The Muslims’ end of the world countdown

Harold Camping isn’t the only one forecasting the end of the world.  So are many Muslims, including apparently the rulers of Iran, who are interpreting the uprisings in the Middle East as a sign that the Mahdi–the messianic successor of the prophet Muhammed–will soon return to punish evildoers and make Islam the world’s only religion.

New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi–or Islamic messiah–is about to appear.

CBN News has obtained a never-before-seen video produced by the Iranian regime that says all the signs are moving into place — and that Iran will soon help usher in the end times.

While the revolutionary movements gripping the Middle East have created uncertainty throughout the region, the video shows that the Iranian regime believes the chaos is divine proof that their ultimate victory is at hand.

The propaganda footage has reportedly been approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government.

It’s called The Coming is Near and it describes current events in the Middle East as a prelude to the arrival of the mythical tweflth Imam or Mahdi — the messiah figure who Islamic scriptures say will lead the armies of Islam to victory over all non-Muslims in the last days.

via Iranian Video Says Mahdi is ‘Near’ – World – CBN News – Christian News 24-7 – CBN.com.

The link above can take you to the video that the article references. Also Read this for fascinating details about the role of the Mahdi in both Sunni and Shi’ite Islam and for the portents and effects of his coming.

The new war

President Obama explained America’s military involvement in Libya in a speech last night:

Defending the first war launched on his watch, President Barack Obama declared Monday night that the United States intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the world’s conscience and “been a betrayal of who we are.” Yet he ruled out targeting Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a costly mistake. Obama announced that NATO would take command over the entire Libya operation on Wednesday, keeping his pledge to get the U.S. out of the lead — but offering no estimate on when the conflict might end.

He never described the U.S.-led military campaign as a “war” and gave no details on its costs, but he offered an expansive case for why he believed it was in the national interest of the United States and allies to act.

In blunt terms, Obama said the U.S.-led response had stopped Gadhafi’s advances and halted a slaughter he warned could have shaken the stability of an entire region.

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” Obama said. “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

From the Washington Post

Two of Victor Davis Hanson’s observations about our new war:

6) It’s Only Congress. Both Bushes went to the U.S. Congress before they bombed and invaded. Clinton and Obama did not. Is there a pattern here? The liberal War Powers Act is a good brake on conservative Strangloves, but a mere nuisance to humanitarian liberal McNamaras? We can argue over the need to get congressional approval before major military operations (I think we must), but I don’t think in my lifetime a U.S. president has ever asked for both a UN and Arab League OK — and not the sanction of the Congress of his own country (e.g., our reps were voted in, theirs were not). That paradox is also unsustainable. At some point the president will either 1) ignore the limitations of the UN and Arab League mandated no-fly-zones (while praising them to the skies); or 2) get so involved that when he finally goes to Congress, Libya is a fait accompli in the way Clinton finessed it during the Balkan bombing. (I am still waiting for Joe Biden to go to Congress to impeach his boss, as he once boasted twice that he would do if any president bombed a Middle East country without congressional approval. Or for that matter, I am still waiting for Senator Obama to demand that President Obama get approval from his peers before, not after, bombing.)

7) Oh, So that Was What Iraq Was About. Libya is now an exegesis of the Iraq War. By now we know that the Bush-Cheney “shredding” of the Constitution (e.g., tribunals, wiretaps, intercepts, renditions, preventative detention, Predator drones, and Guantanamo Bay) was simply a liberal talking point. Why do we know that? Because Obama has either embraced or expanded all of those anti-terrorism protocols, and even hired the very lawyers and deans to legitimize them who used to sue the government to stop them. But Libya was the capstone of the entire liberal reset. When the MSNBC talking heads now support bombing an oil-producing Muslim Arab country that does not threaten our national security — without congressional approval, and with fewer allies than went with us to Afghanistan and Iraq — then we realize the entire Iraq hysteria was simply partisan politics, not about principles. That’s why we won’t see Rendition II at the movies, a return of Cindy Sheehan to network news, or Michael Moore in the VIP seats at the 2012 Democratic convention.

via Works and Days » President Obama’s Ten Libyan Paradoxes.

Supporters of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, do you support the war in Libya also?  Opponents of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are you supporting this one, since it is Obama’s war rather than Bush’s war?  Those of you who support the humanitarian mission of this conflict, do you think the President has been following the right process, acting at the behest of the UN rather than Congress and turning over command to other countries?

And, finally, how do you think this will turn out?  A quick engagement, overthrowing Gadaffi and then we leave, having set Libya free?  Or will this turn into another quagmire?

PETA demands personal pronouns for animals

 

And in Bible translations, no less:

PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is calling for a more animal-friendly update to the Bible.

The group is asking translators of the New International Version (NIV) to remove what it calls “speciesist” language and refer to animals as “he” or “she” instead of “it.”

The NIV is a popular translation of the Christian Bible. An updated translation was released this month. The translators said 95% of the 1984 translation remains the same. But the committee of scholars made a move to be more gender-inclusive in their translation into English from the original Hebrew and Greek texts. . . .

PETA is hoping the move toward greater gender inclusiveness will continue toward animals as well.

“When the Bible moves toward inclusively in one area … it wasn’t much of a stretch to suggest they move toward inclusively in this area,” Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s vice president for policy, told CNN.

via PETA: Don’t call animals ‘it’ in the Bible – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

Undereducated and overschooled

Anthony Esolen names a common malady:

When my daughter was young, she would often be asked, not usually by fellow homeschoolers, why she kept reading The Lord of the Rings. I told her to reply, “Because I want to know what’s going on in the world.”

That came to my mind today after a discussion I had with a Catholic men’s group at our school. One of the young fellows told me that his professor in Introduction to Sociology — a typical course assigned during orientation to unsuspecting freshmen — expressed her disdain for our twenty-credit Development of Western Civilization Program, required of all students. “You should be studying something that will be of use to you in the Real World,” she said, “like feminist sociology.”

Pause here to allow the laughter to die down.

Homo academicus saecularis sinister, the creature beside whom I have spent all my adult life, is a source of endless entertainment, like a child with wobbly consonants trying to talk serious grownup. I really could not repress the merriment. . . .

I dearly hope that my students will never consider the sand-furrowing child, or the galumphing retriever, or the setting sun, to be anything other than deeply Real, mysteriously and beautifully and achingly Real, and that their encounter with the great poetry and art of the west, not to mention that perennial philosophy of Aristotle, and that wisdom-seeking eros of Plato, and the word of God itself, will confirm them in their love for that Reality. . . .

The college professor who sniffs at the Gilgamesh, Hesiod, Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Pindar, Plato, Aristotle, Livy, Cicero, Virgil, Marcus Aurelius, Augustine, the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospels, and the letters of Saint Paul — just to take the first semester for example — is not overeducated. That professor is undereducated, and overschooled, a deadly combination. Deadly, but common enough, from what I see, and especially common among people who reduce all matters to contemporary partisan politics, as homo academicus saecularis sinister is wont to do.

via Touchstone Magazine – Mere Comments: The Real World.

Final Four?

Well, none of you predicted the Final Four.  I suspect no one in the country predicted the Final Four!  It seems like in every NCAA tournament some little college comes out of nowhere and does really well.  But this year two such underdogs made the Final Four!  The basketball superpowers, including my alma mater Kansas Jayhawks, were all shot down.  So the national champion will be either Virginia Commonwealth, Butler, Connecticut, or Kentucky.  The two big state schools will play each other, and the two little schools will play each other.  So one of the latter will be in the final two.

Predictions?  Are you pulling for the underdogs?  Is anyone for the overdogs, on principle?  I think I will be for Virginia Commonwealth, now that they beat Kansas and now that I live in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  (Not a state, mind you, but a commonwealth.)

2011 Bracket – NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament History – The Washington Post.

End of the world countdown

We’ve blogged about how radio preacher Harold Camping is predicting that Christ will return on May 21 of this year.  Journalist Kimberly Winston interviewed Mr. Camping and asked him how he calculated the date with such precision:

If preacher Harold Camping is right, that’s the exact date Jesus will return and the righteous will fly up to heaven, leaving behind only their clothes.

That will be followed by five months of fire, brimstone and plagues, with millions of people dying each day and corpses piling in the streets. Finally, on Oct. 21, the world ends exactly as the Book of Revelation says it will — with a bottomless pit, a lake of fire and, at last, a new heaven and new earth. . . .

Asked how he arrived at the date, he opened his Bible to Genesis and said Noah loaded animals into the ark in 4990 B.C., a number he said he arrived at years ago after looking at carbon dating, tree rings and other data. Paging forward to 2 Peter, he read aloud, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years is one day.”

Leafing back to Genesis, he said that the seven days Noah spent loading the ark was really 7,000 years. He then added 7,000 to 4990 B.C to arrive at 2010. He added one more year, he said, because there is no year one in the Bible.

As for the exact date of May 21, he pointed again to Genesis, which says the flood began on the “17th day of the second month.” According to the Jewish calendar, which he believes God uses, that is May 21.

“Now I am telling you, that gets pretty heavy when you see this coming right out of the Bible,” he said, looking up from his Bible’s dog-eared pages.

via A durable doomsday preacher predicts the world’s end — again – USATODAY.com.

But. . .but. . .What connection does Noah’s ark and the number of days it took to bring in the animals have with the return of Christ?  I know, the parallels with God’s first destruction of the world, but that can hardly be definitive, especially since God told us that He won’t destroy the world like He did last time.  And how does Mr. Camping know the exact date of the flood?  By carbon dating?  Of what?  And doesn’t he know that those dates are not precise to the year?  And. . .Well, even accepting his premises, I don’t understand how he and his thousands of followers are so sure of his numbers.

At any rate, his claim is meaningful because it is falsifiable.  We’ll know very soon if he is right or wrong.


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