Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rapture Shmapture

Okay, well, one of three things has obviously happened:

1.  My watch has stopped.

2.  The Rapture happened and I missed it.

3.  The Rapture was a bust.

If the Rapture failed to arrive as scheduled, I'm kind of disappointed.  I'd been looking forward to it -- not so much the Event itself as the world it would leave us, even for a brief, earthquake-rich period.

It might have been a world with shorter lines for movies.  And, although I had no data to back me up, I was free to imagine that the entire TSA workforce might have been yanked heavenward, leaving the airlines as the only problem with air travel.

On a more serious level, I thought the post-Rapture world would have been a much less smug place, a place in which negative value judgments and religious exclusion would play greatly reduced roles in social dynamics.  A place in which how we live our lives would be more important than how we bend our knees.

Since the Rapture is so selective and the devout of other religions are apparently unworthy of sharing eternity, I was looking forward to a world somewhat richer, statistically speaking, in devout Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, Zoroastrians, and most versions of Islam. I kind of hoped, in the short time we'd have left, that we might see how the most positive aspects of those belief systems would color our world.

But it's apparently not to be. The 2011 Rapture can be filed with the Y2K disaster as something subscribed to by the world's slow learners.

So here's my remaining hope.  I hope that everyone who bought into this, who consigned the rest of humanity to the flames, will creep out of their houses and into the light of God's new day deeply, deeply embarrassed, if not actually consumed with shame.  Shame that they would buy into a deity so vengeful and ignorant and small-minded that it would save a few Elect out of billions of Blameless, and negligently destroy the rest, including the entire beautiful (and probably Primitive-Christianity-free) universe.

They won't of course.  They'll just reset their spiritual watches and start counting down again.

And I say, the hell with them.

Tim -- Still here on Sunday May 22


  1. Great post! I agree with you.

    But I ask why can't those who believe in this doomsday so-called "Rapture," go out in the world and help people who need it -- homeless, hungry, ill people, instead of wasting their (and other people's) mental energy and time?

    And instead spend the money they spent on this frauculent Svengali preacher on helping those who need it concretely?

    Otherwise, it's all narcissistic, self-centered hype.

    They might actually gain some satisfaction by helping others.

  2. And the sinners are still among us--some in unrecognizable form.

    PREY ON PATMOS focused quite heavily on the Book of Revelation for Patmos is the island where Saint John "reduced God's words to writing." Of all the research I did for PoP, what fascinated me most was the entrepreneurial skills of "the end is near" pitchmen.

    They pick a date far enough out to give them a good run, market something (these days generally a book) to build and milk a following, and when their predictions inevitably fail, spin out a new cycle of doom even more rapturous a draw to those in need of hope.

    That sort of false prophet has been around since antiquity but what uniquely sets the modern off from their predecessors is the willingness of some to sue any who dare call them charlatans.

    Bring it on boys, for the time is at hand.

  3. From New York, we have good news and bad news:
    GOOD: New York City in all its gorgeous, atrocious, fascinating complexity is still here.

    BAD: so is Donald Trump's hair.

  4. I'm disappointed in some ways. yes, I'm happy there was no planet-enveloping earthquake, but I can think of several people who claim to be good Christians I'd be happy to see get what's coming to them, and the sooner the better.

  5. As a Catholic, I would not have experienced the Rapture. There is a significant population of Christians who do not think that Catholics are followers of Christ.

    The New Testament warns of false prophets as it warns of many things when people put themselves first and that has been the hallmark of the enormous, stadium sized churches whose leaders use television to rip into the pockets of the poor.

    Jim and Tammy Faye Fakker (sorry, typing error) were so obviously stealing the money the poor sent them that Jim, at least, went to jail for fraud. Oral Roberts got his university built on the donations of those who would never have the wherewithal to attend any university.

    The most oleaginous of the current crop of televangelists is Joel Osteen. Osteen inherited the business from his father and has successfully increased the funds taken in from those whom Osteen has taken in. What makes Osteen truly remarkable as a Christian preacher is that he never mentions God. All his sermons are about getting rich.

    The New Testament tells the story of the rich young man who asks Jesus what he must do to get into the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus tells him, "Sell everything and give the money to the poor." The rich young man found that to be too much to ask.

    Who would be assumed into heaven without question? If we knew the foolproof answer to that question, we would all become the people we were created to be. But, no matter what the religion, we were all left the rules by which we should govern our lives and then we were given the free will to make the choice.


  6. Phew we made it. Though I'm left with 103 tins of beans. Has Mr Camping explained what happened yet? Or rather, what didn't happen?

    It would have been hilarious to have faked the end of the world just to see his face when he thought he hadn't been 'chosen.'.

  7. Yes, charlatans have existed for centuries, true, and they do know how to grab ahold of people and get susceptible people to donate to them and lose all sense of reason in following them.

    However, I'd say today's scammers make this a big business, with mega-bucks involved, with mansions, very expensive cars, vacation homes, and more.

    I still assert that people who want to feel good about themselves should help people who need housing, health care, food, and more -- through donating and volunteerism. And they need the financial assistance; these wealthy Svengalis don't, and funds go to promote their own outrageous lifestyles and narcissism.

  8. Hi, Everybody - So glad we're all still here.

    Ah, yes, the prophet motive -- Camping's "church" is worth more than $100,0000,000 and raised $18 million last year. And (if this is an unsupported generalization, sue me) probably mostly donated by people who don't own yachts and trust funds. Blood-sucking, doddering old vampire.

    If Dante were alive, he'd be at work on an Eighth Circle for people like Camping, L. Ron Hubbard, the Fakkers (thanks, Beth!), Joel Osteen, Jimmy Swaggart, Father Devine -- the whole wretched mess of them. They'd be force-fed shredded money through eternity like foie gras geese and then have their livers removed for devils to eat on toast (without anaesthetic, natch) and then sewed up and force-fed some more.

    That would almost be worth the end of the world.

    One thing I find dazzlingly apparent is that none of these lovers of God's creation has taken a single look at how beautiful is is, or they'd know God wouldn't want to destroy it.

  9. You are far too kind Tim. There are worse fates and these folks deseve them. They're right up there with the likes of Eichmann, Pot, Impaler, Hitler, Amin, Ceausescu and other evil-doers. Some will colour me as overly dramatic. Thanks, I savoured the read.

  10. Someone said that these people should be sued. They exploit people in a particularly cynical way, I think. Where is the joy of God, rather than than the greed? Mr. camping is about to take credit for all the bad weather, and happenings. The rest of what I think is unprintable.

  11. FYI: Cathy at Kittling Books just posted a lovely review of "A Nail Through the Heart." It is winning and heartfelt.

    Hope you read it.