From the Tennessean we see a remarkable instance of how strong a hold Scripture has on the South.
As we all know, 666 is The Number of the Beast, which I recently came across when I read Revelation. Here’s the sole reference in the Bible (Revelation 13:18; King James Version):
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
There you go. The Wikipedia article (link above) notes that the number has a long-standing religious connection (in faiths other than Christianity as well), but may have orignated in the Bible as a symbol of the Roman emperor Nero:
Most scholars believe that the number of the beast equates to Emperor Nero, whose name in Greek when transliterated into Hebrew, retains the value of 666, whereas his Latin name transliterated into Hebrew, is 616. The “mark of the beast” is used to distinguish the beast’s followers. Revelation 13:17 says that the mark is “the name of the beast or the number of his name”. Because of this, it is widely thought among dispensationalists that the mark will be some future representation of the actual number 666. It has also been speculated that the “mark” may be an Imperial Roman seal, or the Emperor’s head on Roman coins.
Now meet Walter Slonopas, who prefers to be unemployed rather than have a Tax Number of the Beast. From The Tennesseean:
A Clarksville, Tenn., man says he quit his job last week in order to save his soul.
Walter Slonopas, 52, resigned as a maintenance worker at Contech Casting LLC in Clarksville after his W-2 tax form was stamped with the number 666.
The Bible calls 666 the “number of the beast,” and it’s often used as a symbol of the devil. Slonopas said that after getting the W-2, he could either go to work or go to hell.
“If you accept that number, you sell your soul to the devil,” he said.
. . . The number 666 has caused problems for at least one other worker in the past. In 2011, a factory worker from Georgia named Billy Hyatt sued his former employer after he was fired for refusing to wear a sticker with 666 on it. The sticker referred to the number of accident-free days he’d had on the job.
Slonopas, though, said he has no interest in suing anyone. All he wants is for his former employer to give him a new W-2 without a Satanic number on it. Otherwise, he said, he can’t file his taxes.
He shakes his head when asked if he’d go back to work for Contech, even if the company gives him a new W-2. That would send the message that he sold out his faith for money.
“God is worth more than money,” he said.
His wife, Anna, said the couple will be fine. She said God will take care of them. They live frugally and are currently house-sitting for their older son, who is in the military.
Well, you don’t get unemployment insurance if you quit your job, so we’ll see how providential God will be to the Slonopas family. But imagine the kind of mentality that would lead someone to act like this! Without religion, Slonopas would still have his job.
h/t: John Danley