By Richard Edmondson
Doomsday, end-of-the-world-type scenarios seem to be much on people’s minds these days, or at least a number of bloggers are lately posting on the subject (see here, here, here, and here for example). Hardly surprising that humanity’s collective thoughts would turn in such a direction given the nuclear crisis in Japan and the existence of a nuclear-armed rogue state in the Middle East led by religious fanatics bent on world domination (and no, I’m not talking about Iran).
With all of the above going on I thought it might be timely to post some information on Saint John’s Apocalypse, also known as the Book of Revelation—the final book in the Christian Bible. Much of what follows is compiled from a chapter entitled “The Apocalypse,” taken from my novel, The Memoirs of Saint John, which was published in October of last year.
The Book of Revelation was written on the Greek island of Patmos, which is believed to have served as a Roman penal colony and is located off the coast of what is today Turkey. Most modern scholars date the writing to around 95 or 96 AD, although some have suggested an earlier date. The writer identifies himself only as “John” and Christian tradition has long held the author to have been John the disciple of Jesus, although his identity has come to be heavily disputed in modern times. If he was the disciple he would have had to have been quite old at the time of the writing, and some have suggested he may have actually been a lesser-known “presbyter,” or elder in the early church, of the same name. In an effort to avoid a wrangle over the author’s precise identity, a lot of people nowadays simply use the term “John of Patmos” and leave it at that. In any event, what we have here is a man imprisoned in a Roman penal colony who one day sees an apparition of Christ, or “one like a son of man,” as he describes it. The figure, standing amidst seven golden candlesticks, instructs him to write down in a book an account of a series of visions that are about to come to him—and what then follows is “the nightmare of God,” as St. John’s Apocalypse has been termed.
Heavily impregnated with symbolism, the Book of Revelation is puzzling and mysterious. A mystique in fact has come to surround it. Despite its many ambiguities, the tract has been, and continues to be, interpreted in creative, often absurd ways. It is regarded as history, end-times prophecy, or even both, by categories of expounders to whom such names as “preterists,” “historicists,” and “futurists” have been applied. In modern times, mainstream Christianity has tended to deemphasize the Apocalypse; church lectionaries seldom feature it any more, yet its passages have been evoked in countless books and movies. Moreover, for all its mysterious qualities, it does seem to resonate with disparate branches of the faith, from fundamentalists at one end of the spectrum, to liberation theologians at the other. Scholars, for their own part, have viewed the Woman Clothed with the Sun as representing the Virgin Mary, or alternately as the heavenly or earthly church, or Israel, while exegetes of various stripes have struggled to name the beast, or decode the number 666. In all of history, perhaps no other piece of writing, including the works of Plato and Shakespeare, has held such sway over the human imagination, or the Western imagination at any rate. This has shown no sign of slacking off in modern times. On the contrary, if anything, with the world entering the nuclear age in the 20th century, the reverse has been the case.
In 1970, Hal Lindsey published The Late Great Planet Earth. Translated into 53 languages, the book became something of a manifesto for Christian dispensationalists, eventually selling more than 35 million copies and generating an astounding amount of mainstream attention. Essentially Lindsey’s interpretation of biblical prophecy, The Late Great Planet Earth is filled with cold war rhetoric, with the author casting the Soviet Union as the biblical “Gog” and warning of “the vast hordes of the Orient” who, in Lindsey’s view, would probably become “united under the Red Chines war machine” in time for the final Battle of Armageddon. These theories were finely tuned in a follow-up book, published in 1973, entitled There’s a New World Coming, a chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse analysis of Lindsey’s interpretation of the Book of Revelation. In it, he speaks of the “merciless, sweeping tyranny” of an Antichrist who would rise out of Europe. Significantly, the European Common Market, in the early 1970s, stood at just under ten members. John’s “beast from the sea,” described in Revelation chapter 13, has ten horns, as does the fourth beast in the Old Testament Book of Daniel. Lindsey took it all as evidence that the European Common Market (now with 27 members and known as the European Union) would morph into a “Revived Roman Empire” that would supplant the United States in power. As for the latter, America suffered from a weakness in its will to resist communism, and “is nowhere intimated in the Bible’s prophecies of the last war of the world.”
In yet another bestselling book on prophecy, John F. Walvoord, chancellor at Dallas Theological Seminary, also warned of a coming world conflagration in his Armageddon, Oil, and the Middle East Crisis. The book was originally published in 1973, but was reissued in 1990—just in time, seemingly, for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in the first Gulf War. Walvoord, too, saw a revived Roman empire shaping up in Europe, but he also regarded the “power of Arab oil” as being destined to play a deciding role in what he referred to as the “Armageddon countdown.” Armageddon, Oil, and the Middle East Crisiscites a number of passages from Revelation, including its references to the Euphrates River (16:12); Walvoord also depicted Saddam Hussein as having “the ambition of establishing a new Babylonian Empire with himself in the role of Nebuchadnezzar.” But as for any role America might play in the planet’s coming “death struggle,” Walvoord seemed to agree with Lindsey: “No specific prophecy whatever is found concerning the role of the United States, indicating that its contribution will be a secondary one as the world moves on to Armageddon,” he said.
Revelation’s use of “Babylon” as a code word for imperial Rome was of course key for evangelicals watching events unfold in the Middle East. But some Christian dispensationalists took the literal view, that is that a literal rebuilding of ancient Babylon, on the site where it once stood in today’s Iraq, was a necessary precursor to the final Battle of Armageddon. Saddam Hussein’s alleged plans to do no less than just that were revealed in The Rise of Babylon: Sign of the End Times by Charles Dyer of the Moody Bible Institute. Arousing considerable public interest, particularly in the evangelical community, the book was originally published in 1990, and then reissued in early 2003—apparently timed for America’s second invasion of Iraq. “Prideful” and “barbaric”—these are some of the adjectives Dyer used to describe Saddam Hussein, in a book whose front cover artwork featured an image of the Iraqi leader’s face, with a mushroom cloud adorning the back. And what of America? How did it figure into Revelation’s prophecies? Again, like Lindsey and Walvoord, Dyer felt the United States was “strangely absent” from biblical predictions of the end times.
But of course nothing captured the public imagination quite like the Left Behind series by authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. The books hit the mass-market fiction audience starting in the mid-1990s, serving up the adventures of a “tribulation force” of Christian believers who do battle with the Antichrist Nicholas Carpathia. The latter assumes control of the “Global Community” (the newly renamed United Nations), and moves its headquarters to “New Babylon,” which has been erected—where else?—on the ancient site in Iraq.
Lindsey, Walvoord, and Dyer, like most Christian evangelicals in the latter half of the 20th century, shared an almost deified admiration for Israel, and viewed the establishment of the Zionist state as a fulfillment of prophecy. (Many evangelicals today are moving away from that view. See here, here, here, and here, for just a few examples.)
In reading the Book of Revelation, university scholars generally part company, and in significant ways, with evangelical authors. One such scholar has been Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, a Harvard professor of religious studies and author of two books on the Apocalypse. The Book of Revelation’s main value is the insight it provides into the thinking of Christian communities of the late first century, argues Schüssler Fiorenza, who cited Walvoord in particular as an example of “how a fundamentalist reading of Revelation and imperialist politics intertwine.”
“Biblical scholars do not read Revelation as a code by which to decipher events of our own time,” she adds.
Writing in 1991, Schüssler Fiorenza viewed the Apocalypse as exhibiting “bizarre language” as well as a “grotesque world of vision,” yet she also felt it was an “outcry for justice.” To look upon the book as a prediction of future events, she reasoned, would be “disastrous,” however. Instead, Revelation should be regarded as a “vision of a just world.” Schüssler Fiorenza also considered the premise of authorship by John the disciple of Jesus to be “not tenable.”
In his 1993 book, The Theology of the Book of Revelation, UK scholar and professor Richard Bauckham viewed the Apocalypse as a work “composed with astonishing care and skill.” In his view, “we should certainly not doubt that John had remarkable visionary experiences,” yet Bauckham, too, dispelled the notion of the book’s being a picture of the future. Rather, he said, the ancient author’s intended purpose was “to counter the Roman imperial view of the world,” but the way he went about doing that is what aroused Bauckham’s admiration for the text; the Apocalypse, he noted, “creates a complex network” of literary cross references, parallels, and contrasts, all put together in an “astonishingly meticulous” manner. The grouping of various things into sevens—cups, seals, churches, and the like—is only a small part of this picture. In addition to these more obvious groupings, Bauckham discovered “numerical patterns” in references to God, Christ, and the Spirit scattered throughout the text. These references often fall into factors of four or seven. For instance, seven designations for “Lord God Almighty” (found at 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7; 19:6; and 21:22), are complemented by seven beatitudes (at 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; and 22:7 and 14), and fourteen occurrences of the name “Jesus.” In addition, the word “Lamb” in reference to Christ, occurs twenty-eight (7 x 4) times. Seven of these are in phrases linking God and the Lamb together (at 5:13; 6:16; 7:10; 14:4; 21:22; and 22:1 and 3); while there are also four references to the “seven Spirits” (1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6)…and seven references (5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6; 17:15) to what Bauckham referred to as the “four-fold phrase” (“peoples, tribes, languages, and nations”)—a phrase used by John as an indicator for all humanity. Baukham felt patterns such as these were “likely to be deliberate.”
In the ancient world, the number seven represented completeness, while the world, with its four wind directions, four corners, etc., was depicted by the number four. For Bauckham, Revelation addressed the “worldwide tyranny of Rome” in a manner that made it essentially “the most powerful piece of political resistance literature from the period of the early Empire.” Of course, Rome isn’t the only thing at which the Apocalypse takes aim. The words “synagogue of Satan” are found at two points in the text (2:9 and 3:9). For Bauckham, the phrase sounded “dangerously anti-Semitic,” and in fact “would be, if repeated outside its original context.” But Baukham regarded 2:9 and 3:9 as evidence of an “intra-Jewish dispute,” rather than an outpouring of anti-Semitism, a dispute which he described as “a rift like that between the temple establishment and the Qumran community, who denounced their fellow Jews as ‘an assembly of deceit and a congregation of Belial.’”
Indeed the Apocalypse does have “insiders,” as well as those who seem clearly and pejoratively regarded as “outsiders.” Scholar Cameron Afzal felt the tract’s intended audience was the insiders, and that as such the Book of Revelation was not, per se, a missionary text intended to convert others to the Christian faith. Furthermore, Afzal, in his 2008 work, The Mystery of the Book of Revelation, contended that the author, whichever John it may have been, was possibly the most revolutionary thinker of his age.
Among us are artists, visionaries, thinkers with creative minds that help shape our communal perspectives. Their work becomes a part of culture and helps us to perceive and apprehend both ourselves and the world around us. These cultural artifacts don’t necessarily create reality in order to flourish and grow. Sometimes one of us will attempt to radically reconfigure the way in which we look at the world. St. John of Patmos was one such man.
Afzal felt John had intended his narrative of world cataclysm to function as a “future trace,” as Afzal put it, an indication that something is to occur in the future, much as a glow in the sky before dawn indicates the sun will rise. “In a sense the future trace lies at the foundation of all modern physics in the form of probability theory or even quantum mechanics,” he said. He also noted the book’s extensive grounding in Jewish literature and culture, and said there is an “emerging consensus” that the author was indeed a Jew.
It’s worth pausing here to note that one of the basic concepts of quantum theory is that matter possesses a particle-wave duality, exhibiting characteristics of each. This in turn gives rise to a level of uncertainty over a particle’s precise position, creating in effect a “range” of possibilities. The wave is what determines the range, but when the position of the particle is measured, the range narrows, creating what scientists refer to as “wave collapse.” Why the phenomenon occurs has not been completely understood. Is it the mere act of observing? If so, would there then be no wave collapse without consciousness, and would the collapse therefore be deemed a result of “downward causation,” as scientists refer to it, or—as theologians would term it—“divine intervention”? It’s an interesting question. Theologians of course deal in matters of the spirit—a dubious concept for most scientists, yet in the world of quantum physics, dubious concepts often materialize into reality, the experiments of French physicist Alain Aspect and associates in the early 1980s being a case in point. Aspect proved that two particles emitted from the same wave function remained inextricably correlated. A change in one produced a similar and instantaneous change in the other, even when the particles were separated by a distance of more than a kilometer. Communication normally occurs by means of signals carrying energy. But in this case, there was none. The effect has been referred to as “spooky action at a distance.”
To no great surprise, actual victims of oppression read the Book of Revelation in a manner far, far different from ivory-towered university professors, or even pulpit-pounding evangelicals. The power of the Apocalypse and its relevance to the South African struggle against apartheid was the subject of Comfort and Protest, a 1987 book by Allan Boesak.
I heard from family members how a mother and her four-month-old baby and six-year-old handicapped boy were driven out of their shack by tear gas. As they ran out they were driven back again by gunshots. While they were inside, the shack was set alight and they were burned alive. The police looked on without lifting a finger. The young man who told me the story was barely eighteen. I had no answer to his burning anger, nor had I comfort for the tears of the old woman who stood next to him.
The “comfort” Boesak finally elected to offer was that of Saint John’s Apocalypse. Boesak, a minister in the Dutch Reformed Mission Church of South Africa, initiated a series of Bible studies for his congregants on the Book of Revelation. The latter, he held, has “much to say to our own times, and especially to those of us who, like the churches of John’s time, must live under political repression.” Boesak rejected the futurist interpretation of Revelation adopted by evangelicals, but likewise he also found fault with scholars who read the work solely in terms of its first century setting. Instead, he put forth a “contemporary-historical” understanding of the work: “No prophecy receives its full and final fulfillment in one given historical moment only, or even in a series of events. If the prophecy is the expression of an undeniable truth which comes from God, it will be fulfilled at different times and in different ways in the history of the world.”
But South Africa wasn’t the only place people were reading Revelation and drawing solace from it. In 1994, the Chilean priest Pablo Richard published his book, Apocalypse: A People’s Commentary on the Book of Revelation, following a series of workshops held primarily in Central America. The gatherings averaged eighty persons each, including peasants, indigenous people, leaders of Christian Base Communities and the like. Richard’s conclusion was that Revelation is having a “decisive influence” in the Third World, where it is “coming to be the preferred book of the Christian Base Communities” and other ecclesial movements seeking social change. Its appeal, he said, is that it “unveils the reality of the poor and legitimizes their liberation.” Richard furthermore felt that the Church ignores or downplays Saint John’s vision at its own peril. “Over the long run, it was disregard of Revelation that opened the way for the incorporation of the church into the dominant imperial system and the construction of an authoritarian Christendom. To retrieve Revelation is to retrieve a fundamental dimension of the Jesus movement and of the origins of Christianity.”
Unlike Richard, Catholic lay writers Wes Howard-Brook and Anthony Gwyther, writing in 1999, went so far as to attach a modern-day name to the beast: “global capital,” they called it. The co-authors regarded Revelation’s imagery as “lurid and violent,” but then the beast of global capital also exerts a “systemic violence” that is “visible and apparent,” they said. “We have also noted the ‘war against the poor’ waged on behalf of global capital in Latin America and other places when people are murdered for daring to seek dignity and the basics of life.”
But the violence capable of being unleashed upon the planet by those of wealth and privilege was not only sensed and intuited by Third World peasants. Others saw it as well. In the United States, the Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan wrote Nightmare of God while jailed for his anti-nuclear activism in the early 1980s. Berrigan takes his own country to task for “preparing for ever more lethal incursions” against other countries and peoples, while he also issues a withering criticism of biblical scholars: “To most scholars of the Bible, the crimes of the U.S. Air Force are forever beside the point. Thus does crime multiply and scholarship rot.” The Apocalypse, in Berrigan’s view, contains a “social bias” in favor of the victims of oppression, unlikeAmerica, which Berrigan felt was bent upon “carving the earth” through war. “Bellicose, selfish, self-deluded, icy, absolutely resolute—behold the Rome of the Book of Revelation. Behold also America?” For Berrigan there was only one choice: “resist the state.”
With the publication of Nightmare of God in 1982, Berrigan may well have become the first American to draw a public analogy between modern day United States and the beast in Revelation, but outside the United States, others were making identical comparisons. One was Guatemalan exile-poet Julia Esquivel. Her poem, “Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.”, was written in November of 1981 and published the following year in her collection Threatened with Resurrection; here the poet speaks of being “led by the Spirit” on the “eve of Thanksgiving Day” into the desert where she has a “vision of Babylon.” It is a lengthy poem, and one very much worth reading in its entirety. I will supply here an excerpt.
Later another Angel showed me
the plains of California,
and I heard a great cry
which poured from the earth,
rising above the smoke
from the skyscrapers,
until even the Father could hear it,
and it reached the throne of the Sacrificial Lamb.
It was the cry of the blood
of thousands of innocent martyrs.
Then I recognized the Beast
which has a thousand faces
and a different mark
on the forehead of each.
The marks blazed with arrogance
in colorful, scintillating lights,
imitating the stars and wasting the energy
stolen from the world’s poor.
deceived the ignorant
and those who flee from the truth:
those who worship the Beast
in the Bank of America
or in its many other temples…
The marks offered them
sure and peaceful sleep,
a way to acquire prestige
and a thousand unnecessary things.
To continue along this path,
they had to harden themselves
against the Lamb and against
His Kingdom of Peace and Justice…
The poem also and describes “the outcry of the thousands crucified in El Salvador and Guatemala”—a reference to what was an ongoing bloodbath in Central America at the time Esquivel wrote the poem. On January 31, 1980, a group of Mayan peasants occupied the Spanish embassy in Guatemala City, protesting the kidnapping and murder of peasants by the U.S.-backed government. Over the objections of the Spanish ambassador, Guatemalan police stormed the embassy, touching off a fire that left 36 people dead, including the father of Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchú. The act was described as a “defining moment” in the Guatemalan Civil War, a conflict in which an estimated quarter of a million people were killed or disappeared. In neighboring El Salvador, on March 24, less than two months later, Archbishop Óscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating mass—one day after delivering a sermon calling for soldiers to obey God’s higher order and to cease human rights violations on behalf of the government. The assassination was believed to have been carried out by a death squad operating under the orders of Salvadoran Army officer Roberto D’Aubuisson. Romero was shot while holding up the Eucharist. His blood spilled over the altar.
Then some eight months later, on December 2, four American church women, nuns Dorothy Kazel, Maura Clark, and Ita Ford, along with lay missionary Jean Donovan, were raped and murdered by members of the Salvadoran National Guard. At the time of her death, Donovan, just 27 years old, had been doing missionary work in El Salvador for three years. Her duties had included burying the bodies left behind by the death squads. She was said to have been an especially devoted follower of Romero, and reportedly had stood next to his coffin. During the bishop’s funeral, attended by thousands, a bomb exploded, followed by shots fired. Some thirty to fifty people died in the resulting melee. Donovan survived that experience, but wrote to a friend in May of that year: “Everything is really hitting so close now.”
Then, as the timeline goes, comes November of 1981: Esquivel writes the poem, “Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.”
In the ancient world, “prophecy” and “poetry” were often regarded as one and the same. And indeed there may have been something akin to “prophetic insight” in Esquivel’s writing of the poem. Or at least in its line about the “crucified” of El Salvador. On December 11 (with the ink on the poem perhaps not even dry), the Atlacatl Battalion of the U.S.-trained-and-supplied Salvadoran Army carried out a massacre in El Mozote and surrounding villages. An account of the event is given in the book Rebel Radio: The Story of El Salvador’s Radio Venceremos, by Jose Ignacio Lopez Vigil. Just over a thousand people died. Women and girls were raped, houses burned to the ground, animals slaughtered. The attack seemed to have been part of a counterinsurgency strategy of “draining the sea to catch the fish.” The idea was that the people were “the sea,” while the guerillas were the “fish” that swam in the sea. Arriving after the soldiers had left, a detachment of armed guerillas, along with reporters from the rebel radio station, found that the attackers had been thorough; inside the village church were overturned pews, scattered saints, walls pockmarked with bullets, and “a mountain of rotting bodies.” The guerillas would come to refer to it as “the saddest Christmas.” Before leaving the village, they discovered some graffiti left behind by the murderers:
The Atlacatl Battalion was here
The Angels of Hell
Several years later, by which time El Mozote had become an abandoned graveyard, a contingent of guerillas made a return pass through the area by night, noticing a curious phenomenon: the entire ghost-village lit up by fireflies. Years later, one of them would remark upon it to Vigil:
It was a dark night and when we approached the abandoned village thousands of fireflies lit up at the same time. Thousands and thousands, the entire woods glowed. Then, as if by some mysterious order, they all went dark at the same moment. Then they all lit up again with that spectral light. Then they all went dark. I swear I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. I don’t imagine anyone who was in the column that night has been able to forget the call of the fireflies.
But Esquivel wasn’t the only Central American dissident combining the poetic and the prophetic at this time. In 1977, Nicaraguan poet and priest Ernesto Cardenal penned the poem “Apocalypse,” in which seven angels come down to earth “bearing cups of smoke in their hands.” One angel pours forth a “neutronic cup,” while another’s is of “Cobalt,” and so on and so forth, and in the apocalypse which ensues, “Hiroshima’s fate was envied.” And hence, writes Cardenal, “BABYLON THE GREAT IS FALLEN”—a “great whore” who had come “clutching all manner of checks and bonds and shares and commercial documents.”
Thus, has the Book of Revelation been read, perceived, and interpreted by a wide range of Westerners, Westerners grounded, in most cases, in the Christian tradition. But perhaps not surprisingly, the Apocalypse has also generated commentary from non-Westerners. One is India’s Paramahansa Yogananda. Unlike many others to pen discourses on Revelation, this twentieth century Hindu yogi never questioned the authenticity of authorship by John the disciple of Jesus. In fact Yogananda, who, upon his death was given the title Premavatar, “incarnation of love,” held John to be the most advanced disciple of the “Christ-man” Jesus. In his book, God Talks with Arjuna, he writes:
The records left by Saint John, among the various books of the New Testament, evince the highest degree of divine realization, making known the deep, esoteric truths experienced by Jesus and transferred to John. Not only in his Gospel, but in his epistles and especially in the profound metaphysical experiences symbolically described in the Book of Revelation, John presents the truths taught by Jesus from the point of view of inward intuitive realization.
For Yogananda, John’s words contained a measure of “precision” not found in other books of the New Testament. Revelation’s various septenary groupings, for instance, he viewed as representing the seven cerebrospinal centers of divine consciousness in the body. Expounding on one passage in particular, Revelation 2:26-28, with its reference to the “morning star,” the Indian spiritual teacher said the words therein contained John’s description of the ajna chakra, the spiritual eye, located at the center of the forehead. “The ‘morning star’ or ‘star of the East,’” he said, “is the spiritual single eye in the Christ or Kutastha center of the forehead (east), a microcosm of the creative vibratory light and consciousness of God.” In the passage in question, the author of the Apocalypse has Jesus promising the light of this star to those who remain steadfast. He also inserts a quote from the second Psalm.
To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—he will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star.
For Yogananda, it was yet another example of Saint John’s precision. “Through the spiritual eye, the adept yogi attains mastery over the forces (‘nations’) in his physical, astral, and causal bodies, and gains entry into the realm of Spirit,” he said.
One text—many interpretations! While it may seem like we’ve covered a lot of ground here, this is in reality only a small, select sampling of the numerous exegetic interpretations of the Book of Revelation that have appeared over the years. And they are still coming out. At this moment Christian Zionists and media supporters of Israel are using Saint John’s Apocalypse to validate the Zionist state and justify further wars in the Middle East. This seems an especially favored tactic of Glenn Beck. On February 17, just as protests were underway in Egypt, the Fox News host aired a program in which he and a guest likened the 12th Imam of the Islamic faith to the Antichrist of the Bible (see here and here.) The program was provocative and inflammatory—equating one religion’s holy messiah to another’s archfiend and villain could hardly be otherwise—and included a discussion on the Book of Revelation as well as chalkboard comparisons. However, from an ecclesiastical standpoint there were a number of flaws. For one thing, both Beck and his guest failed to clarify that the word “Antichrist” appears nowhere in the Apocalypse. Omitted also was any mention of Revelation’s “synagogue of Satan” references, which presumably would not fit in well with the political point the show was hoping to make. But despite its theological flaws, the program served up some handy agitprop for American viewers—driving a wedge between Christians and Muslims while further serving the interests of Israel.
In closing, perhaps the most important thing of all to remember about the Apocalypse, and which the religious Right, in its overzealous support of for the Jewish state, habitually overlooks, is that it was written by a man who had been imprisoned by the Romans and who was urging his readers to resist oppression. It is this that lies at the book’s heart, far more so than the cataclysmic imagery that has become its more superficial trademark, and is doubtless why it has become so favored by those struggling for justice in Latin America and elsewhere. Another thing is important too. While he was a huge fan of the Hebrew prophets, especially Daniel, John was also most likely a “self-hating Jew.” I say that because what he has done is he has taken the theme of messianic war—a theme running through much of the Jewish apocalyptic literature of that day—and combined it with a theme of liberation from slavery, binding this finally to a picture of Christ as Witness, as the “Lamb of God.” The result is something of a hybrid form of literature. The long-awaited Jewish Messiah, a descendent of David to be anointed by God to lead his people into a war against the Gentiles, is reinterpreted—as Messiah Jesus, as a king victorious without military conquest, and whose victory is universal, attained not in the narrow interests of a single tribe or nation but on behalf of the international People of God.
Frescoes in the Monastery of Saint John—on Patmos today
And finally, we should explode a common myth or misnomer: that Revelation predicts the end of the world. It does not. What in fact is predicted is a new beginning, a new age, one wherein “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” To be sure, there will be “birth pangs,” as Jesus describes them in the synoptic gospels, but in the end, the visions of John bring us finally to a “new Jerusalem,” a Jerusalem where grows a “tree of life” whose leaves “are for the healing of the nations.” That being said, it’s also important for us to remember that we are not simply to sit back and wait complacently for these changes to occur. It is very much up to us to bring them about. God is inside us and he works through us, and just as Hosni Mubarak was not toppled from power until the people of Egypt rose up and demanded his removal, the New Age, the Awakening, will not come about until we make it happen. As John put it, “To he who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” The key here is the word “overcome.” We must first take it upon ourselves to overcome the forces of repression—and we shall and we will—but it will take all of us working together.
The Tea Party’s Emerging Zionist Face
From sounding warnings about ‘terror babies’ to deploring human sympathy for ‘underdogs,’ the Tea Party lurches into Zionist ideology
By Richard Edmondson for Veterans Today
When the Tea Party appeared as a national phenomenon early in 2009, the chief preoccupation was with domestic matters, its disparate groups and members rallying around such traditionally conservative concerns as big government, “socialized medicine,” and the like. There was a strong populist streak (or at least that’s how the media portrayed it), and outrage was expressed over Obama’s multi-billion dollar stimulus package, along with genuinely-felt sentiments, put forth here and there, that Washington was “bailing out Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.” Concerns over foreign policy, the nation’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, seemed to take a backseat, and certainly there were few, if any, calls for a new war in Iran or solidifying relations with the state of Israel.
By mid 2010, however, this had changed dramatically. On July 21, several Capitol Hill Republicans, including Michelle Bachman of Minnesota and Louis Gohmert of Texas, held a press conference announcing formation of a Congressional Tea Party Caucus, and almost immediately thereafter caucus members sponsored a resolution “explicitly endorsing Israel’s right to strike Iran’s nuclear program,” as one report put it. Now the TP appears on the brink of an even further lurch into Zionist ideology in the form of a soon-to-be-released book, Underdogma, currently being hailed as “the first great Tea Party book.” The author is Michael Prell, a member of the Tea Party Patriots (TPP), and the book has been endorsed by Bachman, Zionist neocons Daniel Pipes and Frank Gaffney, as well as by TPP cofounder and national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin. Additional praise has also been garnered from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who lauds Prell for explaining “how the Left masks anti-Americanism and anti-Western sentiment behind the American tradition of rooting for the underdog and how we can fight back against their rhetoric by reviving the American spirit of our founding fathers that transformed us from the ‘underdog’ to the greatest country on earth.”
Underdogma’s subtitle is “How America’s Enemies Use Our Love for the Underdog to Trash American Power,” and if that’s not explicit enough for you, Prell outlines his basic thesis in a series of articles that can be found here. “From Christ’s blessed meek to Eli Manning to rock-throwing Palestinians; people tend to side with the little guy,” he writes. (1) Sympathy for the underdog is part of the American character, stemming, in Prell’s view, from our “formative experiences” in childhood upon finding ourselves under the power of teachers, parents, school-yard bullies, etc. These childhood experiences give rise later in life to a “reflexive belief” that those in the world with little or no power “are automatically deemed virtuous and noble,” while persons or entities with larger or greater power “are to be scorned—simply because they have more power.” (2) The name he gives to this axiom is “underdogma.” While the ability to feel sympathy for the oppressed would, for many of us, seem among humanity’s more noble traits, in Prell’s view it’s in reality “the polar opposite of the American spirit.” And furthermore, he assures us, this tendency poses a manifest threat to the nation.
Given the Palestinians are perhaps the world’s premiere underdogs at present, it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out whose political goals are being advanced here. But for those TP members not especially apt at connecting dots, Prell obligingly spells out, at least in his essays, whose side he’s on. Here he defines “Islamists” as our “sworn enemies,” (3) while at the same time harshly berating Obama for his attempts at stopping Israeli settlement building (attempts which, of course, were pathetically weak and ultimately unsuccessful). “Why is it that when Israelis build homes in Israel, they invite scorn from President Obama, and when Palestinians build homes—or even rockets—they find themselves with Barack Obama’s unwavering support?” Prell asks disingenuously. (4)
A Short History
Much like WikiLeaks, the TP has had lavish amounts of mainstream media publicity heaped upon it, literally saturation-levels of coverage, which have turned the words “tea party” into a household word in America. To such an extent has this been the case, it’s almost hard to believe now that a mere two years ago the movement didn’t even exist. The TP’s birth can be traced back to February 19, 2009 and an on-air tirade by CNBC business editor Rick Santelli, although some sources credit blogger Keli Carender with having actually organized the first tea-party-like protests earlier that same month in Seattle. In either event, the cause of concern, for both Santelli and Carender, was Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package. While Carender seems to have had some reservations over bank bailouts, for Santelli the main affront clearly was the expending of taxpayer dollars to help beleaguered homeowners, whom he referred to as “losers,” avoid foreclosure. In his rant, delivered from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Santelli accused the government of “promoting bad behavior” and went on to confide to CNBC viewers, “We’re thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July.”
It didn’t take quite until July, however, for the first official “tea party” to be held. On February 27 protests sprung up in at least eight states plus the District of Columbia, while on April 15—tax day—events in multiple cities, from California to Massachusetts, drew tens of thousands or perhaps more. Things continued to simmer throughout the year, with a series of “Obamacare” protests spiking especially in the month of August. Then in February of 2010, the TP held its first national convention, in Nashville, with Sarah Palin delivering the keynote address while wearing an American/Israeli flag pin. “America is ready for another revolution and you’re a part of this,” she told the cheering crowd.
Molding a public image
On February 27, 2010, the New York Times featured a story on blogger Carender, the occasion being the anniversary of the first multi-state TP protests of a year earlier. “You would probably not think of her as the Tea Party type,” said the Times, describing the Seattle math teacher as a member of the Young Republicans although one who “has a pierced nose, performs improv on the weekends, and lives here (Seattle) in a neighborhood with more Mexican grocers than coffeehouses.” (5) The story includes a photo of Carender being interviewed by the media, as well as a quote from TPP national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin, who, in the Times words viewed, the young woman as…
an unlikely avatar of the movement but an ideal one. She puts a fresh, idealistic face on a movement often dismissed as a bunch of angry extremists.
“She’s not your typical conservative,” she (Martin) said. “She’s an actress. She’s got a nose ring. I think it’s the thing that’s so amazing about our movement.” (6)
It seems to be part of an overall effort to reshape and remold the TP’s image into something more inclusive, something beyond the stereotypical white-conservative demographic. This effort was on display at the July 21 Capitol Hill press conference, an event which included both black and Hispanic faces and was reported by Fox News as having shown off “the racial and ethnic diversity of the movement,” (7) and it was also evident in a response by the National Tea Party Federation (NTPF) to accusations of racism leveled by the NAACP. “The…(NTPF) today flatly rejected the NAACP’s unfounded accusations that condemn ‘racist elements’ in the tea party movement,” the group said in a July 14 statement. A separate statement issued the same day quoted a number of black conservatives, such as Frantz Kebreau of the NAACPC (“National Association for the Advancement of Conservative People of all Colors”), speaking in the TP’s defense. (8)
The accusations of racism stemmed from racial epithets that were allegedly hurled at Congressional Black Caucus members passing by a TP “Code Red Healthcare Rally” at the capitol in March. In an April letter to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, the NTPF stated its view that “racism and hate speech have no place in civil political discourse and debate,” and promised swift action should any TP member be found to have engaged in such. On July 17 it seemed to make good on its promise when it voted to expel the Tea Party Express as one of its member organizations over racist remarks attributed to member Mark Williams. (9) Williams, one of the leaders in the Ground Zero mosque protests, reportedly posted on his blog a satirical letter praising slavery, a missive supposed to have been written by “Colored People” and sent to President Abraham Lincoln. Williams is also said to have called Obama an “Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug” and referred to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who supported the mosque construction, as “a Jewish Uncle Tom who would have turned rat on Anne Frank.” (10)
Like the NTPF and the newly-formed TP Congressional Caucus, Prell, too, seems to be doing a bit of outreach to a more broad-minded, enlightened audience. In what appears to be an appeal to the gay community, he reports in one of his essays that Palestinians “outlaw and execute homosexuals,” (11) then turns around, in a separate article, with an appeal to mainstream Christians wherein he discusses efforts to “eliminate Christmas from America’s town squares.” (12) How successful all this will be remains to be seen. It does seem to be a bit of a delicate high wire act, made all the more complicated by the fact that so far membership of the TP Congressional Caucus is entirely Republican (see the complete list here), although given the wind in the TP’s sails provided by the mainstream media, it would probably be unwise to dismiss these rebranding efforts as futile or unlikely.
Dick Armey and Freedom Works
Besides the aforementioned caucus members, another “leading voice of the Tea Party movement” is former House majority leader Dick Armey, who in 1994 helped Gingrich draft the “Contract with America.” Since leaving the House, Armey has worked as a consultant and currently heads the organization Freedom Works, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit which, according to its website, “recruits, educates, trains, and mobilizes millions of volunteer activists to fight for less government, lower taxes, and more freedom.” Whether the claim of “millions” is reliable or not, there does indeed seem to be a training program of some sort, as the New York Times story on Carender reported:
Ms. Carender’s first rally drew only 120 people. A week later, she had 300, and six weeks later, 1,200 people gathered for a Tax Day Tea Party. Last month, she was among about 60 Tea Party leaders flown to Washington to be trained in election activism by Freedom Works, the conservative advocacy organization led by Dick Armey, the former House Republican leader. (13)
In addition to running his apparently well-funded nonprofit, Armey is also the author, along with Matt Kibbe, of Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto, described by one reviewer on Amazon as a “perfect recruiting tool.” The book was released in August 2010, however, in 2002, when he was still in Congress, Armey issued a somewhat different manifesto—not in defense of liberty, but of Israel. On May 1 that year (May Day ironically) Armey, in an interview on Hardball with Chris Matthews, essentially called for what would amount to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Occupied Territories. “I am content to have Israel occupy that land that it now occupies and to have those people who have been aggressors against Israel retired to some other arena, and I would be happy to have them make a home. I would be happy to have all of these Arab nations that have been so hell bent to drive Israel out of the Middle East to get together, find some land and make a home for the Palestinians. I think it can be done,” he said. Matthews’ response was somewhat combative (see here for a transcript of the exchange), as he pointed out that what Armey was advocating was sharply at variance with official U.S. policy. Somewhat combative was about as far as it went, however. Matthews evidently did not view the remarks offensive enough to warrant charging his guest with racism, although we can imagine the reaction might have been different had Armey called for the expulsion of Jews rather than Palestinians. Not only would the congressman have been excoriated on Hardball, he likely would have gone on to suffer a Helen Thomas-like fate in his public life.
In June of 2002, roughly a month after Armey’s comments on Hardball, Israel began construction on the wall which today, the world over, has become an iconic symbol of twenty-first century apartheid. (14) No word on whether Armey has been disavowed or repudiated by the NTPF.
Louie Gohmert and ‘terror babies’
Texas Republican Congressman and TP Caucus member Louis Gohmert made a splash last summer when he began touting the theory that Muslim women were entering the U.S. for the purpose of having babies—thereby gaining citizenship status for their offspring. The babies, as the theory goes, would then grow up, undergo terrorist training, and return to America for the purpose of carrying out attacks. “It is happening, it is happening, it is happening,” Gohmert proclaimed in a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, though without offering evidence.
“Where? Give me some evidence. Tell me one person, one terror baby that’s been born. Can you tell me?” responded Cooper.
“The explosions will not happen for 10, 15, 20 years, and then you will be one of those blips. I’m not comparable to Winston Churchill, but the detractors like you are comparable to his detractors,” Gohmert replied angrily, comparing Cooper to Jon Stewart and accusing him of having “fun” at his expense. (15)
The interview is thought to have been discrediting to Gohmert, particularly in light of comments by Janet Napolitano and a former FBI official denying existence of evidence pointing to “terror baby” plots against America. Nonetheless, Gohmert still remains a popular figure. A poll of TP participants in December found 70 percent supporting him over Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio to head up the Republican Study Committee. (16) Despite TP support, however, the House leadership gave the job to Jordan—possibly out of concerns over Gohmert’s mental stability. As Erik Erickson wrote on RedState.com, “I like Louie Gohmert, but between he and Jim Jordan, I trust Jim to be a fully competent conservative trench fighter who will never go off the reservation about terror babies in embarrassing fashion—let alone be asked about it.” (17)
Wars and rumors of wars
Quite clearly Gohmert, along with Williams and the Tea Party Express, are idiosyncrasies of the movement that some would probably just as soon sweep under the rug. By contrast, however, the Tea Party Patriots is one of the more image-savvy TP groups around, its national coordinator, Jenny Beth Martin, last year being included among the 2010 Time 100, a list of “people who most affect our world” published each year by Time Magazine. “Every revolution needs icons,” Time wrote in its tribute to Martin. “The Tea Party movement may have mushroomed because of its reluctance to anoint a leader, but leaders have emerged nonetheless. In February 2009, Jenny Beth Martin was one of about 20 people who took part in the original conference call (convened via Twitter hashtag) in response to Rick Santelli’s now famous rant. Her commitment to building the burgeoning movement has made her one of its breakout stars.” (18)
On its website, the TPP defines fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets as its “core values.” What the organization’s official position on relations with Israel might be, or even the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are largely a matter of conjecture, however. Martin did not respond to requests for comments for this article. Her TPP compatriot, however, does seem to have a distinct soft spot in his heart for the Zionist state. Prell’s book is not scheduled for release until February 1 (a release presumably being timed to take advantage of the TP’s second anniversary), so any conclusive summary of its subject matter would have to wait until then. However, in an essay entitled “Why Palestinians?”, posted November 13, 2010, Prell confides it was precisely the struggle between Israel and Palestine which led him to a five year investigation of the “belief system” he now calls “underdogma.” It is a confession prefaced initially with a series of rhetorical questions—questions Prell loads with a number of emotional triggers:
Is there something about the culture, beliefs, or actions of Palestinians that resonates deep within the heart of President Obama? Is it the fact that Palestinians incite hatred and violence toward other cultures, calling them “descendants of monkeys and pigs”? Or is it because their school curricula and TV cartoons teach children to kill innocent people, leading 72% of school-aged Palestinians to say they aspire to be martyrs? Or is it the fact that they outlaw and execute homosexuals? Or is it the fact that they subjugate women and then “honor kill” them for the “dishonor” of being raped?
Why would anyone support anyone who does such things? And why have millions of people around the world—from university campuses to the United Nations to the White House—joined together to make “Palestinians the largest per capita recipients of international development assistance in the world”? (19)
After posing his prosecutorial questions, Prell then goes on to reveal, “Five years ago, I set out to answer these questions. What I discovered was a belief system that has implications far beyond East Jerusalem.” Indeed. Prell’s animosity doesn’t stop with the Palestinians, but makes a horizontal trajectory outward seemingly to include the entire Muslim world, or at any rate “radical Islamists.”
What is the common thread? Reflexive opposition to power and automatic support for the underdog—even when those underdogs fly planes into buildings, bury homosexuals up to their necks and stone them to death…and use child suicide bombers to kill innocent civilians. (20)
Underdogma, he says, is an “axis of power” that has transcended traditional divides between right and left, one that can be detected even outside the political realm—in areas such as sports, or the public trials and tribulations of celebrities. But the main threat of this dangerous “belief system” is its ability to shape people’s political ideologies:
Underdogma is all around us. It is at play in virtually every corner of our lives. And, while the Western world increasingly exalts the meek and apologizes for its own power, the self-described enemies of the West—radical Islamists—are operating under a fundamentally different and structurally more potent belief system.
Our sworn enemies operate under no such delusions. To the Islamists; (sic) strength and power are lauded, while any sign of weakness is not simply frowned upon—it is considered an open provocation for violent attack…
What they know, and what we must learn, is that the West’s empathy for the underdog—leading some in the West to tolerate, excuse and even celebrate the violent actions of Islamic terrorists—is viewed by these Islamists as despicable weakness and clear justification—and even provocation—for violent jihad against the very underdogmatists who stand up for them. (21)
It’s probably a safe bet that the only “despicable weakness” in America, as perceived by vast numbers of people in the Middle East, is its weakness in standing up to the Israeli lobby. Nonetheless, Prell goes on to conclude that America “was founded on a pioneer spirit of achievement and a belief in American Exceptionalism (sic),” and he issues a warning that “further thralldom to underdogma is suicidal” and that “compassion should never involve self-destruction.” (22)
Interestingly, Prell’s bio, as listed on the website of his publisher, BenBella Books, cites connections to the current prime minister of Israel among others. “Michael Prell has written for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and hundreds of politicians on three continents. His specialty is starting, shifting, and amplifying national debates,” reads the bio, which additionally goes on to mention the author’s previous work with the Dalai Lama, the global Chinese dissident community, “America’s Rabbi” Shmuley Boteach, and the Jewish Values Network. He also apparently is a winner of the “Pollie Award” given out each year by the American Association of Political Consultants—a prize described as “the Academy Award of political advertising.”
While we may not know Martin’s views on war in the Middle East, we do know her thoughts on her Patriot-compatriot’s forthcoming book since they are given on the TPP website: “Underdogma,” she says, “is the first great Tea Party book. All Tea Party Patriots should read Underdogma.” As for Dick Armey, whatever he is teaching the “millions” of young conservative activists taking his “training” courses, one may probably safely conclude it’s not peace with Muslims. And what of Carender? Like other TPers, the young Seattle woman, who blogs under the name “Liberty Belle,” seems to be a partisan supporter of Israel. Last June, after the Helen Thomas controversy erupted, Liberty Belle’s blog featured a post entitled, “Disgusting: Jew-hater of the day, Helen Thomas.” The post included the embedded video of Thomas’ exchange with the New York rabbi that resulted in her resignation from United Press International. Underneath it, Liberty Belle comments, “I might have to make this a daily feature if all the Jew-hating Americans keep showing their true colors so openly. It’s time to call these people out and let them know their hatred is not welcome in the United States of America.” (23)
Liberty Belle also includes on her blogroll a link to Front Page Magazine, the hawkish website edited by David Horowitz, which spotlights a section called “Jihad Watch.” And for Horowitz, apparently the esteem is mutual. FPM recently named the TP its “Person of the Year,” a tribute in which it asserted that the movement has “wrought tremendous change over the political landscape” and has revitalized “the American zeitgeist.” It also informs us that “the rancid reaction of the Left to the Tea Party is well known and not worth treatment here.” What is provided, however, are some statistics about TP members that are perhaps important to note:
Members are predominately Republican voters, many of whom are disaffected and work largely outside the GOP establishment. Only 54% of TP supporters had a favorable view of the Republican Party, according to an April 2010 New York Times/CBS News poll. Polls consistently show the movement’s single greatest unifying principle is fiscal conservatism, including a desire for a smaller government and a concern over the federal deficit. Social issues are mixed and far less uniform. According to the same poll, slightly more people favored civil unions for homosexuals compared to those who believed gay couples should receive no legal recognition (41% to 40%) and 45% are pro-choice (believing abortion should be available, but with restrictions), while only 35% believe abortion should not be available. (24)
There are probably any number of ways to interpret these stats, though one way could be that more than half of the American Right lies even farther out on the political spectrum than the standard Republican Party line. At the same time, however, the figures on views towards gay marriage could well suggest that Prell’s presumed efforts to reach out to that segment of American society are not without some reasonable chances of success.
Conclusion to part 1
While Americans are justifiably upset at the current state of affairs in their country, a great deal of confusion reigns as to the exact nature of the problems, their causes, and potential solutions. This is not coincidental. Such pervasive confusion exists largely thanks to the mainstream media, whose role, as ever, is to keep the populace frightened and misinformed, this while setting up straw man villains and carefully concealing where the true centers of power lie. If the TP is to be viewed as a media creation, which for the most part it seems to be, the question would then occur as to what purpose. What was its intended function? At the outset, as people grew captivated by the hoopla, its main role seemed to be taking the anger in America—which at the moment is very deep, very palpable, and near pandemic proportions—along with the perennial desire for change, and channeling these vertiginous emotions into a relatively safe, sandbox-type outlet. At some point, however, the ends began to evolve and mutate…as ends often do in the presence of human creativity. Currently as the clock seemingly ticks towards 2 a.m.—as the rhetoric heats up and the storm clouds gather over the Persian Gulf yet again—the “party,” as it were, appears to have taken a more sinister direction, with an advocacy of war becoming one of its defining characteristics.
Richard Edmondson is the author of The Memoirs of Saint John: No Greater Love, available on Amazon. Visit his website at www.memoirsofsaintjohn.com. He also maintains a blog at www.leftwing-christian.net.
- Michael Prell, “America’s enduring love for underdogs,” American Thinker, Feb. 6, 2008, http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/02/americas_enduring_love_for_und.html
- Prell, “Underdogma,” American Thinker, Dec. 14, 2007, http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/12/underdogma.html
- Prell, “Why Palestinians?” American Thinker, Nov. 13, 2010, http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/why_palestinians.html
- Kate Zernike, “An unlikely activist who got to the tea party early,” New York Times, Feb. 27, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/us/politics/28keli.html?_r=2
- “Congressional Tea Party Caucus kicks off with a display of racial unity,” Fox News, July 21, 2010, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/21/tea-party-caucus-kicks-racial-unity/
- National Tea Party Federation website, “press room” page, http://www.thenationalteapartyfederation.com/press_room.html
10. Helen Kennedy, “Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams kicked out over ‘colored people’ letter,’” New York Daily News, July 18, 2010, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/07/18/2010-07-18_tea_party_express_leader_mark_williams_expelled_over_colored_people_letter.html
11. Prell, “Underdogma,” http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/12/underdogma.html
12. Michael Prell, “Merry Christmas,” The Daily Caller, Dec. 7, 2010, http://dailycaller.com/2010/12/07/merry-christmas/#ixzz17SuAlIdD
13. Zernike, “Unlikely Activist…” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/us/politics/28keli.html?_r=2
14. PalestineHistory.com, http://www.palestinehistory.com/issues/wall/wallfacts.htm
16. Stephanie Mencimer, “Louie ‘Terror Babies’ Gohmert: Tea Party pick for House leadership,” Mother Jones, Dec. 8, 2010. http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/12/louie-gohmert-tea-party-republican-study-committee
17. Erik Erickson, “Just say no to Louie Gohmert’s write-in bid,” Red State, Dec. 1, 2010, http://www.redstate.com/erick/2010/12/01/just-say-no-to-louie-gohmerts-write-in-bid/
18. “Jenny Beth Martin,” Time, April 29, 2010, http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1984685_1984864_1985462,00.html
19. Prell, “Why Palestinians?” http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/why_palestinians.html
20. Prell, “Underdogma,” http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/12/underdogma.html
23. Redistributing Knowledge blog site, http://redistributingknowledge.blogspot.com/2010/06/disgusting-jew-hater-of-day-helen.html
24. Front Page Magazine, Dec. 31, 2010, http://frontpagemag.com/2010/12/31/frontpages-person-of-the-year-the-tea-party-movement/