In other, geopolitical, news...
...so I open up my email today, and this is what I find.
Subject: iraq astonishing prophesies in the bible
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 01:57:55 +0800
Dear heavens. Not only spam! Not only HTML spam! But RELIGIOUS HTML spam!
IRAQ IN BIBLE PROPHESY
2,000-year-old Bible prophecies foretold Iraq's present and her future:
...I must have been absent that day in Sunday school. Or would these be the same "2000-year-old Bible prophecies" that said that everything would go to hell on Y2K? Or that the NAFTA treaty would be the rise of the Antichrist? (Hm...actually, now that I think about it-- no, that's something for another entry) Or is it the prophecy that says "And the Beast shall reveal himself and his name shall be Ozzy Osbourne"?
Anyway. Moving on.
1. IRAQ WOULD BECOME THE CENTER OF EARTH'S EVIL
Never before in history has a nation paid families $25,000 dollars to send their child out strapped with dynamite to blow up innocent people; use gas and chemical weapons to destroy cities of her own people, not torture, rape and mutilate as Iraq has done.
Well, I suppose I can't argue much with the first assertion--after all, a serviceman's pay is far lower than $25K, even yearly. So, looks like Iraq's got the best deal, money-wise.
As for the rest: Pot? Meet kettle.
2. IRAQ WOULD CORRUPT THE RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD
New Age astrology, the Catholic's celibate priesthood, and Islamic worship of the moon god all originated in Babylon and have spread to 3 billion people.
...what the fuck? What the fucking fuck?
First off, show me a culture that /didn't/ have an astrological tradition of their own. (The Aztecs, anyone?) And tell me exactly how that counts as "New Age?"
Someone's been reading the anti-Catholicism a little too much, methinks.
3. IRAQ WILL ONE DAY WRECK THE WORLD'S ECONOMY
Iraq's giant oil fields have enable [sic. Sic as a dog.] her to start two recessions and now threatens to send the price of oil to $100 a barrel and start a world-wide depression.
...and the fact that there's no proof for any of this, either in the email or that I can find, seems to make no nevermind. (Believe it or not, Iraq is not the only country that can sell us oil.)
4. IRAQ WILL REIGN MASS DESTRUCTION ON THE HUMAN RACE
The Revelation says that death will rise from Iraq's Euphrates to rain death on one third of the world's population in 60 minutes of human history. Neither inspectors nor armies can prevent this-they can only delay it.
You know...is it just me, or can you use the Book of Revelation to prove anything you want? I wouldn't be surprised if I could use it to prove that I'd have a tuna sandwich for lunch.
Also, please note that eschatologists keep constantly changing the place where the Antichrist will come up to do the Maranatha Mambo--Germany, the USSR, Libya, Israel, Afghanistan, and now...
Now to put the snark away for a bit. The point of religion is to comfort people, yeah? Provide them a hope and a constant to base their ethics and actions on? How, exactly, does all this comfort people? This leads me to a couple different possibilities: Either religion's not being used here as a comfort, but a means to make people hate and fear, or that the people who read this will be comforted because they're completely convinced that they'll be the only ones left standing after the dust settles.
And if you want to apply this to the Christian eschatology, it's necessary to destroy the world in order to save it, while we all just become, in Stephen King's phrase, the spiritual Astroturf for the battle between God and Satan. Or, in Good Omens: "...although to be frank when the fire falls and the seas of blood rise you lot are going to be civilian casualties either way. Between our war and your war, they're going to kill everyone and let God sort it out--right?"
...okay, that's enough sincerity for the day. We now return to our regularly scheduled sarcasm.