Sunday, 22 May 2011

Apocalypse postponed


Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

It’s Sunday evening. I’m still here. If you are reading this you are obviously still here. Yesterday was not Judgement Day – only Saturday. Saturday: excellent and fair. Yes, there was no Rapture; Jesus did not come; the righteous - actually more the deluded and self-righteous – were not lifted bodily into heaven, leaving behind little piles of clothing, here, there and everywhere for the rest of us. The end, after all, was not nigh.

The Book of Matthew warns against false prophets in the form of ravening wolves. Actually I think stupid prophets are far more of a danger; prophets like Harold Camping, who runs a network called Family Radio Worldwide, which he used to broadcast the coming Apocalypse, an announcement supplemented by a billboard blitz. “We learn from the Bible”, his website says, “that Holy God plans to rescue about 200 million people. On the first Day of Judgement (i.e. yesterday) they will be raptured into Heaven because God had great mercy for them.”

I imagine Camping assumed he would be first upon whom Holy God would bestow his mercy, the first to shuffle off his mortal threads, because that same Holy God seemingly granted him, and him alone, access to the divine Mind. One begins to appreciate the concern of the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation that the Bible in the wrong hands was full of potential pitfalls; that a subtle message was capable of being misread and misinterpreted, capable of misuse by all sorts of charlatans. But Camping is not a ravening wolf; just as silly ass preaching to a lot of deluded sheep.

We’ve been here before; we’ve seen this kind of silliness to which American fundamentalists in particular seem to be prone. One of my earliest articles was a piece I called Christian Whackos and Mooning Messiahs. This concerned one Christine Darg, another American evangelist, who was convinced that Jesus would make his reappearance on earth at the Golden Gate in Jerusalem. Certain of the time and the date, she even set up a webcam to record this earth-shattering event. Time passed. Jesus did not come. No Jesus, just lots of profane mooners, anxious to record their arses for posterity. It was the appearance of everyone but Jesus, all those bare backsides, which caused the camera to be removed just as quickly as it was put up.

Yes, it’s funny; people like Darg and Camping are beyond ridiculous, a parody of faith, literal-minded to a numbingly stupid degree. Derision is the best way of dealing with them, and the poor fools who are taken in by their pretensions, pretensions which verge on the comically sacrilegious.

One other way, of course, was to be smart enough to see a potential business opportunity, to be as smart as the atheist in New Hampshire who set up Eternal Earth-bound Pets. Apparently he has more than 250 clients, convinced that they were off to heaven, who paid up to $135 (£83) to have their pets picked up and cared for after the vanishing. “They would be disappointed twice”, he told the Wall Street Journal, “once because they weren’t raptured and again because I don’t do refunds.”

I can only laugh.

16 comments:

  1. No refunds? I am shocked, totally shocked! But then this was one of those great con jobs that unfortunately some got sucked into. I have some swampland... :)

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  2. Everyone assumes that Rapture means physical transportation of an individual's entire body. What if it's more like backing up a data file to an external hard drive?

    As an atheist, I don't expect to be going anywhere but my own personal, limited future, and that is enough of a mystery ride without spending too much time consulting timetables for the ghost elevators.

    But maybe there is a way for those who really want to go to go without actually leaving; without even knowing they have gone. Compared to some of this world's true mysteries, that would be relatively trivial.

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  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9IfHDi-2EA

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  4. Calvin, I believe it would! That's a great song. Thanks.

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  5. There definitely is something going on with the climatic and seismic anomalies and mass animal deaths on a global scale. If the cause for these events are of a cosmic source then they are not specific to any religion or group of people. Then there is the weather and seismic manipulation of the scalar weapons technology? The only source of evil is in the mind of man, so who knows. I think there is more to come relatively soon.

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  6. The song by Cash as posted by Calvin has been one of my classic favs....But, then coming to the subject, there are too many facts ceremoniously coming into the open only these recent years, be it true or now...Harold's campaign for example and ofcourse Mayan's prediction of 2012...If these predictions may have been made years back..then why is in the news only for the past few years?? I never heard of such facts during my childhood..So, what's the truth? Is it about media and commercial engagements, proactive panicking of the human race, knowing when its gonna end (Per say, if we think its true, then we rather stop living today...just a few days left, so why study, why work, why buy stuff, why save...And so on?), or is it looking forward to a better spiritual awakening, but put across to people in a devastating manner? Why all this pomp about the eventual end?? If that was true, then women would have stopped giving births by now....why torture kins who won't even know what's happening, if it did...All this commercial hoopla is shocking...! Really...Youtube is pouring with videos on this..for what and for whom? To scare people a little more and ensure a few more suicides on the 21st?? The more we accustom to the internet and media, the more fear creeps within us...

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  7. Anthony, yes, they are! There have been dire predictions about coming catastrophies throughout history which, in the end, never come. The simple truth is that our presence in space is a constant danger danger; just as the dinosaurs. No, wait; you can't. :-)

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  8. Fiducia, time changes are certainly significant here, particulary the ends of cycles. It's all part of a doomsday scenario built into human consciousness. Your point about fear, creeping fear, is very well put.

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  9. Remember these guys?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven's_Gate_(religious_group)

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  10. Here's an army truism for Mr. Camping: You never hear the one that gets you. The old world's been around for 4 1/2 billion years. I suspect we might just last a little longer.

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  11. Gotta love how even the Evangelical folks were calling Camping a nut.

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