I don’t have big plans for Saturday … a doctor’s appointment, maybe catch a movie. But there are a lot of people who have some extreme plans for May 21. This is in the New York Times today, but stories about it have been everywhere for the past few weeks:
Thousands of people around the country have spent the last few days taking to the streets and saying final goodbyes before Saturday, Judgment Day, when they expect to be absorbed into heaven in a process known as the rapture. Nonbelievers, they hold, will be left behind to perish along with the world over the next five months.
With their doomsday T-shirts, placards and leaflets, followers — often clutching Bibles — are typically viewed as harmless proselytizers from outside mainstream religion. But their convictions have frequently created the most tension within their own families, particularly with relatives whose main concern about the weekend is whether it will rain.
Some evangelist named Harold Camping, who’s 89, has a radio show and has calculated the date for the end of the world based on his bible studies. This is the second time he’s predicted the end of the world. That pretty much says it all.
But a lot of people take it seriously; very religious people who’ve most likely read the “Left Behind” books and the related movies. Their reference is the Book of Revelation, and they say things like the president of the U.S. is the anti-Christ. The coverage of this has been tongue in cheek, but the overall motivation of these people is troubling. They’re social conservatives who are so obsessed with getting into heaven that they have completely ruled out doing anything to improve conditions in the world today. They would rather lead us into the Dark Ages with their desire for the end times and the Apocalypse than do things to protect the planet and, you know, make life better for everyone. They bombard us with pseudoscience on intelligent design and a 4,000 year old Earth where man frolicked with the dinosaurs. They are anti-intellectual and won’t be happy until everyone sees their ignorance as divine light.
And they’re hoping tomorrow is their big day.
I don’t find anything funny about a death cult.
- Harold Camping Says It’s the End of the World. He’s Said that Before (time.com)
- Will you vanish on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.? (geneveith.com)
- World Ending May 21? Religious Leaders Weigh In (newsfeed.time.com)
- Apocalypse soon – tomorrow, actually (theglobeandmail.com)
- Apocalypse Now? Not Until Saturday Says Robert Fitzpatrick Of Staten Island (newyork.cbslocal.com)