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JewishJournal.com

August 9, 2009

Predicting the American apocalypse

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/predicting_the_american_apocalypse_20090809/

It was the best of times, it was the end of times.

That’s the perspective offered by a fascinating week-long series from Slate. “The End of America” includes some religion angles, which Doug at GetReligion highlights:

The savviest Web feature was “Choose Your Own Apocalypse,” which allowed readers to pick their top five threats to U.S. survival.

I highlighted the factors that are connected in any way to religion, including:

• Social critiques attractive to some believers: decadence; Obama as God; neo-humans; cloning; red vs. blue; the Rapture.

• Arguments or strawmen presented against believers or their concerns: the influence of intelligent design; passivity induced by Christianity; gay marriage leading to a separatist, “heterosexual-only state”; voluntary human extinction; tribalism; theocracy.

• A few leftovers: Dec. 31, 2012, doomsday scenarios; militant Islam; Israel-Arab war.

I’m pleased to see that the random array of readers who voted in Slate’s feature chose only one of these factors — the Israel-Arab War — among the top five threats. It appears these readers are not worried about the civilization-threatening potential of intelligent design, Christianity, red vs. blue tensions or theocracy.

Read the whole Slate series here.

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