Sunday, May 22, 2011

If You’re Reading This, We’ve Survived the Rapture

So, in case you were living under that rock of yours for the last week or so, the world was supposed to end yesterday. Oh, and I guess it was supposed to wait until it was Saturday here in the US…because the folks in Australia were already digesting their Saturday lunch by the time we all went to bed. Big shocker, right? I mean, c’mon people. There are better ways to promote your website (every single banner/sign included their URL…who says there isn’t money to be made at the apocalypse?).

Let me get this right. Someone read the Bible and found out that it says that May 21, 2011 was going to be the end of the world as we knew it (…and I feel fine). The Bible…a book that’s been rewritten hundreds if not thousands of times. A book that’s been translated two and three times through. A book that’s been manipulated by supposed men of God for centuries to retain power and influence. A book whose chapters have been hand-selected. This book was able to pinpoint this specific date, thousands of years from the time it was written…by simple shepherds looking to make the world a better place? Yeah…you could say I’m a bit skeptical about all this. Blasphemy? In certain eyes perhaps. But, that isn’t to say I’m completely against The Good Book. It is a good book, when applied with common sense in a manner that is relative to today. But, it’s also hard to get behind anything that’s been used as a platform for centuries of violence and most recently to suggest that the deaths of soldiers are God’s punishment for accepting gays in the military. But, I digress.

Back to the matter at hand. Claiming the end is nigh isn’t a new thing. I think we all understand that. But, 20 years ago, we might have heard about this the day it was supposed to occur…and only if the local news was having a slow news day/week. Now, thanks to the evils wonders of the Internet and the media (I mean…who doesn’t love them?) we knew well in advance (might’ve also helped that this was all financed by some crackpot millionaire). We had plenty of time to “prepare.” Let’s see…I prepared by having a couple cocktails and relaxing with my wife. Then I slept in. Yeah, the rapture might have caught me a little off guard had it actually happened.
I just think it’s a bit delusional to think we’re on some sort of schedule. Like there’s some cosmic egg timer for the world and we’re just waiting for the last piece of sand to fall. So, it makes me wonder what’s behind this way of thinking? I mean, what’s the true desire behind wanting to know when you’ll die? I guess it takes away any chance for a surprise death. But, I think it also assumes that there will be this “Aha!” moment, where all will be revealed and the faithful will be able to say, “Told you so.” Then, we’ll all have to get in line and take what’s coming to us. Perhaps that’s another part of it. If we all go at once, that means no one will have to go it alone, right? (Except for the atheists…they are in so much trouble.) It becomes a community thing. Something shared by billions, instead of by the individual. But, that assumes that, in passing, we aren’t sharing what billions (or is it trillions) of individuals have experienced before us.

It’s easy enough to ridicule the doomsayers. We all laugh for different reasons. Some believe it is ridiculous. Some laugh because they think anything else might be considered supportive. Some laugh because it's too painful to think that they might be right. But, as much as I’ve laughed about it, it's made me pause and consider those who have gotten behind this and thrown their energy into it. The whole thing cries of a sort of desperation. Like a drowning man grasping at the crests of waves in hopes that one might support him. I mean, things have to be going kind of badly for you to be hoping for the end of the world. Or, maybe it's just a hope for change. With all of the violence in the world and the daily exposure of horrors that man inflicts on one another, I don’t find it surprising at all that some might wish for a galactic push of the Reset button. But, I’m not waiting for it to happen. Personally, I think there’s a lot of sand left in that egg timer. And, if not? Well, I don’t even think we’ll have the chance to say, “Oh my G…”

1 comment:

  1. I happened to be in temple this weekend and our rabbi made an awesome speech about the whole Rapture thing. He made the point that each time there have been these types of predictions, there have been during times of great social and political unrest coupled with economic turmoil and religious zealotry. He gave some factual information which I could not even try to recreate for you here, but it was pretty fascinating. Anyway, he made a point of saying that the whole concept of the Rapture goes against the Jewish ethos. We are taught not to believe in any kind of apocalyptic kind of thinking. As Jews, we are supposed to try to change the world and make it a better place. (I think I just quoted Michael Jackson.) We are supposed to do this while we are alive and kicking. In fact, we are commanded to do it. Like you, our rabbi urged us not to fret when October rolls around - the next big date that Camping has set, 'cuz, you know his Big Boom Clock was not set properly. It was actually a reassuring sermon, and it is nice to know you share the same viewpoint. Maybe we CAN all just get along.

    Thanks for visiting my blog today!