Ronnie Ray-Gun & the end of the world.

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The following is excerpted from "Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right" by Sarah Diamond pp131-2.

Armageddonism in high places

As for Ronald Reagan's belief in the Armageddon prophesies, the documentary evidence dates back to 1968 when Reagan told a reporter for a Christian magazine about a conversation he had with his pastor about the "signs of the times."54 In1971, Reagan discussed his eschatological views with James Mills, then president pro-tem of the California state senate. Mills recalls that the discussion centered around Ezekiel 38 - 39, passages cited by christians who believe in a future Soviet invasion of Israel followed by the destruction of Soviet military forces in the Middle East and the outbreak of a nuclear war. Ezekiel 39:6 reads : "I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coast lands."55 Then, at a lobbyists' banquet honoring Mills, the senator asked Reagan whether he had ever read chapters 38 and 39 of the book of Ezekiel in the old Testament. Reagan reportedly replied:

    In the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, it says that the land of Israel will come under attack by the armies of the ungodly nations, and it says that Libya has now gone communist, and that's a sign that the day of Armageddon isn't far off... All of the prophecies that had to be fulfilled before Armageddon have come to pass. In the 38th chapter of Ezekiel it says God will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, where they'd been scattered, and will gather them again in the promised land. That has finally come about after 2000 years. For the first time ever, everything is in place for the battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Christ.
Mills recalls that Reagan said:
    Everything is falling in place. It can't be much longer now. Ezekiel says fire and brimstone will be rained upon the enemies of God's people. That must mean that they'll be destroyed by nuclear weapons. They exist now, and they never did in the past... Ezekiel tells us that Gog, the nation that will lead all of the other powers of darkness against Israel, will come out of the north. Biblical scholars have been saying for generations that Gog must be Russia. What other powerful nation is to the north of Israel? None. But it didn't seem to make sense before the Russian revolution, when Russia was a Christian country. Now it does, now that Russia has become communistic and atheistic, now that Russia has set itself against God. Now it fits the description of Gog perfectly.56
In 1980, while campaigning for the presidency, Reagan appeared on Jim Bakker's PTL network and told the audience, "We maybe the generation that sees Armageddon." Jerry Falwell recalls a 1981 conversation with Reagan in which the president said, "Jerry, I sometimes believe we're heading very fast for Amageddon fight now. "

But by 1988 there was no telling what Ronald Reagan personally believed. Former White House chief of staff Donald Regan published a book charging that Nancy Reagan lived by the dictates of her astrologers reports. Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan made his historic visit to Moscow, wined and dined with the head of the Evil Empire, and signed the INF treaty which was seen by many among the Christian Right as a sacrilegious capitulation to the devil incarnate.


54 - See Lawrence Jones, "Reagan's Religion," Journal of American Culture, Vol. 8 (1985) pp59-70 and Larry Kichham, "The Theology of Nuclear War," Covert Action Information Bulletin, Spring 1987, pp9-14.

55 - James Mills, "The Serious Implications of a 1971 Conversation with Ronald Reagan," San Diego Magazine, August 1985.

56 - Ibid.