Archive for the ‘Religious Whackjobs’ Category

And while on the topic….

Dissenters opposed state interference in religious matters, and founded their own churches, educational establishments, and communities; some emigrated to the New World.

Counterproductive politics

There is an interesting interview on today’s Newshour about the rise of the religious right in the US. One of the interviewees points out that the number of evangelical Christians in the US is declining due to its involvement in religion.

I’ve found that gunloon comments tend to reinforce my belief that the US needs gun control due to the fact that these people are not responsible and have no idea of what right the Second Amendment was intended on protecting. Add in that the institution of militia is pretty much an anachronism. In fact, the militia was irrelevant at the time of the Revolution (see Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations).

Anyway, we have already seen that the Heller-McDonald decisions have nor resulted in much in roads being made in the field of gun rights. And as the word of Revolution go “if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t going to make with anyone anyhow”.

Perhaps saying that a variant of “Political Power comes from the barrel of a gun” will backfire on them as badly as failing to heed that religion and politics should not be intertwined.

Lancaster Witches? Which Lancaster?

This book came to my attention a while back, but it is my latest read.  The title is a bit deceiving since the Lancaster County in question is now known as Lancashire most of the time. Although, some people do call it the County of Lancaster: those people are few and far between.  As I said, these days it’s called Lancashire most of the time.

Of course, this is about Witch hunts from the 1600’s.  That’s more of a puritan thing.  That means that in the US the witch hunts were more of a New England thing since they pretty much kept to themselves in the New World.  On the other hand. Puritans (the puritan mentality) were all over the place in 16th and 17th Century Britain–sticking around way too long in Scotland.

The Quakers in Pennsylvania probably wouldn’t have gone around on witch hunts, preferring to see the godlike quality in the witches.  That would make the title even more interesting if it were about Pennsylvania Witches.  Although the cover would then be a bit incongruous!  Love our witch friends, not hang them!

The basic gist of this post is that there is quite a difference here between the two places.  What the hell has happened in Pennsylvania that gun freaks are running around instead of Quakers and other fringy religious types.

On the other hand, in Lancashire we have the Uni offering this course of Study these days!

My how times change!

Peter O’Toole as God Of Love from The Ruling Class

Something MikeB posted got me thinking about this (and he may recognise the quote).

This is one of my favourite films.

Six pints of bitter. And quickly please, the world’s about to end.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Mark 13:31-32

Acts 1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

It amazes me that Millennialism has a following, but it does. This is because people have been predicting the end of time since Jesus died: possibly even before he ever existed (if he existed).  The results are that we are still here.  That gets me to where the title of this post comes from-Douglas Adams’ The Hichhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy:

ARTHUR and FORD enter the pub and FORD goes straight up to the counter.
FORD: Six pints of bitter. And quickly please, the world’s about to end.
The BARTENDER looks at FORD a tad questioningly over his glasses, but FORD is staring out the window. The BARTENDER looks at ARTHUR instead, but ARTHUR shrugs helplessly and looks at FORD. The BARTENDER looks down at the glass he is polishing and simply begins preparing their drinks.
BARTENDER: Oh yes, sir? Nice weather for it. Going to the match this afternoon?
FORD stares at the BARTENDER.
FORD: Well, no.
BARTENDER: What’s that, forgone conclusion, you reckon? Arsenal without a chance?
FORD: No, no, it’s just that the world’s about to end.
BARTENDER: Oh, yes, sir, so you said.
The BARTENDER stares over his glasses at FORD as he prepares the drinks. FORD stares back. The BARTENDER looks back down.
BARTENDER: Lucky escape for Arsenal if it did.
FORD looks a bit confused. FORD frowns.
FORD: No, not really.
The BARTENDER takes a deep breath, then looks back up at FORD.
BARTENDER: Alright, then, six pints.
The BARTENDER places the drinks on the counter. ARTHUR, who has turned back, gives a weak smile. ARTHUR turns around and smiles weakly at the rest of the pub. People give him odd looks. A DRUNKARD looks at the beer on the table, then at ARTHUR and FORD. After a moment of staring, he smiles drunkenly.
FORD: Get off, they’re ours.
The DRUNKARD almost falls out of his chair. FORD turns back to the BARTENDER and gives a strained grin.
FORD: Here you are, keep the change.
The BARTENDER looks a bit surprised.
BARTENDER: What, from a fiver? Thank you, sir.
FORD: You’ve got ten minutes left to spend it

World’s End Pub, Chelsea

As with most Millenialists, the person predicting the world’s end this Saturday has been wrong before. Religious leaders, scientists, fiction writers, and others have made tens of thousands of predictions of apocalyptic scenarios that were supposed to have happened in our past. All have failed. I see no likelihood that predictions of such disasters in our future will occur.

What are some other notable Judgment Days that have come and gone?

1284: Pope Innocent III declared in 1213 that the world would end in 1284, 666 years after the founding of Islam. While of course it didn’t, the prediction was used as propaganda to help stir up support for Crusades against Islam.

Feb. 24, 1524: When in 1499 Johannes Stoeffler, a respected academic and adviser to royalty, predicted the world would end in a catastrophic flood on Feb. 24 of that year, people took note. As the day grew nigh, more than 100 publications were circulating around the Christian world talking about it. People abandoned their homes and took to the hills or to boats they stocked with supplies.

In London, an elevated fortress was constructed and stocked with two months of provisions. On the European mainland, a German count had a three-story luxury ark built for friends and family. Just like in the Noah myth, crowds gathered, many mocking him – then it started to rain.

The crowd went into a panic, and hundreds were killed in the stampede toward the ark and other boats. When the count refused to let anyone on his ark, he was dragged from the boat and stoned to death.

April 1843: William Miller, a fundamentalist American preacher, predicted the Second Coming for April 1843, with followers of Christ ascending to heaven on Oct. 23, 1844. His followers became known as the Millerites, and thousands of them made preparations as the time drew near.
Some dressed in white robes and climbed hills to be closer to heaven when the time came. When it didn’t happen, Miller changed the dates, saying he made a calculation error. After a couple of more misses, most stopped listening to him.

May 19, 1910: The End of the World was predicted when Haley’s Comet appeared (and on it’s numerous appearances throughout time). “YOU ARE NOW IN THE COMET’S TAIL, FEAR NOT,” screamed a headline across the front page of the The Times Newspaper of Hammond, Indiana printed on May 18, 1910. “If this is the last edition of THE TIMES we wish you a fond farewell,” the paper continued.

If you are reading this after May 21, congratulations. You have survived yet another doomsday prediction.

Just in case, the Christians really are swept up to heaven, there is a service that will make sure their pets are cared for!

See also:
Mark 13-31-32
Acts 1:7
US preacher warns end of the world is nigh: 21 May, around 6pm, to be precise
Atheist’s dog-sitting is a rapturous business
Competing theories of eschatology, end times, and millennialism
TEOTWAWKI: “The-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it” prophecies
It’s the (Alleged) End of the World as We Know It
44 failed & 1 ambiguous end-of-the-world predictions that were to occur between 30 & 1920 CE