Evangelicals Think Reconstructed Ancient Arch Will Open Portal to Baal in Times Square

As you can see above, photographer Bernard Gagnon was able to photograph the arch before ISIL destroyed it without being consumed by a portal to Baal’s realm. ISIL was able to destroy the arch later, also without being consumed by Baal. Yet Glenn Beck and others are certain, when the arch is reconstructed in Times Square, that “We are toast.”

Every story has a beginning, and ours begins with Evangelical pastor and author Samuel Rodriguez, who promoted his new book, Be Light, on Glenn Beck’s TV show this week, anwered some of Beck’s myriad irrational fears about Baal. Rodriguez assured him, “we may be voting in a Jezebel or an Ahab” who will force Christians “to sacrifice truth on the altar of Baal.”

Oh dear. And this isn’t some metaphorical altar they’re talking about. Nossir.

Here is how their chat went:

Glenn Beck: “I think people think that I’m nuts, and they think that if you think this way, there’s something wrong with you. But let me ask you this, have you spent any time serious time considering, gosh, the time period we’re entering in, I may have to make the same kind of choices that [Dietrich] Bonhoeffer did?”

Samuel Rodriguez: “There’s a great probability that in our lifetime, that we may have to be imprisoned and suffer great persecution, prosecution, as a result of our commitment to biblical truth, to Jesus, to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are there, my friend. That’s not hyperbole.”

Beck: “If people would just look up Baal and Moloch from the Scriptures, we are worshiping them right now, we just don’t know it, just in a different way. You used to have to sacrifice your children; it was promoted to have sexual intercourse and if you got pregnant, you brought the baby to the altar and killed the baby. I mean, it’s the same thing. It was worship the god of finance, the god of war and the god of the earth. I mean, we’re there!”

You all know who Beck is, but not many have heard of Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s publisher Waterbrook Multnomah, says “Samuel Rodriguez is president of NHCLC/Conela, an international organization of more than 500,000 evangelical churches,” and that Rodriguez is “described by Fox News and CNN as “America’s most influential Latino Evangelical leader.”

And what about Baal, the victim of all this crazy talk? As I explained in 2011,

Baal is a god of the Canaanites. In Canaanite mythology he was the “Cloud Rider, the weather god who rode across the heavens daily in his chariot, governing wind and weather.”[1] He was known to the Canaanites as Baal Zephon (Baal of the North) and to the Hebrews as Baal of Hazor, Baal of Hermon, Baal of Meon, Baal of Peor, Baal of Tamar.[2] Baal is also the storm god, who lives on Jebel Aqra (ancient Sapuna), where, gifted by the gods, he has “a palace of blue lapis and silver which they brought down from the clouds”[3]

And this isn’t Beck’s first cloud-based rodeo.

In 2013’s Eye of Moloch, Glenn Beck’s sequel to The Overton Window, Glenn Beck so convinced himself that worship of Baal and Moloch led to Occupy Wall Street that he wrote a novel to prove it. That the Occupy Movement and not Wall Street was the antagonist pretty much tells the tale.

Poor Baal can’t catch a break from Republican crazies. Not long ago, in 2014, Rick Perry’s buddy “Apostle” John Benefiel warned that Baal has control of the United States and that he has made it his personal quest to break that control.

This fear of Baal refuses to go away. In fact, it was Infowars’ warning that started the Times Square hysteria:

“In April, part of the Temple of Baal that stood in Palmyra, Syria will be reconstructed in Times Square in New York City and in Trafalgar Square in London…we are setting up a “gateway” or a “portal” for the chief God of ancient Babylon in the heart of our most important city next month.”

Infowars’ Michael Snyder asked, “Does anyone else out there find this more than just a little bit creepy?”

That you’re worried about this? Yes. Yes we do.

Baal was an unhealthy obsession in the Old Testament where murdering his “prophets” was a popular Jewish pasttime, and though Jesus ignored Baal like he ignored gays and lesbians, the Religious Right has long showed they prefer the Old Testament to the New.

Kyle Mantyla of Right Wing Watch noted Friday that Drudge had picked up their story on Rodriguez and Beck and that threw Beck into a tizzy:

Citing a column from the Charisma magazine website which claimed that it is no coincidence that the arch will go up “exactly 13 days before Baal’s biggest day of the year,” Beck grew increasingly irate that he was being mocked for pointing out the obvious.
 
“Why would you put it up on the high holy day of Satan?” Beck asked. “Good God Almighty, what are we doing? It’s really creepy. And that’s what Drudge is making fun of me on. I mean, if you want to pay attention at all, what are you doing? I mean, we are slapping God in the face over and over and over again and our press is making fun of [me].”

Yes. Yes we are.

Watch Beck completely lose his sh*t in front of everybody:

Going way back, we saw in 2010 how Barack Obama was equated with a high priest of Baal. So who knows how he will feed into this latest nuttiness. Don’t be surprised by anything at this point. The final thing I’ll say about all this is that as Thomas Jefferson said of his Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination” were meant to be included in “the mantle of its protection.”

In other words, if we were to worship at the altar of Baal, as Beck and Rodriguez fear, so what? According to the guy who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and who gave Virginians religious freedom and called the First Amendment a “wall of separation,” it’s no big deal.

Notes:

[1] William G. Dever, Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel (Eerdman’s, 2005), 157.
[2] Dever (2005), 235.
[3] Robin Lane Fox, Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer (Vintage, 2008), 244.

Photo credits:

By Bernard Gagnon (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons