Stephanie Mencimer writes at Mother Jones (abridged):
The story of Gog and Magog is central to the bloody eschatology long embraced by millions of American evangelicals.
In recent years, End Times has gained special political currency as believers have seen any number of Middle East conflagrations as fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy, notably the US invasion of Iraq and the war in Syria.
Gog and Magog took on fresh relevance earlier this month, when the Trump administration assassinated Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
There is an eager constituency for Trump’s improvised policy toward the Middle East and Iran in particular: the evangelical Christians who see it as a means of ushering in the return of Christ.
Lured by the promise of conservative Supreme Court justices, anti-abortion measures, and a commitment to Christian supremacy under the guise of religious freedom, white evangelicals voted for Trump in higher numbers than any other group—more than 80 percent.
From the Outset, Trump has surrounded himself with people who hail from the fringes of the evangelical community
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was reportedly instrumental in pushing for the killing of Soleimani, is also a master of such messaging.
The secretary of state’s End Times beliefs made headlines again after the Soleimani killing, as meme-makers circulated a quote from a speech he made in a Kansas church in 2015. A few days after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, Pompeo said: “We will continue to fight these battles. It is a never-ending struggle. … until the Rapture.
”Evangelicals love Trump’s talk of pulling out of NATO, his attacks on the UN, and his trashing of the Paris climate change accord. “They hate the UN,” Sutton says. “Trump’s unilateralism is also music to their ears.”
More from Mother Jones here.