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Mark of the Beast

December 4, 2012 - John Stack

What proof do we have of the divine greatness of The Almighty? How about Adele’s voice? Listen to ‘Someone Like You” and try to see if a human could sing that. She makes the prior owner of top voice chanteuse Whitney Houston sound like Froggy from Little Rascals. Tell me that set of vocal chords wasn’t touched by a higher being. How to explain Wayne Gretzky? Genetics? He was always the weakest player on his team and was never a very fast player. In a sport where speed, strength and size we paramount, how did he become hands down the Greatest ever to play the sport? Tell me the hand of God wasn’t involved..

But…Know what is NOT divinely affected? The unholy union between the ACLU and Religious fundamentalist groups, such as The Rutherford Institute. These groups have teamed up to defend a student against a policy of a Texas high school. The school wants students to wear ID badges that include RFID (tracking) chips. The school has a number of reasons for the ‘enhanced IDs’. One big reason admittedly is if they can track the students on campus, they can be more sure of their attendance figures, which means more aid for the school (and lower taxes for residents). But it also is used for safety reasons. If a child cannot be found at their classroom, if he or she is actually is on campus, they can locate them. If God forbid there is a terrible incident on campus where there is a lockdown ( as recent as 5 years ago a local school had a lockdown at their elementary school when a suspicious person was seen reported walking near the school with a rifle). As a parent, I am glad that the school can tell me definitively that my children are safe and sound in a quick, efficient manner. What about other young people walking the halls of the school that shouldn’t be there? No ID – they shouldn’t be there, and would have a much harder time gaining entry to the school. There are a myriad of reasons these chips and IDs would positively affect a educational institution.

But the Hernandezes don’t think so. They claim the ID and RFID chip are basically ‘The Mark of the Beast”. The mark of the beast of course refers to Revelation in the bible, with the Beast being the Antichrist or the Devil. Now, I don’t doubt this family’s religious beliefs, but I do believe they are in error here. In their court filing, they claim ‘…scripture , and individual’s acceptance of a certain code, identified with his or her person, as a submission to a secular ruling authority, is a form of idolatry and a submission to a false God” . In other words, anything to identify you from a secular authority – Social security number, drivers license, voter registration cards, you name it – are all marks of the beast

The family then must have a serious concern with privacy ( they claim so in their papers) as well as an ID of any kind issued by the school. Except….the school offered to remove the chip if the family objected on individual privacy grounds, and therefore wrought this argument moot. But, the family also has no problem with their daughter carrying her old ID, which also had her picture and name on it. That wasn’t a mark of the beast? And somehow this was?

But, lets see what a religious authority would say, specifically Revelation 22:18 of the Christian bible“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:” – it nearly LITERALLY tells us to NOT ADD ANYTHING to this. Read it for what it is. In fact in other parts of revelation its specifically states the ‘mark’ would be received "in their right hand, or in their foreheads:" I think its reading into this to claim an ID signifies the mark of the beast, especially when the bible tells us exactly what the sign is, and where. It also means that a person must submit themselves to this higher order willingly in their heart. No one is telling this girl to give up her religion, or that she has to submit to Satan.

I also am not ignorant of the Nazis use of ‘the mark’ for the Jews in Germany. But this isn’t Auschwitz, and I don’t see millions of Jewish Americans out burning their social security cards or their drivers licenses.

Now, many privacy advocates may be upset and say we are watched way too much and our privacy needs to be protected even more. Maybe so. But the world no longer works on the complete anonymity principle. Every time I use my cell phone, I can be tracked. Every time I use my credit card either at a store or online, I am tracked. Every time I do a Google search, I can be tracked. My dentist, my doctor, all keep tabs on me electronically. My EZ pass tracks me. And these are things I passively accept to be a member of our current society.

This is also not to put down some of the good work the Rutherford Institute does. For example, they are at the forefront of repealing laws (in some states) which make videotaping of a police officer illegal.


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