Today’s Facebook Find – the Devil’s bible

May 30, 2016

I feel too lazy to find things to write about sometimes so I think I’ll be grabbing from my Facebook feed once in a while so at least I can post content here more often.

This one from The Beast:

While the technical name for the manuscript is Codex Gigas (literally “giant book” in Latin), it is better known as the ‘Devil’s Bible.’ It is currently housed in the National Library in Stockholm, but it was created in the twelfth century in Bohemia (the modern Czech Republic), possibly at the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice. It was transported to Sweden as part of the booty seized at the conclusion of the Thirty Years’ war in 1648. It would have taken two men to steal it, as the book is around a meter tall and weighs almost 165 pounds.

It got its devilish moniker thanks to a half-meter tall illustration of the devil within it.

According to legend, the enormous book was the work of a single monk who had been sentenced to death by inclusion (being walled up alive). In an effort to delay or forestall his execution, the monk promised to produce in a single night a manuscript that would bring glory to the monastery. The task, it is said, was too enormous, and he turned to Satan for help.

The article reports on further study of the bookmaking itself which suggested a single writer and likely a life’s work put into it — 25 years of penmanship, at least, if the Devil really didn’t help the monk finish it.

Onto other books —

Good Omens is a joint effort written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and in it is an angel character named Aziraphale who’s supposed to be on the lookout for the anti-Christ but sine nobody knows exactly when the apocalypse is going down (he thinks) he bides his time as a rare book collector and has an assortment of Infamous Bibles, handwritten works with transcribing errors that render the original verse meaningless or misunderstood. Some included in the book really exist, but the authors added a couple other ones to Aziraphale’s collection for the sake of levity (pg 50-51 in my paperback copy) including this one:

The book was commonly known as the Buggre Alle This Bible. The lengthy compositor’s error, if such it may be called, occurs in the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 48, verse 5…

5. Buggre Alle this for a Larke. I amme sick to mye Hart of typefettinge. Master Biltonn if no Gentelmann, and Master Scagges noe more than a tight fisted Southwark Knobbefticke. I telle you, onne day laike thif Ennywone withe half an oz. of Sense shoulde bee oute in the Sunneshaine, ande nott Stucke here alle the liuelong dai inn thif mowldey olde By-Our-Lady Workefhoppe.

Aziraphale winds up with a book of prophecy by accident and is stunned once he realizes he’s now in possession of the very rare, one of a kind accurate prediction for when the end of days is due.. turns out to be that weekend…

It’s a funny twist on The Omen. Not being into horror, I didn’t know that until recently and have never seen the film. I highly recommend the book.


If it’s not a curse, then Ebola is God’s way of ridding the earth of atheists…

August 13, 2014

and abortionists and homosexuals and promiscuity in general. At least, if Rick Wiles can be believed. (News flash: he can’t.)

He’s a talk show host for something called Trunews and has become convinced that Ebola will cleanse the earth and Obama will deliberately spread the virus so he has an excuse to declare martial law on the country.

He believes that this is the opportunity the president has been looking for in order to throw people into FEMA camps.

“If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you, you better make sure you have been marked by the angels so that you are protected by God,” Wiles ranted. “If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper.”

I look to Rationalwiki for a description of this FEMA camp idea. I’m out of the loop.

FEMA concentration camps exist in the mind of a particularly loopy bunch of conspiracy theorists who believe that mass internment facilities have been built across the continental United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in preparation for a future declaration of martial law.


The theory’s proponents don’t express a lot of worry about the Centers for Disease Control, which actually does have the power to intern large numbers of citizens pretty much immediately as needed.

So I guess his thinking goes as follows: Unleash the Ebola on all the people Wiles doesn’t like (how does Obama know who to hit with it?) and then the CDC will react and quarantine all the people Wiles doesn’t like who are now afflicted and this will give Obama a reason to declare martial law and somehow save all the people Wiles does like…

Can Obama declare martial law? I don’t know how far down the rabbit hole I want to be going here… Now The End Begins and America’s Freedom Fighters give a bit of a look into where this kind of thinking can lead.

Nowhere I’m mentally equipped to go, that’s for damned sure. These topics are better left to better, more educated bloggers and proper journalists.

“New” Mayan art contradicts 2012 deadline

May 11, 2012

Good news for those who might have been worried: archeologists in Guatemala have announced the discovery of a mural there that suggests the earth’s inhabitants still have another 7000 years to prosper.

Working with epigrapher David Stuart and archaeologist and artist Heather Hurst, the researchers noticed several barely visible hieroglyphic texts, painted and etched along the east and north walls of the room.

One is a lunar table, and the other is a “ring number”—something previously known only from much later Maya books, where it was used as part of a backward calculation in establishing a base date for planetary cycles. Nearby is a sequence of numbered intervals corresponding to key calendrical and planetary cycles.

The calculations include dates some 7,000 years in the future, adding to evidence against the idea that the Maya thought the world would end in 2012—a modern myth inspired by an ancient calendar that depicts time starting over this year.

“We keep looking for endings,” expedition leader Saturno said in a statement. “The Maya were looking for a guarantee that nothing would change. It’s an entirely different mindset.”

Bad news for “the usually picturesque and tranquil Pyrenean village of Bugarach.” Their village had been picked as the potential Noah’s Ark for scared hippies the world over. Back in March, the Independent reported that

Upwards of 100,000 people are thought to be planning a trip to the mountain, 30 miles west of Perpignan, in time for 21 December, and opportunistic entrepreneurs are shamelessly cashing in on the phenomenon. While American travel agents have been offering special, one-way deals to witness the end of the world, a neighbouring village, Saint-Paul de Fenouillet, has produced a wine to celebrate the occasion.

Jean-Pierre Delord, the perplexed mayor of Bugarach, has flagged up the situation to the French authorities, requesting they scramble the army to the tiny village for fear of a mass suicide. It has also caught the attention of France’s sect watchdog, Miviludes.

It’s believed by these people that aliens have a spacecraft inside Pic de Bugarach and that they have the capability to “beam away” anyone in the vicinity on that day. No wonder there’s some worry. Nobody wants to see another Heaven’s Gate happen. (Their website is still up and running, by the way.)

It’s already October 21st in Australia

October 20, 2011

No end of the world events have been reported over there yet. Australia is stepping up support for Libya as it experiences the end of tyranny, but no end of the world.

Relief all around, then. And perhaps a lager.

Countdown for the end times still on in 5, 4, 3, 2…

October 16, 2011

October 21st is still being touted by Harold Camping and his ilk as the last day of humanity’s long and lively existence on this planet. Judgement day is upon us at last. Really, truly, and honestly. Time’s up.

Yeah, right. He said time was up on May 21st, too, and what happened? Nobody got raptured and not long afterwards, Camping had a stroke and is still recovering from it. Thanks, God. Way to come through for a true believer.

His Family Radio website offers up an explanation of what really went on with God’s ultimate plan for that day:

We always look at the word “earthquake” to mean the earth, or ground, is quaking or shaking violently. However, in the Bible the word “earth” can include people as well as ground.

In Genesis 2:7 we read:

And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground…

Thus the word “earthquake” can also be understood to teach that mankind shakes.

Oh, so God’s ultimate purpose was to shake the people to the core, not the earth itself? Glad we got that sorted out. Sounds like a bunch of ludicrous backpeddling to rationalize why they were so damned wrong, but maybe that’s just my interpretation of the big fat nothing that actually happened.

the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, on the last day of the present five months period. On that day the true believers (the elect) will be raptured. We must remember that only God knows who His elect are that He saved prior to May 21.

I’m sorry, but that day just doesn’t work for me. For one thing, Saskatoon Freethinkers has organized an apocalypse karaoke night and if I can’t sing my Patsy Cline standards, I won’t be in a very good mood for the birthday events planned for the weekend itself. And Tom Waits’ new album is getting released next week, besides. God has shitty ass timing, if I do say. Bottom line, I’m too busy to deal with the end of the world right now, dammit!

MSNBC offers up a bit of information regarding this whole doomsday belief habit people tend to fall into:

Believing in the end of the world even without evidence may seem strange, but sociologists say that a belief in doomsday gives followers a clear sense of the world and their place in it. Others have suggested that apocalyptic worldviews stem from the overwhelming feeling that one’s problems are too big, and, as such, the only possible solution is a clean slate. Over the past 40 to 50 years these doomsday beliefs have increased, according to DiTommaso, though not all “believers” are as extreme as Camping.

And yet protesters are taking to the streets in droves to occupy any piece of property that gives them space to raise a sign, so it’s not like there aren’t thousands of hopefuls still out there trying to boost more people into giving a damn about what’s going on with the economy and the world at large. To the best of my knowledge, they’re not asking for a clean slate. I don’t really know what any of them are asking for, beyond the chance to be heard. It has not been an easy few years for many people. I certainly count myself among the fortunate ones who haven’t had to deal with major financial issues like excessive mortgage debt or job loss, but I’m looking at what’s coming down the pipeline in terms of my own chosen “career” and it’s starting to look like I ought to be investing in a life preserver just in case it becomes necessary to jump ship, you know?

It’s a stress I’ve really been hoping I could avoid but maybe the moment is coming when I can’t anymore. Outsourcing is a bitch… I’ve been in a full time term for the past three and some years but after January (unless the miraculous happens) I have to return to my halftime hours elsewhere which will result in a pay increase, but hardly good news when compared to working half the hours I’m used to doing now. I’m not really looking forward to this. I’ve been enjoying my standard of living and wonder about what I’m going to have to give up in order to stay in the black, or what else I’ll have to do job-wise in order to keep afloat. I’m not losing sleep over it, but I keep thinking it’s going to be a good idea to update my resume, just in case…

I see why doomsday preaching becomes such a persuasive voice in people’s hearts and minds. Wipe the slate clean. Wipe away the debt. Wipe away the worry of where the food will come from tomorrow. You may already be a winner in the rapture sweepstakes and God’s ready to take you away from all this with barely a moment’s notice. Hot dog! Come and get me!

Sadly, October 21st is going to come and go like every 21st before it, and nothing will change for anyone. Those who happen to die that day will be gone from the world (not raptured, just dead) and the rest of us will have to think about what’s on tap for the morrow. Rent’s coming due, TV bill wasn’t paid last month, why did we even buy that cell phone for our text-addicted daughter… The world will keep on spinning, and the debt will keep on burning a hole in our collective pockets and people will seek out the next prophet who offers a chance of relief…

“Rain and rainbows are great reminders…”

May 8, 2011

that refraction is pretty damn cool. Which reminds me.. ever watch this?

Hopefully kids today are learning about sunlight and the prism effect of water droplets. “That wasn’t happening 20 years ago.” Sure it hell was. I was a sprinkler dodger in my youth and well familiar with the phenomena. It’s happened for as long as there’s been sunshine and water droplets. So, at least 6000 years, dontcha know…

I’ve taken my blog post title from the title of a different article, one about Noah’s Ark by Barrett Vanlandingham.

Genesis 7:11-12 tells us, “–On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.”

When the water receded, Noah left the ark and sacrificed some of the animals on an altar.

God was pleased. So, He placed a rainbow in the sky as an agreement between Himself and all life on earth (ref: Gen. 9:18) that He would never again destroy the earth by flood (v.21).

A rainbow must have been quite an impressive sight since it may also have been the first time one had ever appeared.

This wonder of nature is still an incredible sight today.

It certainly was for the woman in the video. Wow. I wonder what her reaction would be to sun dogs. I expect she’s too far south to ever see them, but she’d probably blame contrails or something.

Given what we know about the way light acts when it passes through water, “incredible” isn’t really the word for it. It’d be far more incredible if conditions were right to create a rainbow and one did not appear where we were looking for it. They are typical, not atypical. They are expected. Not because God’s happy. Not because he apologized to what he let live on earth and thought they’d be amused at this point by some pretty colours. Because it’s the way our eyes and brain translate and display the passing of light through water droplets. That is all it is.

The message it has brought for over four-thousand years now continues to paint a beautiful picture of hope for believers, and should strike fear in the hearts of non-believers.

The colors that arch through the clouds remind us that God keeps His promises.

He promises he won’t flood the planet. He’ll just allow the descendants of the sinful Adam and Eve do it, as an effect of humanity’s curse on the world.

No wonder we’re supposed to do what the author suggests next:

So, what does this mean to us today? The message of Jesus Christ is true! But sadly, scripture says that most people will not choose the righteous path that leads to salvation (Matthew 7:13-14).

Yes, this fact poses a challenge for Christians who spend their lives telling their friends and family the Gospel story of salvation through Jesus Christ.

But, it will be a bigger problem for non-believers who, just like in Noah’s days, refuse to listen until it is too late. May God bless your efforts to win souls this week.

Which reminds me, supposedly the countdown is on to Judgement Day (May 21st), so there aren’t many days left for this soul winning competition. I wonder if they participate on an individual level, or compete as church teams for the grand prize.

I don’t really care who’s in the running to “win” that. When the end of the world does not happen on October 21st, I’ll be laughing my ass off watching believers move the goal posts somewhere else. This November’s a contender, too, and there’s still December 21st of 2012 to get ready for. Still gotta worry about those Mayans. Pascal’s wager leaves room for the possibility that all these Christians should have been worshiping Chac, just to be on the safe side.

Bringer of rain, as it turns out:

Very important for harvests and growing, CHAC sends rain into the world by weeping from his large benevolent eyes.

How fortuitous. Now you’re going to think I planned that. I assure you that I did not. It’s just funny how things work out.

It was naive to assume Saskatoon was immune to the lun…

April 28, 2011

…acy that is Harold Camping and his end of the world followers. Friend and fellow Freethinker Koinosuke snapped this puppy while on Circle Drive.


Anyone who can afford to pay the price can advertise on a billboard but I’d love to see a small survey done of people who drive or walk by this thing and find out their opinions about it but I’m too chicken to set up something like that and do it. The aim wouldn’t be to judge anyone for their beliefs, but just to get a little feedback from the “regular” folks who aren’t living their lives up to their eyeballs in atheist/religious issues. I don’t even know what kinds of questions would be best to ask, though. Hypothetically speaking, it’d probably be along the lines of:

Do you believe this and why or why not?
If yes, have you heard the broadcasts on this station?
Do you know Camping tried predicting the end before and misled everyone?
What sort of signs do you think signal The End and why?

Anything else that could be asked?