The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 3, 2015: The End Is Not Near

Conservatives who claim to be Christians spent last year proclaiming the end times were nigh upon us though the evidence clearly suggests otherwise. (We’re still here.) It’s both funny and sad. Funny because these folks seriously believe this nonsense, and sad because these folks seriously believe this nonsense. And it IS nonsense because it makes no sense whatsoever. There are at least three different things that prove to these folks that we are approaching the end times, and none of them have anything to do with each other, nor can they be linked in any coherent way. And what are the five things that give true believers an indication the world is coming to an end?

Start with the Obama Presidency. According to US Representative Emeritus Michele Bachmann, both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are calling for both actual war and economic war with Israel. Of course, no such thing is actually happening, but when have facts ever gotten in the way of a Conservative Christian? (Speaking of which, can anyone out there list for me all of the teachings of Jesus that can even remotely be called Conservative? I strongly believe you can’t be both a Conservative and a Christian at the same time. That’s why Conservative Christians always come off as crazy. They’re walking around trying to believe two diametrically opposed philosophies.) Why she’s complaining baffles me because a war in Israel would bring about exactly what she desires – the end times, which means the Rapture, which means (she thinks) that she’s going to Heaven, despite all the many, many times she’s been known to bear false witness, such as in her claims that Obama dn Kerry want to bring about war in Israel. Or maybe, as televangelist Marion Gordon Robertson (better known as “Pot“, I mean, “Pat”) believes, the end times are upon us because Obama’s a “crypto-Muslim.” (Don’t worry, Pot’s praying for us. Did I say Pot again? I meant Pit, of course.) Or maybe it’s because Matthew Hagee is right and the end times are here as evidenced by Obamacare. Or maybe Franklin Graham is right and the end times are near because Obama isn’t cracking down on gay people enough like Vladimir Putin. (I meant not cracking down enough like Putin, not gay people like Putin. As far as I know, there is no evidence that proves that Putin is not gay.) Although Mark Creech thinks the end times are near because Obama is the Antichrist. Oh, and something about America being akin to the story of the Tower of Babel, which he believes “is a historical narrative of the first recorded form of government gone awry.” Right, because the Bible is such a reliable source of actual human history. (You can’t see them right now, but my eyes are rolling up in my head. Either because I can’t believe people believe the Bible contains reliable historical facts, or I’m having a stroke.) Or maybe Jonathan Wright is correct and Obama is the Antichrist because of the Bible Code. But whatever the reason, you can rest assured that the end of the world is coming because Barack Obama is president. (Isn’t it funny how the last three Republican presidents all gave huge tax breaks to the wealthy, which goes against everything Jesus taught his followers, but Obama is the Antichrist? Lies are a huge problem for real Christians, but not for Conservatives, which is why no Conservative can truly claim to be a Christian.)

Perhaps the end of the world is coming because of Ebola. Hagee thinks it might, and so does his father, John Hagee. But don’t worry, because Jim Bakker wants to sell you ice cream sandwiches to enjoy while everyone else is dead. Glenn Beck thinks Nigerian prison guards working in Texas will bring an airborne version of the deadly virus to the US and that we’ll be humbled (while we eat those sandwiches) and that Ebola was spiraling out of control. Not that facts have ever been known to influence your “thinking”, Glenn, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe the exact opposite.

But don’t think for a moment Teh Gays are getting away without blame for all of this because, you know, they have too many rights. Whether it’s Matt Barber and Deryl Edwards’ theory that acceptance of gay Christians is to blame, or Linda Harvey’s theory that marriage equality is bringing it about, or Michael Bresciani’s theory that gay rights are responsible for increased terrorism in the world, or Flip Benham’s theory that homosexuality destroys nations, or Rick Wiles’ theory that our lack of support for Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay policies will result in nuclear war, or Dwight McKissic’s theory that Michael Sam’s coming out will do it, or Scott Lively’s theory that a Satanic conspiracy is “homosexualizing the world,” or Mike Huckabee’s theory that gay marriage victories will lead to God’s judgment, or even Sam Rohrer’s theory that same-sex marriage will lead to “tyranny” and the “destruction of our nation”, somehow, some way, Teh Gays will bring about the end of the world.

Seriously, do these guys have anything else to think about? I know it comforts them to believe they will be Raptured, but I think they ought to learn a little bit more about the message of Jesus before they start thinking themselves saved. To be perfectly honest and 100% accurate, I have just as much chance of getting into Heaven as any of them do.

A longer version of this post will appear on Pick Wayne’s Brain later today. I’ll put a link on the blog name when it’s ready. Got some grocery shopping to do for Mom before the snow hits, and the playoffs begin.

UPDATE: The longer version is posted. And I neglected to add something to this post, which I did to the one on my Brain: My most humble thanks to the wonderful folks at Right Wing Watch for their painstaking research and cataloging of what the Right Wing is up to in public. Without them, my ability to report it back to you, Kind Readers, would be much, much harder.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss the end of the world, or anything else that pleases you.

27 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 3, 2015: The End Is Not Near

    • How did they miss the gunfight at the OK corral?

      I never before thought that laughter and hilarity might actually have as a source an outhouse basement, but then came Antipas!🙂

        • Well gee, I was looking for Earp, or OK, or Gunfight. I scored on the latter but it was GUN FIGHT AT DU PONT CIRCLE which as we all know pales in biblical significance to any place named Tombstone. Next time I’ll use a broader mind when I search, however, given that End Times theses need a really really wide view (or a very very dead mind).

  1. If only a god existed somewhere in the ether out there each and all those nitwit nutpicks might have something worth saying. But since that’s not the case they’re easily dismissible by anyone with a cogent mind (I know of at least a dozen of us!). OTOH, human end times, the self-induced variety, are getting closer and closer with every ton of greenhouse gas we toss into the atmosphere. If we as a species don’t move quickly to eliminate fossil fuels and turn to renewables as our energy source, climate change is going to prove far more than just an inconvenience, and may in fact come to define H. sapiens End Times. Which will be a blessing for the universe, actually, given that at least it will no longer contain Republicans.

  2. Great post Wayne. That is a lot of links you had to compile. Your brain must hurt a bit after that exercise. These nut cases have to be shunned out of politics and mainstream media.

  3. Oh, and Happy New Year to everyone. I have been (and still am) working over the holidays on a large software and data migration and not spent much time surfing the zoo.

  4. Wayne, I’ve got news for you. The world ended last night.

    But nobody noticed because God created it all over again before everyone woke up.

    • Well done. I have only one quibble with the “God – Creator” thesis — I would like to see one single shred of repeatable scientific evidence that such a ‘thing’ exists or ever has existed. Once a long time ago a Christian and I agreed all the way to the Big Bang singularity; when I said that the only thing I couldn’t quite grasp was where the singularity came from, he said, “Oh, that’s easy. God created it.” So then I asked where God came from; his answer was “God is eternal.” I said why do you need the extra step, why not just admit the complex laws of physics are eternal? No answer.

      And now there’s the scientifically verified Higgs Boson that tends to explain most everything. So which is eternal: the Higgs Boson or some version of a God? I’ll take the Boson until someone can offer irrefutable scientific evidence that a god exists. But I won’t hold my breath as I wait.

      • Ah, “creator” — that’s a different thesis from what Whitehead was developing (one of many reasons no one would ever go to church on the “concept” of “god” that he was employing. Also, long discussion on the difference between “concept” and “idea” that I’m trampling over here.)

        You might be perilously close to the ‘argumentum ad ignorantium’ fallacy that many religious zealots employ. Which is not to say that you are religious or a zealot, but that you want to take care not to be like them. All the way back to Thomas Aquinas (and probably much earlier — for all that Ph.D. crap, I’ve really not got a very good grasp of the history of philosophy) the argument was made that “God” is outside of time, while natural science is (by necessity) inside of time. This is why the Catholics can accept evolution, and other scientific ideas: because natural history is all inside of time. (Sometimes referred to as the “Two Magesteria,” it is problematic in its own ways, but I’m trying to keep this reply at under 20,000 words.)

        Just because someone said something stupid, does not show that only stupid things can be said (even about religion &/or religious experience.) A great many religious people (of whom I am NOT one, by the bye) would shrug and say, yes that’s all science, with which we agree. “Where we disagree,” many of these folks would say, in one form or another, “is not on the FACT of rational explanation, but rather upon the POSSIBILITY of rational explanation.” This is a “modal” distinction (within logic), and the shit here gets painfully subtle. This is not the sort of thing that theist dogmatists (or, for that matter, many atheist dogmatists) would likely notice, embrace, understand, or even give a passing thought to. But, again, that doesn’t mean it (the distinction) isn’t there.

        What is “worse” — I suppose, or “better” if one is the sort to nut up over these kinds of puzzles — is that the ways in which things might be possible, potential, necessary, or even actual, do not lend themselves to casual analysis. So when the puzzle is one that essentially involves *modal* distinctions, such as any of the above (“possible, potential, necessary,” “not on the FACT of rational explanation, but rather upon the POSSIBILITY of rational explanation”, etc.) casual responses are almost by definition wrong.

        Maybe simply by definition wrong.

        • “. . . the ways in which things might be possible, potential, necessary, or even actual, do not lend themselves to casual analysis . . .”

          True enough, but they do lend themselves to scientific analysis and eventual distinction between reality and “‘concept’ and ‘idea’.” Even Steven Hawking agrees that discernible “time” exists only from the moment of the Big Bang forward, and therefore speculation on anything prior has no “possibility of rational explanation.” It is only at that point where God/Creator emerges from human imagination in order to, as has always been the case, explain the unknown/unknowable. It’s a predictable consequence, I suppose, of human’s level of intellectual capability. I say that mainly because the creature whose intelligence is approximately double that of Republicans — my special friend, Shadow the cat — has never found any reason to contemplate the “possibility of rational explanation” of the genuinely unknowable (which sets her far apart and ahead of such notables as Gohmert, Robertson, Huckabee, and anyone with surname Bush, to name just a few).

          Science does not yet have all the answers to all the questions, true enough. But it has a massive wealth of legitimate answers when compared to any religious philosophy that exists or ever has existed. To the dogmatically unencumbered mind, explanation/contemplation of the unknowable does not require the “concept” or “Idea” of an “eternal” God/Creator — unless or until solid and irrefutable evidence of such is found. I suppose embedded in all of that is the reason why the Higgs Boson is referred to as the “God Particle” — maybe eventually the high level of investigation which proved its existence will find the means of further exploring the ether and . . . etc. — unless, of course, humanity extincts itself in the interim, a far more likely event, I’d guess.

  5. A cheeky Kingfisher eyes up a fisherman’s supper in Worcestershire.
    Picture: Mike Lane/BNPS

  6. Would like to thank TtT for introducing us to this little ditty. It was running around my cranium and now I release it…

  7. Sorry! Just as I was getting ready to put up the Sunday Roast last night, my internet went out, and it just came back. Arrrrgggghhhhh!!!!

    Hang on a minute…

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