I’m going to summarize a supermarket tabloid newspaper for you this week, so you can save your money.

February 26, 2008 | By | 11 Replies More

At the supermarket last week, I picked up a copy of the Sun.  Actually, I think the full title of the newspaper is Sun: God Bless America, based upon the front cover. I was intrigued by the front page headline: “Seven Miracle Prophecies That Will Come True on Easter Sunday.”  I wondered what those prophecies were, and now I’m going to share them with you so you don’t have to spend your hard earned money on the Sun: God Bless America.

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It’s going to be quite a day this Easter Sunday, that’s for sure.  Based on reading the lead article in the Sun: God Bless America, I now know that the following things will be happening on March 23, 2008:

  • 1.  George W. Bush will announce that all of our troops will be coming home from Iraq, and that the Iraq government will take over full responsibility for Iraq’s security. 
  • 2.  There will be numerous miraculous healings all over the world, including people with cancer, heart disease and arthritis.  People will rejoice and no one will have to live in despair any longer.
  • 3.  Pollution will miraculously reverse itself.  In fact, according to the article, the levels of pollution will all return to where they were before the Industrial Revolution.  The authority for the statement is “Professor Jonas Peake, an authority on Biblical prophecy at Britain’s famed Cambridge University.”
  • 4.  Congress and the White House will pour lots of that money that was destined for Iraq into the Social Security fund, resulting in a doubling of benefits for every American.
  • 5.  Delegates from all the nuclear powers will meet at the United Nations and agree to destroy all of their nuclear weapons.
  • 6.  The rapture will begin.  A few people will actually be raptured on Easter Sunday, which will be “the beginning of a worldwide miracle of salvation.”
  • 7.  Jesus Christ will appear in a blinding blaze of light.  He will come to deliver a simple message that we should admit our sins and beg for His forgiveness.

As I was reading this paper, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of people actually read this crap (other than me, of course-and I’m an armchair anthropologist).  As bizarre as the lead article was, the “Sun: God Bless America” is filled with other curious claims.  One article discusses the discovery of a huge underground network of homes in Russia for Yeti people.  Another article warns us about a kidney stealing scam (calm down and go read Snopes.com).  The cat of a young couple snuck into their luggage and flew as a stowaway.  A six year old girl from Rio de Janeiro started explaining atomic physics to her classmates.  You can lose a lot of weight eating ice cream, pizza, cheeseburgers, steak and bacon.  A simple shot will protect you from Alzheimer’s.  To defeat diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer, all you need to do is take more vitamin D.  Animal psychic Amanda Eastburgh has a column in which she advises pet owners.  A rat-eating plant has been found in Australia. 

In a column called “On the Money,” an expert teaches you how to become debt free (“Shop around for lower rates on car insurance, phone or Internet service”).  There’s a new secret Viking technique that allows you to see your own future.  They are building new outdoor playgrounds for old people in England.  A black spotted frog named Nong Oui who lives in Thailand can predict the numbers in the national lottery.  A ghost is haunting a hotel in Ontario Canada.  A church in Illinois has a special Sunday service for dogs.  My horoscope this week (Taurus) advises me: “Consider your answer to an important question carefully.  It will change your life in many ways.”The want ads contain dozens and dozens of advertisements for psychics.  If you are tired of being poor (Lisa, listen up!) you can pay $14.95 for a “Golden Jackpot Key,” which will allow you to become a big winner when you play slot machines (“yes-it’s really true!  The Golden Jackpot Key does indeed work for those who believe in its amazing power.”).

That about sums it up.  The Sun is owned by an American Media Inc.,  the proud owner of other fine newspapers, including National Enquirer, Star,  The Globe, National Examiner, and Weekly World News. I don’t know how many thousands of people actually read these tabloid newspapers each week, but it must be quite a few, because I see these newspapers in great quantity at most checkout lines.  What concerns me is that these many readers are probably voters too.  By Election Day next November, I hope they’re all in a good mood.

By then, Jesus will have returned, the nuclear arsenals will be destroyed, the air will be clean and there Social Security checks will be turbocharged.  I assume if all this stuff doesn’t really happen, the Sun: God Bless America will issue an apology and go out of business.  That’s what any responsible newspaper would do, anyway.

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Category: American Culture, Communication, Media, Religion, Whimsy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (11)

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  1. David says:

    Weekly World News is a self-proclaimed spoof of the others, read its masthead. Anyway, it ceased publication a few months ago, I remember hearing.

  2. Sylvie says:

    I suspect that American Media Inc. is a front for the people who own The Onion.

  3. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I hated it when the Weekly World News ceased publication. I always got a laugh from the articles like "What to do when attacked by a dinosaur!" and the various exploits of that crazy gay couple- Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden – as they worked various jobe in drag along the west coast.

    The really scary part is that there are people who believe this silliness, (and many would vote for a mentally challenged ape if it ran as a Republican candidate)

  4. Alison says:

    You know what, though, if those predictions came true, it would be really great. All the crazy fundies will be raptured up, leaving a clean, economically sound, peaceful, disease-free world for the rest of us to stick around and enjoy. Go, Sun!

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    The readers of this type of newspaper are obviously believers in magical thinking, a phenomenon Marty Kaplan discusses here.

  6. Dan Klarmann says:

    Alison: Only a small subset of the fundies are eligible to be raptured, given that each church disagrees on some fine point or other that makes all others ineligible.

    The remaindered fundamentalists will then decide that they were chosen to fight for Jeebus down here, to gain even greater glory later.

    Unless they were all wrong and the Christ did his job, and all men who have heard his name are forgiven and will be taken up, whether they like it or not.

  7. Yuan says:

    Sounds like something out of The Quibbler. xD

  8. Erika Price says:

    If you expect Jesus to come down and deliver you to heaven within the next two months, why would you care about losing weight or preventing diabetes? Do these people want to slim down just in time to have a more attractive eternal form? Does God not provide insulin in Heaven?

  9. grumpypilgrim says:

    There was a preacher on the Bill Moyers show (PBS) last weekend who debunked the entire notion of a rapture. He said it was unsupported by scripture and that, instead, heaven is merely a temporary holding pen and that the Bible actually says that God will totally remake our planet and the bodies of believers. I didn't catch the whole interview, so I don't know if they discussed eternal damnation.

    Meanwhile, instant transportation to heaven is also unscriptural, according to the Seventh Day Adventists. They claim the Bible says the dead are asleep until the Second Coming and only then are shuttled off to heaven, while the damned merely remain asleep forever. Happily for them, Adventists reject the existence of eternal damnation.

    Strange, isn't it? The Bible's raison d'etre is to provide answers to ultimate questions, yet it supports such wildly conflicting answers that we really shouldn't call them answers at all.

  10. grumpypilgrim says:

    Erika asks, "Does God not provide insulin in Heaven?"

    This reminds me of a question I posed a while ago: does God provide jet skis in heaven? (See http://dangerousintersection.org/?p=631/.)

  11. Alison says:

    One of the worst rapture ideas I ever heard was that anyone who had gone to heaven before the rapture would come back down, re-inhabit their bodies, and THEN be bodily assumed up into heaven. Well, at least some born-again zombies might make heaven a little more interesting, ya think?

    Dan, I love the term "remaindered fundamentalists".

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