Post Hoc Ergo God Did It

Total_lunar_eclipse_-_full_eclipse_(blood_moon)_April_2014(Photo by Anne Dirkse)

Post hoc ergo propter hoc. After it, therefore because of it.

Welcome to Apocalypse Logic 101. No matter what happens, we’re always one day closer than we were before. To what, we don’t know…but chronologically speaking, how can you argue with that?

Take Apocalypse Prediction #1:

I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes…

– Joel 30-31

Then take the title of John Hagee’s blood moon book:


The key to end times predictions is never saying anything that can’t be walked back or redefined when the predicted event fails to materialize. “Something is about to change.” Let’s not specify: that way, whatever happens, that was it.

All Christian eschatological prophecies are based on biblical passages which were themselves purposefully vague. The intent of the OT prophets was to encourage in the long term, not to schedule a dinner party for next week. So, it is a relatively simple undertaking to co-opt their “predictions” and set a date without risking too much loss of face in the event of failure. Add to this a decent dose of “no one knows the day or the hour,” and it becomes a never-ending game of “pin the tail on the Doomsday.”

These things, says the prophet Joel, will happen “before the Day of the Lord.” Says Hagee, the day after nothing happens: No, no; it was a sign, not the sign. It opened a door, proving that at some undetermined point in the future, something will happen.

After it, therefore because of it. Meaning that, whatever significant and/or traumatic world event takes place ever at any point in time after right now, from a flu epidemic in Baltimore to a handshake in the Gaza Strip, is proof that something happened after Hagee said something would.

And since something is bound to happen, well…he must be right.