So, today is 06/06/06 or 666 or whatever. It seems like a great marketing ploy for the remake of the movie “The Omen” due out in theaters today, but beyond that it is pretty much just a Tuesday. Still, people seem very freaked out about the date. There are news stories about how pregnant women who are about due are freaking out about the possibility of having the kid today. Seems silly to me. Next year their birthday will be 06/06/07 and the whole thing will be rather ridiculous. Still, it got me thinking about fundamentalists again.
I am sure you are aware that there are Christians who believe that the bible should be believed word for word and not as allegory or parables or whatever. How do I know? Well, I ran with a few of those cats a while back. I even attended a church with those themes for a while.
My wife had just left me. Nothing like finding out those business trips your wife has been going on are really trips to visit some dude she met online. Nothing like a phone call from that wife telling you she wants a divorce and that she is moving away with this guy. Nothing like watching your wife pack up her crap then going to work one day and coming home to find all of her crap gone and your phone shut off. Needless to say I was a little rudderless and a little unsure of pretty much everything. I had these friends who just happened to have the number one morning radio show in St. Louis and one of that team happened to be a member of a Baptist church.
The thing was, everyone there was so darn nice. Yes, there was a creepiness factor that never quite left my spine no matter how many times I went there. I couldn’t quite shake the heebie-jeebies enough to really feel a part of it all. Even the pastor was just so nice. He talked to me and offered words of encouragement. Still, it all didn’t quite take and I didn’t really drink the Kool-Aid.
I do recall how the pastor said that he believed, word for word, the book of Revelation. I remember him standing up there in front of the congregation talking about how he believed he would actually be raised from the dead and lifted into the sky to meet Jesus. He also said something about having some new kind of body and hoping it would have hair. He talked lovingly about flying into the sky and feeling the wind on his face.
The thing about Revelation that most of those folks seem to forget is that the early Christians honestly believed Jesus would return within their lifetimes. Therefore, much of what was written there could be applied to what was happening in the world right then and there. Much of the images could have been symbols for the Roman Empire, for example.
So, I don’t really know where that number 666 comes from. Seems rather arbitrary to me. I once heard that the numbers in bar codes are grouped into three groups of number and somehow that translates into a 666. The idea was that an idea of tattooing a national ID number on people in the form of the bar code would be akin to the “mark of the beast.” There was also a speech about how the bible talks about something called “wormwood” and that the translation of that from the original language it was written in into Russian is “Chernobyl.”
I do know that Al Gore is running around with his movie talking about global warming. Wouldn’t global warming create some of those disasters people always talk about when it comes to the end of the world? Floods? Major geographical changes?
There have always been signs that people could point to in the bible and declare “the end is nigh.” Those same Baptists who believed they would end up flying through the sky to meet Jesus probably laughed at the cultists who believed there was a spaceship trailing the Hale-Bopp comet. There have always been wars. Brother has always fought brother. There have always been earthquakes, strange signs in the sky, unexplained phenomenon. Were there these same freak-outs in 1906? 1806?
Personally, if you are a believer in the literal translation of the bible, wouldn’t the coming of the anti-christ be a reason to celebrate? Heck, your time to fly through the air would be coming real fast if that were to happen. I think there should be Satan Day Hallmark cards and we should make it a national holiday. I would think fundamentalist Christians would be inducing labor just to encourage the idea that the anti-christ might be born today just to kind of speed things along.
Then I heard one of the authors of the “Left Behind” series say the anti-christ won’t actually be born until 2010. The sound byte stopped at that point so I didn’t hear the explanation of that. That seemed rather arbitrary to me as well.
So, celebrate Satan Day. Raise a glass to the Dark Lord. Sacrifice a goat or two. Draw a lot of upside down pentacles. Wear horns to work. Come on, let’s party like it’s the end of the world. For all we know, maybe it is.