The World Is Going To End! Today!!

Or maybe next year on September 12th. Or the next.

This nutcase, Overseer Yisrayl Hawkins of the House of Yahweh (formerly country singer Buffalo Bill Hawkins), made the prediction that the world would end on Sept. 12, 2006, due to nuclear war. When that didn't happen, he started revising his predictions and talked about a "nuclear baby", whatever that is. He then stated that armageddon would occur today, so I hope you got all your shopping done.

See, he runs a cult in Texas, and has dozens of wives, and has constructed some tired old wacko religion around a doomsday premise. His website, which I won't link to, has the typical insane rantings you'd expect from any cult leader.

It's funny, and silly, but the important thing to remember is that his crazed rantings and mystical theories are fundamentally no different than organized religion. The only difference between his House of Yahweh and the Catholic Church (or Islam or fundamentalist Evangelicals or any other mainstream religion) is that we're more used to the blatant absurdities and impossibilities they preach.

"A nuclear baby? 30 wives? That's crazy! OK, kids, time to go to mass and eat some wafers and drink some wine. Don't forget that God's will turns them into the body and blood of Christ! No, it's not gross. It's love!"


Lynne said...

I love the crazed nuclear baby picture!

I have friends and family who believe in a god to varying degrees. They are all basically good people with this particular flaw. Rarely has this irrationality become so glaring that I have needed to remove myself from conversations. Mostly the belief in a higher power doesn’t come up or even manifest itself in other ways that I can tell.

Okay, here’s my question: While the fundamental basis is the same for all religions – irrationality – are you implying that all people who have faith are just this crazy?
I often think the ones I know are more likely just plain lazy. They are brought up with these ideas and never thought to question them for whatever reason (it didn't occur to them to question it and fear of being shunned are the two most obvious ones I can think of). I know there are many other types of the faithful, but I’m asking about these otherwise rational folk right now.

My problem is that while these people are wrong, it seems to me there is a degree of wrongness and the degrees are in how tightly they cling to their mystical creator and how that reliance affects their lives. Or am I wrong, and to what degree (on a scale of 1-10)?

And another question: How do you deal with what I will refer to as the traditionally religious as described above, or do you reject my theory of laziness?

C. August said...

Are all religious people "this crazy?" No. Crazy, yes. And by the derogatory, inflammatory term "crazy" I mean disconnected from reality and the axioms of existence and identity.

The operative modifier is "this", and I agree with your statement that "there is a degree of wrongness and the degrees are in how tightly they cling to their mystical creator and how that reliance affects their lives." Absolutely. To the extent that an individual uses reason and doesn't seek to evade the fact that existence exists, he distances himself from the Yisrayl Hawkins level of crazy.

And for many "traditionally religious" folk, you're probably right that it is just intellectual laziness. And when I deal with them, I respond to their explicit level of rationality. The more mystical they are in daily life, the less I will deal with them, or not at all.

When I got my first job out of college, in a lab at a biotech company, my boss was awesome. He was bright, motivated by reason and loved scientific investigation. He would not suffer fools, and had a wicked and hilarious sense of humor. But he was also quite religious. It was a contradiction I never was able to understand. How could someone with so much promise and so many good qualities have such a fundamental flaw?

In the end, we were very good friends, but religion was just never discussed. I gained value from the relationship in proportion to his reasoned actions.

All of this being said, this doesn't change the fact that while specific individuals may adopt the mystical nature of various religions to a greater or lesser degree, the fundamental nature of faith and mysticism is completely irrational. There is zero difference between predicting a "nuclear baby", or speaking in tongues or believing in miracles.

Actually, I take that back. At least nuclear technology exists, and it's possible that if a rogue nation like Iran gets the bomb, there *could* be a nuclear war in the Middle East (though it won't be because Yahweh is punishing humanity for liking sex). But turning wine into Christ-blood after imbibing it? oy vey.

Jenn Casey said...

But turning wine into Christ-blood after imbibing it? oy vey.

Actually, I believe the wine is turned to blood before imbibing. Same with the wafer. ("It's wafer-thin!")

A small nitpick, I know, but there is something to psyching yourself up to eating and drinking flesh and blood! Even if it tastes just like flavorless bread and wine with a heavy aftertaste.

The further I get away from my religious upbringing, the sillier it all seems.

C. August said...

Thanks for the clarification, Jenn. This just shows how blissfully ignorant I am of the nitty gritty details of Catholicism.

And the heavy aftertaste you get from the wine & wafer is Christ's love. Right? Yummmm.... tastes like sacrifice!

Lynne said...

Oh, you just don't know what you're missing. There's nothing like a good transubstantiation to whet one's appetite.

Tom Stelene said...

This is great! I love these kind of stories! "The end of the world" is such a time-tested tradition that one can enjoy over and over again!! I already can't wait until the next "end of the world" :)

C. August said...

Tom, that's hilarious. I hope you enjoyed Nuclear Baby Day yesterday. I'm already planning a celebratory BBQ for next year.

All of this also reminds me of one of my favorite songs from the 90's. "God is a Groovy Guy" by Fish Karma. He's a humorist/folk artist/whatever, and I happened to pick up the CD in a bargain bin during college. Here are the lyrics, and click here to get a sense of what the song sounds like:

God is a groovy guy
Uh huh, get down.
God is a groovy guy
Uh huh, good God.

From the moment you're conceived
you're on parole.
You can't plea bargain away
the sins in your soul.
If you try to make amends
you'll just dig a deeper hole.

'Cause God is a groovy guy
uh huh, get down.
God is a groovy guy
uh huh, good God.

If you find yourself hungry
he'll send you a famine.
If you find yourself thirsty,
he'll send you a drought.
If you can't swim,
here comes a flood!

'Cause you can't run
and you can't hide.
And if you do,
your bacon is fried.

God knows everything that you do
God sees everything that you do
God smells everything that you do

He's just like Santa Clause
Uh huh, get down
He's just like Santa Cause
Uh huh, good God.

Oh, God is everywhere
God is everywhere.
He's in your salad bowl,
he's in your pubic hair.

He'll take you to the cleaners
if you covet your neighbor's wife.

He will give you a rabbit punch
if you make a craven image.

He will short-sheet your bed
if you bear false witness.

He'll put you on the rack,
suspend you from a rope,
he'll stuff you in a grinder
break your jaw and cut your throat.

He'll visit you with locusts
he'll visit you with plague
he'll visit your apartment
kill your cat and break your leg.

He'll cover you with cooking oil
and roast you on a spit.
He'll give you indigestion
and then staple your lips.

He'll fill your head and heart
with dreams that can't come true,
and spend his weekend thinking of
different kinds of flu.

He'll slaughter the innocent
just to test your faith,
put glass under your tires
spit tobacco in your face

He'll fill the world with roaches
slugs and jellyfish.
He'll give you years of horror
for every second of bliss.

He'll give you diseases
make your teeth turn brown
have you eaten up by maggots
when you're six feet underground...

He does all these things
'cause he loves everybody.
If you disagree he'll pulverize
every bone in your body.

'Cause God is a groovy guy
Uh huh, get down.
God is a groovy guy
Uh huh, good God.