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failed prophesies

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  • Thomas Robertson
    Here it is, the end of the year 2000, and the deadline for another prophesy has passed. According to the Baha i Faith, the Universe is teeming with life, we
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2000
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      Here it is, the end of the year 2000, and the deadline for another
      prophesy has passed. According to the Baha'i Faith, the Universe
      is "teeming with life," we will make contact with extraterrestrial
      life, and every major innovation in transportation and communication
      that will ever take place will take place by the year 2000.
      Put these premises together, and you find that an interstellar
      vehicle was to be constructed by the year 2000.

      I wonder what the Baha'is are saying now. Here are some ways that
      other religious groups have dealt with failed prophesy:

      retrofitting
      <><><><><><>

      Through a calculated play on words, a religious group could argue
      that the prophesy has indeed been fulfilled. Cult leader Father
      Divine convinced his followers that he would never die. But sure
      enough, he went the way of all flesh. So his followers argued that
      he lived on in the spiritual sense. Jim Jones took the opportunity
      by making a pitch that Father Divine's soul entered his body. Some
      of the Divinites believed him, too!

      Meher Baba spent the last several years of his life refusing to
      speak. He communicated by carrying around a board with an alphabet
      printed thereupon. He promised that he would eventually "break the
      silence," but death sneaked up on him sooner than he expected. So
      now his followers claim that his death itself was the breach of
      silence.

      In 1914, Jesus and the 11 remaining disciples were to return to
      earth. The Jehovah's Witnesses bought a lot, built a house, and
      tried to register the property in the names of Jesus and the
      disciples. The county clerk refused, so the JW's registered it in
      the name of the church. 1914 came and went with no sign of any
      supernatural arrivals, so the house and lot were sold at a public
      auction.

      But does that disprove the prophesy? Of course not! Jesus and the
      disciples returned in the spiritual sense! And what else happened
      that year? World War I started! That was "Satan's reaction"!

      granting God unlimited license
      <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

      Through mathematicking through the Book of Revelation, the Seventh-
      Day Adventists set a date in which Jesus was to make His
      reappearance. That day came and passed like any other day. Today,
      the Adventists don't pretend to know why Jesus didn't appear, but
      they are sure that there is a good reason. After all, who are we to
      question the ways of an Omniscient God?


      forgetting
      <><><><><>

      The Mormons seem to be fond of erasing memory of any declaration
      which is embarrassing to the church. Joseph Smith claimed that the
      Moon was inhabited by people with an average life span of 1000 years,
      an average height of 8 feet, and who dress like the Quakers. The
      astronauts landed on the Moon and reported no such thing, that was a
      gleeful day for the anti-Mormons. But will the Mormons admit that
      their beloved leader was wrong? Of course not! Whenever I ask
      Mormons about these fictional lunar dwellers, they tell me that the
      story was fabricated by the anti-Mormons.

      Brigham Young declared that the Mormon Church should never admit
      Black people. If it did, God would "rain down fire" on the church.
      This was forgotten by the Seventies, when Blacks were allowed to join
      the church but not allowed to serve as priests. At that time,
      Mormons told me that "the Black person's time hasn't come yet," but
      will eventually. When the pressures of tax legislation and public
      opinion got too much for the church to bear, the leader of the church
      received a convenient Revelation, declaring that the time has
      finally come.

      I don't know any Baha'is in the community where I live now. So I
      can't ask any Baha'is how they explain why we are still marooned down
      here in our own little solar system. I'm also afraid to ask them
      directly on the Internet. I once addressed a pointed question to a
      Baha'i mailing list, but they told me that their mailing list was not
      for heckling. So if any of you know any Baha'is, please ask them.

      Thomas Robertson
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