Thursday, March 22, 2007

Real ID as the Mark of the Beast

There was a unusually good conspiracy-related story in the Metro section of today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It seems that the post-9/11 Real ID program has run into a roadblock in the form of our good friend premillenial dispensationalism, though that is not the term used in the story. Apparently there is a pretty widespread belief among Apocalypse-oriented Christians that a uniform national ID would fulfill the Biblical prophecy about the Antichrist forcing anyone who wants to buy or sell to accept his mark or number. Of course the number given in Revelations is 666, and Real ID is of course not the first time the population has been numbered. (Try functioning in modern society without a Social Security number or travelling abroad with a passport.) The real rub for dispensationalists is that, I understand it, the Mark of the Beast is part of the Tribulation that is supposed to come after all the good Christians have been Raptured. So anyone who gets a Real ID won't be joining Jesus in heaven anytime soon.