To a person who's brain is engaged and whose reasoning faculty is intact it is obvious that the Book of Revelation was written by a very sick man, probably a chronic schizophrenic high on magic mushrooms.
But to fundamentalist Christians the Book of Revelation predicts a global nuclear war. Every absurdity is deep with meaning – a prophesy that must be fulfilled.
Anyone can give meaning to anything. Take my favorite childhood book for example – The House at Pooh Corner. It features farmyard and jungle animals who enjoy romping around and having fun together. But Pooh Bear could represent Russia. Tigger could be China, Piglet could be Israel and Eyoor the donkey could be the USA.
Pooh Bear climbs a tree to steal some honey but slips and falls on Piglet. Piglet blames Tigger. Tigger responds by roaring at Eyoor. Piglet throws a snowball at Tigger. Tigger chases Piglet. Eeeyore feels sorry for little Piglet and throws a snowball at Tigger and another at Pooh Bear. Pooh Bear and Tigger trip over a bee hive and thousands of bees start buzzing around. This is terrifying stuff! What it really means is that Russia clamours for more power but makes a fatal mistake, one that has serious consequences for Israel. Israel, suspecting China, fires a nuclear missile. China retaliates. The USA comes to Israel's defence and nukes both China and Russia. Seconds before the bombs fall, China and Russia launch 20,000 nuclear missiles at America.
Imagine the fun we could have with The Lord of the Rings!
So convinced are fundamentalists that the Book of Revelation foretells the future that millions of them are looking forward to it with gleeful anticipation. After all, this is Jesus ridding the world of "evil doers" and rescuing the righteous (not that many of them live in America, but still). Many of the believers are in the armed forces and programming Pentagon computers. They fly stealth bombers, they crew nuclear submarines and they sit in pairs down nuclear missile silos praying for the moment when God commands them to trigger "the rapture".
If you doubt that, if you think I'm dreaming, ask yourself what would keep fundamentalists out of the armed forces and the Pentagon? Is a man going to get turned away because he's a Bible believer? The (2002) President of the USA and his henchmen believe every stupid word, f'r crying out loud!
So read this brief outline of the Book of Revelation and ask yourself, "Is this heap of demented crap really worth dying for? Is it worth destroying the planet for?"