Monthly Archives: May 2011

Saying Muslim

I was taught in my theology degree that you don’t say “Muzlim”, but “Musslim”, and its “Islahm” (long ah-sound) rather than “Izlam”. From my meagre Arabic dalliances, I also figure it is “Osama Bin Laden”, but “Ibn Laden” when used on its own.

Any other bits of Islamic naming we massacre?

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Reading about the End of the World

Reading various responses to the May 21, 2011 believers is quite amusing.

The most common objection from other Christians goes something like:

“It won’t be May 21, 2011, because Jesus said that nobody knows the day or the hour except the Father. If you think you know, you’re wrong.”

Leaving aside that the believers have worked out an elaborate theology to work around this verse, I do find this kind of proof-texting amusing. Because Jesus “says” this, right after saying that the end will come before “this generation will … pass away”. So clearly he was wrong.

Oh, right, sorry, I forgot that the bible can’t be wrong. If it appears to be wrong, we just have to interpret it differently until we can make it right. So in your interpretation of the passage, Jesus didn’t literally mean that bit, but did literally mean the bit about not knowing; whereas the interpretation where Jesus didn’t literally mean either is wrong. Gotya. Thanks.

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I’m Worried about the End of the World

If you haven’t noticed the media, the world is due to end in October, and Judgement Day is just over a week away (May 21, 2011).

Which means, for those folks who believe in the rapture and the validity of the numerology behind that date, May 21, 2011 is checkout day.

I just had a little look around. And it seems that the May 21, 2011 movement (e.g. here) is pretty large, in comparison. Larger than most of these little millenarian groups.

And that makes me nervous. When I read the absolute certainty in the words of doomsday cultists, my mind comes back always to Heaven’s Gate, to The Order of the Solar Temple, and to Jonestown. Its a short step from believing that God will bring the end of the world, to believing God wants you to help him do so.

Whatever it takes to get your indoctrinated loved ones home that day, do it. Even if it means promising a last minute conversion.

Maybe I’m paranoid. But combine an irrational belief in the end of the world with a massive humiliation and undermining of belief, and I think few people would act rationally.

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