This week in End Times mania: Confusing ‘Left Behind’ with reality

Some people have a hard time telling the difference between the Bible and the biblical fan-fiction concocted by John Nelson Darby, Cyrus Scofield, Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, John Hagee, et. al. And it seems those same people have an even harder time telling the difference between this fiction and reality.

And these folks have been busy this week.

Here’s a round-up of LaHaye-ish End Times mania in the news.

1. Arizona state senator introduces anti-Agenda 21 bill.

Susie Cagle of Grist reports on the latest eruption of official right-wing paranoia over this decades-old, voluntary collection of best-practices for sustainable cities:

Last May, less insane heads managed to prevail in the Grand Canyon State, shooting down a bill that would have prohibited state and local governments from adopting anything even a little bit related to sustainability and Agenda 21. But the idea has crawled out of the grave in the form of SB 1403, a new bill that would prohibit any local government in Arizona from implementing any “creed, doctrine, principles or any tenet” of Agenda 21.

“Any way you want to describe it, Agenda 21 is a direct attack on the middle class and the working poor,” the bill’s sponsor Sen. Judy Burges said during a hearing on it in 2012. “The primary goal of Agenda 21 is to create social engineering of our citizens and it will impact every aspect of our daily lives.”

David Frum pleads with his fellow Republicans to “Ditch the Agenda 21 Tinfoil Hat Brigade” and taps Rob Sisson of ConservAmerica, the former mayor of a small city, to respond. Sisson writes:

Have we entered some parallel universe where saving tax dollars and conserving natural resources has become a UN plot against American liberties?

Apparently so.

In 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed the U.S. onto a non-binding United Nations agreement called Agenda 21. The agreement is hardly more than a list of ways that local communities can better conserve natural resources. The general header for such practices is “sustainability.”

Sisson outlines several ideas from Agenda 21 that he implemented as mayor of Sturgis, Mich., “saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Yet Glenn Beck, the John Birch Society, and various tea party groups have condemned “Agenda 21″ as a globalist conspiracy to destroy America. And state legislators are listening.

… Lowering costs and conserving resources is always a good idea – even if the UN agrees. Can we all please get real?

Nope. Getting real is not an option when it comes to the United Nations because 60 million fans of the Left Behind series “know” that the UN exists only to pave the way for the Antichrist and his one-world government. And unfortunately for reasonable conservatives like Sisson and Frum, those 60 million Left Behind fans are also Republicans, having been taught that the Democratic Party is, like the UN, just another precursor to the imminent OWG.

2. Tennessee man quits job over three-digit sequence on tax form.

Thanks to Kevin S. and Benjamin C. for alerting me to this one. Bob Smietana has the story for The Tennessean:

Walter Slonopas, 52, resigned as a maintenance worker at Contech Casting LLC in Clarksville (Tenn.) after his W-2 tax form was stamped with the number 666.

The Bible calls 666 the “number of the beast,” and it’s often used as a symbol of the devil. Slonopas said that after getting the W-2, he could either go to work or go to hell.

“If you accept that number, you sell your soul to the devil,” he said.

Math can be confusing. Even simple arithmetic can be tricky. But this isn’t math or arithmetic — this is just counting. Every time we count from 1 to 1,000 we will use the number 666. Not because of Satan, but because of our base-10 number system.

Walter Slonopas just quit his job because he works for a company with more than 665 employees and because he does not know how to count to 1,000.

And also because he’s been fed a stream of paranoid, self-righteous, contra-biblical lies by someone masquerading as a Christian pastor. That’s where the blame for this lies. The jackwagon in the pulpit of Slonopas’ church has a millstone reserved with his name on it.

Smietana is a terrific religion reporter, but he horribly bungles one aspect of this story.

For believers such as Slonopas, who take the book of Revelation literally, any tie to 666 is a betrayal of their faith.

No. No, no, no, 666 times no. Believers like Slonopas do not “take the book of Revelation literally” — they take the book of Revelation and cut it up into a thousand tiny pieces, placing those pieces into a hat along with a thousand more tiny pieces taken from Daniel, Ezekiel, parts of Matthew, the screenplay for The Omen, folklore, blood-libels, and urban legends. And then they take those pieces out of the hat one by one, stringing them into sentences to which they accord all the authority of holy scripture.

They take those fabricated sentences “literally,” but not the book of Revelation.

3. Apocalyptic Christianists influence Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearings.

CUFI lobbies against Hagel appointment,” the Jerusalem Post reports. They describe Christians United for Israel as “a Christian pro-Israel group.”

And that’s true up to a point. CUFI is an expression of televangelist John Hagee’s “Bible prophecy” beliefs. So it’s “pro-Israel” in the sense that they want the nation of Israel to thrive long enough to rebuild the Temple and sign a peace treaty with the Antichrist, after which everyone in Israel must either be converted to Christianity or be slaughtered en masse.

I suppose “pro-Israel” is one way to describe that, but I think Frank Schaeffer’s description of the CUFI crowd is more accurate. He calls them “Jesus on Acid.”

4. Microchip lies recycle through Facebook.

This popped up on the Slacktivixen’s Facebook page this week, “Micro Chip Implant Coming March 23, 2013″:

This evil plan is being launched by America. its a micro chip injected in your hand. it will contain all your personal data heath and bank accounts etc. its also a GPS device being monitored. they can deactivate it at any time if they find you suspicious or not loyal to their government or go against them or their system and you will lose everything you ever had. soon this device will be made common just like they did credit cards, turning paper money into digital money. means nothing is physically in your hand. it will be made a must for every citizen with time according to their plan and then they will spread it outside America so they can monitor and control as many people as they can and turn them into slaves with their digital technologies.

The heroic folks at Snopes do a great job of debunking this, as well as of tracing how this lie (it’s too intentionally crafted to call it a legend) was assembled.

Bookmark that Snopes link. You may need it as we get closer to this imaginary March 23 deadline.

Oh, and the high-school classmate of the ‘vixen’s who passed along this lie? He’s a state trooper. So be careful out there on Pennsylvania’s highways — there’s at least one paranoid idiot out there patrolling in uniform.

5. Christianist Islamophobia now reshaping “Bible prophecy” fantasies.

Daniel Burke has a good piece for Religion News Service on “How the ‘Islamic Antichrist’ reflects our era’s anxieties“:

Protestant Reformers picked the papacy as their embodiment of evil. American colonists chose King George III and some Cold War Christians suspected the Soviet Union was satanically led.

Now, amid threats of Islamic terrorism, a nuclear-armed Iran and tumult across the Middle East, a growing group of American evangelicals say the Antichrist will be Muslim. …

Scholars say the arrival of Islamic Antichrist prophecies was, well, predictable. …

Apocalyptic Christianity always needs an enemy, scholars say, and the Antichrist is nothing if not adaptable.

“The Antichrist idea is very responsive to changes in current events,” said Robert Fuller, a professor of religious studies at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. “It’s a symbol for what is most unsettling or troubling.”

Kudos to Burke for showing, throughout his piece, how the “Bible prophecy” of End Times preachers is a cultural creation projected onto the Bible and not at all anything that could be derived from a desire to “take the book of Revelation literally.”

Burke also has a sidebar piece on “Muslim views of the Apocalypse,” which is also helpful (apart from that headline, which confuses the genre of Revelation with the events attributed to it). If you’re interested in that subject, let me again recommend Gershom Gorenberg’s excellent The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount, which examines the role that site plays in apocalyptic “prophecies” of various Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups.

My favorite bit from Burke’s main article is this:

If bad theology, the Antichrist often makes for good reading, as attested by the more than 60 million copies of “Left Behind” books sold.

Prophecy may not be the best career option, however. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University closed its Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy just one year after it opened in 2002.

“It never did attract hardly any students, so we shut it down,” said Ronald Godwin, Liberty’s provost. “The students were looking for a major that would land them a career.”

I don’t think those 60 million copies sold can be attributed to “good reading” as much as to “tribally sanctioned reading” and the relative paucity thereof, but I do love the unintentionally hilarious candor of Liberty’s provost.

It seems even Liberty students agree that there’s not much of a future in believing there’s not much of a future.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Yeah! Finding a way around the Magic Words could be a major recurring plot-point. If they can find away to undo them, they can harvest all those souls in one fell swoop. Meanwhile, they get some unlikely help from Loki who’s hoping to ride the coattails of the End Times straight through to Ragnarok.

  • Worthless Beast

    I wonder how many people have taken up reading the Left Behind books *because of this blog.*  Mind you, I’m sure those who have were always responsible readers and did so via library-borrowings or used yard-sale copies or maybe books that were unwanted-gifts to you by some relative…

    There’s a certain charm in reading or watching something because it’s really, really bad.  Usually, there is something to make fun of in the work (Haha! Phones!) or you just want to see how much of a trainwreck something really is.

    The other night, I was watching a riff on the movie “Waterworld.”  I actually… actively enjoy that film and will watch it when it comes up as a TV random film special.  I enjoy it because it’s so nonsensical and horribly written.  It’s not a good film, but it is goofy. I think that LB must be like that for some people… I really can’t see Mr. Clark being able to survive his dedicated reading and dissection without having some kind of “Haha! Phones again!” moment every once in a while.  

  • connorboone

    Oh, see, I was thinking it would be more on the ‘social justice is lies from Satan’ is actually *true*.

  • Foelhe

    Well, now I’m imagining the apocalypse as a Buddy Cop movie.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    I, for one, would shell out to see an End Times movie based upon a truly literal interpretation of Revelation.  That would be one trippy, technicolor, CGI-filled crazy-fest.  Sadly, LB and its ilk, in attempts to borrow from Tom Clancy and seem “realistic”, take all the fantastic fun out of John’s religious fever dream.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Ah, I was thinking “Satan is doing social justice to pick up God’s seeming slack.” It could turn out Satan himself is behind the Magic Words and RTCism in the first place — he creates a need for justice by tricking  nominal Christians into rejecting Jesus’s actual teachings (and label such teachings as ‘Satanic’), and then he meets the need himself by sending out his fallen-angelic agents to tempt people into Wrath  for the wrongs done them (often at the hands of aforementioned nominal Christians). The Magic Words, in the meanwhile, are really just another infernal contract (oral) and don’t get you into Heaven so much as they keep you from Hell … for now.

    Agent 666 uncovers the plan, and tho’ she finds it distasteful that the Evil One would stoop so low as to manufacture sin, rather than let humans fall into sin on their own (per his original charter with YHWH), Demon X will be all, “Hello? Who did you think we were working for? ‘Prince of Lies’ ring any bells for you?”

  • http://twitter.com/Zornorph Zornorph

    I live in a small district in a small country. The license plates start at 1 and go up from there and they get changed every few years. Back in the 1990′s, the 666th person to come in to get his car licensed happened to be a pastor. He groaned at told the girl he couldn’t drive around with 666 on his car given his profession. They gave him 667 and the next person got 666. They thought it was funny as hell (pun intended) and were happy to have it.
    That same year, I got motorcycle license plate 69 – I was in my 20′s, so you can imagine how that pleased my juvenile sense of humor.

  • Tricksterson

    Because then they’d have no reason to get hysterical.

  • Tricksterson

    They coould be played by Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith in the movie version.

  • Tricksterson

    I have to disagree.  Battlefield Earth at least qualifies as So Ba It’s Good.

  • Tricksterson

    I meant So Bad.  I did not mean to insult the sheep.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Well, now I’m imagining the apocalypse as a Buddy Cop movie.

    “You’re a maniac, Demon X!”

    “But, Captain, Jesus saved my partner!”

    “I don’t care if Jesus saved your vicious old grandmother! You don’t just go off and massacre a bus load of nuns on their way to bathe lepers– not without filing the paperwork first and finding a right-wing death squad to do it for you! I’ll have your leathery wings for this!”

    “I’ll go over your head! All the way to the 9th Circle!”

    “When Hell freezes over!”

    “Exactly!”

  • Magic_Cracker

    That would be one trippy, technicolor, CGI-filled crazy-fest.

    If that’s the case, you might want to check out Alan Moore’s “Promethea.” It’s a comic, mind you, not a movie, but pretty damn trippy.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GUFZNDXKK6JQGEIGV7VGXFUDKE c2t2

    I still think Fred must be mind-whammy-ing us all, and these are actually good books.  The 60-plus million copies sold and praise from professional writers (King, now Burke) almost makes it seem like we’re in the thrall of an internet magician trying out remote hypnosis techniques.

    If not, these books are mind-numbingly dull, with etch-a-sketch plots, vile politics, contempt for worldbuilding, and awful protagonists we’re expected to admire.

    And wildly popular.

    I, for one, welcome our internet hypnotist overlord. All praise the Hypno-Fred!
    Bzzzzzzzzzzzz…

  • Vermic

    Agent 666 is strictly by the book (“According to book 6, section 4, subsection 12, paragraph 9b of your infernal contract…”) but Demon X plays by his own set of rules.

    The old Lawful Evil/Chaotic Evil dynamic!  Always fertile soil for interpersonal drama.  And, needless to say, the sexual tension just pours off the page.  Other fans may disapprove, but I’m an X/666 shipper and proud of it.

  • P J Evans

     Here in the US, people have gotten their house numbers changed when they have 666. I think it’s silly – but I’m nowhere close to being an RTC.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    What really gets me about “taking Revelation literally” is that besides the fact that people who say they’re “taking Revelation literally” are not actually taking Revelation literally… Revelation wasn’t SUPPOSED to be taken literally.  It has Old Testament imagery out the wazoo.  It has horns representing kings and people representing kingdoms and all sort of totally symbolic stuff.  If you told John of Patmos that you had decided to take Revelation literally, he’d probably ask you what you were smoking.

    (Aside: I finally got around to reading “Apocalypse and Allegiance” based on an earlier recommendation of this blog and found it excellent… even if a small part of me that used to read Revelation in church because I wasn’t allowed to read anything but the Bible in church found it a tiny bit disappointing that Revelation isn’t actually deeply mysterious after all.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gervase-Charmley/100000771881176 Gervase Charmley

    I used to live in a city where every taxi firm had ’666′ in its telephone number. I suppose that there are some people who would never take a cab in that city. My favourite 666 story concerns Rev. Dr. W.B. Robertson of Irvine, a Victorian Scottish minister. In those days communion services in the Scots Presbyterian Churches were infrequent, and therefore were large events with several ministers taking part over several days. At one of these services Rev. Dr. Robertson was assisted by a minister called Rev. James Dunlop. At the last service, the Monday morning post-communion service, Dunlop was the preacher, and instead of selecting the usual encouraging texts, he decided to discourse on the meaning of “The number of the Beast”. Robertson was most annoyed, and at the end of the service he went to Dunlop and said, “Man, Dunlop, what kind of a subject was that to take! It was a most unsuitable text!” He went on, “But if you would preach on the number of the Beast… I can give you a much better theory.” Dunlop was of course intrigued and asked what it was. “It is that YOU are the Beast!” came the reply, “And I will prove it to you! What is your name? James Dunlop. Let us put it in Latin, Jacobus Dunlopus. Take the sum of all the letters in it that are Roman numerals, and you will find it amounts to the Number of the Beast.” Here is the working:
    J (I) – 1
    C – 100
    U(V) – 5
    D – 500
    U (V) – 5
    L – 50
    U (V) – 5
    = 666
    “Showing,” Robertson declared, “That YOU are the Beast, Dunlop!”

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    According to the Numerologists (a reliable source if there ever were one) the Number of the Beast* is not six-hundred sixty-six, it’s 6, 6, 6. The reasoning being that twelve is a number often used to symbolize completeness or wholeness, so six represents incompleteness, failure, sinfulness. The repetition indicates, well, repeated spritual failure and sinfulness. You get a similar sort of interpretation later on with 144,000 being 12 x 12 with three trailing zeroes to indicate magnitude. 

    Not saying I buy into it, but that just means you have to avoid repeated sixes, like being the sixth person hired at the sixth job you’ve ever held for six month. Or being in the sixth apartment in the sixth floor of the sixth apartment building. 

    *I don’t remember all the jokes, but there’s “668, the neighbor of the Beast”, and 6″ x 6″ x 6′, the lumber of the beast.

  • aunursa

    Yeah, I wouldn’t mind getting a “superstitious discount” for a hotel or cruise ship Room #1313.

    Reminds me of the Cheers episode where Carla buys a house for a great bargain.  But then Cliff finds out that the reason the house was such a good price was that apparently it was built over an old cemetery.  She becomes afraid that the ghosts will attack her, so Cliff agrees to spend a night in the house with her.  In the morning they hear a very loud noise from outside as the house shakes.  As Carla fears the worst, Cliff investigates. It turns out that the house is next to an emergency strip for a nearby airport.

    Carla: You’re telling me that this house is not built over a cemetery — but it was so cheap because it’s next to an airport?
    Cliff: Uh, yep.

    [pause]

    Carla: I’m home!

  • Magic_Cracker

    And don’t forget the Bad Cop, Slightly-Less Bad Cop dynamic:

    Demon X: You’ll do what we say or I’m going to reach down your throat and rip that miserable, tattered soul of yours and wipe my flaming ass with it!
    Bus Driver: You can’t do that! I’ve got a deal with the Dark Lord himself! No bodily harm until my natural death! [produces infernal contract]

    Agent 666: [takes contract, scans it] He’s right, X. I’d have to fill out a Form DCLXI to get a emergency amendment.

    Demon X: Then get filing, pardner! We’ve  got a youth choir in Manhattan right now and those souls won’t damn themselves unless we get this guy to ‘accidentally’ drop them off in the East Village. [Agent 666 leaves. Demon X leans over Bus Driver, cracking his knuckles which spark like burning black powder.] You better hope she’s a slow typer…

  • http://feygelegoy.myopenid.com/ FeygeleGoy.com

    666 in base 6 is 3030.  Which is kind of lame.

  • http://feygelegoy.myopenid.com/ FeygeleGoy.com

    For the forseeable future, as long as there is a world, there will be claims that it will end soon.

  • http://feygelegoy.myopenid.com/ FeygeleGoy.com

    I still have to say that when I read L&J’s regional ID codes, that it seemed rediculously, idiotically contrived. Like, “I live in region negative 6 of 10, but I used to live in region 216. Out of ten.”

    Maybe if the antichrist ever does come to exist, he would have everyone take an branding of A — for Antichrist.  Most of the Bible Prophecy fans would be confused, and perhaps since they couldn’t see a connection between the letter A and the number 666, they might think it’s not anything to worry about.

  • P J Evans

     It’s even more fun when you know that Greek and Hebrew numbers were written with actual letter – they had 1-9 on the first 9, 10-90 on the next nine, and after that I’m not quite sure what they did. (Possibly they had a letter for 100 and one for 1000, and used the smaller ones as multipliers.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Dunno about Hebrew, but Greek, there’s a couple letters got dropped from the alphabet but not from the numerals, for a total of 27. 1-9, 10-90, 100-900, and then start again with an extra marker (what it was I forget) for a thousand times the number.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Indeed. And even in the 1980s and 1990s enough of this stuff had seeped out into popular culture that anyone proposing anything implanted into the forehead or right hand would already have been tagged with a OMG MARK OF THE BEAST from the fundies.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, speaking of 666?

    Back when CPUs were just starting to get into the 600 MHz range, and Intel was able to make the jump to naturally double the frequency of the 333 MHz CPUs?

    Well, holy shitkicker of a fuss. Intel had to come up with a bit of a silly reason to legitimately claim that actually it is not a Pentium III 666 but a Pentium III 667.

    (Something about how 333 MHz was really like 333.333333 so if you doubled it you got 666.666666 so that rounded up to 667.)

  • walden

    ·  666: Number of the Beast

    ·  664, 668: Neighbor of the Beast

    ·  DCLXVI: Roman numeral of the
    Beast

    ·  660: Approximate number of the
    Beast
    ·  1/666: Common Denominator of
    the Beast

    ·  666i: Imaginary number of the
    Beast

    ·  -666: Negative number of the
    Beast

    ·  0.005015: Reciprocal of the
    Beast

    ·  1010011010: Binary number of
    The Beast

    ·  -0.80902: Sine of the Beast

    ·  443556: Square of the Beast

    ·  25.807: Square root of the
    Beast

    ·  295408296: Cube of the Beast

    ·  0.58779: Cosine of the Beast

    ·  -1.37638: Tangent of the Beast

    ·  2.8235: Log of the Beast

    ·  6.5913: Ln Beast

    ·  1.738E289: Anti-log of the
    Beast
    ·  666!: Factorial of the Beast

    ·  2, 3, 111: Factors of the Beast

    ·  665.5-666.5: Range of the Beast

    ·  660: Beast rounded down

    ·  670: Beast rounded up

    ·  1-666: Area code of the Beast

    ·  00666: Zip code of the Beast
    ·  1-888-666-6666: Toll free
    number of the Beast

    ·  $665.95: Retail price of the
    Beast

    ·  $399.96 (net), $359.86 (30
    days): Wholesale Price of the Beast

    ·  $55.50: Monthly cost of the
    Beast in twelve easy equal monthly installments

    ·  $699.25: Price of the Beast
    plus 5% state sales tax

    ·  $769.95: Price of the Beast
    with all accessories and replacement soul

    ·  Phillips 666: Gasoline of the
    Beast

    ·  Route 666: Highway of the Beast
    (aka Highway to Hell)

    ·  666º F: Oven temperature for
    roast Beast

    ·  666 Minutes: Weekly news
    program about the Beast

    ·  66.6 mHz: FM station of the
    Beast

    ·  666 kHz: AM Station of the
    Beast

    ·  666k: Retirement plan of the
    Beast

    ·  666 mg: Recommended Minimum
    Daily Requirement of Beast

    ·  DSM-666 (revised): Diagnostic
    and Statistical Manual of the Beast

    ·  999: A Beast and a half

    ·  6, uh… what was that number
    again?: Number of the Blonde Beast

  • flat

    send her this article.

  • Christine

     Because then they have to acknowledge that *everyone* agrees that Babylon = Rome, and they can’t pretend to have some secret knowledge that confirms that the Pope is the Antichrist.

  • Makabit

    “*I don’t remember all the jokes, but there’s “668, the neighbor of the Beast”, and 6″ x 6″ x 6′, the lumber of the beast.”
    667 is the Beast Across the Street.

  • ReverendRef

     I meant So Bad.  I did not mean to insult the sheep.

    Better to insult the sheep than to kill us with them.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    (grin)
    “beast” would be the String of the Beast, I suppose.

  • Christine

    Can someone tell me what number I need to worry about in octal? Is it 666 or 1232? I’d hate to accidentally damn myself.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Just for the sake of completeness, 29A is the hexadecimal value of the beast. :P

  • Dash1

     

    What strikes them (and/or struck Darby) as blasphemous or the like about that idea?

    I don’t know what struck Darby, but as a former Plymouth Brethren, I wish it had been a clue stick.

  • flat

    Tonight I had a biblestudy and we discused among other things the problems that are specific to the dutch christians and we came to the conclusion that every nation has some specific problems that in their churches that no other country has.

    So reading this article reminds me of the conversation we had earlier.

    We also were talking about the end times a bit, but that was more about the mayans.
    And how the world is going to be when Jesus comes back.

    (as one of my fellow churchmember told us: acording to one boy she is teaching heaven would be playing videogames the whole day long)

  • Darkrose

    I keep thinking that the whole LCMS kerfluffle is rooted in the fear that one day, you’re participating in an interfaith vigil for 20 children and 7 adults who were murdered, and the next, you’re part of the Enigma Babylon One World Faith.

  • Darkrose

    If heaven was playing videogames for eternity, I’d probably have to reconsider my agnosticism.

  • flat

    well I am christian and i don’t play videogames, so make of that what you will.

  • Magic_Cracker

    If heaven was playing videogames for eternity, I’d probably have to reconsider my agnosticism.

    Even if Heaven turned out to be a 1980 Infocom text adventure?>West of Eden
    >You are standing in an open field west of a pearly gate with a padlock.
    >There is an Apostle standing at a lectern here.

  • flat

    > press enter to enter.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Ok, first off, I could have sworn that scholarship was leaning toward Domitian as the beast, not Nero.  This would especially make sense because figured speech (on the surface it seems to say one thing, but if you dig deeper than the Emperor usually does it says something completely different) was in wide use throughout the empire at that point in time so the book of Revelation would fit right in.  Read Statius’ dedications to Domitian.  On the surface it looks like bootlicking, on closer inspection it looks like flipping him off.

    There are also some other reasons to think Domitian not Nero.  Nero was popular in the eastern empire, perhaps not in Jerusalem, I have no idea, but it was Italy, and Rome in particular, that thought he was an asshole. Domitian was part of the dynasty that crushed the Jewish Rebellion.

    Ever hear of Masada?  Nero was dead and in the ground for that.  Domitian’s father and brother were the ones who crushed Israel.  (And then died off leaving Domitian in charge.)

    -

    Second, I too would like to see a movie based on a literal reading of revelation.  I want my dragon.  A real, literal, multi-headed dragon.  With a sword in one of them. Wait, no, it’s the other beast with a fatal head wound isn’t it?

    -

    Third, wasn’t the buddy cop thing about the apocalypse Good Omens, granted they were cops for differing powers in the cold war that was about to turn hot, but still.

    Not that I object t Demon X and Agent 666, though I feel that those who ship them miss the importance or portraying that it is in fact possible for infernal agents of the dark lord to be:
    A) Straight
    B) Of opposite genders
    C) Working closely together
    D) Entirely devoid of sexual tension.

    If you replace A) with not-straight and B) with of the same gender, the same still holds true.

    It is vitally important that Agent 666 keep things strictly professional and Demon X consider Agent 666 alternately his partner and crime and the person who stops him from doing fun stuff, but never a romantic interest.

    Otherwise it sends all the wrong messages about employee relationships of the demonic kind.

  • Magic_Cracker

    >You can’t go that way!

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Also my memory, faded as it is, is that the number is 600 and 60 and 6 (or 600 and 10 and 6, depending on which manuscript you trust) so all of those combinations of 3 6s sort of miss the point.

  • Darkrose

    Hmm. I’d probably prefer something more like NetHack.

  • aunursa

    Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
    Revelation 13:18 (KJV)

    This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.
    Revelation 13:18 (NIV)

  • flat

    me grumbling: stupid 1980 Infocom text heaven ascendance.

    >You are still a sinner, go back to get eighties evangelism from you rad American evangelical Megachurch.
    Me: but I am principally against those kind of churches and evangelism, am I not sinning by doing what this game tells me to do?

  • Magic_Cracker

    >You haven’t said the Magic Words. You are likely to be eaten by a Satan.


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