Snap out of it!

William Miller was a farmer, a Baptist preacher, and a student of the Bible who lived in upstate New York.  After studying Daniel 8:14 (“Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”), also known as the 2,300-day prophecy, he predicted that the cleansing of the sanctuary represented Earth's destruction by fire at Christ's Second Coming (a.k.a., the Apocalypse).  Using the year-day method of prophetic interpretation in which a Bible prophet said day when he meant year (because, well, I dunno), Miller concluded that the 2,300-day period started in 457 BCE with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes I of Persia and would end around 1843 CE.  Miller never proposed an exact date for the Second Coming; however, in response to his growing numbers of followers — called Millerites — he did narrow the time-period:  "My principles in brief, are, that Jesus Christ will come again to this earth, cleanse, purify, and take possession of the same, with all the saints, sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.”  Jesus was a no-show; March 21, 1844 came and went without incident — but the majority of Millerites maintained their belief.

Later that year, in August 1844, in Exeter, New Hampshire, Millerite preacher Samuel S. Snow presented his analysis of Daniel 8:14 in what became known as the "seventh-month" message or the "true midnight cry” — Christ would return on, "the tenth day of the seventh month of the present year, 1844,” October 22, 1844.

Hang on…not so fast bub!  I hear you say, "wouldn’t the tenth day of the seventh month of the present year have been July 10, 1844?"  No, no, no you silly sod, don’t you know anything?  That would be using the Gregorian calendar of Pope Gregory XIII, which wasn’t introduced until October 1582, and if there’s one thing 19th century Protestants hated more than Satan, it’s Catholics.  You have to use the calendar of the Karaite Jews… never heard of ‘em?  Where the hell have you been?

Remember when you used to get a free calendar when you opened a checking account at your bank?  Remember checking accounts?  Anyway…

Jesus didn’t show up on July 10th or October 22nd.  This was known as "The Great Disappointment."

Catchy name, huh?  Millerism was in disarray — some Millerites became Shakers, some went back to their more mainstream Protestant Christian denominations, and Millerism itself split into three sects, one of which was led by a guy named Hiram Edson, who had a vision on October 23, 1844 (nb:  the day after Jesus didn’t show up) in which he saw Jesus going into an apartment (his word, not mine) in heaven to tidy it up.  You see, this is what Miller really meant, according to Edson, by Jesus cleansing and purifying “earth;” Edson would study this extensively with his homeboys O. R. L. Crosier and F. B. Hahn and they determined the October 22nd date marked not the Second Coming of Christ, but rather a heavenly event not meant to be seen by mere mortals.  Once Jesus had sorted-out that apartment in heaven (and got the security deposit back on it), he’d come and deal with this planet.  It is out of this belief that the Seventh-day Adventist Church we are familiar with today was born.

Now I bring all this up, thoughtful reader, not to make fun of the Seventh-day Adventists and their beliefs (well, mmkay, mebbe just a little) but to draw a very important parallel to what we have experienced in the last 4 days.

Donald Trump did not declare martial law in his final minutes in office; nor did he reveal a secret plan to remain in power.  Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi were not sent to Guantánamo Bay, nor was martial law declared allowing the military to arrest Democratic leaders and “deep state” pedophiles in the Federal government and Hollywood celebrities (led by Tom Hanks) who operate out of a pizza parlor in Washington DC called Comet Ping Pong where they eat babies (as in consume as food) and worship Satan.

Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria, Washington DC
the restaurant where several high-ranking Democratic Party officials and Hollywood celebrities (and George Soros, of course)
 run a child sex-trafficking ring and eat human babies as pizza toppings

Instead, Biden took the oath of office and became the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, Donald Trump was impeached and faces financial and reputational disgrace in his post-presidency, and the anonymous figure his followers call Q who had issued predictions on social media that this cabal of pedophiles and cannibals would be exposed and defeated by Trump in an event that QAnon (Q’s followers) calls "the Storm” was PROVEN to be a fanciful lie as ridiculous as Miller’s second coming of Christ.

The completely baseless, batshit crazy QAnon beliefs (ahem, I say “beliefs,” I mean delusions) have gained an alarming amount of traction with the public — a recent NPR/Ipsos poll found that 17% of Americans believe that a group of Satan-worshipping, child-enslaving elites is trying to control the world, and another 37% weren’t “sure” but think it could be true.  If that wasn’t frightening enough, two women who have expressed support for QAnon, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, are now sitting members of Congress.  Yes, they are elected members of Congress!  They will vote on everything from immigration and criminal justice reform, to raising the Federal minimum wage from a pathetic and unconscionable $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour, to a COVID relief package to help struggling Americans who find themselves out of work and/or facing eviction and food insecurity.

Now that Trump is out of office, some QAnon supporters are facing reality, realizing they’ve been duped, and are giving up.  Kevin Roose of the New York Times reported reality was beginning to set in for Q’s followers; "Been played like fools," one wrote.

Feeling “fooled” may not lead some QAnon proponents to rejoin the rest of us in reality.  "There are lots of people feeling shocked, cheated and angry. As scary as that is on its own, it's the rest I'm most worried about," researcher Nick Backovic told NBC News, adding, "We're seeing a lot of neo-Nazis preying on the potentially disenchanted Q people.”

"Focus less on trying to red pill [‘red pill’ is slang in cyber-culture for “recruit;” it is an allusion to what Morpheus tells Neo in “The Matrix”] them on WW2 and more on how to make them angrier about the election and the new Democrat regime," read one white supremacist recruitment message on Telegram, a messaging app used by the far-Right now that more mainstream apps like Facebook and Twitter are cracking down (at long last) on the dangerous misinformation and lies spread by Donald Trump and his minions.

I point this out because I do not believe someone has a “right” to be wrong.  The idea that we should not point and laugh, shame, ostracize, and discriminate against anyone clinging to the truth that Donald Trump is anything but a loser, a criminal, and a very dangerous charlatan is wrong.  Isaac Asimov warned us about a “false equivalency” between truth and lies when he observed:

Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

So no, thoughtful reader — President Biden’s calls for unity do not mean we should just forget about January 6, 2021 so we can come together as a nation, Donald Trump should not escape the justice of impeachment AND CONVICTION IN THE SENATE, and we should not try to understand the pain that causes people to adopt conspiracy theories like QAnon or hateful ideologies like white supremacy.

slap

Like Cher in that famous scene from Moonstruck, we need to slap Cruz, Hawley, Graham, McCarthy, Gohmert, Jordan, Hannity, Carlson, Dobbs, Ingraham, Giuliani, the MyPillow guy, and anyone else still peddling the big lie and say:

SNAP OUT OF IT !!!

…else we run the risk of these cockamamy beliefs metastasizing into new, powerful, and dangerous forces, as Millerism did (I’m not saying Seventh-day Adventists are dangerous, most of them are pretty chill, known for their emphasis on diet and health, adhering to Kosher food laws, and advocating vegetarianism, but you get my point).

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