Tag Archives: fringe christianity

Chick on Evolution

Many Christians who criticize evolution are criticizing a caricature of evolution, presented by their preacher and not by a scientist. They don’t even understand the basics of the theory they claim to be debunking, and their efforts to disprove evolution illustrate this with painful clarity.

Recently, when I stopped for coffee, I found a Chick Tract about evolution. I knew what I would find inside, but I couldn’t help but read it out of curiosity.

It was filled with such a ridiculous presentation of evolutionary theory that I found it difficult to believe that anyone who wasn’t already convinced could be convinced through such a simplistic, silly presentation.

The most basic assumption anti-evolutionist Christians make about evolution is that it proposes a linear, step-by-step evolution from lower to higher creatures. They insist that evolution teaches that humans come from monkeys. This particular tract begins with just such a time line.

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“If we come from monkeys,” creationists ask, “Why don’t we see any half-monkey, half-humans?” Indeed, if evolutionary theory supported such an idea, that would be a legitimate question. Yet any evolutionary biologist will tell you that the theory of evolution suggests no such thing. Instead, evolutionary theory postulates that primates come from a common ancestor. In other words, we had the same great9,393,393-grandparents, but our lines split somewhere along the way.

Another common tactic is to associate evolutionary theory with religion. That was the tract’s next step:

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I have never heard anyone refer to evolution as his or her “religion.” Further, very few people blindly trust their professors because any professor worth his or her keep wouldn’t expect it. Further, science doesn’t work that way. Science doesn’t seek blind faith like the tract’s mother illustrates. It discourages it, in fact.

What’s most amusing, though, is the illustration the mother is holding in the second panel. With its illustration of a cave man battling a dinosaur, it is more fitting for a creationist. After all, the creationist museum in Kentucky has a diorama that includes humans with dinosaurs. (Before the fall, T-Rex used those massive teeth for breaking open coconuts, as all creatures were vegetarians before the Fall.)

In most arguments, it’s a short step from “evolution says we’re all descended from monkeys” to “that means I’m equal to god.” It’s an illogical step, because God doesn’t come into the picture with evolution. That’s the point: it’s about observable, testable, measurable data. God isn’t easy to measure or convince to come into the lab for tests. That’s why evolutionary theory is agnostic, and why intelligent design is not science: both are claims that science cannot test.

Still, creationists somehow make the connection, and Chick does a finely amusing job of illustrating this:

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The answer to little Johnny’s question is, “Nothing, really.” And that’s not because there is no God and therefore Johnny can place himself on a pedestal. It’s because people willingly make gods (of other people, stones, abstract ideas) all by themselves, and with a little convincing and hocus pocus, individuals convince others to turn them into gods. Priests and televangelists do it all the time. Watch Benny Hinn’s performance: while he says he’s a conduit for the Holy Spirit, it’s clear there’s something else going on in that ego of his.

Yet this notion that evolution does away with morality is ridiculous. Most moral codes are very practical: they protect us from others “lying, cheating” and becoming mini-gods. It’s only an anything-goes situation if people are willing to live in chaos. Most people don’t care for chaos, so we curb our desires for the good of all, including ourselves. If we’re unable or unwilling to curb those desires, the state curbs them for us. (A very Hobbesian view, I realize.)

At this point, the tract takes an unexpected turn. It’s not the proselytizing that’s unexpected; it’s the theology that’s a bit odd.

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This “special blood” theology is something very new to me. It sounds, quite honestly, very primitive. It suggests the notion of blood brothers: mix your blood with another person and it somehow makes you qualitatively different. It makes me think of the old notion that somehow your essence, the core of your being — be that good or evil — can be transmitted through your blood.

It also makes God quite literally a blood-thirsty being. But then again, Jack Chick’s tracts were never about creating an image of a god that any rational, compassionate person would like to have anything to do with.

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Chick’s god is little more than a small child, focusing the sun’s beams on an ant, grimly smiling as the ant writhes in pain.

If I treated my daughter the way Chick’s god treats humans, I’d be very rightly locked up for child abuse.

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Ping Spong

The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love is Shelby Spong’s 2005 effort to deal with several problematic themes in the Bible. Divided into sections, each section contains several chapters dealing with:

  • The Bible and the Environment (Overpopulation and the Catholic imperative to procreate)
  • The Bible and Women (Misogyny in the Bible)
  • The Bible and Homosexuality
  • The Bible and Children
  • The Bible and Anti-Semitism
  • The Bible and Certainty
  • Reading Scripture as Epic History

Spong flip-flops on how to explain these problematic passages. Sometimes, he seems to say “We’ve been misinterpreting this all along”; with other passages, he seems to say, “Well, primitive times, backwards thinking.” But with certain core items, he simply disregards them as being unscientific and unable to teach us anything.

He deals with the major passages about homosexuality in the first manner. The command in Leviticus not to lie with another man as one would a woman has been misinterpreted throughout the millenia. What it means, Spong explains, is not to treat men in a subservient manner, not to treat a man like a woman. In explaining it this way, Spong is essentially saying, “This is not a homophobic text; it’s a misogynistic text!” Whew — what a relief. Apparently, the writer of Leviticus just meant “Don’t treat your lover as if he’s lower than you” or “Don’t treat him like a woman.”

The other method of dealing with troubling texts is to employ the “they didn’t know better; they were primitive people back then” argument. He does this with the misogynistic passages. He gives great detail about all the double standards in the Old and New Testament for women (women are ceremonially unclean longer when giving birth to girls; woman are not to hold positions of authority or even ask questions in church; when are to be sequestered when menstruating), and he seems simply to brush it aside by saying, “Well, we know God couldn’t be misogynistic, so these texts represent the times and culture they’re written in.”

Yet Spong occasionally dismisses whole episodes in the Bible because they simply can’t be true. For instance, the core of traditional Christianity is wrong:

Let me state this boldly and succinctly: Jesus did not die for your sins or my sins. That proclamation is theological nonsense. It only breeds more violence as we seek to justify the negativity that religious people dump on others because we can no longer carry its load. […]

We are not fallen, sinful people who deserve to be punished. We are frightened, insecure people who have achieved the enormous breakthrough into self-consciousness that marks no other creature that has yet emerged from the evolutionary cycle. (173, 4)

One reads this and thinks, “Well, what’s the point then.” The logical guess is that Spong will explain, “It’s not Jesus; it’s what he taught.” Yet many of the says of Jesus — particularly the “I am” statements in John — didn’t happen:

Of course, Jesus never literally said any of these things. For someone to wander around the Jewish state in the first century, announcing himself to be the bread of life, the resurrection or the light of the world would have brought out people in white coats with butterfly nets to take him away. (234)

There are so many problems with that that it’s difficult to know where to start. At the most basic level, this shows a profound ignorance of the nature of first century notions of mental health. We only have to look at other passages in the Bible to realize there were none. It was all attributable to demons and mystery. And there certainly wasn’t anything resembling a “funny farm,” even if we strip away the nineteenth century cliches of Spong’s metaphor. Unless Spong has some archeological evidence he’s keeping hidden, it just doesn’t have any credibility whatsoever.

If it almost seems like Spong rejects the existence of a personal God, it’s because he does.

Whoa! Spong doesn’t believe in a personal God, the kind of God that the monotheistic religions have been preaching for millenia? That’s fine — I don’t particularly believe in that God either, but what’s the point of rooting around in scripture to explain this or that when Spong doesn’t even believe in the God most theists hold to be, in one way or another, the author of that scripture?

That’s why reading this causes a certain sense of cognitive whiplash — and I’d assume it’s an experience common to most of his books. “We don’t have to throw out the Bible because of the homophobia that drips from its pages because those passages have been misunderstood for so long; but we do need to throw out the God who supposedly wrote the Bible because no one ever comes back from the dead.” Isn’t faith in that very thing the heart of Christianity?

Spong isn’t trying to revise Christianity as much as he’s attempting to create an entirely new religious system, one that puts all holy books on the same level as the Iliad or the Odyssey. I’m fine what that; that’s the level I put most holy books: instructive, but in no way more authoritative than any other book. But then to insist on calling oneself a Christian seems ridiculous.

And what’s the point of it all? No Christian who believes in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the actual existence of Adam and Eve, and the need to be saved from Original Sin is going to say, “Hey, Shelby — good point. I’m convinced.” The only people who will be convinced are fence-riders like Spong himself, people who want the cultural comforts of belonging to a religion without any of the bothersome necessities of believing in God, Jesus, etc.

Additionally, no atheist is going to be convinced. To non-theists, Shelby seems to be taking a Trans-Am, gutting it, moving the engine to the back, and turning it into a boat and yet insisting on calling it a Trans-Am. It’s not a Trans-Am, and Spong’s creation is not Christianity.

Spong hints at what he’s after:

Creation must now be seen as an unfinished process. God cannot accurately be portrayed as resting from divine labors which are unending. There was no original perfection from which human life could fall into sin. Life has always been evolving. The Psalmist was wrong: we were not created “a little lower than the angels” (Ps. 8:5, KJV). Rather, we have evolved into a status that we judge to be only a little higher than the ape’s.

This is a very different perspective. There is a vast contrast between the definition of being fallen creatures and that of being incomplete creatures. […] We do not need some divine rescue accomplished by an invasive deity to lift us from a fall that never happened and to restore us to a status we never possessed. The idea that Jesus had to pay the price of our sinfulness is an idea that is bankrupt. When that idea collapses, so do all of those violent, controlling and guilt-producing tactics that are so deeply part of traditional Christianity.

It is like an unstoppable waterfall. Baptism, understood as the sacramental act designed to wash from the newborn baby the stain of that original fall into sin, becomes inoperative. The Eucharist, developed as a liturgical attempt to reenact the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross that paid the price of our sinfulness, becomes empty of meaning. […]

The first step is found, I believe, in acknowledging our evolutionary origins and dispensing with any suggestion that sin, inadequacy and guilt are the definitions into which we are born. […] We might be a dead end in the evolutionary process, a creature like the dinosaur, destined for extinction. We might instead be the bridge to a brilliant future that none of us can yet imagine. (177-9)

Basically, Spong is talking more Arthur C. Clarke/2001: A Space Odyssey than anything else. Yet recall that the sequel, 2010, ends with a very Garden of Eden-esque situation:

“ALL THESE WORLDS
ARE YOURS EXCEPT
EUROPA
ATTEMPT NO
LANDING THERE
USE THEM TOGETHER
USE THEM IN PEACE”

Or maybe Spong has something else in mind. Maybe Spong doesn’t really know what he has in mind. Except that he’s a Christian, but only insofar as he reads the Bible and thinks Jesus was damn fine man (in as much as we can tell from his sayings, after we scrape away everything he obviously never said).

Spong calls himself a Christian, but it leaves me wondering what kind? It’s seems that, having been an Episcopal priest and bishop for so long, he simply can’t let go.

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Antichrist Beast Obama

The site’s welcoming text reads,

Any fair study of the scriptures coupled with the study of the signs of the times will convince almost anybody with a modicum of intelligence that the end of the world is drawing nigh. […] Barack Obama is the Antichrist, and is leading doomed america [sic] to her final destruction and the destruction of the world! We’re not talking some vague, nebulus [sic] postulation, we’re talking plain, straight BIble [sic] talk backed up by an overwhelming amount of real evidence – on the ground! Watch this fascinating, three-part documentary and check out the rest of the site for Bible perspective on the rise of Antichrist in the last hours of these last, dark days.

Anyone who is not familiar with Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church would do well to watch this BBC documentary.

One might wonder what someone is hoping to accomplish by insulting its readers by suggesting that those who disagree (or who are not yet convinced) don’t even have a “modicum of intelligence.” Yet once it’s clear that this is one of Westboro Baptist Church’s many web sites, all is clear.

What’s interesting about this is the time line Phelps is setting up for himself here. By calling Obama the Antichrist, Phelps is painting himself into a corner; it is a definitive claim about prophecy.

When Obama leaves office and not a single thing has happened, what will happen? Will Phelps admit he was wrong and at last quiet his irrationally bigoted voice?

Doubtful — false prophets always have a way of reinventing themselves.

Site: http://www.beastobama.com/

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The Coming Holocaust

Leaders and members of sects that cling to the British-Israelism of Herbert Armstrong are watching with glee as the global economic crisis deepens. The Philadelphia Trumpet writes,

The days surrounding Sept. 11, 2008, will go down in infamy. The speed at which so many of America’s most prestigious financial institutions collapsed should be etched into the minds of the American populace—because, whether or not people want to admit it, that disastrous, gut-wrenching, sobering week represented a drastic turning point in U.S. financial hegemony.

What remains is a gaping crater in the nation’s now-discredited economic core. […]

Back in 1984, Herbert W. Armstrong, editor in chief of the Plain Truth newsmagazine, wrote that a massive banking crisis in America could “suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S.” (member and co-worker letter, July 22, 1984). That was 24 years ago, before the European Union took its present form, and before the euro monetary agreement even existed.

“That, in turn, could bring on the Great Tribulation suddenly,” Mr. Armstrong continued, using the biblical term for the time of unparalleled suffering that will conclude this age of man. “And that will lead quickly to the Second Coming of Christ, and the end of this world as we know it.”

Even now, a uniting Europe is fulfilling Bible prophecy, which says that for a time-just prior to Christ’s return-Europe will dominate global trade and finance. Watch as this prophecy unfolds before your eyes.

America’s spectacular banking collapse lurched the world toward this prophecy’s fulfillment. The global economy has a gaping void. Europe is about to fill it-and take its place in history.

This is talking about a German-led United Europe that will attack America with nuclear weapons, enslaving the remaining inhabitants and bringing humanity to the brink of extinction just before Jesus returns and sets up his nasty little kingdom. (And believe me: Armstrong’s vision of God’s kingdom is indeed a disgusting gulag.) Difficult to comprehend how anyone could believe that, but they do.

If one thinks this through for a moment, it becomes absurd for so many reasons.

To begin with, Europe is in economic crisis as well. If anyone is going to fill “the global economy[‘s …] gaping void”, my money would be on China. It already owns America, for all intents and purposes, and it’s making political inroads into Africa and Latin America, behaving in some ways like the America of the 1950’s. Europe is sinking under the threat of sharia law and a United Europe that’s anything but.

Still, for the sake of argument, let’s say that Europe does become some world-dominating superpower. According to Armstrongists, the next move would be an attack on America. But what for? If Europe is the world’s economic powerhouse, why would it attack a country (with an enormous nuclear arsenal) that’s already been marginalized? Besides, a United Europe would have to worry as much about China’s influence as America does now.

Still, for the sake of argument, let’s say that Europe does attack. America, scratching its head and thinking, “Wait — I thought Europe was an ally?!” (except for those Gallophobes who’ll be chanting, “See! We told you we couldn’t trust France!”), will retaliate. Tit for tat, nuke for nuke, and China and/or Russia will then take center stage.

In any scenario, the Chinese win.

No one with any real grasp of history or current events thinks any one of these scenarios is a genuine possibility, so why does this small group of people devote their lives to this fantasy? Simple: it made some degree of sense when Herbert Armstrong began suggesting it. After all, only two decades separated World War I from World War II, and in the 1950s and 1960s it might have made sense for Germany to give it one more go. Of course, anyone at that time with any understanding of the simple fact that World War II was really only a continuation of World War I; it was not the initiation of a series of wars.

Yet some claim it still makes sense. These same people have been saying Armstrong’s prophecies made sense even when his ten-nation European Union-to-come emerged with almost three times that many states; it made sense when an unpredicted (read: unprophesied) terrorist attack occurred seven years ago; and I’m sure it makes even more sense now that the whole world is sinking into recession, with Germany coming up with a bailout plan to rival America’s in spending scope.

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Black Armstrongists

If you listen to the first two minutes of Rod Meredith’s Feast of Tabernacles 2008 opening message, you’ll hear this:

God has been very, very good to us this past year. We deeply appreciate it. Even now, as I make this sermon, a little before the Feast, God has blessed us financially, and we’re running around 8-10% increase in our financial income. We’re very grateful for that. He’s moving us ahead. The new television network we have, the Black Entertainment Network, is producing great fruit!

I wonder how that could possibly be working out? After all, the Living Church of God, of which Rod Meredith is the leader, is an Armstrongist sect, which means one thing: theological, institutional racism.

But does that mean individual racism? Can a church be xenophobic and its members not? Can a theology be racist and its adherents not?

I grew up in the Worldwide Church of God, an organization that  was founded on a racist theology. The leadership denied the cornerstone of the group’s theology was racist. “We don’t believe non-whites are inferior to whites, but we believe interracial marriage is a sin.” Or worse: “We believe all humans are equal before God, but in the Kingdom of God will be segregated.” Yet those protestations don’t stand up to what the founder and leader, Herbert Armstrong, wrote.

The church believed that the white, English-speaking nations of the world were God’s chosen people. America, Britain, France, and the other white European countries were the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, with Britain, America, and the other English-speaking nations having special status.

God had always favored whites. Indeed, Adam was white, as were Noah, Jesus, and all the other patriarchs and prophets. Armstrong wrote,

There was rampant and universal interracial marriage–so exceedingly universal that Noah, only, was unblemished or perfect in his generations–his ancestry. He was of the original white strain.

It is amply evident that by the time of Noah there were at least the three primary or major racial strains on earth, the white, yellow and black, although interracial marriage produced many racial mixtures.

God does not reveal in the Bible the precise origin of the different races. It is evident that Adam and Eve were created white. God’s chosen nation Israel was white. Jesus was white. But it is a fair conjecture that in mother Eve were created ovaries containing the yellow and black genes, as well as white, so that some of the children of Adam and Eve gave rise to black, yellow, as well as white.

The one man God chose to preserve the human race alive after the Flood was perfect in his generations–all his ancestry back to Adam was of the one strain, and undoubtedly that happened to be white–not that white is in any sense superior.

If you are a livestock breeder, planning to enter your prize animals in a livestock show–perhaps at a state or county fair–you will be sure to enter only thoroughbred or pedigreed stock! Mixing the breed alters the characteristics.

God originally set the bounds of national borders, intending nations to be Separated to prevent interracial marriage. Notice, “When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance [speaking of land or geographical boundaries], when he separated [notice—he separated] the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people . . .” (Deut. 32:8).

But people wanted to intermarry–until there would be only one race!

That desire seems still inherent in human nature today! (Mystery of the Ages, pages 147, 148)

God is a livestock breeder, and we his chattel. We whites are the thoroughbreds; breeding with other races will only alter our original, perfect, blameless strain.

Furthermore, the world was originally segregated, and the Kingdom of God would be, too:

In Noah’s day, the chief cause of the violence and chaos of world conditions was racial hatreds, interracial marriages, and racial violence caused by man’s efforts toward integration and amalgamation of races, contrary to God’s laws. God had set the boundary lines for the nations and the races at the beginning (Deut. 32:8-9; Acts 17:26). But men had refused to remain in the lands to which God had assigned them. That was the cause of the corruption and violence that ended that world. For 100 years Noah had preached God’s ways to the people—but they didn’t heed. […]

Noah merely preached to people in his human lifetime. But Noah, in the resurrection, immortal, in power and glory, will be given the power to enforce God’s ways in regard to race.

It seems evident that the resurrected Noah will head a vast project of the relocation of the races and nations, within the boundaries God has set, for their own best good, happiness and richest blessings. This will be a tremendous operation. It will require great and vast organization, reinforced with power to move whole nations and races. This time, peoples and nations will move where God has planned for them, and no defiance will be tolerated. (Mystery of the Ages, pages 341, 342)

Never mind that that the “evidence” Armstrong gave about a white Adam and the “project of the relocation of the races” was his own assurance that “it seems evident.” Armstrong was God’s spokesman, and that was sufficient.

What’s odd, though, is how selectively this kind of racist tripe was preached. I, for one, never heard anything like that in the congregation I attended.

Perhaps that’s because there were three black congregants.

“Apostle” was the highest rank, but there was only one of those: Herbert Armstrong. The second highest rank would be “evangelist,” which might be thought of as a cross between a bishop and an archbishop in the Catholic hierarchy, except they had no say and who would be the next Apostle should the current one die before the end of the age, which is what happened.

It is indeed difficult to imagine that any African Americans would be interested in a church whose theology included the literal proposition that “blacks will be sent back to Africa where they belong,” but there were. Indeed, there was one black evangelist — the highest rank attainable in the church.

In our congregation, there were exactly three African American congregants: a late-middle aged couple and a young lady. They sat together on the second row, always in the same seats, just a few seats down from where my family sat.

For a long time I thought the young lady — an attractive woman in her mid-twenties I’ll call Natalie — was related to the Smiths (obviously not their real name). Indeed, I thought she was their daughter. Why else would they sit together?

Perhaps because they were three in a congregation of 200. They represented around 1.5%.

Eventually, Natalie moved to another congregation of the same sect. There were more African Americans in that congregation, allowing for greater socializing for her: the church wasn’t segregated, you see, but it did ban interracial and outside-the-church dating, so Natalie was a condemned single had she stayed in our area.

It’s difficult for me to imagine, looking back on those three individuals’ self-imposed segregation, what would have drawn them to the sect to begin with? What, to African Americans, is attractive about the notion that white, English-speaking individuals are God’s chosen people, the original Lost Ten Tribes?

All of this makes me wonder how much the executives at BET really know about Meredith and his theology.

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Mark of the Beast

What’s going on here?

West Virginia started Friday keeping driver’s license photos out of a computer database for members of a small religious group who believe digital storage is a “mark of the beast” that evokes biblical prophecy.

State Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Joseph Cicchirillo said the group of about 50 or 60 Christians, who are not affiliated with a particular church, contacted the agency two or three years ago to object to their pictures “being on a database that can be exchanged throughout the world or hacked into.” […]

Without this accommodation, group members wouldn’t get their driver’s licenses, which the commissioner said would hamper their ability to get everyday services from insurance coverage to check cashing.

I’m all for religious accommodation, but this is a bit ridiculous. This “Mark of the Beast” nonsense is not a theological point, like the Sabbath. Its appearance in the Bible is so vague that it could be interpreted many ways. “I don’t want to clock in — it’s the mark of the beast.”

Indeed, the story includes something just that bizarre:

One of the group members is Phil Hudok, who made headlines in 1999 when he was fired as a Randolph County school teacher for refusing to require his students to wear bar-coded identification badges. Hudok was later reinstated after a circuit judge said the school board had made no attempt to accommodate his religious beliefs.

How exactly was the school to accommodate these beliefs?

And just how insane do religious beliefs have to be in order for some one to say, “That’s too much.”

Can a racist who bases his racism on twisting passages of the Bible refuse to work with a black man because it offends his beliefs? Can a Muslim refuse to work with a woman because it offends his religious beliefs?

The State should accommodate religious beliefs when it doesn’t include re-inventing a whole data management system for a few individuals (as is the case with the article above) and when the belief is not some fringe belief held by a handful of paranoid idiots.

Source

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Exposing a Fantasy

The Illuminati. Who would be better to expose this fantasy than the one and only Bill Schnoebelen? Bill

was a Satanic and Voodoo High Priest, 2nd degree Church of Satan, New Age guru, occultist, channeler, 90th degree Mason, Knight Templar, and a member of the Illuminati.

A lot of titles. Sounds like someone who’s been searching.

Bill’s got a great story. He was born a Catholic, but like all good Catholics, he eventually became a Satanist. A Wiccan. A Mason. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Bill got interested in the occult because some professor in his seminary — oh, he was going to be a priest — said that, in order to become more like Christ, seminarians should study what Christ studied: the occult, because Jesus was really nothing more than a magician. Rather, someone who practiced Magick.

Odd seminary professor, that.

Eventually Bill fell into the Wicca movement and then progressed on to Satanism, and his career in the Church of Satan was going quite well until it came time for him to become a Satanic priest. Why? Bill explains for us that, before he could become a satanic priest, he had to become a Catholic priest.

That’s news.

So he found a priest willing to ordain him in return for an ordination as a witch something-or-other.

A priest can simply ordain someone else a priest? I thought that’s something a bishop would have to do. Maybe I’m just getting too hung up on the details.

At some point in his walk down the dark road, crosses over the abyss or some similar formulation. What that means, Schnoebelen explains, is that he stands above good and evil. He is a god, and all other humans are like little more than cattle.

At this point, he was told that “to move through what is called eight degree” one has to make choice: either study Lycanthropy or vampirism. He says, “I knew a couple of werewolves and I learned from them, and it’s rather a painful process.”

Not being one who likes pain, he chose vampirism.

How’d that go?

I was made to drink the blood of what I now believe to be a fallen angel, and he in turn drank my blood, and by doing that, something happened to my blood and I was actually physiologically transformed in may subtle ways. My blood type changed. It became impossible for me to eat[ …] except blood. The only solid food I consumed was the Catholic communion host.

Next time I’m at Mass with my wife, I guess I’ll have a hard time suppressing the knowledge that a good many of the parishioners could simply be vampires looking for — what? I’m not sure.

Where did Bill get the blood? By this time he had around 160 witches under them, and many of them more more than willing to let him bite into their jugular — literally. At least that’s what he says.

It got so bad, he says, that he literally had urges to jump on prostitutes, rip their throats out, and drain their bodies. What kept him from doing that? He really loved his wife, and he knew getting caught doing something like this could shatter their marriage.

But didn’t he view all other humans as beneath him — little more than animals? Why would he care about his wife anymore?

The story continues that Bill got back from the bank one of the checks he’d sent to the Church of Satan, and a bank teller had written on the check that she would be praying for Bill.

Within a day or two, I lost all my magical power. I lost all my vampiric power. I lost my job. I got sick as a dog. My wife even got sick.

Bill did what any self-respecting vampire would do. He cried out to Lucifer for a sign.

Who showed up?

Mormon missionaries!

I’d been told many years earlier by this grand druid fellow down in Arkansas, that if I ever got in really deep spiritual trouble, what I needed to do was join the Mormon church, because the Mormon church had been started by witches, for witches, for the express purpose of giving people a place for people like me [sic] to hide out and appear to be nice, conservative, white-bread, Republican Christians.

So the Catholic host is all the solid food a vampire needs and Joseph Smith was a witch.

Who knew?

I couldn’t make it any further. Half an hour had yielded so much, well, crap:Wicca, Mormonism, Catholicism, Satanism, and Masonry, all united in an unholy conspiracy to rule the world. It’s all within the first half hour of “Exposing the Illuminati from Within.”

Bill has other videos available, including a nine-hour special Interview with an Ex-Vampire (Google Video). A few minutes of this reveals stories of battles with demons that leave physical marks, a Wicca ceremony to call up a demon that results in the conjurer being whisked immediately to hell before Bill’s very eyes (at the very least, the guy disappears), of casting spells that result in people’s deaths, and numerous other fantastic (as in “fantasy”) stories.

One has to ask, though, what’s going on here. Is this guy delusional? Did he simply spend a lot of his youth searching for a spiritual home and now that he’s a born-again Christian, he embellishes his life’s story — for the greater good? Is he simply lying? He has to be, because look at what he’s saying: All your childhood fears of beasts under the bed, of werewolves and vampires, of withes casting death-spells, combined with all the urban legends you’ve ever heard, are true — and Wicca, Mormonism, Catholicism, Satanism, and Masonry (one and the same, really) are all behind it.

Who can take this stuff seriously?

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Hagee and the Messiah

This race has been odd for the religious right. First, there was the issue of whether or not to support a Mormon — a non-Christian in the eyes of many Evangelicals. Now comes the troubling Hagee endorsement of McCain.

Yet it’s not only those on the left side of the spectrum that are troubled by this — or at least, it shouldn’t be. Those same Evangelical Christians who hesitated to support McCain should also be leery of Hagee and his less-than-orthodox theology, as seen below:

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