Some people intentionally choose to have “666” on their license plate. Others aren’t so keen on it. Photo by Flickr user msmail.
The state of Georgia has unrolled some new license plates, and some folks are in an uproar over the fact that many contain the number 666.
WRBL News 3 took on the story, and to be fair, they put together a relatively balanced look at the not-very-newsworthy story, though they couldn’t resist slipping in a few things that sensationalize the piece — and reduce its factual value in the process. This starts with the opening lines, where anchor Theresa Whitaker calls 666 “A 3-digit number with a Satanic origin.” In fact, keep an eye on Whitaker as she delivers her lines: she only says “666” once, and very quickly, like saying the words will hurt her or something.
The piece contradicts her pretty quickly; the whole 666/Antichrist/”Number of the beast” scene is, in fact, straight out of the Book of Revelation. That would make it of Biblical origin, not Satanic. In fact, it’s not even totally clear that the number is 666; it might be 616.
Fortunately, Racquel Rodriguez, the reporter who delivers the bulk of the segment, is smart enough to point out that most people’s squeamishness about 666 comes from two places: the Bible, and horror movies. The people she interviews are all over the map — amused, maybe a little uncomfortable, but can’t be bothered to switch to a different plate (there’s plenty more evil than a 666 plate, going to the DMV included). I like the fact that the only one who really doesn’t like it is the pastor — not because it’s evil, but because it looks weird for a pastor to drive a car with those numbers on it.
There are many theories why 666 was chosen in the Book of Revelation to represent the Antichrist. But they’re all speculation. The number is a pretty cool one in its own right, bring the sum of 1+2+3….34+35+36. Still, some people fear it. There’s even a word for that fear: hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. (Talk about evil!)
What about you? Are you uneasy about this number, or any classically superstitious numbers, like 13? Would you want this on your license plate? What would you do if your license plate came with it?