Dispatches from the Creation Wars

A perfect example of the absurdity of trying to apply Biblical prophecy to current events: Lots of premillenialist Christians are now convinced that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a sign of the apocalypse. Newsweek reports:

Now blogs on the Christian fringe are abuzz with possibility that the oil spill is the realization of Revelation 8:8-11. “The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed … A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water, because it was made bitter.” According to Revelation, in other words, something terrible happens to the world’s water, a punishment to those of insufficient faith. The foul water, according to the New Oxford Annotated Bible, mirrors one of the plagues God called upon Egypt on behalf of his people Israel.


Or if that reference doesn’t do it for you, here’s another:

Though maybe it’s Revelation 16:3: “The second angel poured his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing in the sea died.”

Isn’t this easy? Anything in all of human history that affected any large body of water in any way could be interpreted as fulfilling this “prophecy” — if you’re completely incapable of logical thought, of course.

Some interpreters are very sure: The oil spill matches biblical prophesy and is another predictor of the end. One commenter at Godlike Productions argues that the redness of the oil seen in pictures can be interpreted as blood. “The water is tinted red from the oil … it ACTUALLY looks like blood. coincidence??? NOT!!!!” On Facebook, at least two discussion groups are devoted to mining the parallels between events in the gulf and those predicted in the bible; and in a heart-rending interview with CBS, a Louisiana minister named Theodore Turner, whose congregation is one third fishermen, said he knew it to be so. “The Bible prophesized hardships,” he said. “If we believe the word of God is true–and we do–we also know that in addition to prophesying hardships he promised to take care of us.”

The perfect mobius strip of illogic — even my mockery of such stupidity is viewed by true believers as proof that they’re right.

Unsurprisingly, the Worldnutdaily’s readers are all over this. In a poll, nearly half of readers who responded agreed that it’s all part of the Biblical prophecies:

I don’t know – I’m inclined to see it as another judgment on the U.S. – like Katrina – for not standing with Israel 19% (178)

Maybe – considering all the economic problems were having and the threat of war in the Middle East, this added judgment can’t just be coincidence 16% (149)

Yes – I agree with those who see specific parallels between what we see in the Gulf and what we read in the Book of Revelation 14% (132)

Only 11% said “no, it’s just an oil spill.”