Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Weird Christian pamphlet, part 2

The fourth and last page of the religious pamphlet we found in our letterbox deals with the mark of the beast.
The Mark of the Beast (Verichip)
"So that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. his number is 666"
It is surely not an insight original to me that the author of Revelation appears to have been a bit incoherent. This stuff just doesn't make any sense.
Soon money will be useless and in place of it, the will be put on the forehead, or on his right hand, this will be the only way to buy and sell. Leading edge biometrics technology is already being tested in various parts of the world. We beg you dear friends; do not ever receive any kind of implants used as personal tracking LD. "it you receive it on your right hand or forehead you will go to Hell and suffer forever!"
I have no idea what an LD is, but it is clear what the pamphlet author is aiming at here. They believe that a personal identification microchip formerly called VeriChip and now PositiveID is the mark of the beast mentioned in Revelation, that soon everybody will need to get one implanted into their head or right hand, and that those who have it implanted will go to hell.

The first and most obvious problem I see for this prediction is that VeriChip was not actually ever intended to be implanted into either of those two places on the body but instead into the arm above the elbow. It is also just plain unrealistic to assume that people would, or could, ever be forced to have it implanted. Even if there were no Christians to protest because they connect it with the mark of the beast, most of us would still be squicked out by the idea and consider it a massive violation of our bodily autonomy. Interestingly, in reality such violations are generally only possible if they find a religious justification...
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice:
"If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. he will be tor-mented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who wor-ship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." (Rev.14:9-11)
This paragraph then is a bit puzzling because it implies that what brings God's wrath upon us is receiving the mark AND worshipping the beast, implying that if one is merely forced to receive the mark but does not worship the beast one might be fine. At least that is my plain reading here, and it makes sense that a benevolent and just deity would not punish their followers for having been forced into something. But well, that is just my understanding; perhaps religious logic is just different from standard logic...

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