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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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  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 czarangelus (805501) <iapetus&gmail,com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:02PM (#32760452)
    The dirty, filthy secret is of course that they are right. But the educated buffoons who make up the majority of Slashdot's readership will just use this as an opportunity to pummel anyone they consider "ignorant" in comparison to themselves. Let's get it out of the way, shall we? They're ignorant. Stupid. Illiterate. Backwards. Primitive believes in invisible Sky Daddy Fairy Unicorn. Ahh... there we go.

    Now for the seriousness - replacing names with numbers is just one of the many tools governments across the world use to dehumanize their populations. Nothing is more dangerous to a government than free people who consider themselves sovereign entities and treat the edicts of their government with contempt. The government wants to impress you, show off for you, convince you they have all the power and you have none. It is illegal in this country the United States to have a baby and not immediately report that birth. Is it because they care so much about your child and want to make sure it's taken care of? All evidence says no, of course they don't give a damn. They just want to make sure they know who and where this new person is so they can subject them to a lifetime of oppression. From public schooling to mandatory health insurance purchasing to jury duty, the government needs to know you exist so they can make you submit.

    These villagers might not be right in their exact theology, but that makes no difference. They correctly recognize that enumerating human beings as if they were any other commodity is a tool of dehumanization that makes life less valuable in the eyes of the paper pushers who decide whether to bomb you or to build you a bridge. It's a tool for treating the human soul as a cost-benefit calculation, as just another thing to be thrown away when it's no longer usefully working.

    But of course, they're ignorant and stupid and you are so much infinitely smarter and wiser. That's why you've allowed yourselves to be treated like cattle and sheepherded into any pen the government conceives for you. Keep your protests in a Free Speech Zone and when the government decides to shut down the internet you will have to find someplace else to parade your intellectual superiority.
  • 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.

  • Re:Oh boy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jawnn (445279) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:05PM (#32760522)
    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 derision that can be heaped upon them because now their silly and irrational superstitions actually matter. It is the right, nay, the duty of rational persons to point this out, loudly and repeatedly, for as long as it takes for all of us to finally fucking get it.
  • Re:That's silly... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by natehoy (1608657) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:09PM (#32760586) Journal

    Yes, I always love seeing my favorite items under a "loyalty card" discount.

    Monday: normal price $2.
    Tuesday: normal price $5, "ONLY $2.50 with your LOYALTY CARD! WOW!!!! YOU SAVE TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS!!! AREN'T YOU THE SMARTEST HUMAN SINCE EINSTEIN!!!!!"
    Wednesday: normal price $2.

  • Re:Two things... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by moz25 (262020) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:15PM (#32760684) Homepage

    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 most definitely does not claim that Jesus went to Hell.

    Thirdly, your claim that the mark is not a physical mark is easily refuted by Rev. 13:16, which even mentions the *location* of this mark.

    "Revelation 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:"

  • Re:Blah (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ElliotLee (713376) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:19PM (#32760750) Homepage Journal
    The Bible predicts that people will be intolerant of Christians. It also predicts that the 'mark of the beast' will come about, no matter what we do to try to stop it. If the 'mark of the beast' becomes a reality, the Bible will be proven correct.
  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:34PM (#32761052)
    I am en atheist, but I don't see the Christian right as being the greatest danger to our rights in the USA. For all the noise they make, the wall of separation of church and state is strong enough and if anything getting stronger. If I had to pick one, I think the greatest danger is the (entirely secular) utilitarian morality, accepted without question by the "progressive" left, that does not accept any absolutes when it comes to individual rights. What right do you have to eat/drink/smoke whatever you like when other people are obliged by law to pay for your health care? What right do you have to trade in a way that you see as beneficial for yourself when such methods of trading are not beneficial to the economy? etc etc When the standard for deciding whether a particular individual action is acceptable or not is not whether it infringes on other people's rights, but whether it is beneficial to the "society" in some way, you can say goodbye to liberty.
  • by Dalambertian (963810) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:35PM (#32761068)
    I'm rather fond of Scotsmen, not to mention Ghandi when he said "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
  • 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'.
  • by bsDaemon (87307) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:49PM (#32761380)

    Most Buddhists are like Christ, and there are a bunch of those around.

  • 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?

  • Re:Blah (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:55PM (#32761506) Homepage

    You can without a doubt easily prove that the world is older than 4,000 years, yet there are many Christians that will tell you otherwise.

    This should be good. How do you intend to prove that the world actually is older than 4,000 years (shouldn't that be 6,000?), as opposed to simply appearing older? The appearance of age is inevitable, and proves nothing. These Christians are not claiming that the world came about by natural causes within the last few thousand years, you know. There is no way to disprove creation ex nihilo, whether it be four billion years ago, four millennia, or four minutes.

    That, of course, is the whole problem—once you start believing in things which cannot be disproved you've pretty much given up on any lingering pretense of rationality. Fortunately, tolerance doesn't mean you have to internalize other people's beliefs; it just means that you won't reject someone as a person simply because you disagree with them. It is perfectly possible to tolerate religious individuals without accepting the truth of their worldviews or endorsing their actions.

  • by gmack (197796) <gmackNO@SPAMinnerfire.net> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:00PM (#32761624) Homepage Journal

    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 diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

          8"(C)You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

    If writing God's words on your hand and forehead is following God then writing the Beast's mark is following the Beast.

    If you consider that the mark of the beast is an opposing religion than it is very logical that members if the beast's religion would not want to do business with anyone not like them and so you suddenly can't buy or sell with the people of the dominant religion of the area with no computerized tracking necessary. This sort of exclusion has been happening for thousands of years and still happens today. At most the mark would be a religious symbol of some sort but more likely it is a literary reference to following the beast (forehead = mind, hand = action) .

    Tyranny has never required technology.

  • by Creedo (548980) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:02PM (#32761654) Journal
    Perhaps you have reading comprehension problems. I never said that all Christians do that, even in my community. I said that Christians are at the forefront of those movements. And that's absolutely true. I can't think of a single non-Christian, in fact, who is even visible in the state or local political scenes. I can't think of a single non-Christian in my area fighting for Creationism. No non-Christians have been fighting gay rights here. No non-Christians running nonsensical attack ads. Hell, we even have threatening road signs on the highways! http://www.flyoverpeople.net/images/RegretItForever.jpg [flyoverpeople.net] So, tell me again, who are these invisible "others" who are leading these irrational movements in the midwest?
  • Break It Down (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chagatai (524580) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:09PM (#32761784) Homepage
    Hold on. You're doing two things wrong here. First, you're changing the definition of, "tolerant," to, "acceptance," or, "agreement." Second, you're lumping together totally different groups of people.

    The gays aren't knocking at my door, telling my children that they are going to burn in hell forever.

    Okay, define how this is intolerant. Are they killing your kids if they do not convert? You always have the option of shutting the door if you don't like it.

    They aren't shooting abortion doctors.

    How many abortion doctors have been shot by self-described Christians? Less than a dozen (which I would say is still too much). And true Christians condemn these acts (that whole Sixth Commandment and all).

    They aren't launching suicide attacks on my neighborhood.

    Ah, now you're talking about Muslims, which is a totally different religious group. Fundamentalist Muslims will try to blow you up. Fundamentalist Christians just pray for your soul and witness to you.

    They aren't polluting science with their fictional delusions.

    To turn this around, aren't you being a little intolerant in the way you're presenting their beliefs?

    When the theists abandon their irrational bigotry, grow up and stop trying to control their neighbors, they'll be worthy of tolerance.

    That also doesn't sound very tolerant.

  • by diablovision (83618) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:25PM (#32762072)

    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.

    Could it be that Christians are very active in prisons, and that convicts (who have little to lose) are more than happy to "turn to God" to make early parole?

  • Re:Blah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Creedo (548980) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:32PM (#32762194) Journal
    You realize that your statements have put you far outside of both historical Christianity and the dominant Christian denominations in this country, right? Speaking of just my corner of the US, I do a lot of business with Christians and Christian churches(I am the only PC repair-person who makes house calls), and thus I am privy to a lot of private information, such as emails. They also have some irrational desire to open up and tell me about their beliefs while I'm removing yet another round of malware(I don't have a scarlet A tattooed on my forehead, so they assume I'm some brand of Christian, too). Aside from a couple of elderly pastors from California and a family of unobservant Lutherans(note that both examples are not native to this area), I haven't met a single practicing Christian or a single denomination that didn't preach Creationism, anti-homosexual bigotry, weird end of the world AntiChrist beliefs or forms of Christian Triumphalism(sometimes intermixed with militant militia beliefs). Or some bizarre mish-mash of all of the above. And these irrational beliefs are quite vocally the basis for their votes.

    I encourage you to attend some midwest political meetings and canvas them for religious beliefs. It will open your eyes to what your fellow theists believe and are trying to push onto the rest of the population.
  • by Entropius (188861) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:38PM (#32762308)

    I lived in Alabama for a long time, and I can say that yes -- a majority of Christians there *do* metaphorically beat down the doors to science classrooms. The Baptist megachurch in my neighborhood showed up to my high school with pamphlets supporting young-earth creationism. I was thrown out of a Methodist Sunday School for inquiring about how Big Bang cosmology fit into Genesis (hey, I was six, and yes I was an odd little kid). I worked at a Presbyterian church for a long time that fired their pastor and changed Presbyterian sub-denominations because the Presbyterian Church (USA) wasn't homophobic enough.

    The only major groups of Christians I encountered in Alabama that weren't the sorts of nutters you describe were the United Church of Christ (but not many of those) and the Episcopalians. I didn't have much contact with the Lutherans (there weren't many of them) so I can't speak for them.

    At least in numbers, a plurality of Christians in the South are Southern Baptists, and they're nutters.

    It's not the same elsewhere. But down in the crotch of the Bible Belt, it's scary.

  • by bsDaemon (87307) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:46PM (#32762434)

    China rolled into Tibet, slapped the Dali Llama in the face, stole his country and kicked his ass out, and he hasn't gone all Che Guevara to get it back. Or those Vietnamese monks that burned themselves alive to protest the war. Although, if you were to walk up to a Rinzai master, he'd probably cold-clock you with a stick, laugh, and tell you when you understand only then will you be enlightened.

  • by Rasperin (1034758) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:51PM (#32762514)
    How about in Kansas, where those who vote against gay rights and harm others in the name of God. I believe it was 83% vote, so I'm going to say 83% of those people are exactly what you are looking for.
  • by Quirkz (1206400) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @02:59PM (#32762672) Homepage
    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, 1992, was when armageddon was going to come because 1992 was 666 times 3. That time I was smart enough to do the math and realize no, it's 1998. So I laughed at him and threw away his ranting flyer ... until 1998, of course, when the world actually did come to an end. Wait, what?
  • Re:Blah (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheLink (130905) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:05PM (#32762762) Journal
    Uh there have been many married gay people. Married to the "opposite" sex.

    If legal perks are what you want from marriage, just find a suitable partners and there you go.

    The lesbians could marry the gay guys (consummation optional). Then they could have their gay affairs with permission from their "spouses". So far they aren't convicting the heterosexuals for adultery.

    If the legal perks aren't important, isn't this marriage stuff considered "old fashioned" and anachronistic by all the "modern thinking" bunch? ;)
  • by Thud457 (234763) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:24PM (#32763116) Homepage Journal
    I always wondered what society would be like if people didn't experience fear.

    I'm not talking ignorant of danger, rather immune the unreasoning response to imagined threats.
  • Re:Context Fail (Score:3, Interesting)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:35PM (#32763274) Journal

    And what, in your expert opinion, was the context of the similar commands to offer someone your cloak as well if they demanded your tunic or to carry bags two miles if they demanded you carry them one?

    Ok, I’ll just tell you.

    A tunic was a lightweight, loose garment; a cloak was heavier. In Jewish law & tradition, you were permitted to take someone’s tunic as security for a debt. You could not, however, take their cloak and keep it beyond nightfall as it would be cold and they would need it. (This was based on rabbinical interpretation of Deut. 24:12-13.)

    Similarly under Roman law the occupying soldiers could recruit any non-citizen of Rome and demand that the person carry their bags. However this was limited to a distance of only one mile, after which the person was free to go; they could not legally demand two miles from the person.

    Now how do those situations jive with your claim that turning the other cheek was a taunt?

  • Re:Two things... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by moz25 (262020) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @07:07PM (#32766720) Homepage

    Well, to be fair: given that the Bible is a collection of translations of translations, etc... pretty much everything is a "version".

    My point here is that if the meaning of a single ambiguous word in the whole translation chain can change the entire meaning of one of the most important sections of the Bible, then how seriously can we take the Bible in the first place?

    If it's a guide to something, then to what exactly? Our pre-conceived notions perhaps? Then the Bible is nothing more than an enabler for the intellectually lazy.

    Unfortunately, the so-called "Christians" seem to prefer persecuting the messenger... typical of false wannabee Christians.

    I think we're in general agreement though :-)

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