… But for somewhat different reasons. Let’s quickly recap this case, posted just under a week ago: “Jury Awards $150,000 in ‘Mark of the Beast’ Case.”
For the managers of West Virginia’s Consol Energy/Consolidation Coal Company, it was just a technological innovation to improve tracking of employees’ time and attendance, but for Beverly R. Butcher Jr. it was the Bible’s “Mark of the Beast.”
A jury sided this month with the general laborer, awarding him $150,000 in compensatory damages, reported the Clarksburg Exponent Telegram.
Butcher, an evangelical Christian, asserted he had been told he was required to submit to biometric hand scanning, even though he informed his employer in writing it was contrary to “his genuinely held religious beliefs about the relationship between hand-scanning technology and the Mark of the Beast and Antichrist discussed in the Bible.”
[…] Recognition Systems Inc., the vendor providing the hand scanner, challenged Butcher’s interpretation of the Bible, noting Revelation 13:16 refers to a mark placed on the right hand and forehead. Those concerned about receiving the Mark of the Beast could use the scanner “with their left hand and palm facing up” without worry. At any rate, the vendor said, its “scanner product does not, in fact, assign the Mark of the Beast.”
With the two parties at an impasse, Butcher said he was forced to retire before he had planned to.
The judge has yet to determine any additional award for lost salary, pension or court costs. Attorneys for Consol Energy said the company will appeal.
I think this award is stupid for two main reasons. First, the religious component and the idea of a “right to work.” (That said, I will admit that I think the company could easily have avoided this lawsuit by just letting him continue to do his time on paper and get approval of his timesheet by his employer. I do think that falls under religious accommodation, even though I think this is a stupid interpretation.)
Second, because this doesn’t even follow his religion. That fourth paragraph that I quoted is exactly what I mean, that the Bible states it is a literal mark on the right hand and the forehead. This is a scanner – it does not make a mark at all – and it can be used with the left hand and has nothing to do with the forehead. I have no idea why the jury sided with him in this case.
And that’s the reason that I agree with WNDers. While some of the 134 comments are just random spurts of Bible and Bible-related stuff (such as currently top-rated comment by “SATCitizen” who wrote “REFUSE THE MARK OF THE BEAST. . .AT ALL COSTS!”), it’s the somewhat lower-rated (though still somewhat high) comments that I agree with.
For example, there’s “czynik” who wrote this: “How can ones own biometrics like eye color or fingerprints be considered a “mark” – you were born with them and will die with them – they are yours and no one elses. Not someone else’s “mark” upon your body or mind – just your own body parts. All they are doing is using your own unique personal marks to identify you. Not marking you/him with some other mark like a brand or cut or tattoo or implanted chip or device.”
Yeah, they are reading your own body, not doing anything to it.
But then there’s “SenatorKang” (Simpsons reference) who wrote: “KJV says the mark is IN your right hand (the hand most people favor), so the hand you work with. Working for the Antichrist, in other words. In your forehead? That’s your brain. It’s your loyalty, your worship, your thoughts. Jesus comes at the 7th seal, not the 6th. Do the math. One will come in His place, first. If you work for that one, if you worship that one, then you have taken the mark. The mark will not be forced on anyone, or the Bible would have stated that. Look into what it says, not what men say. Read it.”
While I may not like stuff based on literal readings of the Bible, I would think that something that is this important would need to be taken as literally and specifically as possible. Lot’s wife looking back at a burning village and turning into a pillar of salt … okay, maybe that can be treated as a metaphor or something like that. But if you’re worried about your eternal soul and you think that this book gives you recipes on how to save it, I’d think that you’d take one of the more specific passages fairly literally.
But, I guess that’s just me.