The Ultimate GOTV Appeal

Yesterday we all enjoyed Bishop Daniel Jenky’s encyclical essentially ordering the people of the Diocese of Peoria to vote for Romney/Ryan on pain of eternal damnation. But at Religion Dispatches today, Sarah Posner has a whole jumbo platter of ecclesiastical endorsements that range from mere Obama-bashing to the full stage of eschatological theater. Here’s a sample:

Focus on the Family’s political arm is sending Iowa voters a flyer claiming that President Obama thinks “we’re no longer a Christian nation” (read: we were once a Christian nation but bwwaaahahahahahaha, my evil Islamo-socialist plan has worked!). In case you had questions, Obama was merely discussing how we’re a pluralistic nation of many faiths, something that people claiming to be protecting religious freedom might pay a mind to. But Obama is an oppressor of Christianity, in the view of the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who tweeted that “#Obamacare seems aimed squarely at dismantling and/or silencing the family and the Church….”

Bishop Joseph Mattera takes a ghoulish math lesson from Numbers 35:33 (“You shall not pollute the land wherein you are; for blood it defiles the land; and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. Defile not therefore the land, which you shall inhabit.”) This means, Mattera insists, that God will require the death of millions of American to “repent” for legal abortion. “[I]f America does not repent of this hideous sin then for every single baby legally aborted God will require the blood of the same number of people, which is between 30-50 million Americans!” he writes….

Pastor Robert Jeffress, who just a year ago endorsed Rick Perry over Romney in the Republican Primary, and called Mormonism a cult, is now telling pastors in Florida—even though he still thinks Mormonism is a cult—that “It’s time to stand up and push back against all the evil in our country.” He suggested that failing to go out to vote for Romney would be like being a pastor in Germany in the 1930s and failing to try to stop the Holocaust.

Meanwhile, Charisma magazine appears to be the Grand Central Station of election prophecy. On its pages, publisher Stephen Strang has posted his Romney endorsement, along with some dire warnings by other “prophetic” voices, like Franklin Graham, who warned: “This could be America’s last call to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who is coming again one day very soon to save His own and to judge those who don’t know and worship Him.” (emphasis in original).

All year long we’ve been hearing about the “enthusiasm” of conservative voters. In many cases, I suspect “terrified by charlatans” might be a better description of the mood.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.