Favorite

Words, July 10 

Fab Four:

“Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, identified what he called the ‘four modern horses of the apocalypse' and challenged messengers to make personal commitments to bring revival to America. … He identified the four modern horsemen of the apocalypse as denial of the sanctity of human life, the rise and deluge of hardcore Internet pornography, the radical homosexual agenda and its attempt to undermine marriage, and radical Islamic jihadism.”

Apparently Mr. Land referred to “horses,” and a reporter at the Southern Baptist Convention made it “horsemen,” but that's a minor point. Both horsemen and the horses they rode in on are mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The Whore of Babylon is in there too, but apparently afoot.

I don't go into Revelation without an interpreter — the Random House Unabridged, in this case. The dictionary says that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are “four riders on white, red, black and pale horses symbolizing pestilence, war, famine and death, respectively.” Not somebody you'd want to hang out with, for sure.

Mr. Land is not the first to attempt to modernize the horsemen. In 1924, a famously florid sportswriter named Grantland Rice wrote a memorable account of a football game between Army and Notre Dame:

“Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army team was swept over the precipice … ”

A publicist took pictures of Stuhldreher et al on horseback, and for a time, the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame were almost as famous as the originals.

I remember a movie in the early ‘60s — a remake of an older, silent movie — in which the four horsemen were shown galloping across the sky. (The apocalyptic four, not the Notre Dame backfield.) A ‘60s audience wouldn't buy it. Maybe Mr. Land will have more luck with his version.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

Latest in Words

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Hillbillies

    • Investigator, you're like an old record that skips and keeps repeating over and over and…

    • on January 18, 2017
  • Re: Hillbillies

    • Oh Pshaw. I never criticized her "affectionate feelings" for her children - in fact I…

    • on January 18, 2017
  • Re: Hillbillies

    • Not angry at all. Just stating the obvious. And you owe Nanc a huge apology…

    • on January 17, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation