I suppose there’s no need to rag on the History Channel and their choice of programming any more. It’s been done quite a bit. And besides, I personally have learned more about history from the homeless man that throws trash at me every morning than from basic cable. It may not be totally accurate history, but if you can get past the smell of booze and mutant body odor when he comes around, not to mention the fact thatÂ heÂ looks like the guy from the Oakridge Boys with the long beard, it’s at least as entertaining and as pertinent to the story of humans as many of the shows on the History Channel.
But what the hell? Perhaps they deserve a little more ragging. And besides, Elyse sort of established a good vs. evil theme with today’s Afternoon Inquisition. So let’s do it.Â
Last night, the History Channel aired a program, called God vs. Satan. The hour-long show (available on DVD for a mere $24.95)Â follows the battle between good and evil fromÂ Satan’s initial fall from grace through the “end of time”. The description of the program on their website reads:
What will the battle of Armageddon look like? Will it take place at a battlefield in Meggido, Israel, as stated in the Bible? Take a tour of the final days on earth as envisioned by believers of the three Abrahamic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Examine the final chapter of the ultimate battle between good and evil from accounts in the Talmud, the book of Revelation and the Koran. Discover how these religions differ, where they agree and what might occur during this epic war.
Now, that description sounds a little moreÂ thoughtful than the show actually is.Â At least in the description, the History Channel hints that the material is merely the vision ofÂ religious believers,Â and thereforeÂ isÂ open to interpretation or even outright dismissal.Â And in the show, the narrator does indeed askÂ direct questions about Armageddon, like “Will it take place at a battlefield in Meggido?”. But the producersÂ neverÂ examine the possibility thatÂ an epicÂ final battleÂ mayÂ actually never take place at all. Nor do theyÂ speculate that the story of the fallen angel into hell, and that of the end-times, might justÂ simply be elementsÂ in a collection of ancient legends and myths thatÂ were dreamed up by mad men?
In other words, they don’t look at the history.
The material is presented as though the book of Revelations is a schedule of events we’re just waiting for. There are some references to believers in the threeÂ Abrahamic religions, but there is no critical analysis of those religions or the sources for the stories in their sacred texts.
And the sad thing is, it wouldn’t be that difficult to point out some major problems with the story.
For example, GodÂ always kicks Satan’s ass. Always! In bouts with God, Satan is absolutely winless. It all started when Satan got too big for his britches in heaven way back before the rise of man, and was tossed out. From there, it was one ass-kicking after another. Even God’s kid got in on the action.
But according to Revelations, Satan is going to try to beat God again by taking over the Earth.
That’s not evil personified. That’s stupidity personified.
HeÂ should know he can’t beat God. Christ, he friggin’ lived in heaven for thousands of years. Doesn’t he know by now that God is a bad ass? How many times does he need to be thrown out of one hyperphysical realm into another before he gets the hint? Doesn’t heÂ know what the words “all powerful” mean? Are there no dictionaries in hell?
And even if there aren’t, doesn’t Satan know the minds of men?
I want to sitÂ the guyÂ down and say:
Hey, Satan, men have a book that says you’re going to lose. Not just once more, but twice more! After the first time, you’re going to be chained up for a thousand years, and then when you try to beat God yet again, you will finally be dismantled for good. It says so right there in the book that God himself wrote! Don’t you read?
Dude, just let it go. Take the missus and get away for a while. Do some traveling. Forget about God, and how much you hate him. It’s not worth it.
Unfortunately,Â the History Channel doesn’t talk about this type of silliness in the program; this sillinessÂ that’s built right into the old stories. Even worse, theyÂ give zero air time to any critical voice.
Maybe they’re trying to give folks a bit of an entertainingÂ fright around Halloween, but couldn’t they once have a good critical examination of this type of mumbo jumbo? Just once?