Humor Religion

The significance of the Number of the Beast

A very unique date in history is fast approaching. Indeed, if you’re Christian and religious, you probably already know what it is.


The Date of the Beast. (OK, you have to ignore the “0” to get “666,” the Number of the Beast, but everyone seems to be paying little attention to that little detail).

Not surprisingly, Hollywood is having a little fun with the date, releasing a remake of The Omen, a cheesy but nonetheless scary movie from the 1970’s about the birth of the Antichrist (named Damien in the movie) and the havoc he wreaks. (I still recall being disturbed by two scenes from the movie, one where a priest is impaled by the long metal pole falling from a church and another where a reporter is decapitated by a sheet of glass.)

Others, unfortunately, are taking it way too seriously. From The Sun:

PREGNANT Melissa Parker is battling to have her baby induced before June 6 as she is terrified of giving birth to the DEVIL.

Superstitious Melissa said her blood ran cold when told her child was due on 06/06/06 or 666 — the number of the beast.

The mum of two is a fan of the Omen horror films and immediately started having nightmares.

Now she vows to do everything she can to avoid delivering on the fateful day. Melissa, 30, said yesterday: “When I got my due date I thought ‘Oh God, I’m giving birth to Damien from the Omen’.

“Every day I wake up feeling something bad will happen. I’m terrified the birth will go wrong or the child will have evil in him or her. Even worse my beautiful baby could be the devil himself — the anti-Christ.

“I like The Omen and saw an advert for the remake. Now I’m even more worried.”

Melissa, who lives with road worker partner Lee in Caversham, Berks, has been told by Royal Berkshire Hospital that her due date cannot be changed.

She said pals LAUGH about it but insisted: “Any child born on that day will be marked for life. It’s a harrowing thought.”

This is utter insanity to try to subject yourself to a medical procedure and possibly put yourself and your baby at risk, all because of a superstition leading you not to want to have a child born on 6/6/06. It’s just a date. Had the calendar been defined differently, it would have little significance at all. For instance, you could use the Hebrew calendar, where June 6 would be the 7th of Sivan in the year 5766. That’s a nice, un-threatening date. Or she could use the Chinese calandar. Or even the Mayan calendar.

In any case, I think I’ve found a better way to celebrate 6/6/06: The National Day of Slayer! Consider:

6.6.06 isn’t a date that comes around very often (once per millennium, to be exact), and while plenty of stupid horror movies and terrible albums will be released for the hype value of the day that bears “the number of the beast”, we here at NDoS decided that this would be a perfect day for Hessians across the country to come together and engage in something upon which we can all agree – listening to Slayer! Also, do you really want those evangelical Neo-Cons to have all the fun with their “National Day of Prayer”?

Actually, the date 6/6/06 comes around once every century, not once every millennium but we’ll forgive the organizers that little slip-up, won’t we?

Regardless, here’s what you can do to celebrate:

  • Listen to Slayer at full blast in your car.
  • Listen to Slayer at full blast in your home.
  • Listen to Slayer at full blast at your place of employment.
  • Listen to Slayer at full blast in any public place you prefer.

DO NOT use headphones! The objective of this day is for everyone within earshot to understand that it is the National Day of Slayer. National holidays in America aren’t just about celebrating; they’re about forcing it upon non-participants.

Sadly, the part about “forcing it upon nonparticipants” is all too often correct.

Although in my wide variety of musical tastes, I never lost my soft spot for metal, I was never much into Slayer. I used to have a tape of Reign in Blood (back when we actually still made cassette tapes rather than burned CDs), but it disappeared and I don’t know what happened to it. It is a speed metal masterpiece, with brutal tunes like Angel of Death and Raining Blood. Indeed, it almost single-handedly inspired the death metal genre here in the U.S. It’s the sort of music that I have to be in just the right mood to want to listen to (when it comes to metal, I prefer Tool, for example), but there are times when you just need to turn up the stereo and let ‘er rip. Maybe I should get a copy of Reign in Blood on CD before Tuesday rolls around.


For me, it’s probably not really necessary, because I have a far more personal reason to be celebrating 6/6/06. That date just happens to be my 14th wedding anniversary. Personally, I think it’s rather cool. Too bad it wasn’t our sixth or sixteenth wedding anniversary, though. That would have been even more eerie.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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