Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Talking Carp, the Bible Code, and How Religious Mania Is Getting to Me. (Now What?)

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Talking Carp, the Bible Code, and How Religious Mania Is Getting to Me. (Now What?)

Article excerpt

Heard the one about the talking carp? According to a Sunday newspaper, one of these ugly fish was about to be slaughtered at an Israeli fishmonger's when it shouted in perfect Hebrew, "Prepare to meet your maker for the end is nigh" -- or words to that effect. The non-Jewish customer unto whom it spoke ran to find the shop owner, who also witnessed the fish screaming and promptly cut it into fillets. A silly story, really, not even earning a pre-war place as the "And finally..." item on the news.

Normally, after reading something so ridiculous, I'd laugh gaily, "Hahaha!" Not now, though. Now...perhaps the end is nigh. Perhaps what we're witnessing on the rolling news channels isn't lust desperate time-filling interspersed with bombs falling, but the beginning of the end, John the Divine's revelations made fact, Arma-bloody-geddon.

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect is claiming the talking carp as a bona fide prophet of doom. The fish has come at a time, the sect says, when George Bush has created a war with Iraq because (as a member of an extreme religious sect of Christians) he knows that the Messiah's return can only come via a devastating bust-up in the Holy Lands involving Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Bush is clearing the way for the Second Coming! Having heard all the other lame excuses for this war, this is the only one that now seems plausible.

Pulling on my trainers and grabbing the babies, I headed for church. The reverend is an ex-telecom salesman (I kid you not). He wears shiny blue suits. "Hello there," he said, grinning at me from the church door. "You look great. Spot on. Well done." He looks to all intents and purposes more like a Lib Dem councillor than a man in touch with the Almighty.

The mundanity of modern worship was helping to put talking fish, extremist cults and G Dubbya into perspective. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.