Professor looks at how apocalypse beliefs shape politics

sutton-80PULLMAN, Wash. – American fundamentalist apocalyptic theology of the 1880s and 90s prompted suspicion and skepticism of anything that seems to undermine individual liberties and give more power to the state, according to a Washington State University professor.

His new book about his work sheds light on why some Christian evangelicals may have opposed Obamacare, civil rights, the New Deal and other government-initiated change, says history professor Matthew Avery Sutton.

According to the theology, Sutton says, all nations are going to concede power in the end times to a totalitarian political leader who will be the Antichrist. If you believe you’re living in the last days and you believe you’re moving toward that event, you’re going to fight anything that gives more power to the state.

Read more in a Salon article picked up from Religion Dispatches at

Read a British review of the book, “American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism,” from the Sunday Times at