Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Nonsense from the History Channel

I love the History Channel sometimes. I love it because my wife got it for me for Christmas one year and it always reminds me that she loves me. I love it because I love history and periodically, they actually do a history story that is accurate. Sometimes.

Usually, it is filled with sensationalistic, a-historical speculation about all things aginst a biblical world and life view by educated and articulate even eloquent people who don't mind cutting off the limb that they are sitting on in the tree.

Once again, Chuck Colson nails it right on the head with a commentary on the History Channel's recent penchant for all things eschatological.

No Payments, No Interest, No Future? The Age of Nostradamus
December 29, 2009

If you are the credulous type, there has never been a better time to treat yourself to some luxuries, at least if the terms of the deal are right. If the merchant or manufacturer says “no payments or interest through 2012,” go for it. At least that's what you conclude watching the History Channel.

For many years, the network was nicknamed the “Hitler Channel” because of all the shows it ran on World War II and the Nazis. Today, a better nickname would be the “Nostradamus Channel.” Hardly a day goes by without at least one show touting some doomsday scenario and how it was foretold.

At the center of this programming strategy lies Nostradamus, the 16th-century French apothecary whose devotees claim foresaw everything from the rise of Napoleon to 9/11. Everyone who has ever written a book on Nostradamus gets extended face time on the History Channel, where their claims are treated with the utmost seriousness.

It isn’t only Nostradamus. Name a doomsday prediction made by some long-dead person or group and chances are the Nostradamus Channel has given it a respectful airing, no matter how unhinged the claims might be. The latest and greatest example is the new series The Nostradamus Effect.

That’s the name the producers have given to the “convergence” of “doomsday prophecy” and “current events.” We are told that for “5,000 years, prophets around the world” -- including, of course, Nostradamus -- “have predicted the end of days.” Operating “independently,” they have concluded that 2012 will be a “time of extraordinary shift.”

One so-called expert told viewers that “we’re on the verge of the biggest riot of all time.” Another said that “we are reaching a confluence of tipping points.” These tipping points include climate change, financial upheaval, political unrest, crop failures, terrorism, and nuclear war, to name but a few.

That sounds ominous. Of course, nobody can cite anything that sounds like an actual prediction, such as, “In 2012, the world blows up.” It’s speaking nonsense, rank speculation. It’s not much to go on, but then again, this isn’t about facts or reason -- it’s about fear.

It’s about understandable anxiety made worse because in rejecting Christianity, the West has rejected the basis of its hope. A world in which God’s purposes are being fulfilled for our good has been replaced by one that leaves man in charge, mostly for ill. The world has become literally senseless to us.

We live in, as theologian Robert Jensen once put, a meaningless world wishing we could believe in something. The more events seem to spin out of control, the more we succumb to superstition and irrationality. And of course there’s always a media conglomerate ready to sell the credulous what they crave.

There’s no better example than the subject of tomorrow's commentary, which will give you the date of December 21, 2012. Please tune in. And in the meantime, please pay your bills on time. This commentary originally aired November 2, 2009.

Copyright (c) 2009 Prison Fellowship


Brother Greg said...

I agree with you about the History Channel. There are a few good shows and a whole lot of garbage. In my estimation, the most truthful and entertaining show is 'Mail Call' with Gunnery Sgt. Lee Ermey. He gives it to you straight..."Get that sandwich out of your pie hole, maggot, there is more Mail Call to come....."

ChosenRebel said...

Gunny is pretty funny. I have caught him a couple of times.