Only God can destroy the Earth? Phew!

By Phil Plait | March 30, 2009 3:03 pm

Some people like to think that fundamentalist goofballitude is limited to southern states, which is unfair and untrue. For proof, I present one Illinois Congresscritter named John Shimkus. In a recent hearing, he claimed that man cannot destroy the Earth, only God can do that. Here’s the video:

Watch the whole video. He says he thinks the Bible is inerrant, and he says quite clearly that Man cannot do harm to the Earth. It’s clear he’s talking global warming here; he even says in the video we may need more carbon pollution in the atmosphere!

So go out and pollute, waste energy, whatever. We’ll just make more of whatever we use up, and if it damages the planet, well, we can just let God sort it out. And this may shock you, but it turns out Shimkus is a big coal advocate.

I often wonder when I hear politicians talking like this… do they believe in the End Times, and that it’s their duty to bring about the predictions in Revelation about the Apocalypse? Remember, Congress can vote on declarations of war.

Um, Illinois? What gives here?

Tip o’ the voting booth lever to David at AtheistMedia.

Comments (118)

  1. Kris

    “and that it’s their duty to bring about the predictions in Revelations about the Apocalypse?”

    I’ve heard more than a few “rapture ready” types that feel this way, yes.

  2. writzer

    OT, but what’s this about JREF being pulled from YouTube?

  3. Jason

    That’s both rather funny and rather disturbing at the same time…

  4. Joe N.

    haven’t checked into this guy, but there is a large portion of illinois that is practically as “southern” as texas/oklahoma/you name it. odds are he’s representing some portion of the backwoods

  5. Art

    Well that’s reassuring. Now we don’t have to worry about global warming or nuclear war or genetically engineered monsters destroying the world.

    Although, we’d still have to worry about things from space. Hey, that could be a new angle to plug your book.

  6. Elliot Robert

    Yeah don’t give Dixieland all the credit for the genesis crazies. The west coast of Michigan is also packed full of these people.

  7. Joe Meils

    Sounds like someone who would be good friends with good ol’ Bobby Jindal…

    I swear, everyday I get up, the world just gets more surreal…

  8. Adam Zeldin

    This guy is separately a jerk because when he was chair of the page board, he lied to our faces about his knowledge of the Foley Scandal.

  9. I’m with writzer…

  10. MadScientist

    He’s right you know. Remember a president called Dubbyah who spoke to god? He sure did a lot of destroying. God loves wars and and rape and pillaging; apparently he thinks it’s all great fun.

    I’m shocked to learn that economists are not the dumbest creatures on the planet (at least the ones on the news who are always selling this nonsense that science and technology will always come up with a miracle cure so industry and society in general should not be concerned with any moral or ethical issues). Shimkus actually finds a dumber story to sell. I fear god-nuts like Shimkus much more than space rocks or even volcanoes. (oops … almost hit a ‘t’ rather than an ‘m’ when typing ‘shimkus’ … it’s an ideomotor response, I swear!)

  11. He’s just marking the days until the Rapture takes him and all other like-minded types up to Heaven. Hmm, come to think of it, that could be the answer to a lot of problems here on Earth. The sooner the better.

  12. Lest we forget, Secretary of the Interior James Watt under Ronald Raygun. No need to save the forests, Jeebus is coming soon, anyway.

    Someone ought to feed these nimwits into a slap-o-tron and be done with ‘em.

  13. Joe Meils

    The thing is, (after rewatching the video to reference his quotes) those Bible passages were about God promising to never destroy all life on the planet after the great flood. God promises not to do it again… but it says NOTHING about man doing the job for him! (Noah is one of my favorite parts of the Bible, about a guy and his family who have inside knowledge, and are able to save themselves and a viable sampling of life while the jeering mob around them die horrifically.) Except, when you apply this Bible story to the present day, the Global Warming deniers find themselves on the wrong side of things.

    So, even on a Biblical basis, the guy has a magnet against his mental compass.

  14. OT once again, but I’m with writzer and Kimbo. JREF and Atheistmedia have both been pulled from Youtube. So has RationalResponse. Here we go again…

  15. DrFlimmer

    After all he knows about dinosaurs!

    But this is depressing, none the less!

  16. Most people forget that Illinois is a very long (north-south) state and its tail dangles way down there in hillbilly country, which I think is where this guy is from (or represents).

  17. Bramblyspam

    Have you checked out Christians United for Israel? There’s a scary group for ya, the linked video includes top politicians who are looking forward to the “end times” and who make their policies accordingly.

    Those guys always remind me of a certain Dead Zone scene.

  18. Rob Jase

    David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite or John Shimkus – a death cultist is a death cultist.

  19. mus

    I swear, everyday I get up, the world just gets more surreal…

    If only this were just a dream…

    alas, I think I am awake.

  20. Gary Ansorge

    I’d like to point out that the beginning of every new century is replete with whacko ideologies reacting against the new age. It’s a cycle of repression vs ebullient extravagance. Remember the roaring twenties and the subsequent depression. Action and reaction(socially speaking).

    I expect we’ll have this BS as long as humans are merely human,,,come on genetic engineering. Time to turn on the intelligence genes,,,
    RAmbling transposons, anyone?

    GAry 7

  21. ccpetersen

    So, why is Youtube censoring JREF and Atheistmedia?

  22. Dan

    Hmm… someone who claims to believe in a completely literal and infallible interpretation of the bible, but also discusses carbon “in the age of dinosaurs”. I’m no expert, but wasn’t that more than 6000 years ago?

  23. Ethanol

    “I think that there is a theological debate that this is a carbon starved planet”

    WTF? this is a theological issue? Show me the scripture relating to the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere during the precambrian.

  24. My first response to crazy talk like that is a desire to go over to their house and crap all over everything.

    When he catches me, I’ll point out that “only God can crap all over a house. Obviously it wasn’t me”.

  25. Which Bible is he calling inerrant? The classical King James version? So is that translation inerrant when it uses the name Easter in Acts (which is in direct reference to the pagan holiday of Ishtar) instead of Passover, the actual occasion in which the crucifixion happened (and the point of the whole “lamb of God” idea)?

    Someone ought to grill him with such questions on live TV, and preferably a channel with more viewers than C-SPAN. Apparently the concept of stewardship is already lost on him, so who knows what else he thinks?

  26. Dan I.

    Well I’ll give him one thing:

    Humanity probably cannot DESTROY the Earth.

    We can render it uninhabitable, but actually destroying the physical planet itself is probably beyond our current destructive capabilities, great though they may be.

  27. Did anyone notice the woman in the background, smirking when he first mentions Genesis?

  28. Dan I.

    Phil;

    To answer your question, there ARE some fundamentalist Christians who do believe it is humanities duty to “bring about God’s kingdom” by creating conditions appropriate for apocalypse.

    There are also some who believe it is a sin to not “use God’s gift of the Earth to its fullest…”

  29. wow, so just how many legislators are this out of touch with reality?

  30. james wheaton

    You know – Obama faces a steep uphill battle to get any meaningful energy legislation passed. Some Dems will not be for it simply becuase they will have a hard time explaining their vote to their ignorant denier constituents (especially in coal and oil states). With every wacko I discover who is a congressman or senator I get more discouraged. I used to think it was Inhofe and maybe a couple others. Not so – there are more. Up until today I had never heard of this guy. Bad news.

    At least he is Republican.

  31. Brant D

    Why do people seem to think that the future must either be 1) the end of everything or 2) a-ok? There is a wide spectrum of pain and aggravation between the two extremes. The Bible might say that humanity cannot *end* Earth, but it never says that humanity can’t make an awfully big mess of the place.

  32. Maria

    OMG! What an idiot. I am glad he is not my rep. So, I naively ask……. where is the separation of Church and State? He should not have been allowed to speak.

  33. Gary Ansorge

    Politicians respond to the loudest/largest number of voices so, SPEAK UP.

    It’s all about competition and cooperation. If we cooperate we can out compete the whack jobs.

    GAry 7

  34. Phil: Illinois is rather more than Chicago and its suburbs. That includes a pretty major swath of fundamentalist evangelicals downstate (plus c.f. Wheaton College in the Chicago area, and the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago). It also includes, say, Carbondale. The town did note get named for its graphite deposits, if you get my drift. At a guess, Shimkus is from the coal mining part of the state in the south. That area has been depressed (emotionally if not economically, and the latter fairly often iirc) ever since the acid rain issues in the 1980s lead to a drop in demand for high sulfur coal — the sort they have.

  35. @Nathan: A LOT of them. Sadly, a lot of them. :(

  36. LukeL

    I am all for coal, but first we should build as many nuclear power plants as we can along with looking at damming up any rivers that are left which could be used. Along with drilling for oil off the coast (which actually creates artifical reefs for fish and greatly increases the yeild of commerical fishing)

    Looking through the fossil record we can see that CO2 levels have been much higher and much lower in the past and the Earth has got by just fine.

    I also really hate the surge in Christian bashing and mocking that has sprung up recently. You cannot turn on the TV without seeing someone openly mock Jesus.

    As for global warming whether or not people want to admit it, the deabte is still on going. Recent climate data indicates a cooling trend in the past 10 years. Some also indicate coal emmisions would cool the atmosphere as the soot in the air would increase the albedo of the earth.

    Silencing those who deny global waming is occuring is not helpful and is very close minded.

  37. Nemo

    You know what gets me? If confronted with this guy, my first response would be “You’re a lunatic.” But if I say that, then I’m the rude one, I’m the one being ad hominem. And yet his ideas are lunacy, and dangerous too. Is there a polite way to say that? Is there any conceivable way to have a polite discussion with a person holding such views, without lending them some small degree of unwarranted respectability? Do I face the choice of a neutral observer (if such exist) either dismissing me as strident, or assuming (as they usually, wrongly assume) that the truth falls somewhere in between — in this case, between sanity and madness? It bothers me, almost as much as it bothers me that this man is in the U.S. Congress.

    And yes, OT, it is funny to read PZ call for a boycott of YouTube over banning JREF, and then come here and see the President of JREF still linking to YouTube. :)

  38. Alotar

    The thought that he has a Lithuanian name makes me wanna be not Lithuanian…

  39. John Powell

    OK, since we are not going to change his crazy religious ideas we could point out that no one is saying that global climate change is going to destroy the Earth. The planet will be fine. Its our coastal cities that will be in trouble and the shift in arable land that is going to cause mass starvations if we are not prepared to deal with it – ideally by preventing as much change as we can.

  40. Lisa

    Now don’t detest everyone from shimkus’s part of Illinois most of us don’t hold his views.He recently was in our local parade he handed my husband one of his fliers and a pencil.My husband tore the flier up tossed it back at his campaign crew and stirred his lemon shake-up with the pencil before throwing it in the trash.This man is a idiot and in our area there is a lot of people like him.I have had it out more then once with our childrens school for preaching to them.My daughter once told them the bible was only good for bedtime stories and not reality.I was called to the school for an interview with the principle.
    Oh Well,maybe one day these morons will wake up and accept science over religion.I’am afraid if I hold my breath too long my cheeks will turn red.

  41. Luke, CO2 levels may well have ebbed and flowed great amounts in the past, but that was before there were billions of people sharing the same biosphere. Of course the planet got by just fine but those episodes were catastrophic to much of the wildlife of those times.

  42. John Powell

    Or to put it in other words – Is it ok with your god that we try to be better stewards of the Earth?

  43. Savino

    Hehe… only on US and Iran you see things like this!

  44. Elmar_M

    If there is a god, then Google is the devil. I do think though that they are just an exceptionally greedy and evil minded corporation. Gee and people think MS is greedy…

  45. Dan I.

    @ Maria;

    The Separation of Church and State doesn’t really apply here.

    There are two prongs to that, the free exercise and the establishment clause.

    Under the free exercise clause the government cannot tell you you cannot practice your religion

    Under the establishment clause the government cannot endorse a religion over another or endorse atheism over religion. It must remain neutral.

    Separation of Church and State does not bar representatives from making statements about their faith, even on the chamber floor. THAT would actually be a violation of the free speech clause (and possibly the speech and debate clause)

  46. jeri meaux

    For Joe Meils:
    To be specific, God said he would never again destroy the world using water–leaving his options open for some other way (my guess would be asteroids for next time.)

  47. I don’t know, Elmar, Google hasn’t ruined whole working days for me with applications that fail to work, as MS has…

  48. Retrogarde

    Zombie worshiping retard.

  49. Gary Ansorge

    Nemo:
    Yes, there is a polite way to respond to him. Just say “Sir. In my personal opinion, YOU’RE NUTS!”

    There. That’s about as polite as he would deserve.

    GAry 7

  50. defective robot

    Some people like to think that fundamentalist goofballitude is limited to southern states…

    Um…in Illinois, everything south of Chicago is a southern state (Urbana/Champaign excepted).

  51. yumenoko

    I think I’m confused. First he mentions God’s word as literal, absolute and perfect. Which I take to mean that he’s fully invested in the world was created in a week idea, and that whole Adam and Eve thing. If so, then when he starts talking about dinosaurs, where do they come in the bible? I was a pretty good little Catholic girl growing up and went to mass and my religion classes, and I really don’t recall dinosaurs in any of it (in fact, we would have ended up calling Sister Marian Joseph a T-rex or sth). So, which is it? Does he believe in the bible and God’s word as the be all end all, in which case carbon levels aren’t mentioned anywhere (neither are the dinos) and he has no right to use any research or scientific facts at all. Or does he only like to pick and choose his bible bits so that they feed his current desires, ambitions and agendas? Hmmm… maybe not hard to figure out, that one after all.

  52. CryoTank

    My Brain hurts!!

    So Congress is the opposite of Progress…
    OK, that’s not fair on the other Congressmen, but a lot of them don’t shine all too bright either from what I gather. But I should not talk about other countries when here in Austria the Minister of Science gives an award to a manufacturer of magical woo-water to whom the secret was revealed by big G in the sky himself.

  53. Elmar_M

    “But I should not talk about other countries when here in Austria the Minister of Science gives an award to a manufacturer of magical woo-water to whom the secret was revealed by big G in the sky himself.”
    I guess I should get out more. Really, he did that? Got a link to that? Oh and I am fully aware of the fact that our politicians are nuts. Where in Austria are you Cryo?

    @Jon: Well MS certainly has its issues, but Google, these guys are intentionally evil. They are building the worlds largest data storage center in Germany right now. You dont suppose that they are going to store all that data for purely humanitarian reasons, do you?

  54. Let’s see here… I believe that the proper response is…

    *face palm*

    *peeks back at video between fingers*

    *buries face in hand again*

    *droops head*

    *cries for humanity*

  55. Randall

    N+1′ing the JREF YouTube thing; even if you don’t know what’s going on with it, Phil, you ought to set up a post to encourage people to send in complaints and to publish information as it becomes available.

  56. Elmar, I assume Google’s purpose is to continue to enhance the lives of the people that made it so rich. I don’t see their stock price rising if they suddenly start harming whole populations. Honestly, that makes me think of the whole, disgraceful Dubai Ports World episode, when some people were convinced the whole enterprise was some elaborate effort, with no expense spared, just to bring a nuclear bomb into the country, despite the obvious setback that would cause to the company’s future in the ports management business.

  57. PeterC

    This is one of those sad things that harms the USA’s reputation in the world. We look at nations like Iran trying to get nuclear weapons and think “hmn, religious fanatics into martyrdom with nukes, not good”. Then we look at US politicians and see religious fanatics who *actively want to bring about the end of the world* trying to gain control of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.

    One lot doesn’t mind dying in the service of their god but have no nukes, the other lot actively want to kill everyone in the service of their god, and have loads. When the second lot start screaming about how dangerous the first lot are, it’s not that suprising that some nations look a little dubious.

    Of course, they are a minority, just as the fanatics in Iran are a minority, and the “end-times” lot are as uncommon as the “martyrdom” brigade. But fanatic minorities with power have rarely, historically, worked out that well.

  58. CryoTank

    @Elmar_M
    I’m not surprised you didn’t hear about it, most people didn’t and it happened back in 2001. But protests arose (even from within parliament) to undo this dubious decision. The response was quite outrageous.

    Here is something to read :)
    http://derstandard.at/?url=/?id=1216918883184
    http://kritischgedacht.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/granderwasser-humbug/
    http://www.scienceblogs.de/kritisch-gedacht/2008/08/ehrenkreuz-fuer-esoterik.php

    And it was an “honour cross”, not an award, sorry for misrepresenting this.

    I’m in Vienna (or nearby to be exact), btw.

    (sorry folks for abusing this thread)

  59. Martin

    Yeah, he’s a downstate rep. On behalf of Illinois, I am so very sorry.

    The woman behind him gets this awesome WTF expression on her face right when he thumps the bible, it’s hilarious.

  60. CL

    Um, ha ha ha? Really sad that this guy not only believes this, but openly subjects people in close proximity to this nonsense. And since when are “theological” debates worth a crap when it comes to science? Carbon-starved… that’s the first time I’ve heard that one.

  61. Eric

    Did ya see the “What a Doofus”look on that girls face when he said he was gonna quote from genesis!

  62. MadScientist

    @Rob Jase:

    OT, but one Australian group from years ago wrote a song with the lines:

    David Koresh never died in that fire. He’s our friend, our buddy, our Messiah.

    It is scary to think that these rapture nuts are now getting into government.

  63. Mark Hansen

    He is right [i]in a way[/i]. Mankind won’t destroy the planet and all life won’t be eliminated. We just won’t be around to see what life manages to take over once we’ve gone in whichever way it is that humanity checks out.

  64. unquiet_mind

    LukeL Says:
    I also really hate the surge in Christian bashing and mocking that has sprung up recently. You cannot turn on the TV without seeing someone openly mock Jesus.

    “Openly mock[ing] Jesus,” you say? On what TV is that, exactly?

    Christian-bashing/mocking, yeah, it’s something of a hobby for a lot of people. I admit I am probably among them. When really I only intend to bash/mock a certain portion of them–unfortunately they shout a lot louder than the reasonably sane members of their respective religious affiliations.

    But if there is any mocking of Jesus going on, I contend it is by those being deservedly bashed. I may not believe the guy rose from the dead, but I do happen to think he was pretty cool. History’s first hippie! He was exceptionally progressive for his time. And that’s the real irony–today’s right-wingers, who so obnoxiously declare their supposed “christianity” ad nauseum would have deemed JC one of those godforsaken tree-hugging, bleeding-heart, godsdamn commie liberals.

  65. unquiet_mind

    On another note, the ‘fundamentalist goofballitude’ is definitely not limited to Southern states. A common description of my home-state is that its Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Pennsyltucky in between.

  66. Here you go, check out track 2, by the guy who’s in charge of Athens-Clarke County recycling by day:

    http://southernshelter.com/2007/06/redneck-greece-delux-locos-sandy.html

  67. Alan IronAISS

    I can believe how republicans can be rational and irrational at the same time, specially with the debate of global warming.

  68. @Alan IronAISS: Irrationality is not limited to just republicans neither is it to solely ALL republicans who are irrational.

  69. Dwatney

    Why is there never anyone in the background rolling their eyes on-camera? That would just be classic.

  70. Interviewer: “Can you… destroy the Earth?”
    Tick: “Egad! I hope not! That’s where I keep all my stuff!”

  71. Alan French

    I’ve often though the most dangerous people ( especially in Congress) were those who absolutely belief they know the truth and are completely unwilling to consider they might be mistaken in some manner. To believe the Bible is the perfect, infallible word of God is to ignore its inconsistencies, that it was written well after the events described, and the fact that there are thousands of differing versions. Indeed, there are no two copies of the early, hand copied editions that are exactly alike. In most cases the differences are minor, in some cases amusing, and in others rather significant.

    Clear skies, Alan

  72. This is really, really bad theologizing. 1) Interpretations of Scripture are fallible. This goes double for translations. 2) He is interpreting esoteric material as if it were meant to be taken literally. 3) The passage in Genesis in question gives a promise that YHWH will not destroy the land with a flood again. It does not promise that other bad things will never happen. Neither does it promise that humans will never cause bad things to happen. This promise is also not a command for us to do or not do anything. It is also not permission or a prohibition for us to do or not do anything. The idea that we can do whatever we want without consequences is against the plain meaning of both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. 4) Neither the Hebrew Bible nor the New Testament teach that YHWH gives out open miracles on demand. 5) There are many problems which Scripture does not give answers for. High carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is one of them.

    Theological rating: F

  73. Ryan

    Ok, to be fair, he’s the rep for the part of the state that calls Chicago the People’s Republic of Chicago. The part that we’d be plenty happy to part with. Once you get south of about Champaign, you’re basically in the bible-toting south. We’d rather see them go join Texas in the woo woo circle.

  74. vilhelm

    what is this afterthought of separation of church and state?

    Mr. Shimkus, I ask you to stop using bits and pieces of the Bible to suit your own needs. Please flip over to Revelation 11:18 in that very same Bible you’re reading to these people who really have no interest in what you’re saying. I quote it here for you from the International Standard Version:

    The nations(that’s you) were angry, but the time for your wrath( that’s God not you) has come. It is time for the dead to be judged- to reward your servants(God’s servants not yours), the prophets, the saints, and all who fear your name(obviously not you since you blaspheme in front of millions), both unimportant and important, and to destroy those who destroy the earth(ahem…that’s you again).”

    You took out of context God’s sorrow for flooding the earth and he was saying the seasons will go on and the sun will rise and moon will set because he felt bad for creating man but wiping out nearly all of creation to efface us. Not because 4000 years later you would pick and choose Scriptures at random to force people to agree and submit to your point of view.

    Please note, it is a proven fact that excess greenhouse gases are a major contributor to global warming. Please note that man is the major contributor of greenhouse gases. Please note that you are what AA people call an “enabler” because your words and your influence of government allow this to continue. You seem quite good at tying Scripture to your point, now tie it to mine:

    If you believe in your Scriptures in the way you say you do then you must also accept the fact that God is going to destroy those who destroy the earth

  75. Peter B

    John Powell said: “Or to put it in other words – Is it ok with your god that we try to be better stewards of the Earth?”

    Nicely put.

  76. Peter B

    Nemo said: “You know what gets me? If confronted with this guy, my first response would be “You’re a lunatic.” But if I say that, then I’m the rude one, I’m the one being ad hominem.”

    Yes you are.

    “And yet his ideas are lunacy, and dangerous too.”

    Yes they are.

    “Is there a polite way to say that?”

    Yes there is.

    “Is there any conceivable way to have a polite discussion with a person holding such views, without lending them some small degree of unwarranted respectability?”

    His views already have credibility by the fact that the person who spoke them is a Congressman.

    “Do I face the choice of a neutral observer (if such exist) either dismissing me as strident, or assuming (as they usually, wrongly assume) that the truth falls somewhere in between — in this case, between sanity and madness? It bothers me, almost as much as it bothers me that this man is in the U.S. Congress.”

    Start with the assumption that people will give his views at least some respect. This means you should answer his claims factually and politely. A little humour, if you can manage it without being demeaning, is always useful.

    But the main thing is to get out there and address the issues. Posting here about your frustration isn’t going to achieve much. Write to newspapers, write to the Congressman, write to his fellow Congressmen. Make your (polite) voice heard.

  77. This reminds me of an old XKCD comic. Click my name for the link. It’s comic 154, entitled Beliefs.

  78. Mark Sletten

    Mr. Shimkus, unfortunately, represents the district where I live in southwestern IL. As such, I felt a burning need to let him know how I felt about his stance on the issue of global climate change. I sent this letter (via email) this morning:

    Dear Representative Shimkus,

    I’m writing to you regarding comments you made at a House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing last week. You opened with a rambling speech containing references to your god, the bible and your religion, including this:

    “The earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”

    Having served 20 honorable years in my nation’s military, during which I often contemplated the global holocaust sure to result from the planned use of tens of thousands of man-made nuclear weapons, I have, perhaps, a different perspective on man’s ability to destroy this earth.

    Be that as it may, my choice to serve my country resulted, in part, from my strong belief in the right of every individual to believe whatever they like, no matter how whacky, as long as they don’t act on those beliefs in a manner that might endanger the safety or property of others. Too, individuals have the right to share their personal beliefs with anyone willing to listen. But when it comes to defining public policy impacting the whole of my country, I believe those serving as my representative in government should base decisions on the best scientific data available, not un-provable personal beliefs.

    Consequently, I found your religious commentary at last week’s hearing both repugnant and alarming. I do not believe in your God, and I would find your assurance it will protect me from global climate change laughable were I able to ignore the frightening realization it is the basis of your guidance in developing governmental policy.

    Here’s more of your commentary, this time regarding the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2):

    “It’s plant food… So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? …So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying.”

    The majority of scientists the world over are telling us the dangers global climate change pose for man and the environment are both real and manifold. But none, however, is claiming the earth will cease to exist. As you noted, the increase in CO2 is a boon to plant life, and most scientist agree plants will continue to flourish even if the worst fears regarding climate change become reality. The point, however, is continuing widespread production of CO2 COULD result in serious consequences for the future of human kind (or at least human civilization as we know it). While I appreciate your concern for plant life — I like a good salad too — I believe most of your constituents would say the continued existence of mankind should take precedence over dietary fiber.

    Is human extinction a foregone conclusion of global climate change? Is global climate change a result of human activity? Is there anything we (humans) can do to prevent or mitigate the coming effects of climate change? I can’t answer these questions, and I don’t believe you or your god can either. But I DO believe that, based on the scientific opinions of the vast majority of the world’s climate experts, global climate change is occurring. I also believe that if such climate change poses a danger to humans, neither your god, nor Buddha, nor Allah, nor Yaweh can save us. If we are in danger, our only hope is a better understanding of what may be causing climate change so that we may direct our efforts in devising avoidance and/or mitigation strategies. That understanding will only come with continued scientific study of the phenomena.

    Mr. Shimkus, please don’t place my future, and the future of my children and grandchildren in the hands of your (so far) non-interventionist god. If your god existed, Sir, we wouldn’t need human government; it would protect us from the “evils” in the world. To date, I’ve yet to see your god dealing with any of the man-made evils America faces — it’s clear to me we humans must protect ourselves.

    Additionally, Sir, I shouldn’t have to explain to you the purpose of a Congressional hearing, which is to gather information for use in developing policy, not to broadcast to the world your ignorance and superstitions. Our best and only chance at avoiding and/or mitigating the effects of global climate change is a coherent, consistent public policy based on fact and reason, not in the hope of supernatural intervention from one of the many deities worshiped by superstitious humans. As my representative, if you are unable to set aside your personal religious beliefs in developing such policies; if you are unable to admit you and your god don’t know everything; if you are unable to listen to and consider scientific opinion based on empirical observation of available data; if all you can bring to the discussion is the assurance your god will save us, I respectfully request you just sit quietly and not interfere with those having a clearer understanding of the science.

    Respectfully,

    Mark Sletten

  79. Justin

    Excellent letter, Mark. Here in Louisiana we have to put up with similar shenanigans (as I’m sure everyone here well knows).

  80. Generalist

    There was a web site mentioned at the end of the video. Perhaps they need to add ‘backwards’ to the url of ‘progressIllinois.com’

  81. Genesis 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
    8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth ; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
    8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

    “… and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”

    So, Noah kills the “clean beasts” and burns their dead bodies for God. According to Genesis 7:8-9, this would have caused the extinction of all “clean” animals since only two of each were taken onto the ark. :lol:

  82. Alan French

    @Mark,

    Mr. Shimkus’ video really bothered me. I was very glad to see that someone in his district took the time to write a marvelous and well thought out letter. Thank you!

    Clear skies, Alan

  83. Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

  84. Richard

    Oh, Mr. Scofield of long ago, your dubious notes have led to much confuzzlement on what is in Holy Texts and what is merely so much “theological” opinion.

    I’m sorry, I get so tired of Apocalypse worshipers with a relatively recent interpretation of Revelation.

    Cyrus Scofield once distributed Bibles with annotations. His notes were meant to tie various verses together to peacemeal a new religious concept: “dispensational premillennialism.” It is in the notes themselves that one finds the concept of the Rapture (at least, the one in current use). However, when one takes a careful look at Biblical scripture, you will not find the word “Rapture” or its common connotation therein.

    This babbling of the “End Times” is the end product of a peculiar 19th Century sect of Christianity. (One of the other end product is the religious fantasy book series called “Left Behind.”)

    There are some Christians who have recognized this fact and have come to the understanding that Scofield was wrong and that Scripture never needed that kind of ham-handed direction.

    Then there is this dufus who probably doesn’t know that all of his ravings stem from Scofield himself.

    Yes, that Scofield Reference Bible: http://www.studylight.org/com/srn/

    Also, there’s the matter of John Nelson Darby, a big influence on Scofield.

  85. Yojimbo

    Rev – your point? That seems awfully irrelevent to the topic.

  86. Nemo

    So, Noah kills the “clean beasts” and burns their dead bodies for God. According to Genesis 7:8-9, this would have caused the extinction of all “clean” animals since only two of each were taken onto the ark.

    Nope. Two of most animals, but seven pairs of each of the sacrificial animals (or was it just seven animals? I think it was seven pairs).

    But now, ask yourself: What did the carnivores eat during the forty days?

  87. the girl in the background’s reaction is priceless. you can tell she’s trying as hard as she can not to burst out in laughter throughout the whole thing.

  88. Ian Irvine

    Oh derrie deerie me, how does a man like this get into a position of power. There is a simple and undeniable truth, Religion and politics dont mix. it was not surprising that he looked uncomfortable when he was spousing this rot, he didnt believe what he was saying.

  89. jest

    And BA says, because of one guy who was nuts in the 60′s and one guy who can’t give clear answers today, that Canada is doomed. 2 out of 30 million.

  90. Joe Meils

    Ah, but you’re forgetting, there was a “B” ark.. that was the one with all the dinosaurs, dragons, saytrs, unicorns, heffalumps, etc… Unfortunately, the “B” ark was built by a low bid govenment contractor, and went down on day 23.

    Someone should do a music video to the “B” ark, to the tune of “The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald.”

  91. Peter B

    Jest said: “And BA says, because of one guy who was nuts in the 60’s and one guy who can’t give clear answers today, that Canada is doomed.”

    If they were just two ordinary blokes, not a problem. But when they’re Ministers of State, it’s a problem. Remember, these are people who decide government policy. I’d feel a lot happier about government policy if I could be confident it was being devised by people who didn’t have strange beliefs.

  92. Cheyenne

    @Mark -

    I’ve worked for a Governor and a Congressman so I have a tiny amount of experience in this field. Your email won’t get read.

    Print it out and hand write the address to your Congressman and put it in the mail. I can almost assure you that it will be read by somebody in the office (a junior staffer/intern) and then hopefully kicked up the chain.

    Emails get deleted. Handwritten envelopes are first in line.

    When somebody takes the time to write out a letter it tells a Congressman that you also have the time (and will) to vote, to put up signs, etc. in his district. They do care about the letter writers.

  93. Daniel J. Andrews

    In a discussion online with a creationist, I half tongue-in-cheek took all the apocalyptic scenarios of the four horsemen and the seven seals in the book of Revelation, and showed how they were all related to climate change (and one death from the sky scenario). Nowhere does it say all this death and judgement is strictly supernatural in origin. There are numerous incidents where God has used natural causes to judge (e.g. conquering enemies). There’s nothing in the fine print that says God will intervene if we insist on trying to destroy ourselves.

    The Congressman is an idiot, and he should actually try reading that book he holds so dearly. He may be surprised at what is NOT in there. Gah, I hate bad theology. It is excusable in sceptics as they lack knowledge, but not excusable in anyone who claims to be a Christian.

  94. Mark

    @Cheyenne,

    Your point is taken, however, I have used email quite often to express my discontent with my congresscriters, with good results. I think, more and more, they realize they live in an online world, and someone willing to send an email is just as willing to post their discontent where a great many more can view it on the “interweb” than would see a sign in my front yard. Perhaps a “belt and suspenders” approach with both email and snail mail for those unwilling to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century…

    Thanks,

    –Mark

  95. Robert

    Only God can destroy the Earth. So, I believe he is correct. The Earth will repair itself once we are gone, so don’t worry.

    The real question is whether we want to maintain a habitable earth for all of God’s beautiful plants and animals. He has given us the choice. Let’s not screw it up.

  96. You have your religion: Global Warming, where unbelievers are excommunicated (denied tenure, articles rejected), where indulgences are sold as of old (carbon offsets), where High Priests (Hansen) proclaim dogma, where penance is required (everybody give up carbon for Lent); we have ours.

    Only time will tell which is the longer-lasting.

    As it happens, the good Congressman is wrong on both accounts. Man cannot destroy the earth. Volcanoes, perhaps. A really-near-Earth asteroid, perhaps. And God will not.

    We’ll just have to await the heat-death of the Sun, some 4 billion years hence. I’m sure that there’ll be an Al Gore then, trying to convince us that if only we’d conserve more, the Sun wouldn’t go out.

    This really isn’t the place to argue theology, but Daniel J. Andrews is wrong about “There’s nothing in the fine print that says God will intervene if we insist on trying to destroy ourselves.”

    Somewhere early on, God says “I will no more destroy the earth by water”. I submit that God is not a Philadelphia lawyer, with cosmic fingers crossed, thinking “… but I didn’t say anything about fire….”.

  97. Ryan

    Just so everyone knows, we Chicagoans don’t consider anything south of Route 30 (save U of I) Illinois.

  98. He’s a Republican. What did you expect?

  99. Crudely Wrott

    Phil, you asked,

    “I often wonder when I hear politicians talking like this… do they believe in the End Times, and that it’s their duty to bring about the predictions in Revelation about the Apocalypse?”

    Well so have I. Often. For a long time.

    The answer is no. They only believe in the miracle of America which, briefly, is that when one becomes an “official” in the gummint, elected or appointed, one automatically gets treats. Oh. And power to get more treats. Oh. And stupefying influence over the stultified electorate.

    And some other unearned perks because their peers share similar delusions and, by dint of their legislative prowess, are able to share the largess with one another and with other important parties, at no personal cost.

    Thought everyone knew that by now.

  100. Derek

    The woman in the background, looks like she is either about to laugh, or is just really confused.

    This dude is a psychopath.

  101. PS: You can all use search engines as well as anyone else:

    “We, the undersigned scientists, maintain that the case for alarm regarding climate change is grossly overstated. Surface temperature changes over the past century have been episodic and modest and there has been no net global warming for over a decade now. After controlling for population growth and property values, there has been no increase in damages from severe weather-related events. The computer models forecasting rapid temperature change abjectly fail to explain recent climate behavior. Mr. President, your characterization of the scientific facts regarding climate change and the degree of certainty informing the scientific debate is simply incorrect.”

  102. @ ZZMike: Funny thing about search engines: I came up with this site that pretty much discredits that so-called “document” you cite

  103. Michelle

    PRETRIB RAPTURE DISHONESTY

    by Dave MacPherson

    When I began my research in 1970 into the exact beginnings of the pretribulation rapture belief still held by many evangelicals, I assumed that the rapture debate involved only “godly scholars with honest differences.” The paper you are now reading reveals why I gave up that assumption many years ago. With this introduction-of-sorts in mind, let’s take a long look at the pervasive dishonesty throughout the history of the 179-year-old pretrib rapture theory:

    Mid-1820′s – German scholar Max Weremchuk’s work “John Nelson Darby” (1992) included what Benjamin Newton revealed about John Darby in the mid-1820′s during his pre-Brethren days as an Anglican clergyman:
    “J. N. Darby was a very subtle man. He had been a lawyer, or at least educated for the law. Once he wanted his Archbishop to pursue a certain course, when he (J.N.D.) was a curate in his diocese. He wrote a letter, therefore, saying he had been educated for the law, knew what the legal course would properly be; and then having written that clearly, he mystified the remainder of the letter both in word and in handwriting, and ended up by saying: You see, my Lord, such being the legal aspect of the case it would unquestionably be the best course for you to pursue, etc. And the Archbishop couldn’t make out the legal part, but rested on Darby’s word and did as he advised. Darby afterwards laughed over it, and indeed he showed a copy of the letter to Tregelles. This is not mentioned in the Archbishop’s biography, but in it is the fact that he spoke of Darby as ‘the most subtle man in my diocese.’”
    This reminds me of an 1834 letter by Darby which spoke of the “Lord’s coming.” Darby added, concerning this coming, that “the thoughts are new” and that during any teaching of it “it would not be well to have it so clear.” Darby’s deviousness here was his usage of a centuries-old term – “Lord’s coming” – to cover up his desire to sneak the new pretrib idea into existing posttrib groups in very low-profile ways!
    1830 – In the spring of 1830 a young Scottish lassie, Margaret Macdonald, came up with the novel notion of a catching up [rapture] of Spirit-filled “church” members before Antichrist’s “trial” [tribulation] of non-Spirit-filled “church” members – the first instance I’ve found of clear “pretrib” teaching (which was part of a partial rapture scheme). In Sep. 1830 “The Morning Watch” (a journal produced by London preacher Edward Irving and his “Irvingite” followers, some of whom had visited Margaret a few weeks earlier) began repeating her original thoughts and even her wording but gave her no credit – the first plagiarism I’ve found in pretrib history. Darby was still defending posttrib in Dec. 1830.
    Pretrib promoters have long known the significance of her main point: a rapture of “church” members BEFORE the revealing of Antichrist. Which is why John Walvoord quoted nothing in her revelation, why Thomas Ice habitually skips over her main point but quotes lines BEFORE and AFTER it, and why Hal Lindsey muddies up her main point so he can (falsely) assert that she was NOT a pretribber! (Google “X-Raying Margaret” for info about her.)
    NOTE: The development of the 1800′s is thoroughly documented in my book “The Rapture Plot.” You’ll learn that Darby wasn’t original on any chief aspect of dispensationalism (but plagiarized the Irvingites); that pretrib was initially based on only OT and NT symbols and not clear Scripture; that the symbols included the Jewish feasts, the two witnesses, and the man child – symbols adopted by Darby during most of his career; that Darby’s later reminiscences exaggerated his earliest pretrib development, and that today’s defenders such as Thomas Ice have further overstated what Darby overstated; that Irvingism didn’t need later reminiscences to “clarify” its own early pretrib development; that ancient hymns and even the writings of the Reformers were subtly revised to make it appear they had taught pretrib; and that after Darby’s death a clever revisionist quietly made many changes in early Irvingite and Brethren documents in order to steal credit for pretrib away from the Irvingites (and their female inspiration!) and give it dishonestly to Darby! (Before continuing, Google the “Powered by Christ Ministries” site and read “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers” – a sample of the current exciting internetism!)
    1920 – Charles Trumbull’s book “The Life Story of C. I. Scofield” told only the dispensationally-correct side of his life. Two recent books, Joseph Canfield’s “The Incredible Scofield and His Book” (1988) and David Lutzweiler’s “DispenSinsationalism: C. I. Scofield’s Life and Errors” (2006), reveal the other side including his being jailed as a forger, dishonestly giving himself a non-conferred “D.D.” etc. etc.!
    1967 – Brethren scholar Harold Rowdon’s “The Origins of the Brethren” quoted Darby associate Lord Congleton who was “disgusted with…the falseness” of Darby’s accounts of things. Rowdon also quoted historian William Neatby who said that others felt that “the time-honoured method of single combat” was as good as anything “to elicit the truth” from Darby. (In other words, knock it out of him!)
    1972 – Tim LaHaye’s “The Beginning of the End” (1972) plagiarized Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” (1970).
    1976 – Charles Ryrie”s “The Living End” (1976) plagiarized Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” (1970) and “There’s A New World Coming” (1973).
    1976 – After John Walvoord’s “The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation” (1976) brutally twisted Robert Gundry’s “The Church and the Tribulation” (1973), Gundry composed and circulated a 35-page open letter to Walvoord which repeatedly charged the Dallas Seminary president with “misrepresentation,” “misrepresentations” (and variations)!
    1981 – “The Fundamentalist Phenomenon” (1981) by Jerry Falwell, Ed Dobson, and Ed Hindson heavily plagiarized George Dollar’s 1973 book “A History of Fundamentalism in America.”
    1984 – After a prof at Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God in Florida told me that the No. 2 man at the AG world headquarters in Missouri – Joseph Flower – had the label of posttrib, my wife and I had two hour-long chats with him. He verified what I had been told. But we were dumbstruck when he told us that although AG ministers are required to promote pretrib, privately they can believe any other rapture view! Flower said that his father, an AG co-founder, was also posttrib. We also learned while in Springfield that when the AG’s were organized in 1914, the initial group was divided between posttribs and pretribs – but that the pretribs shouted louder which resulted in that denomination officially adopting pretrib! (For details on this and other pretrib double-mindedness, Google “Pretrib Hypocrisy.”)
    1989 – Since 1989 Thomas Ice has referred to the “Mac-theory” (his reference to my research), giving the impression there’s no solid evidence that Macdonald was the real pretrib originator. But Ice carefully conceals the fact that no eminent church historian of the 1800′s – whether Plymouth Brethren or Irvingite – credited Darby with pretrib. Instead, they uniformly credited leading Irvingite sources, all of which upheld the Scottish lassie’s contribution! Moreover, I’m hardly the only modern scholar seeing significance in Irvingism’s territory. Others in recent years who have noted it, but who haven’t mined it as deeply as I have, include Fuller, Ladd, Bass, Rowdon, Sandeen, and Gundry.
    1989 – Greg Bahnsen and Kenneth Gentry produced evidence in 1989 that Lindsey’s book “The Road to Holocaust” (1989) plagiarized “Dominion Theology” (1988) by H. Wayne House and Thomas Ice.
    1990 – David Jeremiah’s and C. C. Carlson’s “Escape the Coming Night” (1990) massively plagiarized Lindsey’s 1973 book “There’s A New World Coming.” (For more info, type in “Thieves’ Marketing” on MSN or Google.)
    1991 – Paul Lee Tan’s “A Pictorial Guide to Bible Prophecy” (1991) plagiarized large amounts of Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” (1970).
    1991 – Militant Darby defender R. A. Huebner claimed in 1991 to have found new evidence that Darby was pretrib as early as 1827 – three years before Macdonald. Halfway through his book Huebner suddenly admitted that his evidence could refer to something completely un-rapturesque. Even though Thomas Ice admitted to me that he knew that Huebner had “blown” his so-called evidence, prevaricator Ice continues to tell the world that Huebner has “positive evidence” that Darby was pretrib in 1827! Ice also conceals the fact that Darby, in his own 1827 paper, was looking for only “the restitution of all things” and “the times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19,21) – which Scofield doesn’t see fulfilled until AFTER a future tribulation!
    1992 – Tim LaHaye’s “No Fear of the Storm” (1992) plagiarized Walvoord’s “The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation” (1976).
    1992 – This was when the Los Angeles Times revealed that “The Magog Factor” (1992) by Hal Lindsey and Chuck Missler was a monstrous plagiarism of Prof. Edwin Yamauchi’s scholarly 1982 work “Foes from the Northern Frontier.” Four months after this exposure, Lindsey and Missler stated they had stopped publishing and promoting their book. But in 1996 Dr. Yamauchi learned that the dishonest duo had issued a 1995 book called “The Magog Invasion” which still had a substantial amount of the same plagiarism! (If Lindsey and Missler ever need hernia operations, I predict that the doctors will tell them not to lift anything for a long time!)
    1994 – In 1996 it was revealed that Lindsey’s “Planet Earth – 2000 A.D. (1994) had an embarrassing amount of plagiarism of a Texe Marrs book titled “Mystery Mark of the New Age” (1988).
    1995 – My book “The Rapture Plot” reveals the dishonesty in Darby’s reprinted works. It’s often hard to tell who wrote the footnotes and when. It’s easy to believe that the notes, and also unsigned phrases inside brackets within the text, were a devious attempt by someone (Darby? his editor?) to portray a Darby far more developed in pretrib thinking than he actually had been at the time. I found that some of the “additives” had been taken from Darby’s much later works, when he was more developed, and placed next to or inside his earliest works! One footnote by Darby’s editor, attached to Darby’s 1830 paper, actually stated that “it was not worth while either suppressing or changing” anything in this work! If his editor wasn’t open to such dishonesty, how can we explain such a statement?
    Post-1995 – Thomas Ice’s article “Inventor of False Pre-Trib Rapture History” states that my book “The Rapture Plot” is “only one of the latest in a series of revisions of his original discourse….” And David Reagan in his article “The Origin of the Concept of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture” repeats Ice’s falsehood by claiming that I have republished my first book “over the years under several different titles.”
    Although my book repeats a bit of the Macdonald origin of pretrib (for new readers), all of my books are packed with new material not found in my other works. For some clarification, “The Incredible Cover-Up” has photos of pertinent places in Ireland, Scotland, and England not found in my later books plus several chapters dealing with theological arguments; “The Great Rapture Hoax” quotes scholars throughout the Church Age, covers Scofield’s hidden side, a section on Powerscourt, the 1980 election, the Jupiter Effect, Gundry’s change, and more theological arguments; “The Rapture Plot” reveals for the first time the Great Evangelical Revisionism/Robbery and includes appendices on miscopying, plagiarism, etc.; and “The Three R’s” shows hypocritical evangelicals employing occultic beliefs they say they have long opposed!
    So Thomas Ice etc. are twisting truth when they claim I am only a revisionist. Do they really think that my publishers DON’T know what I’ve previously written?
    Re arguments, Google “Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts” and also obtain “The End Times Passover” and “Why Christians Will Suffer ‘Great Tribulation’ ” (AuthorHouse, 2006) by media personality Joe Ortiz.
    1997 – For years Harvest House Publishers has owned and been republishing Lindsey’s book “There’s A New World Coming.” During the same time Lindsey has been peddling his reportedly “new” book “Apocalyse Code” (1997), much of which is word-for-word the same as the Harvest House book – and there’s no notice of “simultaneous publishing” in either book! Talk about pretrib greed!
    1997 – This is the year I discovered that more than 50 pages of Dallas Seminary professor Merrill Unger’s book “Beyond the Crystal Ball” (Moody Press, 1973) constituted a colossal plagiarism of Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” (1970). After Lindsey’s book came out, Unger had complained that Lindsey’s book had plagiarized his classroom lecture notes. It was evident that Unger felt that he too should cash in on his own lectures! (The detailed account of this Dallas Seminary dishonesty is revealed in my 1998 book “The Three R’s.”)
    1998 – Tim LaHaye’s “Understanding the Last Days” (1998) plagiarized Lindsey’s “There’s A New World Coming” (1973).
    1999 – More than 200 pages (out of 396 pages) in Lindsey’s 1999 book “Vanished Into Thin Air” are virtually carbon copies of pages in his 1983 book “The Rapture” – with no “updated” or “revised” notice included! Lindsey has done the same nervy thing with several of his books, something that has allowed him to live in million-dollar-plus homes and drive cars like Ferraris! (See my Google articles “Deceiving and Being Deceived” and “Thieves’ Marketing” for further evidence of this notably pretrib vice.)
    2000 – A Jack Van Impe article “The Moment After” (2000) plagiarized Grant Jeffrey’s book “Final Warning” (1995).
    2001 – Since 2001 my web article “Walvoord’s Posttrib ‘Varieties’ – Plus” has been exposing his devious muddying up of posttrib waters. In some of his books he invented four “distinct” and “contradictory” posttrib divisions, claiming that they are either “classic” or “semiclassic” or “futurist” or “dispensational” – distinctions that disappear when analyzed! His “futurist” group holds to a literal future tribulation and a literal millennium but doesn’t embrace “any day” imminency. But his “dispensational” group has the same non-imminency! Moreover, tribulational futurism is found in every group except the first one, and he somehow admitted that a literal millennium is in all four groups! On the other hand, it’s the pretribs who consistently disagree with each other over their chief points and subpoints – but somehow end up agreeing that there will be a pretrib rapture! (See my chapter “A House Divided” in my book “The Incredible Cover-Up.”)
    2001 – Since my “Deceiving and Being Deceived” web item which exposed the claims for Pseudo-Ephraem” and “Morgan Edwards” as teachers of pretrib, there has been a piranha-like frenzy on the part of pretrib bodyguards and their duped groupies to “discover” almost anything before 1830 walking upright on two legs that seemed to have at least a remote hint of pretrib! (An exemplary poster boy for such pretrib practice is Grant Jeffrey. To get your money’s worth, Google “Wily Jeffrey.”)

    FINALLY: Don’t take my word for any of the above. Read my 300-page book “The Rapture Plot” which has a jillion more documented details on the long-hidden but now-revealed history of the dishonest, 179-year-old, fringe-British-invented, American-merchandised-until-the-real-bad-stuff-happens pretribulation rapture fad. If this book of mine doesn’t “move” you, I will personally refund what you paid for it!

  104. Quite frankly, the Rapture scares the hell out of me. I’m afraid of heights, and the last thing I want is to start ascending bodily into the heavens. The idea that God might suddenly change his mind and send me plunging back to Earth is terrifying. On the other hand, suppose he doesn’t change his mind? Then my blood will begin to boil as I approach the vacuum of space, and eventually my eyeballs will pop out of my head and explode.

    Nope, that’s not for me. I would much rather remain a sinner safely tied to the gravity of Mother Earth.

  105. Robert Carnegie

    The James Watt story – that the rape of Mother Earth doesn’t matter because Jesus is going to destroy the world anyway – is denied, according to Wikipedia when I looked recently. Like George Bush and Dan Quayle, it’s one of those cases of a dumbass who didn’t say all of the dumb things attributed to them.

    As for this new guy, sneak into his home and set the central heating to be ten degrees above what the dial says. Or if the location is suitable, start a forest fire and just burn him out.

  106. @ ncc1701:

    What bugs me about this rapture business are the guys down in Australia going flying off the planet in the wrong direction. I mean, everyone knows heaven is above The United States of America! If those antipodeans go waltzing matilda through the sky the wrong way, mightn’t they end up…in Hell????

  107. fred edison

    Thanks for destroying my “faith” in the intelligence of humanity, again. “Goofballitude,” indeed.

  108. Mark

    @Ryan said, “Just so everyone knows, we Chicagoans don’t consider anything south of Route 30 (save U of I) Illinois.”

    True, except when it comes time to collect taxes…

    –Mark

  109. Mimi

    FOR PRETRIB RAPTURE REPEATERS

    Congratulations! You are now fulfilling the Bible which says “Come now, and let us repeat together.”
    Be sure to repeat what Walvoord, Lindsey, LaHaye, Ice etc. repeat what their own teachers repeat what their own teachers repeat etc. etc. etc.!
    Repeat that Christ’s return is imminent because we’re told to “watch” (Matt. 24, 25) for it. So is the “day of God” (II Pet. 3:12) – which you admit is at least 1000 years ahead – also imminent because we’re told to be “looking for” it?
    Also repeat the pretrib myths about the “Jewish wedding stages” and “Jewish feasts” (where’s your “church/Israel dichotomy” now?) even though Christ and Paul knew nothing about a “pretrib stage” and neither did any official theological creed or organized church before 1830!
    You should read “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” on the “Powered by Christ Ministries” site to find out why you shouldn’t repeat everything your pretrib teachers repeat.
    Do I have to repeat this?

  110. DotDot

    Did man make the earth?

  111. Keith

    I think I speak on behalf of the entire state off Illinois (excluding Mr. Shimkus and those irresponsible enough to believe that we can’t damage our own planet) when I say “I am so…so sorry that this arrogance has been spawned from my very state of residence.”

  112. Austin

    Haha, the smirk on the girls face in that background…”Is he really doing this?” HAHAHAHAHA

  113. Ganapati

    Why does everyone assume he is being honest in his pronouncements? Environmental damage doesn’t affect everyone equally negatively. For some the cost is much higher than for some others. He probably represents those who don’t expect to be serious losers in the change and don’t care what happens to the rest. Since that is not a politically correct position to take, he takes a position that appears to stem from a religious belief. Better to pretend to be an idiot than be seen as a crook. A strategy very well understood by millions of Americans who supported George W Bush and the invasion of Iraq.

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