As described last week, this is my regular weekly hit list of weird religious news items.
Many humans are religious. Holding a belief is a basic human right as is critiquing such beliefs, and also changing your belief to another belief or non-belief. Generally most also hold such beliefs for cultural or emotional reasons to a moderate degree. What is however contained within this vast religious arena are people who manage to push such beliefs towards some rather bizarre conclusions, hence this fringe can and does utter some quite frankly silly declarations at times.
The point of this weekly series is to throw a spotlight upon some of that purely as a source of entertainment, but with a constraint that it was reported during the previous week.
So here are this week’s stars.
Item 1 – Pat Robertson: Mark My Words, The GOP Health Bill Will Pass!
Some will of course have previously expressed an opinion that the now withdrawn and failed bill would pass. It could have gone either way.
Mr Robertson took that a tad further by claiming that God was going to organise things so that it would pass.
Yesterday, Pat Robertson kicked off “The 700 Club” by declaring “I have a prediction” that the American Health Care Act, the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, “is going to pass” and “they’re going to give Trump a victory.”
“It’s going to go through the Senate, and we’re all going to rejoice that we’re going to pay less on health care,” he said, despite the fact that if enacted, most people would see their premiums skyrocket.
Robertson said that “he knew that the Lord was going to give Trump victory” and that God is using the president to do great things.
“They’re going to get it,” he said. “They’re going to give it to the president. Mark my word: it will pass. They will get those extra votes. It will go through. They’re going to work together to give us tremendous health care.”
Mr Robertson appears to think God was going to fiddle the democratic process by rigging the House vote, but that is not how things work in reality.
This “tremendous health care” would have devastated the lives of literally millions by stripping them of all health care. The observation that Mr Robertson thinks that God was going to arrange this tells us a great deal about the complete lack of any basic empathy that his specific god concept has.
Item 2 -Khaled Al-Maghrabi: The Simpsons Predicted the Rise of Trump; A Call to Satan and the Antichrist
Palestinian Cleric Khaled Al-Maghrabi gave a lecture in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in which he makes a rather bizarre claim. An extract of this has popped up a few days ago.
In a lecture given at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Khaled Al-Maghrabi described an episode of “The Simpsons” – a TV show “created by devil worshippers” – in which Trump was elected U.S. President. “They were plotting for 17 years to make it reality,” he said in the lecture, which was posted on the Internet on March 9. Claiming that folding dollar bills in a certain way showed the destruction of the Twin Towers and that calling 911 was asking Satan and the Antichrist for help, Al-Maghrabi, who was imprisoned in the past for inciting and racist comments, summed up his belief that it is all a conspiracy to vanquish Allah.
Prophet Simpson has spoken, all hail prophet Simpson. Let’s ignore the observation that Trump has been talking about running for president since the 80s, and so a jokey cartoon show suggesting that he wins is not a coincidence but a conspiracy.
Meanwhile back in our reality the observation that The Simpsons was mocking US culture has apparently completely eluded him. Commenting on his “prophecy”, Simpsons creator Matt Groening said:
“Back in 2000 Trump was, of course, the most absurd placeholder joke name that we could think of at the time and that’s still true. It’s beyond satire.”
Item 3 – Jehovah’s Witnesses Made an Weird Video Depicting the after life
The item here is not the weird JW video as such. That was published last summer as part of a series. It basically claims that in the next life you will be spending you time gardening, riding horses, reading the Bible, and playing a violin. I’m not kidding …
OK, so the actual item here is the publication this week of another after-life video as a response to the above. This is a truly inspirational video created by ex-JW’s. They have quit the silly JW nonsense and are living here and now in a new life, free from all that they once had inflicted upon them. It is a direct response the the above, and is made by people who once believed it all, but no longer do.