Thursday, August 8, 2013

Apocalypse Now

4 horsemen
The Bible tells us about the end times when there will appear Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse described in the last book of the New Testament as the Book of Revelations. Most Christians know the story of fear and damnation. The chapter tells of a book in God’s right hand that is sealed with seven seals. Jesus opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons forth four beings that ride out on white, red, black, and pale horses.

The four riders are seen as symbolizing Conquest, War, Famine, and the last rider is death. Yes, this is scary stuff but to most believers it is expected and very real. Could it be upon us now? There are many who have refer to our president as the Anti-Christ, so its reasonable view the obstructionist as purveyors of doom. They are false idols intent upon destroying the middle class and the needy through the policies.

The first horsemen called represents Conquest and we have seen and can confirm that this rider has visited because the rich get richer and the powerful has conquered the least of thee. The second horseman as depicted in a thirteenth-century Apocalypse manuscript is a fiery red one whose rider is given the power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other and to him was given a large sword. [Revelations 6:3-4] This horseman may represent civil war as opposed to the war of conquest that the first horseman is sometimes said to bring.

The third horseman rides a black horse which is generally understood as Famine. The horseman carries a scale, indicating the way that bread would have been weighed during a famine. The indicated price of grain is about ten times normal, with an entire day's wages buying enough wheat for only one person, or enough of the less nutritious barley for three, so that workers would struggle to feed their families much in the way life is today.

The fourth horseman who is the most ominous has a rider who’s named is Death known as the pale rider. These horsemen are to be given power to kill by sword, famine, and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. Unlike the other three, the forth horseman is not described as carrying a weapon although illustrations commonly depict him carrying a scythe - like the Grim Reaper. The verse beginning "they were given power over a fourth of the earth" is generally taken as referring to destruction.

As I wrote this piece I could not help but compare this story of the end times to what I see in our politics, particularly from the obstructionists. The ideology of states’ rights and the injustice of stand your ground laws enacted by the right-wing, who call themselves conservatives, take us back to days of the Citizens Council’s of old. Like the Horsemen of the Apocalypse their purpose is to bring Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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