Reports of retail sales are up as some Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and many other religious people worry over the portending doom of the Blood Moon over the weekend. The rare eclipse occurs when the moon takes on a red hue due to the atmosphere of the Earth bending the light of the moon.
— AOL.com (@AOL) September 26, 2015
There is some basis for these religious claims. This latest eclipse due on the night of September 27-28 is seen as the fourth and final eclipse in a tetrad — four consecutive total lunar eclipses, each separated by six lunar months. The biblical prophecy of the apocalypse would be fulfilled by the following four blood moons: (1) April 15, 2014, (2) October 8, 2014, (3) April 4, 2015, and (4) September 27, 2015 (AKA “The Impending Apocalypse).
News outlets around the world are reporting on the widespread religious association of eclipses and other natural phenomena with foreboding. Joel 2:31 foretells the end.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord comes.”
The universal appeal is perhaps due to albeit coincidental events associated with so-called “biblical tetrads,” for example, in 1493 the Spanish Inquisition expelled the Jews.
The weather is perfect for the moon’s most stunning night in decades http://t.co/YwfOR1Ypct
— The Independent (@Independent) September 26, 2015
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) September 26, 2015
On the other hand, the patterns of tetrads are random, and there will be a total of eight in the 21st century. There have also been many in the past, none of which ended the world.
For some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the fear is real, and as the religion encourages stockpiling for the end of days anyway, some Mormons might just see this as the reason to do so even further. The usual, however, is the most expected outcome. Noah Petro, a NASA scientist, puts it bluntly.
“The only thing that will happen on Earth during an eclipse is that people will wake up the next morning with neck pain because they spent the night looking up.”
[Images by David McNew, Three Lions / Getty Images]