“Blood moon” is the apocalyptic re-titling of the total lunar eclipse that was experienced by many last night, and now is the perfect opportunity for Christian theologians to sell some fear to believers. The most notable instance of this type of hawking comes via the Founder of a mega-church in San Antonio, Texas, and the CEO of Global Evangelism Television, John Hagee. Hagee has written the book: Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change, which is available now.
The title is pretty close to the fake book being sold in the HBO show Veep by Juila Louis-Dreyfus’ character, Selina Meyer, entitled Some New Beginnings: Our Next American Journey. On the show, Selina is the Vice President selling a book full of nonsense she didn’t write to try to drum up money and support for her presidential campaign. Of course Veep is satire, but John Hagee is serious – serious about making some money. But what should be expected from a guy who has written more than 30 “best-selling” books, including: Earth’s Final Moments, From Daniel to Doomsday: The Countdown Has Begun, and Can America Survive?: 10 Prophetic Signs That We Are The Terminal Generation.
In Four Blood Moons, Hagee tries to identify a correlation between the four total lunar eclipses that are going to happen in a row over the course of the next two years, and “something” – something bad most likely. He documents significant times in the last 500 years in which Earth experienced four total eclipses in a row and how it relates to jewish history. In 1492 it happened when the jews were kicked out of Spain and Columbus discovered America and raped and enslaved the natives, clearing the way for jews to settle in, apparently. It also happened in 1949-50, when Israel was declared a state, and again in 1967-68, when Jerusalem was united for the first time. He is convinced that “something” is going to change during the four consecutive blood moons that are going to happen this year and next, and is using the opportunity to sell some books.
Blood moon is a totally made up term, by the way. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth passes directly between the sun and the moon, and the rays of the sun pass through Earth’s atmosphere to create a reddish shadow that falls over the moon. This happens in nearly every total lunar eclipse and just for context, there have been ten total eclipses since 2001. There was also a tetrad, or four consecutive total eclipses (or “blood moons” for the dramatic) back in 2003-04, but those weren’t significant supposedly.
Theologians and true believers love to predict the future. It is like being an X-Man and having powers – Christ powers. When the prognostications do not come true, it is not like careers end. Pat Robertson wrote in a book that the world was going to end on April 29, 2007, which of course did not come to fruition, and a lot people still think he is not full of it. Then there was all that rapture talk in 2011, spurred most notably by christian radio host and author, Harold Camping. No rapture took place in 2011, but to be fair, he also predicted the world would end in 1994, too.
If the success of The Passion of the Christ and Noah are any indication, Christians love a good supernatural story that is light on logic. Movie production houses that make christian-themed movies exclusively have also found great financial success, just ask Rick Santorum who is running the Christian EchoLight Studios out of Dallas while contemplating another presidential bid. He has one-upped Selina Meyer, but you cannot really one-up a fictional politician, although Santorum chances of being elected sort of make him a fictional politician.
As smart as Santorum is, Hagee may be equally so. The best move is that he never gets into specifics about the “something” that is going to happen. However it will be “a world-shaking event” according to his blood moons sermon that he introduced as “an exciting, prophetic sermon series.” Who doesn’t like excitement at church? Hagee notes that there will be tumult in the Middle East and that tumult will incite Israel to react with force, possibly starting a massive conflict. Talk about going out on a limb. The glorious part about his prophesies is that he will surely be able to claim he was right, as the Middle East is in constant turmoil and tensions continue to rise between Israel and its neighbors. It is like saying that China is probably going to experience a housing market crash soon, or that the sea levels around the world will rise in the future. So, Hagee chooses outcomes that should be obvious to even a layman, and will trumpet if he is dead-on accurate, or choose one of the dozen conflicts already going on in the Middle East and point to that as proof that the blood moons are a sign from God. It is just that easy.
Christians love prophets, their religion is named for one after all. They also like books written by men that dictate the supposed word of God. Christians are also fond of “exciting” apocalyptic prophesies, and four consecutive “blood moons” is a great opportunity to sell books based on fear. Prediction: Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change will be another best seller.
Opinion By Matt Stinson
Join Matt on Twitter @Matt_Stinson