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Friday, May 05, 2006

A Special Kind of Crazy

(Keywords: politics, media, religious right, the threat posed by Ethi-freakin'-opia )

By now, pretty much everyone agrees that Pat Robertson is crazy. So we shouldn't be surprised when Media Matters tells us he said something crazy. The emphasis is theirs.

ROBERTSON: It's shocking what's happening. And I got home over the weekend and read the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, once again, to see a war that is forecast where a nation identified as Russia and possibly some of the Caucasian states, maybe Turkey, but some of those states in that region, join with Iran, Libya, and the Sudan to move against Israel. A great horde of people to come against Israel, re-gathered from the nations in the latter days.

It's amazing that Iran has come to the fore as it has with a president who says Israel should be wiped off the map, who -- it now has atomic weapons. And a year ago, the Lord told me, as I was praying, that Israel was entering into the most dangerous time in its existence as a nation. He confirmed this again in January, and lo and behold, the events in the -- in the current affairs just keep tumbling, tumbling, tumbling upon us. And I look in disbelief.


Of course, Iran does not have nuclear weapons. They're years from even testing a device. But what gets me is that he thinks he can lie to people who read the bible about what's in the bible.

Out of all of those nations he lists, one is mentioned in the Ezekiel 38 - Libya.

Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
--Eze 38:5


Iran was Persia once, but it isn't anymore - obviously it's Iran. He says he turns to the bible and sees "a nation identified as Russia". Identified where? A quick search of the bible shows that the word 'Russia' appears in the bible exactly zero times.

What Robertson is referring to is Eze 38:2, "Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,". Some people believe that Gog refers to Russia. And those people are crazy.

According to WhatSaithTheScripture.com, "Ezekiel 38 is the classic text used by many to prove a World War III or Armageddon-like invasion of Israel. WW III may actually be an engagement prior to the Tribulation Week involving an incident between the U.S. and the Arabs, followed by the neutralizing of the U.S.A. by Chinese and Russian missiles. However, Ezekiel 38 describes how the Russian-Arab alliance will be destroyed by "an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone" (Ezekiel 38:22) 30 days prior to the Middle of the Week." The only thing missing are flying saucers.

This is what I find so frightening about the christian right, not only do they believe things the bible says, they believe things the bible doesn't say. And they want to use these beliefs to set foreign policy. It's insane - why not just crack open a fortune cookie? It has as much to do with reality.

So we should be scared of Ethiopia? If this prophecy refers to present day Iran and Russia, then Ethiopia's a real military power. It says so right there in the bible.

But, of course, Robertson and the religious crazies aren't concerned with what the bible actually says. They're concerned with what they think it says. And, because they're freakin' insane, they think it says some seriously crazy shit.

--Wisco

27 comments:

Jay Bullock said...

Not only does Iran not have nukes, its president did not say he wanted Israel wiped off the map.

Anonymous said...

Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier and confirmed anti-Semite. You may as well argue that Hitler never wanted to kill Jews, just purge them from the fatherland. Give us all a break with tortured defense on the grounds of Arabic or Farsi lacking idioms found in English, no kidding.

Shaper said...

No-one said Ahmadinejad was nice person, but there's a world of difference between "Israel should be wiped off the map" and what the guy actually said.

"Wiped off the map" was an incorrect and misrepresented translation, and was massively more aggressive and pro-active than what the guy said.

Ahmadinejad's a bigoted, fundamentalist idiot - by all means castigate him for his faults, but they don't excuse other bigoted, fundamentalist idiots demonising him for things he hasn't, actually, done.

And congratulations - at only 2 posts that's got to be the shortest proof of Godwin's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law) I've ever seen.

Phillip Winn said...

In my experience, people who believe the Bible aren't the scary ones. It's people who believe stuff is in the Bible that isn't actually there that are the scary ones.

In other words, I think you noticed the real problem, but you're still holding your bias against sane and reasonable Christians from prior to this encounter with scary-man Pat Robertson.

Wisco said...

I've got nothing against christians - in fact, I'm the atheist moderator at Christianity General.

What bothers me is that more and more people are coming into the forum with this crazy stuff and the crazy stuff they're coming in with is crazier and crazier. We've got people saying that there should be a genocide of the palestinians so jews will go to Israel and Jesus will come back.

The far right christians aren't getting any more numerous, but they're getting crazier.

chris said...

Actually, there is a flying saucer in Ezekiel. Not only is Robertson crazy, but Ezekiel was too.

Anonymous said...

crazy? aren't we all crazy sometimes?

I would be surprised to find IRAN in the bible since the people of that day called it PERSIA. What would be the sense of calling it IRAN? Do you think the Bible should have dropped from heaven with modern placenames? If so, then I think you are crazy too.

Anonymous said...

I would be surprised to find IRAN in the bible since the people of that day called it PERSIA. What would be the sense of calling it IRAN? Do you think the Bible should have dropped from heaven with modern placenames? If so, then I think you are crazy too.

Yes. I would expect the bible to say Iran. If you're in the business of predicting the future, then you'd predict the future. If it mentioned Persia at all, it should be something like "Persia, known to the latter men as 'Iran'".

But it doesn't. It says Persia - which no longer exists. In fact, the bible has so far failed to predict anything at all.

Anonymous said...

"Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier and confirmed anti-Semite. "

I think we should immediately kill all humans who are holocaust deniers. We should also immediately start bombing all nations who are headed by anti semites or holocaust deniers.

There is no greater act of humanity then to invade countries and kill people in the name of the people who died in concentration camps.

Oh one more thing.

How come Israel doesn't invade Iran? I mean we give them six to 12 billion a year in military aid, how come we have to fight their wars for them too? I mean THIS GUY IS A HOLOCAUST DENIER AND AN ANTI SEMITE! for gods (er yahvehs) sake. Come israel unleash your military might upon these people.

Anonymous said...

If you look around, there are some Christian evangelists in the good ole USA who also deny the Holocaust. Ahmadinejad only asked for proof of the sometimes overblown recall of the incident, the newspapers just rephrased it into "denier". As for anti-Semitism, it also means anti-Arab, not just anti-Jew, i.e. a good population of USA are anti-Arab as well. So look in the mirror then.

Anonymous said...

While I agree Pat seems to have found another mysterious message in the scripture I dont believe that the fact that the scripture does not call Persia Iran a reasonable argument to deny the truth containted in it. What sis know as the old testament was written well before the new, and did accuratelly prophesy the arrival of a messiah. It even told in which town he would be born. It seems to me once again some people are picking at little things in order to deny the fact taht God is real and has expecations for humans. Its a shame really. While i do not agree with Pat on his thoughts i must say that the truth contained in the scripture has been strong enough to hold me. The obvious calamity in the world offer no sollitude or peace. Even the peace offered is short lived and hollow. As for the President of Iran, make no mistake muslims(extremist) hate the jews and Israel. The destruction of my beloved nation IS what they seek. And they would dance in the streets to see the destrucion of her. But Blessed Be the Lord of Israel whos hand holds the wicked at bay.

Wisco said...

While I agree Pat seems to have found another mysterious message in the scripture I dont believe that the fact that the scripture does not call Persia Iran a reasonable argument to deny the truth containted in it.

Read the post again, that wasn't the only argument I made.

What sis know as the old testament was written well before the new, and did accuratelly prophesy the arrival of a messiah. It even told in which town he would be born. It seems to me once again some people are picking at little things in order to deny the fact taht God is real and has expecations for humans.

Using the bible as a source to prove the truth of the bible is illogical. I could do the same with any work. In MacBeth the three witches make a lot of predictions that come true, but that's pretty crappy evidence that the events in the play actually happened or that MacBeth even existed.

Ed said...

You can use the bible to prove the bible. The Old testament was considered finished by several hundred years before Christ was born. It predicts the virgin birth, the town where christ was born, that he would be denied by his own people, and countless other prophecies. So yes you can look at old testament prophecy and see that much of it was fulfilled with Jesus. So yes the bible can used to prove the bible. To say that it can't is to ignore history.

Wisco said...

To say that either book of the bible is historical is to ignore what 'historical' means. Neither book is verified by other sources - even though you'd think that earth shattering events and the clearly miraculous would be worth writing down.

Anonymous said...

If Iran is not Persia, does it deny our responsibility to our humanity?

If the President of Iran is not nice, does it give ground to us to defame with lies?

Are our comments meant to uplift mankind, to share peace? To give love?

With each hateful word spoken, who wins? Ask yourself, who benefits from your anger?

If you trust God, let Him judge Ahmadinejad. Focus more on yourself.

If you don't trust God, how do you identify truth? Fear and uncertainty used to motivate others can only end in turmoil, as those oppressed by lies discern truth and seek justice.

Do you really believe that any of your comments can influence the hardess of people's hearts?

Wisco said...

What the hell are you talking about?

Bill From LC said...

Of all the Old Testament books Ezekiel is probably the most "over the top." For Robertson to quote it says volumes about his particular state of mind. Not to mention that of his followers.

RickU said...

"Ed said...

You can use the bible to prove the bible. The Old testament was considered finished by several hundred years before Christ was born. It predicts the virgin birth, the town where christ was born, that he would be denied by his own people, and countless other prophecies. So yes you can look at old testament prophecy and see that much of it was fulfilled with Jesus. So yes the bible can used to prove the bible. To say that it can't is to ignore history.
4:06 PM"

This may be the craziest thing I've ever seen. Of course the writers of the NT tried to fulfill OT prophesy...but even the NT doesn't necessarily agree with when and where Christ was born because the NT accounts of christ weren't even firsthand. That is NOT the bible proving the bible, it's you proving your ignorance.

Adam said...

The writers of the new testament read the old testament. They knew what the requirements of a messiah would be, according to the old testament. So they wrote an account that matched those requirements. That's why, despite the "fact" that Jesus is immaculately conceived, the new testament takes great pains to trace his lineage back to King David. The messiah, according to the old testament, should come from this lineage.

Also, to say the bible "predicts" anything is a complete misreading of the intents of the bible. The bible is NOT a book of prophecy. It is a book of law.

Anonymous said...

To say that the Bible is a book of law is missing the intent of the Bible as well. As far as its predictions, they speak for themselves (e.g., Isasiah predicted the virgin birth 800 years before it happened). And as for Ahmadinejad, can any one honestly say that he is not a threat to Israel and the Middle East?

Anonymous said...

"Also, to say the bible "predicts" anything is a complete misreading of the intents of the bible. The bible is NOT a book of prophecy. It is a book of law."

The Bible is more than just a book of law. In fact, only the first 5 books of the OT are considered the law. The rest of the OT is mostly a mix of history, poetry, and prophesy.

And in regard to other comments:
-miraculous events such as the flood are recounted in almost every culture (i.e. Gilgamesh). There are also remote tribes of people who have stories of their god sending a son to save the people. God has made Himself known to everyone, it is each individual's choice whether they acknowledge Him or not. the odds of chemicals coming together just right for life to even have started as single cells are like monkies accidentaly finding a pen and writing the complete works of Shakespeare (and this comparison using Shakespeare fits a lot better, by the way).

For an interesting look at the prophesies about Christ, I suggest Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ.
-the arguement comparing the prophesies in MacBeth to the prophesies of the Bible doesn't work b/c MacBeth is by only one author and the Bible is from many different authors

Wisco said...

Matt,

Please don't spam my blog with big long strings of crazy.

Yisraelee said...

I see there is a lot of anti-semites, God haters and silly Gnostics in here "thinking" they have wisdom about life! Think again!
The bible says: a man does what is right IN HIS OWN EYES and that leads to DEATH!

Wake up silly people! Yeshua is coming to judge you!

jchristop said...

I am not hindered by people who cannot help but hate.... as some of these posters seem to be. I simply cannot imagine having the arrogance to laugh at the bible. I think it will end in only regret. But show me something better and I'll consider it.

[edit] Translation of phrase "wiped off the map"
Many news sources have presented one of Ahmadinejad's phrases in Persian as a statement that "Israel must be wiped off the map"[4][5][6], an English idiom which means to "obliterate totally",[7] and "destroy completely", such as by powerful bombs,[8] or other catasrophes.[9]

Juan Cole, a University of Michigan Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History, translates the Persian phrase as:

The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad).[10]

According to Cole, "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to 'wipe Israel off the map' because no such idiom exists in Persian" and "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse."[11]

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translates the phrase similarly:

[T]his regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.[12]

Iran has repeatedly rejected the allegations that Ahmadinejad has stated 'Israel must be wiped off the map'. [13][14][15] On 20 February 2006, Iran’s foreign minister denied that Tehran wanted to see Israel “wiped off the map,” saying Ahmadinejad had been misunderstood. "Nobody can remove a country from the map. This is a misunderstanding in Europe of what our president mentioned," Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference, speaking in English, after addressing the European Parliament. "How is it possible to remove a country from the map? He is talking about the regime. We do not recognise legally this regime," he said. [16][17][18]

In a June 11, 2006 analysis of the translation controversy, New York Times deputy foreign editor Ethan Bronner stated that Ahmadinejad had said that Israel was to be wiped off the map. After noting the objections of critics such as Cole and Steele, Bronner said: "But translators in Tehran who work for the president's office and the foreign ministry disagree with them. All official translations of Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement, including a description of it on his Web site (www.president.ir/eng/), refer to wiping Israel away." Bronner stated: "So did Iran's president call for Israel to be 'wiped off the map'? It certainly seems so. Did that amount to a call for war? That remains an open question."[11]

On June 15, 2006 The Guardian columnist and foreign correspondent Jonathan Steele cites several Persian speakers and translators who state that the phrase in question is more accurately translated as an "occupying regime" being "eliminated" or "wiped off" or "wiped away" from "the page of time" or "the pages of history", rather than "Israel" being "wiped off the map". [19]

A synopsis of Mr Ahmadinejad's speech on the Iranian Presidential website states:

He further expressed his firm belief that the new wave of confrontations generated in Palestine and the growing turmoil in the Islamic world would in no time wipe Israel away. [20]

The same idiom in his speech on December 13, 2006 was translated as "wipe out" by Reuters:

Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out."[21]

Iran's state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting translated Ahmadinejad's comments as "Israel must be wiped off the map.",[22] which may have been the origin for this translation controversy.

Anonymous said...

Wisco, you sound more and more like the AbtiChrist.

Wisco said...

Wisco, you sound more and more like the AbtiChrist.

Is that supposed to pass for some kind of an argument?

Thanks for illustrating my point...

Anonymous said...

watch out for trolls Wisco the devil has his agents at work. Seriously though theres a lot of trolls up in her well it seems lunatic to suggest that Gog is Russia or Rus sure dont roll of the tongue as similiar. As for Iran and Persia those two names are pretty interchangable. that said if this war is gonna happen whos to say God dissaproves I think Gods rather angry at Israel for violating the 10 Commandments killing 1400 civilians to 5 Israelis dead Thats even a violation of the older eye for
an eye Some anti Zionist Jews claim that their scriptures command them not to return to Zion plus i bet Palestinians got more Hebrew blood than the Israelis And about the Holocaust it was horrible yes but a lot of Gypsies died too. 6 million Jews died but so did 20 million or 1 out of every 6 Russians 3 million Polish yet most of those countries got over it What about the Romani(gypsies)they are still treated awfully they never got the same outpouring of sympathy the Jews got