The world is an opportunistic place. As Steve Jobs famously implied, in order to sell something, in order to manipulate a desired response from someone else, you need to be speaking the language of emotions. Whether fear, desire or shame, empires have been built on exploiting the base emotional reactions of other humans, and in some cases, monetizing them.
You could argue that religion, the oldest form of politics, is one place where appealing to people’s insecurities is customary — whether promising satisfaction of carnal desires or immortality through reincarnation of your true essence. In a time where secularism is on the rise, it is natural that more and more individuals who subscribe to a religion will want to prove its relevance and importance, and objectify just about anything to do so. It’s only natural to see and hear the scaremongers.
The recent spate and ongoing occurrence of natural disasters and phenomena, such as the eclipse, hurricanes and storms, have provided a perfect opportunity for Christians to align a religious meaning to the otherwise scientifically explained natural events.
Yes, biblical doomsday is apparently upon us, and the end of time is about to get real. Well, it was about to get real on Sept. 23rd, according to Christian numerologist David Meade. Meade and other individuals have argued that recent natural disasters and predicted astrological events will adhere to what the Scriptures indicate as the end of the world:
- In Luke 21:25, it is argued that the “signs in the sun, moon and stars” and people fainting “from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world” is already happening given the hurricanes and earthquakes we’ve experienced.
- Meade apparently landed on the date of Sept. 23rd by utilization of date markers derived from the system used in Egyptian pyramids.
- Some Christians subscribe to the existence of Planet X, or Nibiru, which was also supposed to have passed by Earth on the 23rd and caused havoc. Perhaps NASA is wrong about it all and the effects of its passing were just exceptionally subtle.
Of course, Meade was mistaken about the apocalyptic Sept. 23rd, but perhaps he wasn’t too surprised about this himself. Upon receiving an interview request ahead of the supposed end of the world, Meade responded that he wouldn’t be available until the following week.
In terms of pushing your own agenda, few have done it so shamelessly as Christian lobbyist and president of controversial Christian group Family Research Council Tony Perkins. Perkins told his audience via the group’s own radio station that the flood hitting his home in Louisiana was “near biblical proportions,” however, previously he had stated that God sends natural disasters to punish gay people. He also went onto claim that pedophilia is a homosexual problem.
Fear is the exact dialect of the language of emotions we see extorted again and again in religion, and a perfect example of this is how some members of the Christian church are using devastating natural disasters to push through their agendas. However, it is to be expected and certainly it’s not only Christian individuals who do this.
The best approach is to hunker down and wait for the storm to blow over. Oh, and to keep in mind what’s really important here — awareness of the reality that everything can quickly be taken from us by forces beyond our control, and our continued efforts to support recovery initiatives.
Kate Harveston is a political activist and writer. She enjoys writing about anything related to politics and culture, and how those elements intersect. If you like her writing, you can follow her on Twitter for updates or subscribe to her blog, Only Slightly Biased.