Texas televangelist John Hagee...is a leading figure in the so-called Christian-Zionist movement. This evangelical political philosophy is rooted in biblical prophecies and a belief that Israel's struggles signal a prelude to Armageddon. Its followers staunchly support the Bush administration's unequivocal backing of Israel in its current battle with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Why, pray tell? Because the more bombings Israel carries out, the closer we get to the apocalypse:
When addressing Jewish audiences, Mr. Hagee generally avoids talking about Armageddon. But his books, whose titles include "Beginning of the End" and "From Daniel to Doomsday," are filled with death and mayhem. "The battlefield will cover the nation of Israel!" he writes in "Jerusalem Countdown," his recent work, describing a "sea of human blood drained from the veins of those who have followed Satan."
He may be a nut, but he's a popular one:
Christian Zionism has been around for years but is now gaining greater prominence as it gets turbocharged by the marketing flair of Mr. Hagee and other religious entrepreneurs. Mr. Hagee has deployed massive resources to galvanize support for Israel. He heads a San Antonio megachurch, which claims 19,000 members, runs a television company and has close ties to Republican Party power brokers. His Washington banquet last week cost about $500,000, according to an organizer. A big Christian broadcasting network, Daystar, carried the event live.
I'm willing to bet that these are some of the evangelicals that Mr. Balmer is referring to. Note to the Israelis: these are your most fervant supporters in America. Just...think about it.