“Four Blood Moons” Film, John Hagee’s Intellectual Train Wreck

“Four Blood Moons” Film, John Hagee’s Intellectual Train Wreck March 30, 2019

John Hagee likes to get overwrought about astrology, which is odd given that he’s a Christian pastor.

Background: Hagee’s thesis

The Bible speaks of a blood moon: “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Joel 2:30–31). Hagee proposed a fun new way to look at that. The Jewish spring festival of Passover and fall festival of Sukkot always begin on a full moon. Lunar eclipses only happen during full moons, and with an average of two per year, an eclipse at the beginning of these festivals (somewhere in the world, anyway) is common.

Hagee’s innovation was to (1) call a lunar eclipse (which often makes the moon reddish) a “blood moon,” (2) assign significance to these events happening on the Jewish festivals, and to (3) declare that four in a row (not three or five or some other number) is God telling us something. With the launch of his 2013 book, Hagee said, “The coming four blood moons points to a world-shaking event that will happen between April 2014 and October 2015.”

Remember that period? Who hasn’t said, “Where were you during the period April 2014 through October 2015 when that really dramatic thing happened?” We’re lucky to be here talking about it!

It’s refreshing to see a Bible scholar with no reluctance to make God’s unchanging word into a marionette that tells us a new story.

Hagee’s Four Blood Moons became, not only a bestseller (I’ve critiqued Hagee’s book), but a movie. I attended the premiere and made it out to tell the tale.

The Movie

The single showing in my neighborhood was a nearly packed house, and the Christian audience murmured occasional appreciation.

The movie was a string of supposed scenes from history to illustrate the three times in the past 500 years when we’ve had these tetrads (four blood moons on four consecutive Jewish festivals six months apart) interspersed with commentary by various experts.

A JPL scientist was an early expert, and he explained why lunar eclipses are usually red (what little sunlight remains passes through the earth’s atmosphere so that the moon is illuminated only by sunsets), so we’re off to a good start with a grounding in science and logic.

That didn’t last.

Hugh Ross, a retired astrophysicist who’s now an evolution denier, played a surprising and refreshing role as skeptic, but more on that later.

As we began the look at prior tetrads, John Hagee told us to “put doubt aside and believe.” But why? Don’t you have a burden to show us a reason first? He repeated the book’s subtitle, “Something is about to change.” I wondered if the omniscient creator of the universe could be a little clearer—or am I asking too much?

Tetrad 1: Spanish Inquisition and the Edict of Expulsion, 1492

I’m sure the script writers couldn’t get a “damn!” or a bare breast into this Christian script, but they have a torture scene where an ex-Jew, passing as a Catholic during the Inquisition, is tested for his loyalty. I must get offended at the wrong things.

Next, Christopher Columbus is portrayed as a Jewish patriot carrying these Spanish Jews to safety in the New World. A girl in one of the families gives the great explorer a yellow cloth star, an obligatory label the Jews had to wear. (In Nazi Germany, yes, but in Spain five centuries ago? I wasn’t able to find anything to support this, and it sure sounds like artistic license.)

While Columbus’s second voyage in 1493 did have colonization as a goal, it carried just 1200 men (Wikipedia mentions nothing about the Jewish families shown in the movie). The voyage began over a year after Spain’s 100,000 Jews were supposed to have left.

Also a year late was the first blood moon. Hagee would have us believe that God’s 18-month show began a year after the problem. Hagee says that God is shouting his message, but he needs to enunciate a little more clearly.

The movie continues with scenes in America. The goal was to show Jews as part of the American fabric from the beginning, which invited blather from history revisionist David Barton about America as a Christian nation.

Tetrad 2: Establishment of Israel, 1948

This event lines up with a tetrad no better than the previous one. Here again, the first blood moon was a year late. Notice also that the most significant recent event for Israel, the Holocaust, apparently didn’t deserve a tetrad.

We’re told that Israel’s victory in the war launched by Arab states the day after independence was a miracle. If you want surprising tales of victory, you can read about Hannibal’s victories over the Romans or Alexander’s over the Persians or even George Washington’s over the British. No effort was made to show how Israel’s victory—which might indeed have been unexpected—rose to the level of miracle.

Hagee tells us that God has blessed the U.S. because the U.S. has blessed Israel, and we come to see that this is the point of the movie: the U.S. must continue to support Israel financially, militarily, and diplomatically. Or else something.

Tetrad 3: Six-Day War, 1967

We see scenes from the war. Two Israeli soldiers capture an Egyptian platoon. A bomb landed among some civilians but didn’t explode. There’s a story of Egyptian soldiers surrendering to an army of angels.

Happy events? From the standpoint of Israel, sure. Evidence of divine intervention? I don’t think so.

Another expert tells us that our moral compass is broken when we leave God and Judeo-Christian values.

Tetrad 4: 2014 and 2015

Hagee says that this tetrad is even more super-duper than the previous ones since it overlaps a Shemitah (Shmita) year. The Shemitah is the seventh year in a 7-year cycle. It’s a time to let the land go fallow and to forgive debts with fellow Jews. However, Wikipedia says, “There is little notice of the observance of this year in Biblical history and it appears to have been much neglected.”

Hagee has dusted off this old concept and declared that this confluence is unique in human history. First, I’m sure that if we go back before Hagee’s cherry-picked tetrads, we’ll find Shemitah years in there and periods where no dramatic event happened to Israel or to Jews, even with Hagee’s generously sloppy criteria. Second, this Shemitah year only overlaps two of the eclipses. And third, why expect divine wrath if Shemitah is a time of forgiveness?

Panel discussion

The movie ended with a panel discussion with astrophysicist Hugh Ross, rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, pastor John Hagee, and history revisionist David Barton.

Hagee was asked why this wasn’t astrology. He said that astrology is a false science, not at all like what he does. The movie had tried to ground the idea of getting wisdom from the sky with the Star of Bethlehem, but it sounded to me more like seeing portents in comets.

(One of many interpretations of the star of Bethlehem story is full of astrology, and full of holes.)

The biggest surprise in the movie was Hugh Ross saying that this was all just a coincidence (prediction after the fact) and that the number of eclipses was arbitrarily chosen—why four? He also noted that the eclipses couldn’t be seen in Israel—wouldn’t that be important if Israel is the focus? So, yeah—it’s astrology.

Hagee wrapped up with a threat. God said: “I will bless those who bless you [that is, Israel], and whoever curses you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3). God is working through America to support Israel. Stop supporting Israel, and you’ll regret it. We were told to think of the countries who opposed Israel: Babylon, Greece, Rome. But what do we conclude from this? Empires come and go. This is like God’s warning about the fruit in Eden: eat it, and you will surely die. Uh yeah—eventually.

And if God is working through America, what’s the concern? Surely God can’t be stopped by gay-loving liberals who are soft on Israel.

As the movie ended, the audience applauded. And the screen showed an ad for yet another Hagee book.

Damn.

Ardency and sincerity
are no substitute for veracity.
— Richard S. Russell

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 3/24/15.)

Image from Four Blood Moons movie page, CC license

.

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  • Lex Lata

    As much as I enjoy poking fun at end-times prophecy, this kinda stuff also makes me a little sad. My great uncle (rancher, preacher, mechanic, builder, guitarist, painter–a Renaissance redneck) has spent his adult life reading and repeating these kind of messages from Hagee, Van Impe, and their fellow charlatans. The end has been nigh since at least 1980, and as each year passed, Rapture-less, my great uncle just studied more and re-calibrated. He was positive that he and my great aunt would see JC’s return together.

    She passed away about ten years ago. My great uncle is a widower now. Living near my cousins, so not without family and affection. But still waiting. Trying not to be disappointed. Trying, I suspect, not to doubt.

    • NS Alito

      As a devout young’n, I never understood how we were supposed to be prepared for “the end times” any differently than knowing that you as an individual could die at any time.

      As far as the timing of The Rapture goes, it is imminent, and always has been.

      • TheBookOfDavid

        The whole point of being ultra-speerchul is access to a privileged body of transcendent knowledge, which can never be proven wrong. What’s the point of being a humble follower in Jesus if I can’t show it off to the fair weather Christians in town?

      • igor

        This is the carrot part of carrot-and-stick. It is always just out of reach but never actually happens. The ultimate con.

        • Greg G.

          So there is someone who understands the carrot-and-stick metaphor as I do! I have always seen it as the stick being attached to a donkey so that the carrot dangled in front. The donkey moves toward the carrot and the carrot moves away so there is never a reward.

          For the past few years, I have only heard the carrot-and-stick metaphor as a reward-punishment option where it is more like carrot-or-stick, even from talking heads on television.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrot_and_stick

          https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/22/Europe_Boardman_Robinson.jpg/1280px-Europe_Boardman_Robinson.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          “I’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!” the Queen said. “Two pence a week, and jam every other day.”
          Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, “I don’t want you to hire me – and I don’t care for jam.”
          “It’s very good jam,” said the Queen.
          “Well, I don’t want any today, at any rate.”
          “You couldn’t have it if you did want it,” the Queen said. “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today.”
          “It must come sometimes to ‘jam today’,” Alice objected.
          “No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: today isn’t any other day, you know.”

          –Lewis Carroll Through the Looking Glass

        • Interesting. I’d neverheard this interpretation. In my mind, it’s 2 opposites, like yin and yang. You get a carrot if you’re good, and I’ll smack you with the stick if you’re bad–both motivate you to go where I want you to go.

        • Greg G.

          That is Stalin’s interpretation.

        • Well, he was an atheist, after all, so I suppose I’m obliged to follow his lead.

        • Kodie

          Without anyone explaining it to me (that I can recall), Greg G.’s interpretation has always been what I thought, and whenever the phrase was used, I had a hard time trying to fit what I thought into the usage. I didn’t quite get that they were using the stick for beating. More recently, especially in news/editorial discussion things, where people like to use shortcuts and imagery, there seems to be more exposition of the phrase so that people watching understand it to mean positive and negative reinforcement.

          Both ways of interpreting the carrot and the stick seem plausible, and are both methods of manipulating humans, but what works for donkeys? And is that saying we are donkeys, because that works on people too, either way.

          https://businessjargons.com/carrot-and-stick-approach-of-motivation.html

          If you look it up on the internet, it’s a principle of combo reinforcement. There is dangling of a carrot in front of the donkey, i.e. an incentive, while poking the donkey with a stick at the same time. So the stick one dangles the carrot from is not the stick in the phrase. We’re all right.

        • Kodie

          That’s the way I always figured it. It also makes sense the other way, but you could run out of carrots rewarding your donkey, when it would only take one.

    • It’s a tough pill to swallow to admit that so much of your worldview has been crap all your life.

      Whether they see Jeebus return to earth or see him in heaven, what’s the difference?

    • epicurus

      It’s funny how decades can pass and the same people will still say we are living in the end times. What if Jesus doesn’t show up for another 200 years. Would we still ( now ) be living in the end times? Of course Jesus and Paul also thought they were living in the end times.

      • Lex Lata

        66.6 FM, Revelations Radio–All End Times, All the Time!

        • epicurus

          Celebrating our 100th year on the air!

      • Greg G.

        Of course Jesus and Paul also thought they were living in the end times.

        As did the Jews who defended Jerusalem to the end. It probably goes back to before the book of Daniel in Hasmonean times.

        • epicurus

          Here is a new today, complete Bart Ehrman post on Revelation and End times interpretations for any who are interested.

          https://ehrmanblog.org/revelation-as-a-blueprint-for-our-future/

        • Greg G.

          I wonder how Rev. Firth deals with whether Jesus was crucified before the passover meal or after. In the Synoptics, Jesus is clearly crucified after passover. At the beginning of John 13, it says that it is before the time of the passover. Jesus speaks almost continuously until John 18:1 where is says he finally shut up, crossed the Kidron Brook where he was promptly arrested, tried, sentenced, crucified, dead and buried by sunset when the passover would begin.

        • epicurus

          I was surprised Ehrman didn’t use that example in his opening as I’ve heard him use it quite often on other occasions. Instead He started with three examples – Mark’s story of Jesus healing Jarius daughter in 5:21-35 vs the way it’s told in Matt 9:18-26. Then the problems with Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew vs Luke. Then the Resurrection discrepancies as his third point.
          Firth has posted a response but I just superficially read it, noticing a lot of him teying to giv Ehrman a lesson in greek, as well as using the approach of Matthew abbreviatting stories which allows other versions of the Story like Luke’s to fit in without being a contradiction. I might have a closer read over the weekend.
          Ehrman’s response should be in the next few days I assume.

        • nevbig

          a day is as small as 1000 years .

        • Greg G.

          1000 years is way beyond the lifetime of the authors of the New Testament. 2 Peter was written as an excuse for failed prophecy and you fell for it.

      • Kodie

        We’re all living in end times because we die at the end, and there is no more. It always feels like end times, because this is the time we’re experiencing, and life feels extreme while you are experiencing it as opposed to learning about it in a book. Everything that ever happened happened before right now, so at any given time, we’re within sight of the end of all times, because we die at the end, can not learn or experience anything – the book ends. I know that’s not what end times means, but it explains why people always think it’s close, so they look for clues in the environment. Something is about to happen, that’s always been true.

        • epicurus

          A deep rooted fear of death maybe. Everybody wants to get to heaven but nobody wants to die to get there.

        • Kodie

          I don’t know if it’s exactly that, but history happened before us, things are getting more extreme because we’re here. History didn’t crush us, but this is getting serious and dire now that I’m here to feel and worry, and my perspective is short because I’m young and everything is new to me, and I haven’t had a lot of time or motivation to pore over history to get any perspective, or I’m old, and I’ve seen a lot, but things change too fast and aren’t as carefree and delightful as it was when I was young and didn’t pay attention to serious events.

          There’s a widely held myth about end times. I mean, there will be an end to human times. When things feel extreme, as they do when you’re alive while they happen, it feels like we’re circling the drain. Someday, that will be true, won’t it? The addition of a savior to rapture people to another place while the earth collapses is a dream. They are seeing events of the world as signs that the savior will come to save these select. few before the destruction. Numerical signs, weather, other stuff.

          It’s weird because we are headed toward an actual crisis, and I think ignorance around that is how little religious people care about humanity and only about themselves. What are they pitching instead? They think humans make things, go forth and multiply, dominate the earth, but that doesn’t mean we can alter climate change! And nothing we can do now can control it, right? They want to accelerate it so Jesus will come for them, so I don’t think it’s exactly a fear of death, it’s more like a fear of not being saved when the world ends.

        • epicurus

          I don’t know enough about other cultures to say for sure, but I don’t know if it was/is a common thing in the Greco Roman world, or Southeast Asian, or basically the non Judeo Christian world (including Islamic spinoff) that there is a big ending to things with signs and wonders to tell us it’s about to happen.

        • Kodie

          I don’t know enough about other cultures either, but something I have sensed from old people and documentaries, etc, is that, in olden times, people did not have sufficient internal emotional reserves to even think about this shit all the time. Like, genealogy is a hot topic, but I ask my grandmother, who is over 100, and she says people didn’t think about that stuff, they were working, they were hungry, stuff like that wasn’t on their minds, so she does have stories and memories, but trying to get in touch with my roots and interview all the old people before their memories and stories are lost forever doesn’t really work for her.

          I don’t know if she is typical. But like, the idea that people in Jesus’s time and place felt like the end was near, what drove that sense? Is it because they grew up with the tale of Noah’s Ark? Is it perennial or occasional? If it’s perennial, is it universal? Yeah, me and you don’t know, but how I feel like it keeps springing up, because things seem more dire than they have ever been, which is a lot the power of suggestion, which most of religion and quite a lot of politics tend to be. If your religion suggests there is an end of times where everyone dies, but provides some Ark where you get to ride away from the disaster, you might consider signing up.

          I don’t even know about all religions or all denominations of Christianity, but I would even hazard to guess most Christians do not have this end times fantasy…. I mean, maybe they believe there is an end of times, but are not hysterically seeking environmental or political triggers that suggest a particular date in the near future.

        • epicurus

          It’s great that you are talking and interviewing to the people you know about family history before they are gone. I’ve recently got interested in my family history but I’m old and all parents/uncles/aunts are gone so all I have are beatup photos with a few words scrawled on the back. Unfortunately when I was young and they were alive I didn’t care about family history so anything they told me went in one ear and out the other. So even if you find it only mildly interesting and may be a bit boring now when you talk to them, I would encourage you to push through and get all the information you can anyway and then store somewhere cause when you’re older you’re probably really going to want to know and you’ll be glad you got the info.

        • Greg G.

          A cousin of my father traced the family tree back on that side to the 1600s in the US and into the 1500s in England. She found a lot of interesting stuff.

          My mother’s brother and sister started tracing that side of the family and uncovered some things that some wished to stay buried. I wanted to combine the two family trees but my aunt wouldn’t show it to me because of the hard feelings.

          I did find some information on ancestry.com, or one of those, about my mother’s side. They had a lot of correct information about my grandmother except they had her death confused with someone from Iowa, a place she had never been. Her line went back to royalty in the 1200s.

          I wonder. How many people have to die for me to be the king?

        • epicurus

          Haha. I’m hoping I turn out to be a Baron.
          I signed up a few weeks back to ancestry.com. I was surprized at the price. Not cheap. Especially since I’ve noticed a lot of this stuff is basd out of Utah and we all know the Mormons are really into geneology so I feel like I’m kind of doing them a favor. Plus when moving around my tree or trying to print I notice a “waiting for facebook” lag on the bottom of the browser ( I’m not logged in and have never even used facebook on the desktop computer.)
          But it’s pretty fun so I put up with it for now.

        • epicurus

          Re your grand mother saying people didn’t think about that stuff- I think the rise of mass media in the later 20th century has contributed to end times proliferation, putting it out there more often for people to see and corner drug stores selling copies of books like Hal Lindsey’s wretched “Late Great Planet Earth.”
          Interesting as well is that prior to the late 19th century, most Christians, including Evangelicals, were postmillenial or amillenial rather than the now common premillennial, which seemed to catch on with people after the Civil War and propogation of John Nelson Darby’s dispensationalist views.

    • I grew up with these ideas, but no longer believe them.

      At my old church, they thought Jesus would return in 3-5 years…in 1996!

      • NS Alito

        I’d like believers to know that Jesus did return within the lifetime of his followers, and we’re all the descendants of people Left Behind.

        • So then a handful of people got raptured, and we just didn’t hear about it?

        • Greg G.

          If you return from the dead, you can write about it. If you get raptured, there’s no going back.

        • NS Alito

          Everyone who was Left Behind swore never to speak of it again.

      • Benny S.

        At my old church, in 1989, one elderly woman (in her late ’80s) shared with our Adult Sunday School class that Jesus had specifically told her he would return before she died. So, doing the math, I assume she’s about 118 years old now… still alive… and still waiting….

    • I’ve heard, at way too much length, that Brexit is a sign of the end times. Based on Revelation (something like “The Beast represents Catholic Europe, so it can’t possibly include Britain”). So now I’m half hoping that Britain asks for a longer extension so I can ask “What does that mean for your end-times magic?” (plus I think they’re probably better off extending than crashing out with no deal…)

    • Connie Beane

      Didn’t the original followers of Jesus think he would return in their lifetimes? And there have been literally dozens of End Time predictions over the centuries. You’d think by now somebody would have noticed that nothing ever happens. But then maybe they’re all so accustomed to ‘splainin’ the inconsistencies in their holy book that they’re used to not knowing what the heck is going on.

      • Greg G.

        Yes, in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Paul uses the first person plural for those who would be alive when the Lord came and the third person plural for the dead.

        The Jews provoked a war with Rome due to their perceived prophecy of a world leader coming from Judea and held out in Jerusalem in the end still hoping for it.

        • nevbig

          they ignored christs prophecy

        • Greg G.

          The Jews didn’t. They were fighting to the end in Jerusalem. Paul thought the Lord was coming in his lifetime:
          1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54*, Philippians 3:20-21

          Like the Jews, they and Paul apparently got the idea from scripture such as: Isaiah 26:19-21, Daniel 7:11, Daniel 7:13; Daniel 12:2, Isaiah 25:8*. ( The asterisk denotes a direct quote.)

          The proper thing to do is to ignore prophecies based on word play and superstition.

        • nevbig

          they lost ..the disciples lived .

        • Greg G.

          The Jews lost because there was no messiah. They believed in fairy tale prophecies. You are living in the 21st century still believing in first century fairy tales.

          The disciples are fiction. The word “disciple” is never used in the epistles.

        • TheBookOfDavid

          Jesus’s prophecy was merely the first of a long and venerable tradition of failures and hoaxes.

        • Otto

          I believe all those dates are the tip of the iceberg.

    • Chuck Johnson

      Your great uncle is a drama junkie.
      These are very dramatic stories.

      But there is another reason for his attraction to such stories.
      Such stories promise us that the evil we see every day will be swept away by magic.
      And there’s plenty of evil to see.

      But we all will have to get rid of evil by a slower and more time-tested way:
      By patience, work and diligence to gain better knowledge and wisdom.

  • NS Alito

    You actually sat through the movie? I hope you sought treatment afterward!

  • Greg G.

    Remember that period? Who hasn’t said, “Where were you during the period April 2014 through October 2015 when that really dramatic thing happened?” We’re lucky to be here talking about it!

    I was flying over the North Pole during the fourth Blood Moon. I survived.

    • Michael Neville

      Didn’t Arlo Guthrie sing a song about your flight?

      Coming in from London over the pole
      Flyin’ in a big airliner
      Chickens flyin’ everywhere around the plane
      Could we ever feel much finer?

  • larry parker

    I went into my bomb shelter early in 2014, and didn’t emerge until late in 2016. And Trump was President.

  • Spanish Jews actually did have a yellow badge (though not with a star, but a circle). However, there’s no evidence Columbus was a “Jewish patriot), nor even had Jewish ancestry. If that were the case, Ferdinand and Isabella certainly wouldn’t have sponsored him. Of course, there’s no evidence for him helping any Jews escape to the Americas either. They fled to North Africa mostly, where (perhaps ironically now) Muslim rulers were far more tolerant and let them stay.

    • They also fled to the eastern Mediterranean (modern-day Greece and Turkey, then the Ottoman Empire), where Ladino-speaking communities remained into modern times, and, IIRC, still remain to this day.

      • That’s true. Some were also allowed to settle in Rome by the Pope, Alexander XI, a Spaniard himself (he was harshly criticized for it). That was Rodrigo Borgia, notorious for corruption and violence, but whatever the truth of those claims he was kind here.

    • Tell me more about the yellow badge. Where/when was that a thing? Who imposed it, and why?

      • Michael Neville

        The Fourth Council of the Lateran headed by Pope Innocent III ruled in 1215 that Jews and Muslims must wear distinguishable dress. Spanish Jews normally wore turbans, which met the requirement to be distinctive. The identifying mark varied from country to country and from period to period. Most places had the requirement that Jews wear a yellow circle on their outer garments but that was only the most common badge, there were others in different places.

      • It was common throughout the Muslim and Christian worlds in the Middle Ages to distinguish infidels from the faithful majority. This was imposed by Muslim and Christian rulers. Other legal restrictions also existed of course.

        • helpful, thanks

        • No problem. There’s a lot more information to be found online about this if you’re interested.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    John Hagee told us to “put doubt aside and believe.”

    Once again, a godly man of God displays his mastery of underpants logic. How to prove you bear the indisputable Truth of the Lawd in three easy steps:

    1] You must agree in advance that I am correct in every detail
    2] **********
    3] PROPHET!

    If your jaw hit the floor in astonishment, and you felt noticeably dumber for having heard it, that is a sign the magic is working. For it is written that God intends to confound the wise with foolishness. Hallelujah!

    • islandbrewer

      If you still remain confused and confounded, I can enlighten you with my 10-DVD series for your love donation of $199 plus shipping and handling!*

      *Offer void in Puerto Rico.

      • Mr. James Parson

        My GF is half Puerto Rican; is her money any good?

  • TheBookOfDavid

    why expect divine wrath if Shemitah is a time of forgiveness?

    That actually supports the whole Blood Moons hypothesis, in a “no news is good news” sense. It just undermines Hagee’s examples of tumultous consequences following previous tetrads. Why should we take him at his word, when he is so eager to cite false prophecy as backup?

    the eclipses couldn’t be seen in Israel—wouldn’t that be important if Israel is the focus?

    I don’t want to stoop to cultural appropriation for political convenience, but isn’t the important thing that they were in full view from the USA?

  • Pofarmer

    We had a 36” natural gas pipeline explode here a couple weeks ago. It was quite the deal. You could feel heat from it a half mile away. We’re 4 miles away and the sky was light as a very, very bright full moon. Talked to an older gentleman who lives about half a mile away and he said “I was sure it was the end, I just huddled up and waited for it to be over.” His wife got out of bed said “Richard, it looks like the pipeline’s on fire, let’s get out of here.” What you beleive effects how you think and how you act and react.

    • Michael Neville

      That must have been exciting for everyone. At least Richard’s wife knew what to do.

      • Pofarmer

        It certianly woke this little twn up.

    • Michael Murray

      I’d have thought Dawkins would have been more sensible than that. I’m disappointed.

  • Alexander’s brief empire was already badly fragmented before Antiochus Epiphanes and the Jews, so I don’t think their treatment of the Jews had much to do with it. And Rome crushed Israel twice (the second time when Rome was at about its strongest), and then just carried on as a powerful empire for well over 200 years. On that sample I’m not sure what the problem is with crossing Israel.

  • Benny S.

    Hasn’t Hagee kind of gone off the radar since the embarrassment of his book / move? Right Wing Watch use to keep a routine watchdog eye on his nutjob drivel (standard blaming of “the gays” for everything wrong with the world), but he’s been silent for ages now. I kind of miss him. 😉

    • Good question. I haven’t follow up on Brother John. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were relatively unscathed, since pastors often get lots of second chances, but karma would be nice.

  • Ralph Meyer

    It’s downright surprising (it shouldn’t be surprising, I suppose) how stupid religionists are. Anybody who believes and talks to an unprovable invisible entity, as someone once said, is mentally ill and clearly delusional. And how stupid is that? Richard Dawkins is absolutely right when he speaks of the religious delusion. And, as someone else has said, “The right wing never is!!!” It takes a real whacko to be a right-winger (and they’re just about invariably wrong about almost everything and harmful to humanity).

    • Greg G.

      Anybody who believes and talks to an unprovable invisible entity, as someone once said, is mentally ill and clearly delusional.

      The President of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate to a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ludicrous or more offensive. –Sam Harris

    • Grimlock

      It’s downright surprising (it shouldn’t be surprising, I suppose) how stupid religionists are. Anybody who believes and talks to an unprovable invisible entity, as someone once said, is mentally ill and clearly delusional. And how stupid is that?

      This is utterly false.

      Many religious people are highly intelligent people. If this is not blatantly obvious to you, might I suggest that you get out a bit more.

      As for the delusion/mentally ill part, that’s also wrong. I suggest that you take a peek at the relevant Wikipedia article, and note in particular the part about not being in sync with the cultural background. In other words, belief in, and prayer to, an invisible being ain’t in general a delusion if it’s in sync with the surrounding culture.

      • I anticipate the Christian challenge, “So are you saying that all Christians are idiots??” (or insane or whatever). My response would be that we trust many things because of our upbringing–which water is OK (or not) to drink, how to trust (or not) people, and so on. And if you’re brought up to believe in a Man in the Sky, for you to believe that isn’t idiotic or insane (even though it wouldn’t hurt to ask yourself if there’s enough evidence).

      • Chuck Johnson

        Delusion is generally considered to be a mental health problem.
        Misconception is more like it.

  • Andrej Đeneš

    He also noted that the eclipses couldn’t be seen in Israel

    So god sends you messages via the eclipses which you can’t actually see from where you live and have to check timeanddate.com or something to know that they are happening. Got it.

    • Greg G.

      Is it not written that there will be eclipses and rumors of eclipses? Or something like that.

      • Michael Neville

        Cry “havoc” and let slip the dogs of eclipses.

        • Michael Murray

          Would they be Canis Major or Canis Minor ?

        • ɹoʇɐuᴉɥʇʎɯǝp

          When I first saw your comment I thought you had written “dogs of ellipses” . . .

        • Greg G.

          “Dogs of ellipses” put the “cur” in “curves”.

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          i think the “dog curve” is a better candidate for that (wikipedia: radiodrome).

  • Jack the Sandwichmaker

    If the Blood Moons are supposed to start 1-2 years AFTER the relevant event, I guess the latest set was a sign of something about 2012. Maybe Obama’s reelection.

  • JBSchmidt

    How many people attended? Did you talk to any Christians at the movie to get their response? Further, what was the background of the Christians in attendance?

    I think this is nonsense and the Bible warns to stay away from preachers like this.

    • Greg G.

      How many people attended? Did you talk to any Christians at the movie to get their response? Further, what was the background of the Christians in attendance?

      It is a movie review, not an audience review. Christians are a diverse bunch with different beliefs. You can be sure that some agreed with it and some rejected it. Do you not know anything about Christianity outside of your bubble?

      I think this is nonsense and the Bible warns to stay away from preachers like this.

      I agree with you about that but I would make that a more general statement.

    • JustAnotherAtheist2

      I think this is nonsense and the Bible warns to stay away from preachers like this.

      Yes, the Bible is very thorough in laying the groundwork for a No True Scottsman fallacy. And prepping people for the inevitability of others not buying the bullshit. It’s like a con man’s “how to” guide…..or maybe “like” is an unnecessary qualifier.

      • Greg G.

        It’s like a con man’s “how to” guide…..or maybe “like” is an unnecessary qualifier.

        For just 10% of your income, or even just pocket change, you get pie in the sky when you die with a double your money back guarantee.