WooWoo Beliefs – A TCA Educational Series: Episode #4

A Very Unpleasant Fellow

This is Danny Nalliah. Danny is some kind of flavour of Pentecostal Christian, and believes (or says he believes) that the Bible is the literal Word of God. Danny is a most irksome person at this very moment, because he also believes, and has made public his belief, that the terrible bushfires that are raging not more than 20 miles from my home are the result of divine retribution from God. Danny says God has done this because Victoria, my home state, recently decriminalized abortion.

On the website for his appropriately named ‘Catch the Fire Ministries’* Danny says that in November last year he had a dream in which he “saw fire everywhere with flames burning very high and uncontrollably”.† He interpreted the dream to mean that God had “removed his conditional protection on Australia, and in particular on the state of Victoria for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb”.

Danny Nalliah epitomizes what I despise about religion. His self-righteous posturing, and despicable ignorant proselytizing is primitive and dangerous. He has told his followers that if they pray for forgiveness, God will deliver them from this horrific tragedy, and spare further fires. Of course, Danny wins whether or not the fires stop or worsen; if they die back, then the prayers are successful, if they flare up again, then God is still pissed. This is not a new game to Nalliah – before the last Australian elections he prophesied: “I will boldly declare that Prime Minister John Howard will be re-elected in the November election (if the Body of Christ unites in prayer and action) and pass the leadership onto Peter Costello sometime after.”

Of course, he was plain wrong, but sadly, for some reason religion is rarely called to answer for blunders of such magnitude. I guess that’s what happens when you write an escape clause into everything you ‘predict’.


*I’m certainly not linking to this reprehensible organization – they don’t deserve the honour.

†As prophetic dreams go, this is pretty standard fare – there’s no specific prediction of a bushfire (it could just as easily have been a bomb blast, an industrial accident or an incident of arson, or riffing metaphorically, any of a hundred other things), and there’s no specified time limit (so it could be in a month, or in a year, or a decade). You see how this goes – a fire of some kind, at some time, is hardly much of a prophesy. Especially in a land that has bushfires every summer, to a greater or lesser degree of damage.