Creationist Wisdom #796: Preacher Explains Eclipse

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Craig Press of Craig, Colorado
(population 9,464), home to one of North America’s largest elk herds. It’s titled What really was behind the ecilpse? [sic], and the newspaper has a comments feature.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Gerard Geisis, described as “a pastor at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” We’ll give you a few excerpts from rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Yes, I am well aware that just about everyone is sick of talking about the solar eclipse we witnessed recently, but I am going to talk about it anyway. It is a pretty interesting and somewhat rare phenomenon, so it generates a lot of interest. … But, even for their rarity, eclipses have been spoken about many times during world history, particularly in the Bible.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Eclipses are in the bible! The rev says:

Some would argue that science alone lies behind all of this, and that there are no direct Biblical connections. Sure, moon must pass in between the Earth and Sun and just the right time in order for it to happen (and that is science), but how did they get there in the first place?

Hey — brilliant question! The rev tells us:

There are several scriptural passages that mention eclipses of one shape or another; among them are Exodus 10:21-22 “And the Lord said unto Moses, stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.

Darkness for three days? Obviously a solar eclipse. The rev continues:

God seems to love to use imagery and signs to let us know of the gravity of situations, and maybe even to show that big changes are imminent.

He gives us another example:

Perhaps the greatest and most well-recognized use imagery to convey such gravity, though, comes during Jesus’ crucifixion. In Mark 15:33 we read, “And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour” (KJV). This was a very significant event, and blocking out the brightness of the sun was a sure way to get people’s attention.

Darkness for three hours “over the whole land”? That too was obviously a solar eclipse. Let’s read on:

While we did not experience a lot of darkness during the eclipse here in Craig, there was a palpable feel to the darkness that did fall. Did you feel it? I did, and it is hard to explain. It was an eerie, but calming feeling, one that reminded me that God is always present.

The rev explains the meaning of the eclipse at the end of his letter:

The eclipse was a sign from Him; of what, though, we may not immediately know. It is, however, a sign of His greatness and power and His love for all of us. It was something of a gentle tap on the shoulder from Jesus that said, “Hey, my Dad did this. Pay attention.” I believe.

The rev believes. Do you, dear reader?

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #796: Preacher Explains Eclipse

  1. So his sky fairy is the lord of darkness?

  2. Derek Freyberg

    Must have been interesting eclipses when one lasted for three days and another for three hours. Two minutes or so seems to be around par for a solar eclipse these days.

  3. SC are you sure he’s worthy of full name recognition? My impression of the Mormons is that everyone has some religious title. It is similar to a gas station where everyone is assistant manager.
    As for the rarity of eclipses, that’s been much overrated. Here are some statistics from a NASA web site:
    During the 5,000-year period from -1999 to +3000 (2000 BCE to 3000 CE), Earth will experience 11,898 eclipses of the Sun. The statistical distribution of eclipse types for this interval is as follows: 4,200 partial eclipses, 3,956 annular eclipses, 3,173 total eclipses and 569 hybrid eclipses. That means that, every 1000 years you have 840 partial eclipses, 791 annular eclipses, 635 total eclipses and 114 hybrid eclipses. That works out to 2-3 eclipses of all kinds each year, and about 2 total solar eclipses every 3 years.

  4. Troy asks: “SC are you sure he’s worthy of full name recognition? My impression of the Mormons is that everyone has some religious title.”

    If he uses the title, I’ll use his name.

  5. One problem with the crucifixion solar eclipse is that passover happens at full moon, i.e. at a time when the moon is on the opposite side of the earth to the sun.

  6. I assume the sun and moon would have to be stationary during these ridiculously long eclipses, so how did they know how long they lasted?
    Mechanical clocks were not invented until the 14th century and reading the local sun dial would have been…. problematic.

  7. “so how did they know how long they lasted”

    REALLY. BIG. HOUR GLASS.

    (cue the Monty Python music).

  8. Ross Cameron

    So eclipses are mentioned in the bible. But no mention of other natural events like asteroid impacts, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, etc. IOW, just what you would expect from a small group of people writing about a small area of land far from these major disturbances. IOW, no god.

  9. The Bible is written as if it were the product of a culture of Ancient Near East. That is what the argument from design tells us. Either it is such a product, or else it was produced by design to have that appearance.
    (BTW, I don’t think that there is any place which is particularly more or less prone to asteroid impacts.)

  10. Kosh,
    Was the monty python music in question the simulated galloping with the coconuts while Grail searching or the musical laughing about Pontious pilot’s friend “biggus” and wife “Incontinentia butox”?

    And waterclocks are the annoying, forgotten, but correct answer to my question about time keeping.

  11. Re “Hey, my dad did this.” Uh, so the good preacher is not a monotheist, he worships two gods (Jesus and Yahweh)? I am not so sure he wants his church knowing he is not a monotheist, thus are the dangers of opening one’s mouth.