horror kick, because it could all come true at any moment, and if you stayed up late to listen to the really creepy preachers who came on after midnight, you knew it that all of the signs in the bible proved that it was coming soon. The Antichrist was probably already among us. The righteous could be called into the sky this very instant. That first night I went to bed terrified, but by the time I was in junior high and my mom had married a completely unrelated bible thumper, I was unabashedly stoked for the apocalypse. Every day I prayed the Rapture would come before gym class.
And while we all know that the Bible, like Wolverine, is a wonderful book for pubescent psychopaths, I have to confess that I never fully grew out of that phase. There is still that part of me that hopes for the end of the world, that thrills when I see the signs coming to pass. So you can imagine my quiet glee when I checked Twitter the other morning, to see that Sarah Palin had endorsed Donald Trump for president.
So that’s it, right? Time to quit your job and learn how to make gunpowder because the world has had it. Such an obvious and repugnant combination of two such vile political forces can only portend the final coalescence of the Unholy Trinity described in Revelation.
A quick crib here for those of you who may not be apocalyptically bent religious nuts, the Unholy Trinity (like the Holy Trinity, in fact) is not explicitly mentioned in the bible, but is often used by evangelical eschatologists to give their palpably fakakta end times teachings an air of symmetry. Comprised of Satan, The Beast (aka the Antichrist), and the False Prophet, and is best described in Revelation, chapters twelve and thirteen.
Palin, of course, easily fits into the role of the False Prophet, who performs signs and wonders and deceives the people of earth into worshipping the Beast. Throughout her time in the nation spotlight, she has proven herself adroit at spouting brainless platitudes to stir up the fear and hatred in the hearts of all the forlorn and forgotten grannies, church deacons, and Walker, Texas Ranger fans in America who have been arming themselves for civil war. Like John the Revelator’s False Prophet, she is the eager cheerleader for the most violent, hateful and demonic impulses in American politics, shaking her pompoms for Armageddon. With winking, toothy cheer, she extols the doomsday virtues of World War Three, the way the False Prophet displays horns like a lamb and yet speaks like a dragon (Rev. 13:11)
Now, if I am the first person to mention the clear fact that Trump is the Antichrist, it can only be because the left-liberal noise machine has been too busy comparing him to Hitler, Mussolini, Cobra Commander and Yosemite Sam. In the first place, as one of the main duties of the Antichrist in Biblical teleology is to lead the forces of one of the world’s great empires into the battle of Armageddon, it should be noted that the entire Republican presidential field is comprised of eager candidates for the Beast-hood. In every Republican debate, the candidates spend half the night one-upping each other to prove that they are the most turned on by the idea of leaving the Valley of Jehoshaphat coursing with blood. It’s an honest-to-god Antichrist pageant at those debates, and even Hillary Clinton wants to wear that sash.
But Trump does possess certain Antichrist-like attributes that make him stand out from the pack. Not least of these is the fact that Trump already believes himself to be God. Revelation 13:1 describes the Beast arising, “out of the sea,” a phrase which is often taken to mean that the Antichrist will be a gentile, but could also be a reference to Trump’s early rise to prominence in Atlantic City. Perhaps most damning of all, chapter thirteen, verse five states that, “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies,” which is as clear a Donald signifier as if the Bible had said, “There was given to him a hairpiece that looked like rice noodles held on with Scotch tape.”
In Matthew, chapter 24, Jesus tells his disciples that the end will not come until, “you see the Abomination of Desolation… standing in the holy place.” This is one of several verses that lead biblical prophecy buffs to insist that, before The Second Coming, the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Of course, when Trump rebuilds the temple, instead of a place of worship, it will be a gaudy and towering hotel and casino. But what do any of the politicians and would-be antichrists of this late stage of capitalism have to offer us besides that same casino swindle? Nothing but a place to watch the pretty lights and pretend we’ll be rich one day, while we dump the fruit of our toil into some rich kid’s pocket and wait for the bombs to fall, that’s the best anybody can do.
So welcome, brethren, to the new apocalypse, where the war-makers will be called sons of God, the privileged, loudmouthed imbeciles will inherit the earth, and the meek are losers who need to stop their crying. Your Kingdom come; your will be done, on earth as in some fake-ass rap video, because that’s the only heaven we’re still allowed to want.