April 24th, 2011

Whackjob christian radio so far

A while ago I wrote about the whackjobs who think that the rapture will happen on May 21, the billboards they've scattered around the bay area, and their radio station. As promised, I've been listening to their station on and off for a couple of weeks.

They play lots of hymns, organ music, and other religious stuff. There's no surprise.

They have the family bible reading circle where some guy reads some section of the bible. There's also bible talk show-- archives are available online.

They have these weird science segments that often sound like something from the Discovery Channel. They'll talk about some fish that does interesting signal processing, or about the cheetah and how it runs. At the end of these 2-3 minute segments they'll say something like, "The cheetah could not have evolved to do this. The cheetah is proof of god's perfection."

One day I heard this weird prayer show. The host would say things like, "Bob, a christian man, is having back surgery today. Let us pray that Bob has a speedy recovery. Susan, a christian woman, is having a difficult time with her teenage son. Let us pray that they resolve this in a positive manner." This went on and on and on. (Temptation to prank this with requests: very high.)

I heard a five-minute explanation of the earth's rotation, tilt, seasons, and the reasons why the time of sunrise and sunset vary not just day to day, but in different locations on the same day. I caught one minor error, but the science was essentially sound. All of this was lead-in to him reading a couple of sentences from the bible that said that someone did something at sunset, and that was when the daytime ended. This was followed by about five minutes of blathering by the host about how we couldn't know exactly what time of day that was, since we didn't know where the person was located or what the exact date of the story was. I could not for the life of me figure out why the exact time of this was the least bit interesting.

They have, of course, read a lot of their own stuff and talked about the May 21 date and why it's true. It seems to have something to do with Noah's big flood being 7000 years ago, something about seven days, and some passage in the bible about a thousand years being like a day. You also have to subtract one when you do the math, because there was no year 0 AD... they're very specific about that. Apparently they don't subscribe to the 6,000-year-old earth theory. Oh, wait, I just looked at one of their leaflets, and they claim the earth is 13,000 years old.

They also seem to be obsessed with Thessalonians 5:2: "for you know very well that they day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night." I've heard endless discussions of the phrase "thief in the night", to and well beyond the point of absurdity.

One time on the bible call-in show I heard him smack down a caller pretty hard. The caller wanted to read a verse, but Harold said no. After a few rounds of it, he said, "Now, I'm going to read this verse because I want them all to be read in the same way. If you don't like that you can just hang up."

All in all, this is an interesting exercise in sociology.