Wednesday, September 24, 2008

POLITICS - This is why I don't talk with this half of my family much...

I got this email forward from my Uncle on my Mom's side... alas, this is the typical type of email I get from that side of the family. Usually I just delete them or let my spam filter pick them up, but sometimes I'll decide to type out a long-winded response (some of which could fill several pages). First the email; then my response.


This will make you re-think: A Trivia question in Sunday School:
How long is the beast allowed to have authority in Revelations?

Revelations Chapter 13 tells us it is 42 months, and you know what that is.
Almost a four-year term of a Presidency.

All I can say is 'Lord, Have mercy on us!'

According to The Book of Revelations The anti-Christ will
be a man, in his 40's, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with
persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal....the prophecy says
that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace,
and when he is in power, will destroy everything..

Do we recognize this description??

I STRONGLY URGE each one of you to post this as many times as
you can! Each opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media it!
I refuse to take a chance on this unknown candidate who came out of nowhere.

From: Dr. John Tisdale

Dear Friends,

As I was listening to a news program last night, I watched in horror as Barack Obama
made the statement with pride. . .'we are no longer a Christian nation; we are now a
nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, . . .' As with so many other statements
I've heard him (and his wife) make, I never thought I'd see the day that I'd hear something
like that from a presidential candidate in this nation. To think our forefathers fought and died
for the right for our nation to be a Christian nation--and to have this man say with pride
that we are no longe r that. How far this nation has come from what our founding fathers
intended it to be.

I hope that each of you will do what I'm doing now--send your concerns, written simply
and sincerely, to the Christians on your email list. With God's help, and He is still in
control of this nation and all else, we can show this man and the world in November
that we are, indeed, still a Christian nation!

Please pray for our nation!


It has been a long time since I bothered to respond back to one of these forwards (or indeed, to even read one), but here we go. I'm not sure who else got this email (I actually typed it thinking I clicked on "Reply to All", only to find it doesn't exist!), so feel free to forward it on.

Let's start at the beginning... well, that is to say the beginning of the email, but the end of the Book.

Revelations 13:5 does indeed say 42 months. However, the Presidency is 4 years -- using the rough training in mathematics that us engineers tend to get, that comes out to about 48 months. Factor in lame duck periods, and maybe one could argue 50 or 52 months. As best I can tell, of the three numbers 48, 50, and 52... none of those are equal to 42.

Humans are naturals at perceiving patterns in things: one can draw connections between any set of numbers (or indeed any set of data). For example, John McCain is 72 years old. 6 years ago he was 66. So... 666? That number appears quite clearly in Revelations 13:18.

Personally, if we were to peg 42 as an evil number, then I would set my sights on another man who has Christ-like appeal, used deceptive language, and proclaimed that number to be "the answer to life, the universe, and everything." Clearly such a declaration creates an icon of this number 42 and is nothing but blasphemy! I've always said that we should have burned Douglas Adams at the stake back when we had the chance.

Next line, which pegs "Lord, have mercy on us!" with the American Presidency. All I can think of is how often we've all thought that every election year, for every President, and we still think it the following year... and the following year... and again right up until the next election. People are never happy with the status quo, but we're always afraid of change.

And now we get into the fun part. "According to the book of Revelations..." ... if you're going to reference a source, it is common academic practice to cite where, specifically, the information is coming from. Where in the Book of Revelations, exactly? Give the world a trail to follow your facts. Such a trail would be particularly relevant when one considers that the Book of Revelations was written in the 1st century, A.D. Muhammad didn't come about until about 600 years later. So... Muslims didn't even exist yet. How can the book define someone descended from Muslims when they didn't even exist yet? The terminology simply wasn't there.

Furthermore, the clear target of this email is to deride Mr. Barack Obama. So be it, political and religious debate is welcome in our free society. However, to help clarify some facts: Mr. Obama is of white American as well as Kenyan descent. Sure he is Muslim, but you don't inherit religion (unless you're Jewish, perhaps). Kenyans are also vastly different from Arabs, Moors, Turks, or whatever else these racist propagandists would want to target.

If you want to be racist, that's your right: but at least know who you're racist against. When someone called me a "WOP" and I responded back if he knew what that meant, all I could do was laugh when he had no idea. So if you're going to deride Mr. Obama based on his ethnicity, then make it clear that you don't like black people. Be sure to yell that loud and clear. Oh, and by the way: according to the State of Maryland, I am Latino. So if anyone has something against my Latin brethren, do be sure to let me know (but in English please, my Spanish isn't very good).

I'll keep this email rather short and wrap it up with a thought. If you ask me, to believe in God may not necessarily mean you believe in Satan; but to believe in Satan certainly means you believe in God. And in that same vein: all good Christians whom pine for our Messiah to bestow upon us the Kingdom of Heaven should actually support the Anti-Christ. That would support the Book of Revelations and help further its prophecy. Face it: you can't have Heaven if you don't first go through Hell.

And now to set aside the religious end of things and focus on politics... there's only one pair of candidates in this election who is willing to keep our transportation infrastructure alive and functioning, which is the only way to guarantee a sustainable economy that can compete on an international level. One even happens to ride Amtrak every day to work. So for you folks that ride those trains up to Boston everyday... maybe give that a thought. They've got my vote.

Cheers from DC, where the politics comes from.

MY FOLLOW-UP RESPONSE (sent soon after the previous response)

I take that back, my research missed one critical point: Mr. Obama is Christian, not Muslim.

Monday, September 1, 2008

UA-USA - Kyiv --> USA

This post has not yet been written / updated. It is to span 1 September 2008.