Secular Right | Reality & Reason

TAG | Apocalypse

May/15

19

Weird Sounds

last trumpThe Daily Mail looks into the phenomenon of weird, unexplained sounds:

A mysterious noise from the sky is continuing to baffle people all over the world – as well as giving those who hear it sleepless nights. Sounding like a trumpet or a collective from a brass section of an orchestra, a selection of videos shot from the Canada to Ukraine, via the U.S., Germany and Belarus show strange goings on above us.And the eerie sounds have been continuously heard at all different times and locations for almost a decade.

True to form, the Daily Mail looks into what could be going on and comes up with a number of theories including tectonic plates, aliens and, of course, the apocalyspe:

Seven trumpets are sounded, one at a time, to cue apocalyptic events that were seen in the vision of the Revelation of Christ Jesus, by John of Patmos. Somewhat more worrying as it would signal the end of the world…

“Somewhat more worrying”.

English understatement is not dead.

Full story here (my ability to link seems to have disappeared):

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3084260/What-strange-sound-sky-Noise-heard-globe-nearly-DECADE-explanation.html

Apr/14

19

As We Await the End Times

harun-yahyaCross-posted on Ricochet.

The art of writing a first paragraph is said to lie in the ability to draw the reader in.

I would say that Lily Lynch’s remarkable new piece in The Balkanist passes that test very well indeed:

Harun Yahya is said to be the messianic leader of an apocalyptic Islamic sex cult. He’s also the owner of a Turkish television station called A9, and the host of his own religious talk show, which just might make your eyeballs pop out of your skull. The entire set and everyone on it glow like irradiated ultraviolet rays. Five amazing looking women usually co-host the show, wearing things like false rainbow eyelashes, wigs, and diamond-studded Versace bondage gear. The backdrop is a blinding fake lavender cityscape. Conversations often focus on how materialism and Darwinism are dead, how to recognize the face of a real Muslim, and how Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — with whom the host is rumored to enjoy friendly relations — is “one of the important figures for the End Times”.

This is a story with everything: murky political connections, the Huffington Post, creationism, “a pair of hunky twins named Onder and Ender”, a harem, Madonna, aliens (maybe), conspiracy theories, abandoned conspiracy theories, litigation and a zoo.

Wait, there’s more…

But you will have to read it for yourselves.

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Apr/14

16

Apocalypse Now?

Socorro, NM, May 95 (photo AS)Here’s a happy reminder that the Middle Ages, as that old crank Carl Jung once wrote, “live on… merrily”.

The Washington Post has the glorious details:

Could a series of “blood moon” events be connected to Jesus’ return? Some Christians think so. In the wee hours of Tuesday (April 15) morning, the moon slid into Earth’s shadow, casting a reddish hue on the moon. There are about two lunar eclipses per year, according to NASA, but what’s unusual this time around is that there will be four blood moons within 18 months — astronomers call that a tetrad — and all of them occur during Jewish holidays.

Could a series of “blood moon” events be connected to Jesus’ return? Some Christians think so.

In the wee hours of Tuesday (April 15) morning, the moon slid into Earth’s shadow, casting a reddish hue on the moon. There are about two lunar eclipses per year, according to NASA, but what’s unusual this time around is that there will be four blood moons within 18 months — astronomers call that a tetrad — and all of them occur during Jewish holidays….This time, Hagee suggests that a Rapture will occur where Christians will be taken to heaven, Israel will go to war in a great battle called Armageddon, and Jesus will return to earth.

Going to be quite a year.

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Oct/13

8

That’s all Folks

endtimesInclude me in the ranks of those who are skeptical about what the US is trying to do in Syria. This particular analysis, however, forms no part of my thinking:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) over the weekend accused President Obama of arming al Qaeda militants in Syria and said it was evidence “we’re in God’s end times.”



“This happened and as of today the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists,” Bachmann said in a radio interview with Understanding the Times that was first reported by Right Wing Watch. “Now what this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history.”

“Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice,” she continued. “Maranatha, come Lord Jesus, his day is at hand. When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this; these days would be as the days of Noah.”

Okey dokey.

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Aug/13

24

The Timeless Appeal of the Apocalypse (Again)

ResidentEvil_AliceCross-posted on the Corner:

To my disappointment, I missed this event:

Uncivilisation 2013 is a gathering of people searching for answers to questions about our collective future in a rapidly-changing and depleting world. For one long weekend in August, the woods and chalk downland of the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire will be home to a festival of literature, music, art and action. It will be a place of encounters and conversations, learning and sharing, stories, ideas, music and performance. There will be campfires, wanderings in the woods, children’s activities, and workshops in everything from writing to scything.

Scything.

Some background:

The Dark Mountain Project is a network of writers, artists and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilisation tells itself. We see that the world is entering an age of ecological collapse, material contraction and social and political unravelling, and we want our cultural responses to reflect this reality rather than denying it.

Something tells me that the “cultural response” that the Dark Mountaineers are planning does not involve the acquisition of heavy weaponry, canned goods, a comfortable, yet invulnerable, mountain redoubt and the recruitment of Resident Evil’s Alice, a handy companion in the event of any apocalypse I can envisage.

H/t: David Thompson, who anticipated the event in a possibly sarcastic fashion:

Who here could resist a congregation of climate catastrophists and unemployed poets – sorry, “artists and thinkers” – who tell us their words “will be elemental” and will “weave reality,” and who also tell us they will write these elemental, reality-weaving words “with dirt under our fingernails.” These brave People Of Tomorrow™ will gather in tepees and fiddle with twigs, while awaiting the end of capitalism and bourgeois decadence. They will dine on halloumi burgers and Fair Trade carrot cake. Women will blossom in a “creative making and conversation space.” Men will be helped to “reconcile their polarities.” Oh, and there’ll also be a scything workshop. Poetry and scything is clearly the way forward.

Yes, scything.

Then again, what good is the apocalypse without a grim reaper?

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Dec/12

8

Armagideon Time (Again)

Cross-posted on the Corner:

Here we go again.

The Daily Telegraph reports on the approach of the latest doomsday:

Ahead of December 21, which marks the conclusion of the 5,125-year “Long Count” Mayan calendar, panic buying of candles and essentials has been reported in China and Russia, along with an explosion in sales of survival shelters in America. In France believers were preparing to converge on a mountain where they believe aliens will rescue them.

The precise manner of Armageddon remains vague, ranging from a catastrophic celestial collision between Earth and the mythical planet Nibiru, also known as Planet X, a disastrous crash with a comet, or the annihilation of civilisation by a giant solar storm.

In America Ron Hubbard, a manufacturer of hi-tech underground survival shelters, has seen his business explode.

“We’ve gone from one a month to one a day,” he said. “I don’t have an opinion on the Mayan calendar but, when astrophysicists come to me, buy my shelters and tell me to be prepared for solar flares, radiation, EMPs (electromagnetic pulses) … I’m going underground on the 19th and coming out on the 23rd. It’s just in case anybody’s right.”

I’m going out to dinner that night. Hoping that it’ll be easier to get a reservation.

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Sep/11

9

The Eternal Appeal of the Apocalyptic (2)

Cross-posted earlier on the Corner:

And while we’re on the topic of doom-mongering, at least one enormously wealthy, lavishly consuming, aristocratic idler has (reports the Daily Telegraph) a few dark words for the peons. Warning that the human race itself could be in danger, Prince Charles has repeated earlier demands that (other) people should consume less. Changes need to be made to our economic system “so that Nature sits at the very heart of our thinking”. The prince also took the opportunity to remind his audience that he felt a “spiritual connection to nature”. Of course he does.

The Queen, thank heavens, is only 85. Her mother lived to be 101.

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Sep/11

9

The Eternal Appeal of the Apocalyptic

Posted earlier on the Corner:

It helps sell religions, movies, political agendas: Is there nothing that the prospect of apocalypse cannot do?

Via AP:

Abel Ferrara made his new film “4:44 Last Day on Earth” to serve as a wake-up call to humanity over impending ecological disasters.The movie, by the director of 1992′s “Bad Lieutenant,” focuses largely on one couple — played by Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh — passing their final hours on Earth as they Skype their goodbyes to loved ones from a New York City high-rise.

“The bottom line is this film is about man’s destruction of the Earth,” Ferrara told reporters Wednesday in Venice, where the film is being shown in hopes of snaring the top Golden Lion prize later this week.

“This isn’t about a meteorite, this isn’t … some horror show. This is about humanity not coming to terms with its carbon footprint,” the director said. “It’s on us. It’s our responsibility.”

The time in the title is the exact hour before dawn when humanity ceases to exist. The exact calamity which befalls Earth’s citizens isn’t ever spelled out, although there is an “ozone-hole” theme. At one point, viewers see, as a backdrop, an image of environmental advocate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore projected on large screen TV giving an interview. “We reached out to Al, we reached out to Gore, definitely,” Ferrara said.

Of course he did.

Full disclosure: I enjoy ‘end of the world’ movies. Even 2012. I’ll be off to see this one…

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May/11

21

Apocalypse Postponed

The Daily Telegraph’s Damian Thompson (a religious man, incidentally) weighs in here:

…I suppose if I had to boil it down to one observation, it would be that just because people say they “believe” that such-and-such a thing will happen in the End Times that doesn’t mean they invest heavily in those colourful beliefs. It’s a sort of spiritual hobby, even entertainment. St Augustine told doomsday enthusiasts to rest their busy fingers – ie, stop using them to calculate the exact date of Christ’s return (like old Harold Camping). Even in his day, people ran a huge risk of (a) making fools of themselves and (b) boring everyone else to death.

Still, remember the following should 200 million true believers fail to shoot skywards tomorrow. In the first century, most Christians believed the world would end in their lifetimes. Why? Because Jesus gave them good reason to think so:

Matthew 16:27-28: For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Matthew 24:34: I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

That sounds like a a pretty explicit doomsday prophecy to me. No wonder St Paul had to deal with Christians who kept asking: why is everyone dying naturally when Jesus said he’d already be back by now?

Meanwhile, as I mention over on the Corner, do check out The Rapture, a fascinating early 1990s take on the End Times.

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May/11

21

Oh Well…

On to 2012, I suppose…

Via the Daily Telegraph:

Inhabitants of New Zealand, scheduled to be among the first to meet the apocalypse according to a US fundamentalist preacher, this morning confirmed they were still in existence as the appointed time was reached in their time zone. There were also unconfirmed reports that Tonga has, thus far, failed to boil into the Pacific.

Eighty-nine-year-old tele-evangelist Harold Camping had prophesied that the “Rapture” would begin with powerful earthquakes at 6pm in each of the world’s regions, after which the good would be beamed up to heaven.

This morning, Kiwis confirmed there were no signs of the dead rising from the grave, nor of the living ascending into the clouds to meet Jesus Christ.

Twitter users were disappointed by the absence of Armaggedon.

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