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Religious Hoaxes

Many of these hoaxes are specifically designed to make Christians look foolish and ignorant.  That's not very hard since we are so obliging about jumping on a bandwagon without checking out the facts.  It is beyond me how one hoax can last for 25 years (The FCC and religious broadcasting), but it has - with the help of gullible Christians.  

 

John Williams, author of "The Cost of Deception," relates that he was at a Christian Business Show in Oklahoma City in 1983.  Two ladies at the show were hosting a booth to get signatures on a petition to the FCC about the religious broadcasting hoax.  That was before email, and these papers were copied and recopied so many times that they were sometimes difficult to read.  When Mr. Williams informed these ladies that the petition was a hoax, Mr. Williams says, "they looked at each other for a moment with expressions of bewilderment and disbelief.  An hour later they closed their booth and left." (The Cost of Deception, John Williams, Broadman & Holman, p. 42).

 

Checking things out before we pass them out would save a lot of embarrassment to ourselves and to our integrity.  It would also not leave any room for the world to think we are ignorant and foolish.  Many think that if we believe all these rumors, that we will believe anything - including believing in God.

 

I'm am separating this into two sections - one for Christian based messages and one for Islamic based messages.  Any Islamic based messages dealing with terrorism will be in the Terrorism section.

 

SECTION 1: Christian messages

 

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NASA proves that Joshua's missing day is true - NOT!

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Is a movie coming out that presents Jesus and His disciples as GAY, so sign this email petition to "ban" the movie.

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Darrell Scott testimony

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Are some "untimely" deaths the results of people speaking against God?

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Is the ACLU trying to remove all crosses, including grave markers, from federal lands?

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Did the ACLU file suit when a number of marines prayed together?

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Is the book "Conversations With God" a Christian book or suitable for children?

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Has anyone drilled to hell?

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Are the words "Laus Deo" found on top of the Washington Monument?

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Is the U.S. federal government requiring that the words "so help me God" be omitted from oaths?

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Is the Navy or the President preventing Chaplains from praying in the name of Jesus?

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Are there religious symbols in the U.S. capital and did Andy Rooney write an article about them?

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Did Rev. Joe Wright say a prayer at the Kansas House of Representatives that made reps mad and made some walk out?

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Were unnamed people resurrected from the dead in Egypt?

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Did ABC write a nasty letter to a viewer who objected to homosexual content in shows?

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Did the WW2 Memorial leave out FDR's last words in his Pearl Harbor address, "so help us God"?

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Did Billy Graham lead a march out of a crusade to Bourbon Street?

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Is Abortion wrong because great people might not have been born?

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Is the U.S. federal government getting ready to insert RFID chips in everyone's hands?

SECTION 2: Islam

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Did a minister get the best of a Muslim Imam in a prison discussion?

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Does a picture show a child having his arm run over by a vehicle as a Muslim punishment for stealing?

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Did the all the media ignore a judge's scathing words to shoe bomber Richard Reid and did they ignore his trial?

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Did an Australian Prime Minister say harsh words about Muslims?

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Was accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, a Homeland Security advisor on Obama transition team ?

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Was a sign posted in a Houston store that claimed they were closed to celebrate the life of a 9/11 terrorist?

 

NASA proves that Joshua's missing day is true - NOT!

The NASA/Bible message regarding Joshua's so-called "lost day", has been debunked by every competent Christian scientist and Creationist because the scenario presented is simply technologically impossible.

The main point is that in order to determine that something is missing from anything, there has to be a benchmark of how much was there in the first place.  Everything we scientifically know about time is all guesswork.  The idea is simply a complete impossibility.  We certainly wouldn't be having conversations and debates about young earth/old earth theories among conservative Christians if we knew for certain how much time there really had been.  There are also theories that time worked differently in the past. Secondly, the assumption that the Biblical passage means that time is missing is arrogant at best.  That is not what the passage says and that may or may not have been the case.  All the passage says is that the Sun stood still by God's direct and supernatural intervention not that any time was missing. In fact, if it stood still (and we know that it does not move anyway), more likely than not, no time would be missing.  It would have meant that either the Earth stopped rotating around the Sun for the period or that God just stopped time for that brief period. However, let's start at the beginning with this one.

The hoax does not concern "Joshua's missing day."  It concerns the message's contention that NASA (or an anonymous group of "astronauts and space scientists at Green Belt, Maryland" - just the latest change to this message) can now prove that such a thing happened.  Anyone using a little logic and reason can see that this claim is patently impossible and it has been debunked time and time again.

The origin of this particular form of the rumor can be traced back to a man named Harold Hill.  Mr. Hill used to be the President of a company that had a contract to service some of NASA's electrical generators.  Mr. Hill, claiming that he had high level "connections" with NASA, published his claim in a book that was published in 1974.   He claimed that NASA computers were being used to plot astronomical positions in the past when the computers discovered that a day was missing.  Actually, it was 23 hours and 20 minutes.  They later find that the other 40 minutes was made up for in 2 Kings 20.   This story has been oft repeated in many pulpits throughout the world since then.  I remember hearing it from my pastor back in the late 1970's.  Since he has been telling this story since the 60's and has published it in a book over 30 years ago, this recent change in the message to update the story is goofy.

Before we examine the true origin of the rumor, let's examine this one just a bit.  In order to determine if a day of time were missing, there would have to be a FIXED POINT OF REFERENCE.  If science actually could determine how old this earth and the universe really are, there would no longer be any young earth/old earth debates.   Christian Answers.Net provides this bit of wisdom

No one who repeats this story has ever provided details of these calculations - how exactly was this missing day discovered? This should automatically make people cautious. How could you detect a missing day unless you had a fixed reference point before this day?

In fact we would need to cross check between both astronomical and historical records to detect any missing day. And to detect a missing 40 minutes requires that these reference points are known to within an accuracy of a few minutes.

It is certainly true that the timing of solar eclipses observable from a certain location can be known precisely. But the ancient records did not record time that precisely, so the required cross check is simply not possible. Anyway, the earliest historically recorded eclipse occurred in 1217 BC, nearly two centuries after Joshua.

One more thing that  must be pointed out is that we do not know if the miracle that God did in Joshua meant that a day of time was lost.  We do know that God performed a supernatural act that went outside the forces of nature in order to accomplish His will.   The miracle is not diminished if there was no loss of time, nor is it helped by silly rumors.

The real origin of the rumor goes back even further than Mr. Hill and is the actual source of his allegation, not anything that anyone at NASA told him.   It was started in a book by Harry Rimmer called "The Harmony of Science and Scripture."  Rimmer claims that 24 hours was lost in time and that this had been confirmed by two eminent scientists, Sir Edwin Ball (a British astronomer) and Charles A.L. Totten (a Yale professor).  He claimed that Totten had written a book in 1890 which "established the case beyond the shadow of a doubt."  Unfortunately, while Rimmer uses these men to prove his case, he never once quotes from them.  A book by Totten on Joshua's Long Day does exist, but, according to Dr. Bert Thompson, no one has ever found any evidence to back up Rimmer's contentions.

As to Mr. Hill, he did finally admit that he did not witness or hear any such claims from anyone at NASA, but that he had heard the story second hand.  He admitted that he did not know the origin of the story, but became a sought after speaker on the subject.  In response to the many challenges he had on the subject, Mr. Hill said, "my inability to furnish documentation of the 'Missing day' incident in no way detracts from its authenticity."  Other proofs and reason do prove that such a feat is impossible, even for today's super computers.

 

A movie is coming out that presents Jesus and His disciples as GAY, so sign this email petition to "ban" the movie

An extremely old hoax.  The play Corpus Christi does exist but there have never been any plans for it to be turned into a movie.  The full report on this old saw is below. Every year some smart aleck dusts it off, changes the year to the current or next year and starts it back up.

The original hoax can be traced back to 1980.  The play Corpus Christi (1998) does exist and presents a modern day messiah by the name of Joshua (same name as Jesus) and his disciples as gay men.  It is not set to become a film, but anything is possible.  However, the play "Corpus Christi" is not the source of this rumor.  The play is from 1998. Some have postulated that the actual source for the hoax/rumor began in 1980.  Michael Medved, a well-known film reviewer, wrote a book with his brother that was published in 1980 called the "Golden Turkey Awards."  It reviewed bad films.  Medved claimed that it was a review of over 425 actual films, but that he had included one hoax and asked readers to spot it.  Some think that a film titled "Him" from 1974 and portraying Jesus as a homosexual was the hoax, but there is some evidence that another entry called "Dog of Norway" was the hoax.  One researcher I know is still looking for actual evidence of the film "Him" and believes that it may have been made, but evidence is scant.

Whatever the case with "Him", this rumor has been around since the 1980's.  According to Truth or Fiction: "This appears to be a new, Internet version of a rumor we investigated more than 15 years ago when an article in a magazine in the state of Illinois in the United States claimed such a film was being proposed.  The movie project was authentic, but never got off the ground.  A rumor about the movie was circulated far and wide, however, and multitudes of letters were received by an Illinois state agency which, for some reason, became the focus of the protest.  The movie never had anything to do with Illinois but had merely been mentioned in a publication from Illinois."

This protest, based on nothing more than rumor in Illinois, happened in 1984.  At one point in it's history (in 1985), the message switched the area from Illinois to Alabama.  A later version contained the following hoax information according to Snopes:  "Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart recently reported that the above mentioned movie HAS BEEN COMPLETED!!! According to Brother Swaggart, the movie company has released word that the movie is scheduled to be shown in various locations around the country during the Christmas Season. So, the time is short to put a stop to it. We sincerely hope that all spiritually and morally minded people will band together and keep this UNGODLY type of filth out of Alabama."  People bombarded both Attorney General's (IL & AL) with letters of protest (what a waste of taxpayers dollars!).  In frustration, the Attorney General of Illinois wrote to Ann Landers to state that they had spent a great deal of time trying to track the information down (taxpayer dollars!) but without success.  They finally attributed the rumor to a movie magazine article in 1977.  They asked Ann's help in getting out the information, but with little success.

As anyone can see, all of this predates the play Corpus Christi (1998).

Can A Film Be Banned In the U.S.?

There is, to my knowledge, no way to have a film banned in this country.  If a film is felt to be offensive enough, people could write to the releasing company and ask that they not back it.  This would have little effect unless people are then willing to enact a boycott against all films coming from that releasing company in the future.  It would take an awful lot of people to make such a boycott effective enough to be  helpful.  Some years back, the Southern Baptist Convention and some other denominations determined to boycott Disney, but it wasn't helpful.  However, if the film were to be made independently, there would be no releasing company.  The only other option would be to protest to any theater showing such a film.  Both of these strategies have the potential for backfiring.  When Martin Scorcese made "The Last Temptation of Christ," Christians picketed movie theaters around the country.  Many people went to see it simply because of the bruhaha created by the Christians.  That's not to say that we shouldn't speak out about things like this.  I personally found the film unendurable on all levels of critique, but let's not give our enemy a hand up either.

Email petitions are a useless waste of time.  Genuine petitions, either taken online or in person, will require your personal contact information.  Most of these email petitions don't have any place to go back to.  If they do, the email address is usually bad.  Most of these email petitions are either hoaxes, based on bad information or years old.  This particular "petition" doesn't even contain a petition and doesn't tell you who on earth such a petition would even go to.  All email petitions are useless, so you can just throw them all out.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Truth Miners is run by, owned by, written by and maintained by Cathy Holden - all articles, unless noted, are written by me.  Ask for reprint permission please.  Thanks!