Warning: This is going to be offensive...very offensive. And on so many levels, too. You were warned.
So, it wasn't the End of the World, but it was supposed to be. Let's put aside, for a moment, the mentality that was on display by the so-called Prophets of Doom; we'll get to that in a minute. While I was always pretty certain that the so-called Bible-approved Date of Departure wasn't really coming, the really disappointing part of the whole "May 21st is Doomsday" hoax was that it's almost a shame that it didn't happen. I said almost.
It's disappointing in this regard: Had Reverend It's-This-Time-For-Sure been right, some of the great questions which have caused so much rancor, hard feelings and bloodshed would have been answered unequivocally. If you're a Christian, you would have known that all that kneeling and mumbling had not been in vain, and the proof -- that God, does indeed, exist -- and the Christian version of Her (I figure God must be a woman, because only a woman could fuck things up this badly and then still have the nerve to demand to be worshiped) would have been upheld above all others. You would have been proven right, and those Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists would have been left standing there with egg on their faces, boy!
Wouldn't they have felt retarded knowing they had been worshiping at false altars? Could you imagine what, if it were possible to find out just what they might be thinking at that exact moment of...ahem...revelation, Osama Bin Laden and Ayotollah Khomeni might have thought? Would it have been "Ooops! Sorry!" or would it be "Damn, I guess this elevator is on it's way to the ground floor, after all!"
Another interesting question that would have been answered would have been "Will Tim the Annoying Jesus Freak From Accounting be getting Raptured, or is he just the sanctimonious putz that I always took him for?" By that, I mean would all the self-satisfied people you know who are so secure about their eventual place in Heaven -- and can't stop talking about it -- still be here, and could you imagine both the surprise and the horror on their faces if they weren't? But I guess that's mean of me to think of it that way.
Imagine the confusion, consternation, and the sound of 2 billion simultaneous palm-to-forehead smacks if the Christians, Jews AND Muslims had been left behind, and only the Druids were Raptured? The Jedi Knights? The Moonies? Talk about being pissed off and played for suckers!
Anyhow, if you're like me (and you survived 10 years of Catholic schools without murdering someone) you pretty much knew the whole thing was bullshit, if only because, well...consider the source. The Great Non-Event will be explained away in the coming days in the following manner;
The True Intent of the Almighty is often simply beyond the means of Man to discern, and despite what we think about our having 'knowledge' we truly have none when it comes to whether, when, or how, God will see fit to finally bring about the End of Days. The ways of God are mysterious, and we've made a grave mistake in trying to get inside God's mind instead of doing that which we are commanded to do, which is to get inside God's Good Graces. We've sinned by trying -- the sins of Pride and Arrogance -- and because we've sinned, God has decided that we're just not ready to see fulfillment of Her Prophecy at the present time. She will do so on Her terms, and not our's. Still, if it brought one person back into God's loving Embrace, and made just one Sinner repent his sins, it doesn't matter whether we were right or not: a much greater good has been served.
And five years from now Reverend Global-Holocaust will be entirely forgotten. He'll still be exceedingly rich and running his nationwide radio empire (it's amazing how that happens), but forgotten. At least until he makes another (wrong) prediction based on his peculiar blend of prophecy, Bible study, and numerology (Shocking! Numerology is usually so goddamned accurate!) This is the second time he's been wrong about the Date of Departure for his fellow morons, but apparently being wrong about Armageddon is sort of like being a stockbroker: You still get paid no matter what.
Considering the system Reverend Camping uses to predict these things is pretty much the same thing your broker uses to calculate a P/E ratio, I figure they're more or less in the same business -- selling false hopes, usually based upon faulty data, a great big wild-ass guess, and questionable accounting methods.
Oh, by the way, Reverend Camping has also predicted that God will incinerate the Universe sometime in October. Mark that date on your calendar. But even this beggars a question: if God is going to destroy the ENTIRE UNIVERSE, why bother to destroy this world five months early? For someone who's supposed to be All-Wise, this doesn't sound very smart to me. Why not do it all in one go, and save some time and effort?
Then again, God doesn't appear to be very smart at all. A cursory reading of Genesis -- the very first book of the Bible! -- pretty much tells you that God hasn't always got Her shit together;
There's actually TWO versions of the Creation of Man in Genesis. In the first one, Man and Woman are created together from the dust of the Earth. In the second one, Adam is all alone, and so God puts him to sleep, grabs a rib and makes Eve. Woman isn't even made from a Prime Cut. This would, taken literally, make it seem as if Adam has TWO wives. In many interpretations of Genesis, this is indeed the case; the First Woman (named Lilith) simply refuses to play a subordinate role to Adam and is banished from Eden for being a complete bitch and not knowing 'her place'. She believes that since she and Adam are created simultaneously that they are equal.
You would have thought that a perfect, all-knowing God-with-a-Master-Plan would have anticipated that if Her intention had been otherwise. Anyways, Lilith proves an unsatisfactory companion for Adam, and so God creates Eve, or as I like to refer to her "the Original Airhead". God, apparently, had this very same problem with Her other Creations, the Angels. Some of them didn't take too kindly to the idea that Man would be held higher in the esteem of God, even though She created them first. One of them was Lucifer, and another, Satan. You would think She would have seen that coming, too.
So Men, next time you wonder why it is that you just can't understand Women, just think of it this way: Even God took two swings at it -- She fucked it up twice -- and then gave up, probably in frustration.
We're told that God is All-Knowing and All-Seeing, and yet, God is often curiously absent when critical events take place in the Bible. When Eve is tempted by the Serpent, God isn't there to save her. After all, Eve doesn't know any better and needs guidance, especially so because God forbid her to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, which means God probably intended to keep us all stupid in the first place. And if so, then why put a Tree of Knowledge in the Garden at all? And what a rotten trick to play: put a Tree of Knowledge in there and then tell Eve not to eat from it, knowing full well that God has implanted the Human Nature Chip in us... and then She punishes us for following our programming! I'm telling you, someone's off Her game. When Cain kills Abel, God is, likewise, AWOL; She only knows something has happened because Abel's 'blood calls out' to Her. She doesn't even know what's happened, or who did it, which is pretty lame when you consider there ain't that many people to keep track of at the time. You don't need Columbo or Sherlock Holmes for this case. Why is Abel dead in the first place? Because God didn't like Cain's gift, the ungrateful witch!
Maybe She was making a sandwich or taking a dump when those things happened? Maybe it's just me, but you would think a being capable of creating an entire universe in the blink of an eye would at least have the ability to multitask.
Yeah, yeah, I know: you aren't supposed to take it literally, because it's only supposed to be illustrative and instructive. In that case, why take "Thou Shall Not Kill" literally? Why even take "Love one another as I have loved you" literally? Either it's the Truth, and meant to be taken literally (otherwise, why even bother?), or it's just a handy tool that can be used to justify anything; today's "don't take this literally" is tomorrow's "But God said...".
God, I think, must have been a lawyer.
See, this is the problem with having been educated in the Catholic Schools. On the one hand, the Catholic Schools teach you to think when it comes to mathematics, sciences, or even writing in a simple business letter, but then on the other, it demands unblinkered credulity when it comes to matters of Scripture. Only they call it 'faith'.
That's the problem with religion, period. You're expected to believe without having to think, react without thinking, behave without thinking, to just accept without critical thought.
Which is why I'm positive that this past week that someone blew his life savings, simply giving it away in the belief that he wouldn't need the money anymore. After all, he was going to be Raptured. Pastor Bob said so. And now that he hasn't been Raptured, he's going to have survive and feed his kids, and put a roof over their heads, and maybe not have the wherewithal to do it because he believed -- he had faith -- in a different outcome.
I'm almost going to guarantee that some people, perhaps many, actually committed suicide in anticipation of the destruction of Planet Earth to spare themselves -- and maybe they took their families with them? -- the horrors of a post-Apocalyptic World. Reverend Douchebag's 'Whoops! Got the date wrong, but I meant well" excuse isn't gong to bring those folks back, is it? I wonder how he'll square that circle with the Almighty when he's finally -- he hopes -- measured for his gossamer wings and halo?
I wonder how many people died around 6:00 Saturday, and how many of those deaths can be attributed to the stress and anxiety of wondering whether the world would end, how it would happen, or whether they would be saved? It's impossible to know, but I'd bet there were some who just couldn't take the suspense and keeled over.
How many people actually LOST THEIR FAITH -- disillusioned by the false promise of a complete knucklehead -- when the Prophecy didn't come true?
And what about the sins Reverend Camping inadvertently encouraged with his little piece of stupidity? In these parts, there were actually Doomsday Parties (I attended one!), and the debauchery at many would probably rival that of Caligula's Court. Hey, if you're gonna die, might as well get drunk and laid one last time before you go, right? So the "it still brought people to Jesus" excuse is pretty much nullified; I can promise you that while there might have been an awful lot of folks on their knees Saturday, the vast majority of 'em probably weren't praying. Maybe some were begging, but certainly not for Salvation.
Religion, I guess, is what you make of it. If it provides you with a moral compass, a guide as to how to live your life, an inner peace, or just a plausible explanation of all the Great Questions of Existence -- why are we here? what is my purpose? why do the wicked seem to prosper and the good die young? is Life a series of accidents, random events and occurrences, or is it all some sort of logical plan? what happens to me after I die? -- then good for you. I don't happen to agree with you, but I'm not going to stop you or try to convince you to give it up.
My only request is that you please keep your religion to yourself.
Because when some people insist on foisting their beliefs upon others, bad things usually happen. Airliners get hijacked and flown into office buildings. Thousands get slaughtered over a piece of desert. Billions are set against each other and use the Word of Fill-in-the-Blank as an excuse for murder, rape, dispossession, slavery, and worse.
And then some idiot who can't extend that reasonable courtesy to others, and instead broadcasts his stupidity around the world -- like when you insist you know the exact date and time of Armageddon -- and his predictions do not come to pass, you make the good folks who can keep their faith to themselves, and who just want to believe in something beyond the work-a-day world, look and feel obscenely foolish and you make them an object of ridicule or maybe even hatred or a target for violence. And that's just not fair.
Now, if that's how one 'brings people closer to God' -- by scaring the fertilizer out of them, causing them to do all sorts of stupid things, cause them to question their deeply-held beliefs in a negative way because they accepted your mistake, or lie, as serious truth -- then someone is a fucking dipshit, and taking that person's advice or seeking his opinion on anything, let alone the Will of God or the End of Times, is probably asking for trouble you could better do without. Reverend Camping and his friends deserve to be ignored.
If there were truly any Divine Justice in the Universe, Reverend Hump and his Acolytes would be taken away, alright...to a cloud with rubber walls.