The News Tribune logo

Friday, June 13, 2008

Scurrilous Whispers

There is a scurrilous email making the rounds claiming that according to the Book of Revelation the Anti-Christ will be in his forties and of Muslim heritage. I guess that lets some of the other people rumored to be the Anti-Christ, people like Bill Clinton and all the Popes off the hook. This email frightens me because of the fear and ignorance that went into its beginning and that which keeps it circulating.

The notion that the Anti-Christ as revealed in the Book of Revelation could be Muslim sends up red flags immediately. The Book of Revelation, also called the Book of John, is believed to have been compiled prior to 70 AD. Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, was not even born until 500 hundred years later. In 605 AD at age 35 Muhammad began to recite revelations he believed he had received from God while in the desert. It took 23 years for the revelations to be complete and Muhammad did not begin preaching seriously until 622 when he took his band of 40 followers from Mecca to Medina because of persecution by the tribe that ruled Mecca. All of this was clearly long after the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament to be recognized as Church cannon.

Evangelical Christians allegedly do not believe in astrology or fortune telling, but whoever started this rumor regarding the Anti-Christ seems to have confused predictions made by Nostradamus with the Book of Revelation, thus clearing anyone with even minimal knowledge of the Bible and Islam. There are segments of American society who have raised Nostradamus to almost sacred status, but it is a good idea not to confuse his predictions with religion of any kind.

Michael de Nostrademe was a French apothecary and a reputed seer who was born in 1503 and died in 1566. He is best known for his book of predictions. Most academics say that the associations made between the quatrains of Les Propheties and real world events are the result of mistranslations or misinterpretations, accidental or purposefully. There is no evidence Nostradamus accurately predicted anything.

Ever since September 11th, 2001 the right wing has attempted to manipulate the American public through fear, causing otherwise rational people to go along with the loss of freedoms, billions spent on a useless war that has lined the pockets of big business and helped to destroy the economy. It seems that even as adults we have to have boogiemen and Muslims are the new boogieman. This sort of rubbish is reminiscent of the lies the Nazis told about the Jews and we all know how that ended.


VW said...

Every election cycle, each side (whether by authorized or unauthorized parties) circulate lies. Most of us know that this thing that went around about the Book of Revelations is pure bunk, but there are always a few who will believe this kind of crap.

Trust me, I could go into some misconceptions from the Left Wingers, but I see no purpose in it here.

I would like to take some exception to your last paragraph.

We should be a bit wary. There are evil people in this world. Most of us understand that it is not all Muslims. It is in fact a small percentage, but do the math on a billion and calculate how many is even a few percent. The sad fact is that there are some out there whose stated goal is to bring the world under Islam.

That said, anyone who thinks it is all Muslims is a certifiable idiot.

I don't wish any harm on anyone, Muslime, Christian, Jew or whatever unless their goal is to inflict injury upon me or my family.

The extremists have committed some pretty nasty acts. We need to be a bit wary. Your attempt to equate those of us on the right with Nazis is at best, pedestrian. No one that I know of on my side of the aisle(and I know a fair amount of folks) advocate anything of the kind. Your stereotypical generalization is itself blatant fear mongering. You say it as if it is a fact and it is not.


Stephanie Frieze said...

There are evil people of all stripes, but it is lunacy the believe that there is anything about Islam in the Bible, little own that the Anti-Christ is of that faith.

JosephMcG said...

Thank you for your well thought out post...

VW said...

Lunacy? maybe, Ignorance, more likely. In either case, it's crap. I never got this email and trust me, I get a bunch. I don't forward most of the syrupy schlock I get in my inbox - that we all get in our inbox. All the cute little puppies and kittens, all of the funny little pictures of anthropomorphized critters, you've seen'em, I'm suer.

I understand that God is probably disappointed in me and that I will forever have bad luck, but somehow, I just can't bring myself to forward most of this stuff to inflict upon others. If God is going to punish me for that - so be it! :)

However, all humor aside, if by chance I'm the recipient of some kind of ignorant email such as you described, I go out of my way to reply back to as many people on that chain with the necessary corrections. I'm not afraid to tell people they've forwarded stuff that is inappropriate.

This would be inappropriate. I'm no bible scholar by any measure, but even I know enough that this is crap.


Lorraine Hart said...

Yup...caboodle is caboodle...and to not recognize caboodle would suggest something about a person's IQ.

kinsmed said...

Truth is simple.