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Unique ID In India Causes 'Fear of the Beast' 725

Posted by timothy
from the seems-fair-enough dept.
bhagwad writes "India's attempts to tag everyone with an ID number has run into a roadblock is some Christian villages. Apparently the villagers fear they will be associated with the devil since according to the Bible, everyone having the 'mark of the beast' will go to hell. These people are not afraid of punishment. They relish this opportunity to prove their faith because the Bible also proclaims that they will be persecuted."
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Unique ID In India Causes 'Fear of the Beast'

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  • Blah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by religious freak (1005821) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:34PM (#32759864)
    Always good to see uneducated crazies are all over the world. I was worried that it was just the USA. Phew! /sarcasm
    • Uneducated (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:43PM (#32760046)

      If you meant that it takes years of indoctrination before a normal human being is willing to let other human beings tag him like an animal, then yes, I suppose these people need more "educating".

      They may be wrong about WHY consolidated power is dangerous, but they are absolutely correct that it IS dangerous.

      • Re:Uneducated (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JAZ (13084) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:33PM (#32761032)

        And regardless of who wrote these religious texts (divine inspiration, folk story, philosophers or old fashioned kooks), it is really interesting that someone as acknowledged and feared the idea of someone taking authority over and tagging the population for literally thousands of years.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by IICV (652597)

          Just FYI, the guy who wrote that was most likely on some Middle Ages equivalent of LSD. It's a single throwaway line in a book full of random shit; the fact that what he said just barely manages to be relevant right now is more coincidence than anything else.

          If you throw enough shit at a wall, at least some of it will stick. That doesn't mean it's glue.

          • Re:Uneducated (Score:4, Informative)

            by MostAwesomeDude (980382) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:11PM (#32762884) Homepage

            Kind of. It was political allegory pointed at the Romans, and unsurprisingly, some of it has slight social relevance today.

            Oh, and it was written far before the Middle Ages. References in then-contemporary writing place it at least before 200 AD, and it might be as old as the Gospels.

          • Re:Uneducated (Score:4, Insightful)

            by lgw (121541) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:38PM (#32763318) Journal

            It wasn't intented to be a fantasy trip, but an obvious metaphor for people and governments around in the time of the author, warning of things he expected to happen in his lifetime *and many of them did). Of course, if you make your prophesy obscure enough, it will keep matching random events, but the intended timeframe for the predictions is long past.

            The only reason is seems mysterious is that almost no one understands the referents. If I made an allusion to "the Beast of Redmond" it would be obvious to many /. readers, but it would seem very odd 1000 years from now.

      • by VirginMary (123020)

        ...human beings are animals, no more and no less!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:47PM (#32760138)

      I believe I am well educated with some extensive study in Eschatology.

      The Mark of the Beast is interesting and whether you are Premillennial or Amillennial you can find issues with the Mark of the Beast.

      I, personally, am mostly indifferent. Mostly.

      Here's where the concern is and will continue to be: buying and selling goods. I must make a living. I must pay my taxes. I'm okay with this. What happens when I won't accept an ID chip in my hand or cell phone?

      As a citizen I am no longer "free". I pay my taxes but I can't buy or sell without these shackles?

      Once a government is able to completely restrict the buying and selling, the means in which I survive, they have become oppressive and abusive. They must be overthrown.

      If you think it doesn't matter or this is an unimportant step then we can Godwin this discussion.

      And no, I'm not afraid. I won't bow down to another god or man. If the next President says we must bow down to him or his god(s) I will refuse.

      Personally I think Christians (practicing their faith in "loving others") are the best kind of citizen one can have. They follow the just laws, they pay taxes and help their fellow men.

      • by Creedo (548980) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:01PM (#32760426) Journal
        Funny. Where I live(the US Midwest, FYI), the Christians are at the forefront of attacking human rights, demanding that non-believers kowtow to their deranged fantasies and attacking science when they aren't flailing about in fear of the devil driven liberal conspiracy. That's not what I would call being a good citizen.
      • by pluther (647209) <pluther.usa@net> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:14PM (#32760664) Homepage

        Personally I think Christians (practicing their faith in "loving others") are the best kind of citizen one can have. They follow the just laws, they pay taxes and help their fellow men.

        Except that they don't. At least, no more than anybody else. Possibly less, actually.

        In the US, Christians are about 80% of the population, but over 90% of convicted criminals.

        And churches pay no taxes. Those who give money to churches get tax breaks for doing so. Assuming Christians also give to actual charities as much as everybody else does, that would mean they actually pay less taxes.

        As for the "Mark of the Beast", we've had this in the US for a very long time now. Every citizen of the U.S. is given a unique ID number at birth. A number which you need in order to get a passport, or drivers license, or credit card. So we're already regulating the buying and selling of property without it. And have been since before most of us here were born.

      • WOW (Score:4, Insightful)

        by copponex (13876) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:44PM (#32761278) Homepage

        Personally I think Christians (practicing their faith in "loving others") are the best kind of citizen one can have. They follow the just laws, they pay taxes and help their fellow men.

        History class: apparently [wikipedia.org] you [wikipedia.org] never [wikipedia.org] showed [wikipedia.org] up [wikipedia.org]. Ever [bbc.co.uk].

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gmack (197796)

        I hate it when people say this because it justifies the most annoying fears of technology when the Bible doesn't actually say that technology is bad. You make the classic mistake of failing to consider the old testament when analyzing something written to people who would have considered the Torah as central to their lives.

        Specifically:
        Deuteronomy 6-8 (NAS)
        6"(A)These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.

        7"(B)You shall teach them diligentl

    • enjoy the show (Score:4, Insightful)

      by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:49PM (#32760156) Homepage Journal

      I am just sitting back, enjoying the show: religion versus state, no matter who loses, I win.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by clarkkent09 (1104833)
        Two forms of oppression are fighting over who gets the right to oppress you more and you think you will win?
    • by rolfwind (528248)

      It's not education. It's critical thinking.

      The least educated can possess it. And the most educated may not (Arthur Conan Doyle being but one example).

  • by painandgreed (692585) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:35PM (#32759884)
    How could they possibly believe that is actually the mark of the beast? Everybody knows those grocery store "loyalty cards" are the real Mark of the Beast!
    • Re:That's silly... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by boristdog (133725) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:40PM (#32759980)

      Everybody knows those grocery store "loyalty cards" are the real Mark of the Beast!

      I've always wondered: If you have more than one "loyalty card", does that make you a traitor or just a whore?

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        yes.

      • I've always wondered: If you have more than one "loyalty card", does that make you a traitor or just a whore?

        Both - you've already whored out your privacy for illusory cheaper prices [nocards.org] with the first card.

        • Re:That's silly... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by EdIII (1114411) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:05PM (#32760516)

          That's why years ago I started using loyalty cards with other people. By my count now we have probably a hundred different people on one card alone.

          Other than the supposed savings (they're are an illusion just like you pointed out) you maybe get some savings on Gas. However, there are usually 1 or 2 places in a 100 mile radius that you can get the gas from. So you waste all the time driving there, wear and tear on the vehicle, just to save a few cents on gas that usually does not offset what you lost getting there. Unless you live less than 5 miles away from the super special gas station you can cash in your rewards on, it is just stupid.

          In some stores you don't even need your loyalty card either. Enough people complain that they won't purchase the items unless they get the "discount" price that cashiers will just give you a new card on the spot or swipe a card they have with them. I have seen that a lot.

          Personally, I enjoy my method a heck of a lot more. The original information on the account is bogus and the demographic information they glean from it must be hilarious.

      • I get about $1000 cashback from various cards, so I'd say it makes me frugal and budget-consciouos (or a cheapass depending on your view).

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Everything gets accused of being "the mark of the beast" now and then. I work in a local government and the public library is in the same building as us. They had someone in there once who was proclaiming that they were using "the mark of the beast" because they were issuing library cards with unique numbers on them.

      Back when I was still attending church I even heard a preacher proclaim that "the government already has the computer NAMED 'The Beast'"!!!?!?!? I sometimes wonder if he was completely off hi

      • Back when I was still attending church I even heard a preacher proclaim that "the government already has the computer NAMED 'The Beast'"!!!?!?!?

        There's an idea for a server name. Maybe I'll name my media server attention_harlot too.

      • Back when I was still attending church I even heard a preacher proclaim that "the government already has the computer NAMED 'The Beast'"!!!?!?!?

        I heard the same on one of those conspiracy radio shows. I think they also found a "666" in there somewhere.

        • by Nadaka (224565)

          Back when computer shopper magazine was the size of a phonebook, I was waiting in line to buy it at a store. The guy behind me told me: "You shouldn't buy one of those". What crossed through my mind was that I know there are free ways to get hardware reviews and product lists. Then he said: "Computers are the beast". I was sorely tempted to joke: "I know, and that is why I am going to school to be a programmer. I want to be the one to create the beast". But in the end, I decided to say nothing because he wa

      • Given the context of the Antichrist story is the Bible the mark of the beast is probably not a number, or even a visible mark. Christ marked his followers by baptizing them..... the Antichrist would likely follow a similar ritual.

  • Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:38PM (#32759946) Homepage Journal

    I really don't care what arbitrary reason they picked. I'm just glad to hear of someone - anyone - standing up and saying that they refuse to be tagged like cattle. Good for you, Indians!

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Oh, so they are printing the ID number on a tag attached to their ear! That explains the revulsion these people have to getting an ID!
    • Re:Good! (Score:5, Funny)

      by quietwalker (969769) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:47PM (#32760136)

      Wait, it's india. Wouldn't they relish the chance to be treated like cattle?

      • Re:Good! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by corbettw (214229) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `wttebroc'> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:54PM (#32760274) Journal

        These are Christians in India, not Hindus. There's a difference: one believes a magical zombie died so they can live forever but that if they don't follow the zombie's teachings very closely, they'll burn in a lake of fire forever; the other one thinks the stupidest creature on four legs (and also one of the tastiest) is a magical creature that we should all aspire to become in a future life, but in the meantime we should give rats milk and bath in the most polluted river in the world so that when we die we can finally be happy...until we get reborn into a new body and have to be unhappy again.

        Bah, bunch of nutters, the lot of them. Why anyone bothers with religion is a mystery to me.

    • Re:Good! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:53PM (#32760244)

      Agreed, but it is noteworthy that for once religious paranoia, and especially that LSD-induced last part of the bible, has a good effect on the world See "Jesus Camp" for plenty of examples of it being much more annoying and dangerous.

    • by vxice (1690200)
      It works both ways. If you want credit for being a good person in the past there has to be some way to id you at least once you expand past a few hundred people. There are benefits to identified, also detractions and you just need to make sure that the benefits outweigh the costs. If they don't well there is no more buying items online, going into stores and only needing a little plastic card to pay and many other benefits.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by dugjohnson (920519)
      You insensitive clod! That's Native Amer....oops. Sorry, My Bad.
  • It seems a bit much to claim that any enumeration is automatically 'the number of the beast'. Even within their own mythos, the idea is that said enumeration is bad because of who is doing it. I guess they must already believe that India's government is ruled by satan? eh... that would not surprise me actually.

    Though I have to say, every time I hear a group talk about being ready to be persecuted, it reminds me of the masochist in little shop of horrors... I am not sure it really counts if you go out o
  • Are they tattooing this unique identifier on their foreheads, or on their hands?
    • I had some elder relatives with numbers tattooed on their arms . . . Somehow I think a government issued ID card is not quite the same.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Locke2005 (849178)
        Yeah, a government issued ID card sounds exactly like a Social Security Card, something we've had here in the States since 1936. Generally people don't refuse them because you can't get a frickin' job without one.
      • I'm gonna have to agree with you on that one. I met a guy once with such a tattoo on his arm, and we had a very interesting discussion.
    • by jav1231 (539129)
      I know Outpost.com preferred the head.
    • TFA says "The fear of being identified with the 'number of the beast' stems from the Bible's Revelation chapter 13 Verse 17 which says '...and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name.'"

      So I guess there's plenty of wiggle room even if one is not willing to liberally interpret to the point of believing almost the opposite of what is actually said in that book, which there are plenty of people who do that. "Don't murder" eh? Oh, well they -m

  • Two things... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:43PM (#32760050)
    As a long-time minister I can tell you two things that are commonly misinterpreted by the nominal Christian crowd.

    1. Revelation is almost entirely using symbolic language (it says so in the first paragraph).

    2. Nearly everyone goes to hell. Hell is just the state of being dead, nothing more. Even Jesus is spoken of as being in 'hell' when he died.

    The 'mark of the beast; is not a literal, physical mark. Rather, it is some kind of behavior or trait associating one with the Devils machinations (i.e. participating (or tacitly approving of) in genocide)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dkleinsc (563838)

      The day I wish I had mod points for an AC - Hell must be frozen over!

      But seriously, that particular (mis)interpretation of the Bible, and Revelation in particular, can easily be traced to John Nelson Darby and Cyrus Scofield. If you want to really understand Christian fundamentalist nuttiness in the US, the Scofield Reference Bible is your source.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moz25 (262020)

      Interesting. Can you explain further? I looked up the first paragraph and it's this:

      "Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:"

      It doesn't say anything about using symbolic language. Also not in subsequent paragraphs.

      Secondly, you are confusing Hell with Sheol, the place where all the souls of the dead go. However amusing the idea may be, the Bible m

      • Re:Two things... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Itninja (937614) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:42PM (#32761218) Homepage
        Some Bibles say 'signify' others more plainly say 'in signs'. Look up the word 'signify' and you will see what he meant:

        Main Entry: signified
        Function: noun
        : a concept or meaning as distinguished from the sign through which it is communicated

        So the mark represents what a person does (the hand) and what a person thinks (the forehead).

        In the original Greek and Hebrew Hell=Sheol=Hades=Gehenna=Tartarus. They all mean 'grave' not 'place where God tortures people for eternity'.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DaveV1.0 (203135)

          Problem: Not all versions of the bible use the work "signify":
          NIV:

          The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who testifies to everything he saw--that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

          NAS:

          The Revelation of Jesus Chris

  • by iamhigh (1252742)

    They relish this opportunity to prove their faith because the Bible also proclaims that they will be persecuted.

    It has been my experience, through years of informal religion studies, that the Bible can predict/proclaim/justify just about anything you want it. Thousands of pages of hear-say, from hundreds of authors, many only written after being passed down for generations, just adds up to way too much ambiguity and makes it way to easy to find a sentence or two that can support $my_action. Yes, this is part of what makes religion so dangerous.

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Lot was a hero in the Bible, spared from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for befriending an angle. Afterwards, while living in a cave, Lot got drunk and got both his daughters pregnant. The message here is clear: God wholeheartedly approves of incest! Especially so if you get drunk first!

      Yeah, I think any book that gives people funny ideas should probably be banned...
      • Lot was a hero in the Bible, spared from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for befriending an angle.

        Was it acute angle?

    • by Creedo (548980)
      The flexibility and freedom from reality that religion affords is really unparalleled, outside of politics.
  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:48PM (#32760148) Homepage Journal
    I had a sysadmin who refused to chmod files to 666 because it was the number of the beast. We didn't have the permission-letter version of the command back then.
    • by bkpark (1253468)

      That sounds completely reasonable, especially the havoc you can expect if you chmod files to 666 in a real multi-user environment.

      If you wanted to share files, you would chmod the directory to 1777 (which is good, 7 being a good number).

    • by mangu (126918) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @12:56PM (#32760330)

      I had a sysadmin who refused to chmod files to 666 because it was the number of the beast

      Anyhow, you have to agree that he was right, for the wrong reason. Giving read/write permissions to everybody is the number of the stupid, not the number of the beast.

    • The number of the beast is actually 616 [wikipedia.org]. God, as any diligent sysadmin would be, is clearly concerned by the group execute privileges granted by chmod 616.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Quirkz (1206400)
      I had a debate with a girl once who insisted that the Visa cards with your picture on them represented the mark of the beast because "VISA" was Roman Numerals for 666. In the heat of the argument I didn't get past the VI being 6, and it was only days later that I realized S isn't even a Roman numeral, and their system would require six letters to add up to 666 anyway -- one for each 5's place and one for each of the 1's.

      Another time had a crazy man in Indianapolis hand me a flyer explaining that the year
  • Oh boy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Aboroth (1841308)
    Great, another story where the discussion will be flooded with anti-religious posts, with everyone practically foaming at the mouth to condemn people who don't think like they do. Like any of it matters. You are all just yelling into the void for no reason, and doing a big anti-religious circle-jerk as you all congratulate yourselves on how much smarter you are than these people.

    At lest that's the picture that I get in my head when I read all of these comments.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jawnn (445279)
      I see your point. Really, I do, but I must say that I see a distinction here, in most of the posts I've read. I will stand up for anyone's right to believe as they choose, no matter how silly I may consider those beliefs to be. I will furthermore defend those believers' right to live by their beliefs... right up to point where their actions have an undesirable impact on others. Failing to take part in the census counts as such an action. At that point, the believers become instantly deserving of all the der
  • These people are not afraid of punishment. They relish this opportunity to prove their faith because the Bible also proclaims that they will be persecuted.

    Aren't self-fulfilling prophecies awesome?

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:49PM (#32761390) Homepage Journal

    I caught this quote from the first post:

    "Always good to see uneducated crazies are all over the world.

    Yes, uneducated, but not in the way you are thinking of.

    Christians are persecuted all over the world. In India, there are some fanatical groups of Hindus and Muslims that are especially violent towards Christians, with murders and burning whole villages not uncommon. Lesser persecution occurs all over the world, however, and is to be expected. In fact, this is probably not exclusive to Christians, though some religions tend to suffer less. I suspect because they fight back. Christians are not called to do so, but to love their persecutors and put their faith in God. Seeking persecution is not necessary - it will seek you as a Christian.

    I'm currently studying Revelation, and have been getting very different insights into the imagery and visions depicted there. The 'mark of the Beast' need not be a literal mark, but it could be just as apparent. If, as a Christian, you spend your time watching celebrity news shows and, as Don Imus says, 'revelling in the agony of others', you are participating in the less-Christian aspects of our culture. This is more the domain of the Beast (Satan) than it is of God. You are marked by this. If you spend your time talking about things of the world, you are marked as one more interested in the world. Am I guilty of this? Yup. We can change, though.

    The quote about 'buying or selling' is indeed, however, looking more literal than figurative. This is more interesting. But of course, if you wish to buy or sell that which is being offered by the prevailing culture, well, yes, avoiding the mark of the Beast will distance you from that culture. In TFA, it seems India is instituting the UID system to better identify individuals. I think, as a Christian, I could tolerate having a UID as a means to entirely acceptable ends, ie property ownership.

    I think these Mizoramans are misguided, but they are also under constant threat. Who knows.

    Hopefully some of the pastors I know of in India will reach out to them and give them some useful insights. You have to fight the real fight, not be distracted by the enemy.

    ps- I do not advocate Christians isolating themselves from the world. We are called to be in the world, but not of it. If you don't understand this, try to evaluate your investment in current events. Are you tossed to and fro by the latest political debate, or do you take it as an event, and keep your focus on the issues and real progress?

  • India(na) (Score:3, Funny)

    by hondo77 (324058) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:58PM (#32761548) Homepage
    Are we sure this story isn't from Indiana?

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