Well crap. If only I'd listened to Texas prophet Yisrayl Hawkins - then I'd have gotten expedited shipping on the copy of Rambo that I bought online over the weekend. Turns out, according to this yahoo, that the world is going to end today! Hawkins is the leader of the House of Yahweh in Abilene, Texas. It's a cult/survivalist group that expounds a weird mixture of Judaism and Christianity that is predicated on Hawkins' secret knowledge of the magical lost name of God. Hawkins and his brother, whose name is apparently "J.G.", came back from a trip to Israel in the 1970s convinced that their coming was prophesied by both Testaments of the Bible and that their mission was to revive the world's one true religion and deliver magical tidings to all mankind about the coming end of the world. That whole line sounds sort of familiar, doesn't it?
Hawkins has written innumerable books, including this one in which he makes Scientology-like claims about "billions" of aliens influencing life on earth and this one in which he explains how "Birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving," and countless other things are actually Devil worship. Those of you who look him up on Amazon will also note that he's written a bunch of his own scriptures, which he quotes at length when he's challenged on his theology. (It must take a pretty big sack to write your own entire Testament in modern times and then try to convince people that it's real...and yet the existence of the House of Yahweh and the Mormons prove that enough people will buy into it to perpetuate it as a religion.)
Always cavalier when it comes to his conclusions about observable reality, Hawkins made a recent appearance on Nancy Grace in which he stated that "scripture shows" that global warming is being caused by sexually transmitted diseases. He's also been predicting the end of the world for years. He first said that it would end in September of 2006, then on June 12 of last year, and finally he concluded that it would end today with the start of an enormous nuclear war.
A quick tour of his website is somewhat instructive. Among other things, Hawkins (who has been charged twice with bigamy) glories in the return by the Texas Supreme Court of 400 children to the child raping FLDS cult at the Yearning for Zion Ranch. He also rants and raves about "Mary worship", which is a fundie code word for Catholicism, and constantly tries to invoke the First Amendment in order to stop the press from criticizing him.* I'm currently reading an article about how "persecuted" he is by the public at large for telling folks that the world is going to end this afternoon, though he doesn't seem to mention his repeated failed prophecies from before. He is quick, however, to invoke the Holocaust as proof of a conspiracy against him (somehow), which frankly is pretty disgusting.
In any event, once today is over with and the world is still here, it should be interesting to see what he has to say for himself. If the precedent set by Hawkins and every other prophet is any indication, he'll announce that he miscalculated and the end of the world will be next year.
* Here's a hint Yisrayl: The First Amendment does a lot of things - it guarantees you the right to this crazy religion you made up, it guarantees the right of the press to report on you being a nutjob and a bigamist, and it guarantees me the right to make fun you about it. It also guarantees you the right to rant and rave on your website about anything and anyone you like so long as you're not knowingly lying or threatening violence. Turns out we all win. :-D