When I came across this incredible farce by way of Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, I was awed. The level of insanity - truly transcendent. I nearly herniated myself laughing.
My first thought was, "Paul, darling - you asked me after my last post about Worldnutdaily, 'Is Kupelian's commentary extreme for it? Or is it pretty much just par for the course there?' Well, here's the perfect answer."
My second thought was, "Garrett's going to howl."
My third, and by far best, thought: "Fuck writing this by myself. I'm going to get Garrett's input first."
Garrett, you see, is my best friend. He is my heart-brother, my boon companion, my partner-in-snark, my confidante going on seventeen years now. He's also deeply Christian. He belongs to one of the Churches of Christ, which are so Biblically conservative they sing a cappella. On the plus side, they turned out a man like Garrett, who can be best friends with an atheist without worrying about hellfire and damnation, and they didn't exhort their congregation to go see Expelled. As far as I know, they still haven't even mentioned it.
When it comes to conservative Protestant Christian matters, Garrett is my go-to guy. It's not only because he's got a deeper knowledge of Biblical matters than he's willing to admit. It's also because he has a truly amazing sense of humor, and he never fails to deliver biting, insightful snark when it comes to the shennanigans of the frothing fundies.
And he's always willing to go into the breech with me, no matter how much it hurts. He's got my back.
We disagree on many, many matters of belief. Bound to, considering one of us believes in God and the other doesn't. But we're in perfect accord when it comes to the inanity of the rabid fundies. As he's said often, he doesn't much like fanatics of any stripe. This comes in useful when I need a Christian reality check. I can go to him and say, "Garrett, is this how most Christians think, or are these folks a little odd?" If he bursts out laughing, I know "batshit insane" is the right call. If he starts disagreeing with me, I know I've got more thinking to do.
He'll be the first to tell you he can't speak for "most" Christians. But I've found that I seldom go wrong among the moderates when I present his opinions on the faith: they may quibble about the cosmetic details, but they're rock-solid on the foundations. You know, little details like "Judge not lest ye be judged" and that what it all comes down to, at core, is loving God and loving each other.
So, this Saturday, I made him endure an entire Worldnutdaily article with me. I was going to do a nice little write-up with a few quotes and his insight and my slams, but it's turned into something of a Mystery Science Theater with One Christian edition instead. For your sakes, I'll fast forward through the bits without snarky commentary to prevent premature meltdown of vital brain cells.
Without further ado, I present you: Worldnutdaily: MST1C Edition. In Stereo Where Available.
Blood moon eclipses: 2nd Coming in 2015?
Minister uses NASA forecasting to study signals of Jesus' return
By Joe Kovacs© 2008 WorldNetDaily
[Wait - doesn't the Mayan calendar say the world's gonna end in 2012?]
A minister who promotes the Old Testament roots of Christianity suggests a rare string of lunar and solar eclipses said to fall on God's annual holy days seven years from now could herald what's come to be known as the "Second Coming" of Jesus.
[Sounds like a bunch of lunarcy to me]
In a video interview on the Prophecy in the News website, Biltz said he's been studying prophecies that focus on the sun and moon, even going back to the book of Genesis where it states the lights in the sky would be "be for signs, and for seasons."
[You know, like spring, summer, winter, fall...]
Biltz adds the word "seasons" implies appointed times for God's feasts and festivals."When we hear the word feast, we think food. But the Hebrew word has nothing to do with food. It has to do with a divine appointment, as if God has a day timer, and He says, 'OK, I'm gonna mark the day and the time when I'm going to signal My appearance.'"
[Does this mean He's gone to the "Getting Things Done" movement?]
In the Old Testament, the prophet Joel states, "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come." (Joel 2:31)
[Hey, they stole that from the original Mummy movie!]
He says during this century, tetrads occur at least six times, but what's interesting is that the only string of four consecutive blood moons that coincide with God's holy days of Passover in the spring and the autumn's Feast of Tabernacles (also called Succoth) occurs between 2014 and 2015 on today's Gregorian calendar.
[Oh, my head.]
He then started to notice a pattern of the tetrads.
[I'm noticing a pattern here, too.]
*FF yammer yammer Holy Days yammer Eclipses yammer OMG ECLIPSES ON HOLY DAYS!!!1!1!! yammer (and you all just remember that Garrett had to suffer through every. damned. word. FF*
"If you think that this is a coincidence, I want you to know that it's time!" exclaimed Prophecy in the News host J.R. Church. "There are no more of these for the rest of the century."
[How do we know that means Christ is coming back?]
But Hal Lindsey, a well-known biblical analyst and author of "The Late Great Planet Earth," [and former star of Barney Miller] says while he hasn't heard of Biltz's theory, he called it "pure speculation."
"I see the whole sweep and panorama spinning together in a precise scenario," he said.
[Here's my take on prophecy - how do I know Christ is coming back? He said He would. When's He coming back? I don't know. He doesn't know. Only the Father knows. If people would rather play with prophecy than play with themselves, that's their lookout.]
The 25th chapter of Matthew features a parable where Jesus likens His kingdom to ten virgins all waiting for the arrival of their bridegroom.
Jesus said in the story, "ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 25:13)
Biltz says people need to examine the quote in its proper context."When He says you don't know the day or the hour, He's speaking to the foolish virgins, not the wise virgins," he explained.
[strangled whisper: forfuck'ssake]
Biltz was also asked about the famous statement in Matthew 24:36 when Jesus was discussing the signs of His "coming, and of the end of the world": "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:36)
[What did I just say?!]
He responded by referring to the annual Feast of Trumpets holiday, saying Israelites never knew the precise moment it began, "because it was based on the sighting of the new moon."
"When He (Jesus) says you won't know the day or the hour, He's telling you it's the Feast of Trumpets because that was known as the feast where no one knew the day or the hour that it would begin," said Biltz. "So it's kind of like if I told you, 'I'm not going to tell you when I'm coming, but "Gobble, gobble, gobble,'" [pointing to] Turkey Day."
[Not even the ANGELS know! Come on!
Church stressed despite the information suggesting 2015 could be a pivotal time, "We don't know that that will be the concluding year of the tribulation period ... so we're not setting a date and saying this is a warning. We're introducing the possibility of a watch."
[This article is a tribulation!]
*Mercifully, The End*
[I'm sorry, I don't care what kind of convoluted - well, we can scarecely call it reasoning - you do, "no man knows the hour or the day" seems to trump just about everything else.
All these "Bible-based prophecies" have been historically, uninamouly, across the board, been 100% WRONG! Now, I could be wrong about that, but I really don't think so.
Biltz - here's YOUR sign (with apologies to Bill Engvall, of course.)]
So there you have it, my darlings. I think now you'll see why Garrett and I have no trouble getting along despite our wildly divergent views on faith. And now you have more than just an atheist's perspective on Worldnutdaily's worldnuttery: you've seen that at least one conservative Christian shudders just as much as we do at their supreme fuckwittery.
Gestures of support for Garrett, who suffered so much for our edification, can be left in the comments. He richly deserves them.