The Slow Death of Marriage

Marriage is not a fundamental right, nor is it a government institution. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman that is supposed to represent an unbreakable union. The vows spoken before the altar are meant to be a verbal contract between man and wife. It is a promise that regardless of financial difficulties or changes in health status, “til death do us part.”

The Supreme Court of the United States of America in 2015 has redefined at least part of that definition, but the institution of marriage was destroyed long before that.

Divorce is a common occurrence. Half of all marriages, even those held by Christians, end in the courts—and even more end in the heart. We have seen a 30% in the number of marriages over the past 45 years, yet the divorce rate keeps climbing. There used to be respectable reasons, such as abuse, infidelity, or mental abuse problems. However, now a couple can divorce simply for “falling out of love” with one another. Interestingly enough, the global divorce rate for arranged marriages is around 6.3%.

I believe one reason for this trend is because marriage is no longer about love. Marriage has become a legal contract that enables a couple to enjoy tax benefits and share health insurance plans. More often than not, the strength of the relationship is measured like an economic project. There is a cost-benefit analysis, and if the costs outweigh the benefits, divorce papers are drawn up. The stated goal of the gay marriage movement is to allow gay couples the same legal status as straight couples. There are no laws prohibiting two men from falling in love, having intimate relations with one another, living together, or even adopting children. So the long court battle that was just settled in the Supreme Court has never been about “love”, but benefits.

Another reason is that we have devalued the “my word is my bond” ethic in our society. A verbal contract used to mean as much as a written one. Banks used to lend money based on a handshake. Because we have become so depraved, our words have become meaningless. This has leaked into the cracks in every facet of our lives. We have lost trust in the media, in our politicians, in our pulpits, religions, and God himself. Is it no surprise, then, that we have lost trust in our marriages?

We promise to remain together through sickness, but mental health issues lead to divorce. We are to stay married through financial hardships, yet money is the number one cause of divorce. We promise to be sexually active only with our spouses, but infidelity websites like ashleymadison.com have become more popular than ever. We are to “love and cherish” one another, but married couples are constantly falling “out of love” and split up. Our words have become meaningless as lies become the norm and definitions are constantly being redefined.

Rather than being upset about the prospect of a failing institution being further assaulted, we should concern ourselves with the bigger picture.

The government has its hands in marriage, and now it will have its hands on the throat of religious institutions. There have already been several stories of bakers and florists being successfully sued for not wanting to participate in gay weddings. I, and many others, believe that the government will now work with the courts in attacking the tax-exempt status of churches who refuse to conduct same-sex ceremonies. Now that the supreme law of the land is that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, discrimination laws will be used on anyone who opposes it. We know this, because the gay rights movement is moving parallel with the black Civil Rights movement. There have already been comparisons between gay marriage and interracial marriage, so it does not take a big leap to see that just as a church cannot refuse a white man marrying a black woman, they will no longer be able to refuse a gay man marrying a gay man. Bob Jones University lost its tax status by refusing to allow interracial couples on their campus back in the 1980s. All non-profits will suffer the same fate with same-sex couples.

So what can we do about any of this? On legal grounds, not much. I would love to see the federal government pull out of the marriage business and offer “civil union” contracts between any couple who seek long-term legal benefits. These unions can be applied for by married couples, gay couples, or any cohabiting couple including siblings and friends. Marriage can then return to the religious institution it belongs to, and the government can dole out tax benefits to whomever they wish. This is the true separation of church and state.

Otherwise, my suggestion is to understand that our churches may become privatized, tax paying, non-charitable places of worship. We must also turn to God and try and improve our own lives. Rather than complain about gay marriage, pay attention to our own. Renew our vows, and stick to them. Make our words our bonds. Restore trust in each other, and love one another. We need each other now more than ever, and God’s will shall be done. The Supreme Court decision may seem overwhelming, but it is a mere inconvenience for the Faithful. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, but be aware of our political system and world events. Most of all, do not give up.

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The Obesity Offense

I’m tired of suffering under the oppression of being fat. Obesity is socially constructed, and sometimes a person can carry around some extra weight and still be healthy. I used to watch the World’s Strongest Man competitions. While most of those guys lack washboard abs, they are strong enough to dead lift two young women or pull a plane strapped to a harness on their backs. Various cultures have changed the definition of “fat” throughout history. It is not a constant variable. In some cultures, being chubby is viewed as a positive symbol of fertility, strength, or security. If a concept can mean different things to different cultures across time, then it must be a socially constructed idea.

You may not realize this, but there is a skinny bias which you slim people probably aren’t even aware exists. Your thin privilege helps you when interviewing for jobs, when searching for a mate, and even when you try on clothes. I, however, am treated like the “other.” I rarely see images of people who look like me on television, movies, or commercials. I never see an Abercrombie and Fitch ad with chunky folk. Where is the romantic comedy with two overweight people, coming together to find love? Fat people do show up in comedies from time to time, but usually as bumbling idiots or brash humorists who are insensitive and mean. The stereotype of the “funny fat guy/girl” has been perpetuated in all facets of the media. It shows that my people only seem to exist to be laughed at. Do you realize that it’s a big reason why so many of us are introverts who are afraid to come out of our shells? Being ridiculed for being different is something which many other groups have suffered, but they all love to laugh at us.

There are genetic factors at play as well. I have a family history of fat people, therefore I believe that I am fat based on biological principles, rather than by choice. It is hard-wired into my DNA, and I can’t change it without surgery. No matter what diet I try, or how often I work out, I still cannot lose enough fat to slide comfortably into my assigned BMI category. According to a June 2013 Time Magazine article, they have discovered various genetic mutations in mice which translate to humans whose effects range from increased craving of high fat foods to realizing that some people simply “sequestering fat rather than breaking it down for energy.” So not only has the definition of obesity changed over time in our society, but I may be at risk for genetic issues which would keep me in the obese category no matter what I do.

Healthy eating may not be as easy as prescribed in the media. For those of us fat people who are also on the lower rungs of the socio-economic status ladder, we may not be able to just go out and afford grass fed beef, almond milk, or gluten free flour. Whether our genetic disposition is a factor or not, some of us have no choice but to eat less healthy alternatives. MSG in fast food makes it addictive, but it is often cheaper to eat at McDonald’s than at home. It is much less expensive to by 80% lean meat than 93%. Canned vegetables are worse for you, but cost less than their fresh counterparts. So you see, even grocery stores seem to be against us.

I think we need to stand up for rotund rights! Let us march on Washington D.C. and demand that fat people get our own special protected class! Businesses should no longer be able to discriminate against the double-chinned. The media must stop the portrayal of only the skinny to sell products! We deserve equality! Michelle Obama can rally against childhood obesity all she wants, but as one who is clearly not genetically predisposed to being fat, she is simply exerting her own thin privilege in trying to combat an illness which may not be treatable. It would be akin to wearing a $12,000 dress to a party while telling the rest of us that she understands poverty and we all need to suck it up and spend less on extravagance during these tough economic times. Instead of trying to force all of us to fit into the skinny person hierarchy, we should focus on removing the negative labels and stereotypes affecting all of us. This is the civil rights issue of our time!

What is “Bad” Language?

Let us start with the idea of what vulgar language is. It is a social construction which I have never quite been able to comprehend. What makes a word like bitch, which means “female dog” less appropriate than calling someone a harlot, which is an actual human being who sells their sexual power for money? Both terms are pretty insulting, especially when taken out of context. Why can you say poop, but not shit? Are they not both terms for the same thing? I won’t get into the various colloquialisms for penis and vagina, but you get the point. The King James Version of the Bible even uses terms which modern society would decry as profane. 2 Kings 18:27 refers to men who “eat their own dung, and drink their own piss.” If the prominent religious text which is largely credited by the founders of our country can say “piss”, then why can’t we? I can honestly say I do not know.

If we allow for societal norms, regardless of whether or not we understand them, society has, in fact, deemed certain words as “bad.” I would argue that language is fluid. Any culture around the world has multiple influences on local vernacular. I would dare to say that slang is much more prevalent in America than we would give it credit for. English has its roots in the ancient Germanic languages, but it also borrows heavily from Greek and Latin. Modern authors of Webster’s Dictionary did not exist when early medieval Englishmen began to alter the current writing and speaking systems from Anglo Saxon. I would also like to point out that vulgarity is not a trend that is only found in modern American English. Each culture around the world has their set of slang and profanity. We are not unique.

Language is a fluid social construction, and English dates back to the 5th century. Why then should we not drop f-bombs at will, regardless of whether our teachers, parents, or children are around to hear it? I enjoy having an extensive vocabulary. I can use language with poetic license and appropriate prose in any social setting with the beauty of a sunset. Why would I want to jeopardize the power I gain from an erudite use of symbolism and splendor in order to whimsically throw out a word which would cause auditory harm to the listener. In short, it is off-putting; like nails on a chalkboard. It would be like listening to a splendid string quartet and having a tuba blow a C-sharp. Regardless of whether or not it is in the proper key, it is out of place. Some would have us believe that we should all be playing tubas, but it does not take a well-trained musical ear to know that the cello is a gentleman’s instrument. I am not saying that using foul language is akin to the sounds of brass or the monosyllabic grunting of primitive man, but there is no reason why we should not all wish to raise our individual standards of communication.

Language is a strange concept. Words can mean different things to different cultures. One day bad means bad, the next it means good. I would like to think that we, as a society, could agree to not destroy one another through the use of insults or harsh language. I would like to see all of us communicate with one another with respect and compassion, rather than debase our own intellects by reverting to immature displays of profane parlance. I take pride in my command of my native language. While I agree with the idea of having ownership of our words, I wish to take more responsibility for my actions, not less. Is that not how civilized societies are supposed to behave, even evolve? Maybe not.

The “Race” is Over.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s now infamous statement on race relations in America is now more true and relevant than ever. “In things racial, we have always been and we, I believe, continue to be, in too many ways, essentially, a nation of cowards.”

The recent string of police shootings has sparked national outrage among the black community and supporters of the #blacklivesmatter movement. Even more recently, Rachel Dolezal has made headlines as a “white” woman living the life of an African-American for several years, eventually rising to being the head of a Washington state chapter of the NAACP.

Now, I understand that my perspective is not the same as that of a 19- year-old black male from Atlanta or a 21-year-old Hispanic from Los Angeles. I understand this. However, I believe that all of us have an interesting set of life experiences that are valuable in understanding the intricacies of life in a “melting pot” such as America.

Our cities are a microcosm of the diversity that the nation is moving toward, and so this discussion is vital for all of us. Unlike Mr. Holder’s bold assumption, I am not afraid to have this dialogue. I am not a coward.

Social sciences are hard at work to identify and dissect the various causes of racial tension in America. Race is now viewed as a social construct, the colored lines continue to be blurred as more and more ethnic groups enter America’s borders and begin to assimilate, and there is an increase in the number of couples who engage in interracial marriage.

Sociologists have introduced the concept of white privilege throughout academia, and it has only recently begun trickling into the mainstream. This is the idea that there is an inherent racial hierarchy in every aspect of our lives. The government and corporate power is held by an overwhelming white majority and has led to laws and institutional policies that are more beneficial to whites than other cultures.

This forces minorities to either assimilate into the dominant Caucasoid culture, or risk being outcasts forever. While I do not disagree that this concept does exist, I feel that we should focus on ways of dismantling the power structure without violent revolution or complete overthrow of the current system.

The shift in a societal definition of race is just one of many factors that prove that race is, indeed, a social construct. It is not biological, but defined by a cultural consensus, which means that it is fluid. Moreover, it is also known that gender is another trait that global society has invented and reinvented time and again. What it is to be “masculine” or “feminine” is different around the world.

Therefore, genders such as “male” and “female” have been deemed to be social, rather than biological. Our gender is whatever we identify with. If race, like gender, is a social construction, why do we not treat it in the same way?

I realize this is a concept that may be a difficult pill to swallow, but we should not allow some unseen, unknown social force in our country to dictate who we are and why we should identify with lifestyles to which we do not subscribe.

Another change needed is for more of us to begin seeing ourselves as “multi-racial, regardless of which “race” has been falsely ascribed to us. Skin color has absolutely no bearing on the way we see race. Several “white” European races used to exist prior to their inclusion together as one race. Only two centuries ago, Germanic was a different “race” than Anglo.

However, several decades ago, the arbitrary color line that tries to differentiate “race” by melanin levels came into being. We find ourselves in need of a shift in psychological perspective; we need to train our minds to think in terms that have a more unifying ideal.

When someone is constantly telling you what “color” you are, and certain attributes have been ascribed to that “color,” a person may begin to view themselves as a concept rather than an individual human being. The media has corrupted us in ways that are detrimental almost beyond repair.

There are many steps we can take to help relieve racial tension in America.

1. I propose that we begin to self-identify in whichever way we see fit. Stop giving the power to define who you are to someone else. If you have a white pigment, but identify as black, then do so—and vice versa.

2. Furthermore, we should embrace the idea of all of us being “multi-racial”. Think of the headlines if they were to read “Multi-racial Police Officer Shoots Multi-racial Man” or if Barrack Obama was another in the line of multi-racial presidents, rather than the “first African-American” leader of the USA. Rather than #blacklivesmatter, we could all promote #multiraciallivesmatter or more appropriately, #ALLlivesmatter.

I understand the argument that by eliminating race, we would eliminate the history of oppression   of race. I would contend, however, that we would never forget or even make light of the tragedies of history. Like the holocaust, slavery was a very real and horrible institutional blight on the world. We would be well served to remember that race was not and is not the only motivation for enslavement. The Chinese and Irish were treated with extreme hatred in America, and the Jewish people have been the center of persecution for centuries. This occurred not because of skin color, but because of cultural differences. Thus, the annulment of race does not eliminate the history of oppression at all. I would argue that it may make it even more real, because it shows that any culture can be the target of discrimination and oppression.

3. Institutional education from our public schools is not enough either. We must start at home within our own families and try to explain to our parents, spouses and children that understanding and accepting other cultures is a normal practice and should be celebrated.

4. We should really spend time gaining knowledge and appreciation for other cultures. This does happen, to some extent, already. However, the emotional overreaction to events such as the Zimmerman verdict and recent police shootings only serve to constrict already tense veins of clarity and lead to a larger rift between cultures.

5. When the subject of race is broached between those of differing ethnicities, it should be rationally discussed without fear of bigotry. One side has no business shouting down the experiences of the other. Lumping a group together based on the tone of their skin is just wrong, no matter who is doing it.

6. We should have more racial discussions in public forums. I would love to see the topic embraced in our televised political debates. I’d love to see it debated in a positive and respectful forum more often at college campuses. We should avoid making one group feel guilty for their heritage.

7. We should begin to take the time to understand one another as individuals without complication. I would encourage all of us to take the time to sit down with someone of a different race or culture and really begin to process the ways in which we are not only different, but similar.

Only then can we truly become the “United” States of America. We are the most ethnically diverse country in history, and many cultures have come together to live in relative peace and harmony for a hundred years. If we implement positive race relations, we can affect long-lasting change. It may take two or three generations for changes to take effect, but if we do not begin now they never will.

If I was President (Education Policy)

Our education system here in America has become atrocious. Our children are growing into ignorant adults. Not only do they lack basic math, science, and English skills, but they are falling short on social skills and critical thinking. Classrooms have abandoned learning for test taking. There are many reasons for this, and I would like to address the ways that I would change things if I was given the opportunity.

  1. Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.

The US DoE was created in 1979. Since its inception, education in America has remained stagnant. No matter how much money our politicians promise for our schools, average student test scores have remained stagnant. The federal government has almost quadrupled investment from about 13 to over 50 billion dollars over the past thirty-five years. However, the average reading score has remained virtually unchanged. From 2009-2013, the US fell from 25th to 31st in math and 20th to 24th in science, and from 11th to 21st in reading among the 31 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations; and are well below the average in all three categories. Yes, part of the slippage has occurred as more and more nations have become industrialized. However, there is no excuse for the highest spending nation on Earth to have an education system ranked 17th. Why are we still willing to pump tens of billions in taxpayer money to a monolithic organization with such a horrendous track record, when we get similar or even better results from private schools, privately run charter schools, and 30-37th percentile increases from homeschool? The federal government has proven inept in so many areas, and has zero constitutional authority to oversee American education. Moreover, whenever the feds introduce a new program intended to help our students—such as No Child Left Behind and Common Core, our international ranking drops. Stop the madness!

  1. Remove teacher’s unions.

Teacher’s unions, like most unions, have become obsolete and are impeding advancement. Privately run charter schools outperform public schools not only in academics, but in actual organization. They hire and fire teachers based on merit rather than seniority, and they do not have to jump through years worth of expensive (upwards of $250,000) bureaucratic red tape in order to do so.

These unions not only protect bad teachers, but use union dues to influence federal politics. They are near the top political donors for the Democrat party and other organizations that push increased education spending. In 2013-14, the National Education Association alone spent over $24 million. The average contribution to members of the Congress ranged from $7,500 in the Senate to $13,000 in the House for Democrats and $0 for Republicans. Spending millions on lobbying for increases of their own pockets simply perpetuates the issue, and yields no tangible positive results for our children.

  1. Abolish the socialist construction of our schools.

As red-blooded American patriots, we have a history of fighting for individualism and personal responsibility. Why then has our education system done the exact opposite? Every student in our schools must sit in the same classes and obtain the same standard test scores in every agreed upon subjects until the age of 18. Only then are they able to focus on the subject that truly interests them in higher education. Most universities still require one-size-fits-all pre-requisites for students. Why a Psychology major must prove proficient in College Algebra in order to be a better therapist is beyond my understanding. The only purpose, from my estimation, is to charge students another year of tuition in order to line the pockets of the powers that be.

  1. My radical solution.

I would keep the well-rounded education received by elementary students, but middle and high schools should be radically changed. I believe that students who show an aptitude toward a certain field should be free to specialize sooner. If a student is awful at math, but talented in the arts, s/he should be able to pursue and develop that talent. When you force students to fit the same mold, many get frustrated and give up. This, in my opinion, is another factor that plays into our declining educational ranks. Students who may become engineers become apathetic about education because of being forced to take classes that disinterests them.

I like the university system far more (with the exception of mandatory pre-requisites that I would love to see disappear). As a matter of fact, the pre-req system may be better suited to high school so that our kids can still remain somewhat well-rounded while really being able to focus on specialization.

Furthermore, we can change the ways in which our failing public schools operate. We could take the schools in most districts, especially inner-cities that have the worst education, and turn them into specialty schools. Offer parents the choice of whether to send their child to a math based, art based, engineering based, etc. school. Each school would offer other classes, but would really focus on their particular field of interest.

The benefits of this model include student satisfaction, parental choice, and the need to eliminate additional unwarranted college years. We could produce competent workers ready to boost the economy at a younger age, and could reduce the number of Universities that also waste their federal funding. It would have the effect of essentially attaining the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree by the end of high school. Companies could hire high school educated students with the confidence of competence. For those who truly wish to continue to college, the option would remain available to them.

Remember that keeping our citizens out of the economy until age 30 does no one any good. Not only are our 20 year olds not spending their hard earned money on consumer goods that push our economy, but they do not put income tax back into the federal budget that keep our institutions running. Imagine an economy that is not overburdened with a failing federal education system, wasting time and money on disinterested students, and are keeping so many potential tax-paying citizens on the sidelines during their most labor-intensive years.

The End Times pt. 4 (More About Antichrist)

After Satan and his angels were removed from Heaven, they came to Earth and mated with human women. Their offspring were giant super humans. That is to say, they were godlike. The Bible says:

Genesis 6: 1-4 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

I would venture to say that there is a pretty major correlation with these godlike children of fallen angels and mythological gods of ancient Greek, Roman, Norse, and Egyptian cultures; although I wish to focus mainly on the Greeks. For instance, the head of the fallen angels is Lucifer. Under mythology he would be Zeus. The king of the gods is the king of the fallen angels. Many of Zeus’ children were born of human women, as would be the children of the fallen angels. Apollyon may very well be the son of Satan.

Gen. 3:15 says “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise they head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This can be taken quite literally, as it refers to Satan becoming a serpent, but look where it says “thy seed.” Why would such a reference be made if Satan (rather than the serpent as most people take this verse to mean) did not or would not have offspring? “Her seed” is Jesus Christ, and “thy seed” is Antichrist/Apollyon.

Revelation 9:11 says “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”

Apollyon? This sinister being that I believe to be Antichrist just happens to have a Greek name VERY similar to the god of the sun.

Apollo’s birthplace, Delos, was chained to the bottom of the ocean. Apollyon will rise from the Bottomless Pit (Rev. 9)

Lucifer is the “son of the morning” (Isaiah 14:12). Apollyon (Satan’s son) is the god of the sun and light.

Apollyon is the first horseman in Rev. 6:2. He is described as sitting on a white horse and having a bow. However, there is no mention of arrows. First of all, many Bible scholars believe this to mean that he has an empty quiver making his conquering of the Earth without force. This has come to mean that he is a politician, because who else could conquer the world without war? I have recently heard that perhaps his arrows are in his mouth.

Rev. 19:15 talks about Christ’s return, describing that “out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword…” If Jesus has a sword in his mouth, perhaps Antichrist has arrows in his. His words are sharp—the weapon of a true politician. It makes sense to me.

Regardless, Apollyon’s weapon is a bow. Is it merely coincidence that Apollo is the god of archery?

Rev. 9:14-15 says: “Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.”

There are currently four angels bound under a river in Iraq. These could very well include Poseidon and his son, Triton, but the Greeks also worshipped Nereus—the Old man of the Sea. Achelous is the Greek river god. Alpheus is a river god of Arcadia. Anapos is a water god of eastern Sicily. There are dozens of other water deities in the Greek tradition. I believe any foursome of these beings could be the angels under the Euphrates.

I understand that this could very well be coincidence. The similarities are striking, at best. I believe them to be more than happenstance. I believe that the fallen angels and their half-breed children were worshiped as gods by primitive civilizations, and that Apollo is Antichrist.

The End Times pt. 3 (The Antichrist)

In part one, I discussed my thoughts on why I believe we are in the “end times” predicted thousands of years ago in The Bible. In part two, I offered possibly pathways to explaining away the Rapture and reaching the one-world government, currency, and religion. In this section, I hope to deal with the person known as the “Man of Sin” or Antichrist.

First off, war is brewing. Not local skirmishes like we see happening right now, but a large scale world war. After all, how else can we achieve peace if it is not brought about through chaos? I believe that the broker of that peace will be the Antichrist. There are a number of theories, mine included, of who or what this person will be. Will he be President of the United States, General of the United Nations, a politician, a world leader, or a religious leader? I believe he will become Pope and rule from Rome, but before I get into that, here are some characteristics that we know from the Bible.

His ethnicity:

Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.

The “prince that shall come” is Antichrist, and the people that destroyed “the city and the sanctuary” in 70AD were the Romans, but the army was comprised largely of Turkish and Syrian soldiers. Therefore, it is believed by many Bible scholars that Antichrist will be Turkish or Syrian; and I agree. Daniel 11:37 says “neither shall he regard the God of his fathers”. This also alludes to Antichrist being at least part Jewish. After all, “his fathers” would have to be Jewish if he is to disregard their God.

Interestingly enough, I recently heard a case being made by Glenn Beck (like him or not, read on because this is an interesting correlation) that ISIS is seeking to control historical Catholic religious centers. There are four in Europe: Rome, Paris, Crimea, and Constantinople/Istanbul. Obviously, ISIS conquering Turkey would play a major role in not only the prophesied battle of Gog and Magog from Ezekiel 38 (Turkey is north of Israel and played a major role in the previously mentioned destruction of Jerusalem), but in Beck’s theory of Muslim expansion in the region.

Physical characteristics:

Zechariah 11:17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

I believe the “idol shepherd” to be Antichrist. This verse points to him having a lame arm and right eye. Other “types” of Antichrist have had similar ailments. Adolf Hitler had a lame left arm following an assassination attempt, and suffered from temporary blindness and vision problems later in life.

Antichrist, being of Middle-Eastern and Jewish decent, will more than likely have olive colored skin, brown eyes, and dark hair. More importantly, the Jewish people will believe him to be the Messiah (John 5:43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive).

Who he is:

Revelation 17:8 describes “The Beast that thou sawest was, and is not: and shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit, and go into perdition.” You can easily make the argument that Antichrist was at some point roaming the Earth (was). He currently resides somewhere else (is not), and will return (shall ascend). He used to be alive on Earth, but vanished for a period of time without actually dying. My absolute favorite theory on this was given to me by my father. Antichrist was, is, and will be Judas Iscariot.

Judas obviously “was” around during the period Christ’s first coming. He sold out the savior and committed suicide. Why do I believe him to be Antichrist? John 6:70 says “Then Jesus replied, ‘Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”

John 17:12 “those who thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” So Christ was referring to the disciples as “those who thou gavest me” and he kept all but one—Judas. So “ the son of perdition” must be Judas, because if not for his betrayal, the scripture would not have been fulfilled.

Judas then committed a pretty violent suicide of hanging himself, falling over, and having his bowels spill out. Therefore, Judas “was” and “is not”. Upon his death, Judas went “to his own place” (Acts 1:25). Not heaven or hell, but his own place (is not). It does not take a major leap to understand Judas’ “own place” is the “Bottomless Pit.”

II Thess. 2:3 says that “That Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition.” So, the Son of Perdition, formerly referred to as Judas Iscariot, SHALL BE revealed as the Man of Sin. He “shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit, and go into perdition [there is that word again].”

Yes, Judas Iscariot will be Antichrist.

Antichrist in Other Religions:

While Christians are looking for our Antichrist to rise from a pit and bring about the Tribulation, other religions have similar mythos; however, they see this being as a savior rather than destroyer.

The Muslim Mahdi, or Twelfth Imam, is a redeemer who will bring peace to the world and reign for seven years (the length of The Tribulation). Some Muslims believe that Jesus Christ will assist the Mahdi against Antichrist, others believe that Jesus and the Twelfth Imam will argue about who truly is Mahdi. The Twelfth Imam was born in 889 (he was), but died several years later (he is not). Signs of the Mahdi’s return include never ending wars, intense disputes, and earthquakes. There will be a large war near Mecca in a place called Mina. This battle will signal the return of the Mahdi as he rises (shall ascend) from a well (bottomless pit), defeats his enemies and brokers peace in the world through a universal caliphate.

Sound familiar?

Antichrist is the Pope:

Hindi worship a sun god named Mithra who is believed to have been a large influence in Christianity (more specifically Catholicism, but more on that later). Mithra was born of a virgin (or some believe he sprang forth from a rock) on December 25th, placed in a manger after birth, was considered a great teacher, had 12 companions, performed miracles, sacrificed himself, ascended to heaven, is omniscient, identified with lions and lamb, held Sundays as sacred, and emphasized baptism. If you say “that sounds like they stole that from Christians!” keep in mind that Mithra mythos existed in 1,500 BC, well before the birth of Jesus. I would argue that some of the mythos can be found in Old Testament scripture that predates it, but the Catholic Church, that has its own roots in mystery religions, brought other factors into Christianity.

That little bit of history was to help explain why I believe the Antichrist will be Pope. The Catholic Church was born of mystery religion, which is my argument that the title of “Mystery, Babylon The Great” in Revelation 17:5 is not a reference to the literal city of Babylon, but of the adopted home of Babylonian religious beliefs; Rome.

Rev 17:3 “I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast.” This is believed to symbolize a church (the woman) in charge of a kingdom (beast). Scarlet is, of course, the color of the Catholic cardinals. Thus, the Catholic Church is riding Rome (or Vatican City to be more specific). This symbolizes the merging of politics (the kingdom, or one-world government) with religion (the Catholic Church, which has adopted the one-world religion of social justice as I wrote about here.)

Rev. 17:4 “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.” Again, this is pretty strong evidence, for the color of Catholic garments are typically red (cardinals) and purple (bishops) with gold or yellow trim. We also know how extravagant Catholic churches can be, and they are constantly adorned with precious stones and cups for communion (lets not forget about their obsession with the cup of Christ).

Furthermore, verse 6 says “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” This is a clear reference to the bloodshed poured out through the inquisition. Martyrdom was a regular occurrence as the Catholic Church attempted to purge “heresy” from their ranks.

Rev. 17:9 speaks of “seven heads” that “are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” Rome is famously known as the City of Seven Hills. Literal Babylon, however, sits on the Euphrates river. Interestingly, Istanbul, another historical Catholic center is also built on seven hills. However, the rest of the description does not fit Istanbul.

As the Christian Church (the bride) marries Christ (the bridegroom), so must Antichrist (anti-bridegroom, if you will) marry the Catholic Church (the woman riding the beast). Jesus is the head of the Christian Church, and Antichrist is the head of the Catholic Church. Therefore, he is the Pope.

This sums up my three part essay on The End Times. I hope you have enjoyed it. If you want to learn more, check out Clarence Larkin’s Dispensational Truth, and, of course, The Bible. Again, I wish to reiterate that I am not a theologian or biblical scholar. I am a Christian who studies society and the world, and happens to be very interested in biblical end times prophecy. I could be completely wrong about my suppositions, but I still hold that The Bible itself speaks Truth. There will be a Rapture, a Great Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ. The most important takeaway from my writing is that I am ready and waiting to be taken away from this Earth before God pours out his judgment. Are you?