Revelation was written by one John, a mystic Jew who lived on the island of Patmos. It was written circa 95AD. It was written, under instructions to John from the dead Jesus, ordering him to send it to 7 churches in Asia.
It got into the bible after a heated controversy at a church council in the 4th century AD, where Bishops debated about what should be in that document. Most bishops opposed its inclusion because, obviously one can see that John was hallucinating when he wrote it, but a very powerful bishop, Athanasius, prevailed and it was included.
White the letter was written to churches in Ephesus, Smyra, Pergamos, and so on, today it is very big in cities on the North American continent particularly in the Southern and Mid Western states, where many of the most primitive people reside.
(A future historian might observe, "That the mystical rantings of a probably insane person could be taken seriously by 40% of the people of the United States, in 2013 AD should come as no surprise to the modern reader. While it is somehow strange that such a large portion of the populace believed in the utterances made 2,000 years earlier, by a man--even by the low standards of the U.S.--who would have to been seen as astonishingly ignorant, the American people believed in notions, that to the modern ear, sound incredible. The same percentage who believed in Armageddon, or even a higher %, believed that an spiritual entity called the Holy Ghost was present at the founding of their country at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and that it inspired the framers of the U.S. Constitution.
"Too, the United States, in both the 20th and 21st centuries was the most warlike state in the world: From 1963-2013, for example, the U.S. launched a military action against another nation-state on the average of every 40 years. It's military budget was larger than almost the entire military budgets of all other nation states combine. Yet, its inhabitants believed that their country was 'peace loving.'")
All of the above serves as an introduction to what follows and is also a self-indulgent piece of writing (sometimes known as a rant) which exposes my biases and prejudices with content sometimes not relevant to the major point of this article.
That Americans are so ignorant/deranged as to believe in the literal interpretation of the words of John of Patmos and other words in the Bible could lead to the fall of the American Empire, or what's left of the American Republic. Indeed belief in the "Good Book!" is the basis of significant hostility to such scientifically proven realities as evolution, climate change and science itself. This could impair the U.S.' ability to compete with other countries in the global arena. ( More importantly, opposition to climate change could play a key role in U.S. inaction against it and contribute to the eventual extermination of humankind.)
Obviously a literal interpretation of the Bible, which presents such dangerous, primitive ideas as advocating the deaths of non-virgins, slavery, praising war songs of weird death-dealing tribes, and presenting Jesus as condemning entire cities to eternal damnation because they won't listen to his preaching, promotes necrophilia, stupidity and so on. But. to focus on why literal Christianity is dangerous to the U.S. I want to say that, in addition to being anti-science, it promotes blind obedience to authority and anti-intellectuallism.
Fundamentalist christianity promotes anti-intellectualism because the Bible itself becomes an Idol demanding worship of and obedience to its authority. Questioning any part of it (and much of it is superstitious bull shit, along with amazing wisdom) is forbidden. Your intellectual growth is stunted. You're not allowed to grow up. Once obedience to the authority of the Bible and the Pastor sets it, you always need some authority greater than your own. It's the way you relate to the world. You can't think for yourself. This makes you a patsy for slimy, smiling politicians that say they know all of the answers and prey on your ignorance by saying they are "Bible Believers," while picking your pocket and kissing the asses of the Koch Brothers. Oh yeah! Praise Jesus! I'll vote for you!
Finally, as symbolic of anti-science, anti-intellectual goings-on in America, let us turn to the Neanderthal State of Texas. At the public hearing this month at a Texas State Textbook Commission on the issue of evolution vs. creationism in biology texts, the NYT reports, "Those who challenge evolution invoke the scientists Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins, while those who plead for the sanctity of science cite Genesis and the Book of Job." It is ironic that "Christian" anti-evolutionists would use the Book of Job as Biblical authority. Job is the most "anti-Biblical" anti -authority book in the Bible. Job questions God's authority and calls him unjust. (He reduces God to making a "might makes right" answer, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?" That's all God can do in the Book of Job?) To any sensible observer Job wins the argument. Job is one pissed off guy. Non fundamentalist Christians in our country, should be collectively pissed off at the know-nothing "Christian" primitives who could well destroy their country.
Here is the summary of Armagedon in the Book of Revelation as presented by John of Patmos: