Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: Sheer Lunacy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55332403

An emergency vehicle makes is way past a rising moon as it travels along a burned-out hillside near San Marcos, California May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES – Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Whenever fears mount and concern grows over a killer disease, a destructive war or a natural disaster—such as earthquakes, volcanoes or meteors hitting earth—people often ignore the simple, rational explanation for such phenomena, and more bizarre interpretations appeal to confused people.

US researcher Kenneth Walters, Associate Dean for the Division of Religion and Philosophy and a specialist in the New Testament at Azusa Pacific University, recently published an article on the CNN website in which he discussed a lunar phenomenon known as the “blood moon,” and discussed the outlandish mythological interpretations of it in ancient sources.

The “blood moon” occurs when the moon comes between the Earth and the Sun, and when the shadow of the Earth interacts with sunlight to cast a red shadow on the Moon.

He concludes that some Christians interpret this “blood moon” phenomenon as heralding the end of the world, pointing to some interpretations of verses in the Bible’s Book of Acts, which read: “And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

John Hagee, famous televangelist and Christian pastor at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, gave a series of lectures on the significance of the “blood moon,” which he based on his book Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change, in which he said the lunar eclipse precedes an “event which could rock the world,” and that this event would happen in the Middle East between April 2014 and October 2015.

These epic temporal predictions about nearing catastrophe and the end of the world appear every now and again, from the predicted apocalypse in 2012 according to the Mayan calendar to other outlandish theories about the end of world and the millennium.

Usually such epic predictions coincide with various catastrophes, whether of people’s own making—such as wars—or natural disasters. Sometimes they are triggered by meaningful dates, such as the millennium. They may even be used simply to kill boredom.

However, they become serious when a group of people who believe them identify with them through their actions, behavior—and crimes, as in case of some cults in the US or the Juhayman group in Mecca who believed Imam Mahdi was among them when they occupied the Grand Mosque in 1979, or the delusions of terrorists in Syria and Iraq today, who believe their leaders were mentioned in the Prophet’s sayings and in ancient teachings.

This “blood moon” apocalypse is yet another one of those predictions that arise from the deep imagination of people who do not want to take responsibility for their crimes. Blood is spilled by human action—not the influence of Earth’s satellite.