Weekend Open Thread: Was the Dobbs Decision ‘Marked by the Beast’?

I went to high school with a claque of fundamentalist Christians who were obsessed by the advent of the End Times and Biblical prophecies about it. Even as a nice (in some respects) Jewish boy I became well versed in them. My friends hounded me to agree never to accept “The Mark of the Beast” (on my forehead or right hand, as I recall — but really anywhere.) This seemed like a reasonable hedge on my religious bets. They further instructed me that when the Rapture came, I would still be left here alive and that I would have to prepare to fight the couple of gigantic evil beings that would be trying to win convert for the devil, thereby placing myself among the 144,000 Jews who accepted Jesus during the Tribulations. I agreed to that, because frankly the Rapture would be a pretty good piece of evidence that St. John the Divine had been onto something while hallucinating on Patmos; it would seem pointlessly obstinate to continue disbelief in the divinity of Jesus in such circumstances.

A big part of what they obsessed about was the Number of the Beast: 666. (Some consider it to be 616, but I’m sticking with the classics.) The Omen had came out during the month that I graduated high school, and it really drove home the “666” concept. The birth date of “Damien Thorn” (who probably not supposed to be the Antichrist, but rather “The Beast,” if one wants to be technical about it, although the two entities are often conflated) as announced in The Omen 2 was June 6, 1966 — one more 6 than necessary, admittedly, but still compelling storytelling.

This is William Blake’s 1809 painting of the “Whore of Bablylon” riding the seven-headed beast — and if you think that the head looking back at her looks like Donald Trump, well, I’m not disagreeing. Yeesh!

From my high school friends I learned that the identity of the Antichrist/Beast, as envisioned by St. John of Patmos in the book of Revelation — was not supposed to be TOO obvious. It also lacked the partisan spin that one would expect today. “Ronald Wilson Reagan” was suspected of being the A/B due to the numbers of letters in his name being 6, 6, and 6 — and 666 was also the number of Ronald and Nancy Reagans’ house in Bel Air, which they duly had changed to “668.” (I doubted that this trick would work; it brought to my mind the saying that “God will not be mocked.”)

But Beast-number-ology, as I learned it, did not have to be quite so on the nose. To make it a little more obscure, a word whose characters added up to a certain number, sometimes by using their numerical significance in the English or Hebrew alphabets, would suffice. Some sort of cipher could be used to turn “111” into “666” by multiplying by 6, and so on. But, as I recall, dates being (or adding up to) 6 were always especially compelling.

For example, the only month that added up to 6 was June, because it was, well, 6. This happened 30/365 (or 30/366, during a leap year) of the time — so a little less than 1/12 of he time. Days that added up to 6 were limited to the 6th, the 15th, and the 24th, so that’s 1/10 of the possibilities in June. A year’s digits literally could not add up to 6 anytime after the year 1500 until 2004. (It could add up to a number like 15, the digits of which could add up to 6 themselves, but this was properly considered a bit abstruse for such an important prophesy.

So for a given date to be a “Number of the Beast” candidate, it would have to be in June, and it would have to be on the 6th, 15th, or 24th. But what about the year? Well, again, the 16, 17, 18, and 19 starting numbers for years were totally ruining things for over half of a millennium. Finally, the year 2004 became a possibility (for, again, three dates during June), then again in 2013, and then again in 2022, 2031, 2040 — and then not again until 2103.

So: between June 25, 1500 and June 5, 2004, inclusive, we experienced 184,064 days (applying contemporary leap year rules retroactively) that were not prime date/month/year “Number of the Beast” candidates. (Yes, there is a June 6 every year — but why would a year like 1957 be the significant year over any other? That would be really arbitrary!) In this entire century, there will have been only 15 such dates — June 6, 15, and 24 in each of 2004, 2013, 2022, 2031, and 2040 — before the 600th anniversary of the year 1500. (And yes, I’m ignoring the great date shift.)

Of all dates — and despite Amy Coney Barrett being right there in the majority to warn her colleagues! — Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was published on June 24, 2022 — only the ninth “Number of the Beast” day to appear since halfway through 1500! (I’ll admit that the sixth such day would have been a more obvious date for a diabolical decision — but a year ending in 13 might have been too on-the-nose, and anyway 9=3*3 and 3+3=6, so it still works.)

So, fine: hopefully we can all agree the Dobbs decision, deliberately issued on a date that the 100% Catholic Supreme Court majority should have known was at that moment less one of the than 1/20,000 dates since 1501 whose digits added up the the Number of the Beast — this less than a month before we learned that the President, D. J. Trump, who got three judges confirmed to form that Supreme Court majority had tried to effectuate a coup against his country by trying to grab the steering wheel of a car nicknamed “The Beast”! — was clearly and shamelessly the work of an unparalleled evil supernatural force prophesied about 1950 years ago. Does that mean that it should be cast out of the body politic into a herd of swine — like some sort of demon?

Of course not! It should be cast out because it is one of the worst and rights-disrespecting opinions that the Supreme Court has made in its almost 233-year history. All this means that Biblical literalist Christians should feel bad about it.

This is your Weekend Open Thread. Talk about this or anything else you’d like within reasonably bounds of decency, decorum, and prophetic legitimacy.

And, yes, I have been waiting for an entire month — specifically until 7/24/22 at 6:16 a.m. (in case the minority position on the “Number of the Beast” is right) — to publish this!

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)