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Satire or Reality?

Entry 1008, on 2009-05-12 at 19:56:30 (Rating 3, Religion)

Sometimes I come across material on the Internet which is just so extreme that I can't tell whether its a spoof, satire or fantasy fiction of some sort or whether its meant to be genuine reality (or a warped version of reality). Its like the first time I read an article from the Onion (a well known Internet satirical news site) where it took me a while before I realised it was a spoof.

The latest example of this phenomenon was something I found on a web site called "ChristWire". Every now and them I come across these extreme religious sites and I like to cause a bit of trouble by commenting on the material there. The last two places I was kicked off were a fundie Christian site called GodTube (yes, I am serious) and a Jewish site called Chabad.

Let me emphasise that I don't go to these sites and just abuse people or deliberately cause trouble (well maybe I do a little). I go there and engage in genuine discussion. I have found that religious people actually don't want genuine discussion though - they prefer to talk to each other so that they only hear what they want to hear.

Anyway, all that aside, let me tell you about this latest site. I got there as a result of a Google search for information about a new nebula (that's a giant cloud of gas and dust in space) called "the Hand of God". This nebula has some resemblance to a huge hand (in fact its 150 light years, or 1.5 thousand trillion kilometers, across although that isn't actually that big compared with some other nebulae) but the similarity is nothing really remarkable.

But comments at this site (assuming they are genuine and I still can't believe they are) seem to be saying that this really is the hand of God. But it gets worse. Much worse!

Here's an excerpt from the site: "Today is sacred for all mankind. My friends at 1:37 am, God reachted [sic] from heaven and revealed his holy hand to NASAís Chandra X-ray Observatory. This awe inspiring moment left scientists shocked and without words. They were left, stunned, for hours as their minds were both jubilant and overwhelmed with todayís divine revelation." This is nonsense for a start. Scientists weren't shocked at all. In fact the original people involved didn't even see the resemblance to a hand until later.

Here's some more: "Scientists confirm that by our best primitive measure, Godís hand appears to be about 12 trillion miles wide and appeared approximately 17,000 lightmiles from Earth." Huh? A lightmile is what, exactly?

Now the really nasty stuff begins: "...God decided to show a bit of himself to get the attention of our homogay-supporting friends..." and "...make no mistake that if God hurls that fireball 17,000 light years across space, itíll arrive with much quickness and strike down the homolove states in loving discipline..." You can see why I wasn't sure if this was for real, right?

So a fireball which is trillions of times bigger than the entire Solar System will be hurled across space faster than the speed of light and strike down selected states. But this will be in "loving" discipline. Its that's loving I would hate to say what this great god of theirs would be like if he got mad!

Actually I'm now sure this site is satirical but the fact that it was so hard to tell does say something about how crazy some real extreme religion sites are. The sort of stuff presented here is so similar to some of the stuff I found on GodTube and elsewhere that it really did seem real.

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