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Running Against Sodom and Osama

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Struggling with Satan

Katherine Harris

One speaker at the Values Voter Summit conference was former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (an elected U.S. Representative now running for the Senate). Harris, famous for her role in the Florida Presidential election fiasco in 2000,~122 explained she was an evangelical Christian, and placed herself in the dominionist sector. A major influence on her theological views was Francis A. Schaeffer, the intellectual godfather of the Christian Right,123 a fact she only recently revealed.124 Schaeffer, the pop theologian whose writings are used to justify a range of Christian nationalist or theocratic forms of dominionism, urged Christian to engage in civil disobedience against immoral civil authority.125 Harris studied with Schaeffer at his institute in Switzerland.

At the Summit, Harris mentioned the struggle with “principalities and powers,” a Biblical reference to “spiritual warfare” between the people of God and the demonic agents of Satan.~126 Many in the audience would hear that as a reference to the struggles in the End Times prophesied in the Bible’s book of Revelation.

End Times

It is the view of many premillennial dispensationalists that we are in the End Times and thus true Christians must struggle with the literal forces of Satan. According to certain readings of the book of Revelation, during the End Times elite political and religious leaders are expected to betray true Christians; and their claim to be seeking world peace and cooperation should be viewed with suspicion. During the End Times, the rise of a false religion will sweep the globe. Some evangelicals (mostly premillennialists) believe during the End Times they will have to engage in “spiritual warfare” and physical resistance to the powerful Satanic forces of the Antichrist.~127

No obvious mention of a specific theological End Times belief system was needed. It simply was read into the rhetoric by those so inclined. Thus speakers used coded language to hit theological hot buttons of many in the audience who hold expectant millennialist views—and the leadership of the event avoided potential criticism of pandering to apocalyptic beliefs.

A significant number of conservative Christian Evangelicals are Christian Zionists who view Islamic terrorism, the struggles in the Middle East, and Israel through the lens of apocalyptic millennialism, in which (all too often), Islam is portrayed as a false religion in league with the Satanic Antichrist in the End Times.~128

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