Friday, May 19, 2017

The White Horse of the Apocalypse

That arrow is tipped with something particularly hilarious about tiny hands.

According to disgraced evangelist Jim Bakker, the apocalypse is upon us. How does he know, you might ask? Why, he's already see the first horse, the White Horse of the Apocalypse, with his own eyes. In fact, it would have been hard to miss, because according to Bakker the White Horse is actually people making fun of Donald Trump. By that logic, there's a whole lot of apocalypse going around right now, and it shows no signs of letting up.

Bakker now sells survivalist food and gear to doomsday preppers on his “Jim Bakker Show.” In a clip from Thursday that was posted online by Right Wing Watch, he claimed there was a “hatred among peoples and this is satanic.” Then he went full “Sleepy Hollow” on his audience:

“This is the White Horse of the Apocalypse. The White Horse of the Apocalypse is the first horse. It’s a horse of speech. It’s a horse of spirit. And the spirit of Antichrist is out now. This is what you’re seeing. You want to know what the Antichrist spirit looks like? That’s what’s going on in America. These people mocking the president, the words they use, the speech they use, that’s the spirit of Antichrist. That’s the spirit of hatred.”

Bakker had a popular ― and lucrative ― TV ministry in the 1980s, but resigned in shame after a sex scandal. He eventually did five years in prison for fraud.

With the usual caveat that I have no real issues with Christians who aren't nutters like Bakker, I'm going to ask the obvious question here. Why should anybody worship a God who can't take a joke? That's So Sad! There, I made fun of one of Trump's tweets. Did I unleash the destruction of the world? It doesn't look like it. What's genuinely sad is watching Bakker carry all this water for Trump's thin-skinned authoritarian nonsense.

A reminder - this is America. We have the right to make fun of the president's hair, or his hands, or his diction, or his tweets. Every single president has been poked fun at over their personal foibles. And, if I want to say that I think Trump is incompetent and unqualified for the job, that's my right, too. Dealing with jokes and opinions like those is part of being a public figure, and as the old cliche goes, if you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.

Bakker should go back to selling potato soup to survivalists before his schtick degenerates into self-parody. By all accounts Trump is not a particularly religious man, so there's no reason to think that God is going to give him any special treatment. That being so, there's no reason to think there's anything theologically special about jokes targeting this particular president. And around here, mocking the president is practically a national pastime.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble


Imperator David Griffin said...

Read this Scott and laugh your ass off. So much for the hallowed halls of bullshit in academia!

Scott Stenwick said...

I agree that this was a funny hoax, but it seems to me that all this proves is that the journal that accepted the paper is highly questionable. To extend that notion to an entire discipline, as the article there does, is a pretty outrageous leap. After all, every other academic journal they tried refused to publish that piece of crap.

There are lots of sham journals out there, in many other disciplines as well. My guess is that this is probably one of them.

Scott Stenwick said...

...and as it turns out I was totally right. From Salon:

"First, the open-access journal that published their article requests that authors pay to publish. In the case of Cogent Social Sciences, the recommended fee is a whopping $1,350. I have affirmed that Boghossian and Lindsay were, for unknown reasons, asked to pay less than half of this, namely $625, but the journal apparently never got around to actually requesting the money. Boghossian has repeatedly declared on social media that he and his colleague paid “nada” for the article’s publication, which taken out of context is patently misleading."

Pay to publish journals are scams. Full stop. They probably didn't even bother to read most of the article. They don't even appear to be organized enough to get around to timely bill collection.