Armageddon on May 21st? Meh…
Posted by mattusmaximus on May 12, 2011
[**Update (5-19-11): If you want to take, just for a moment, a serious look at the flaws in the calculation which produced this prediction, see my latest entry on the topic.]
I just wanted to provide an update on the fundamentalist religious loonies who keep on preaching the message that the Rapture will take place on Saturday, May 21st. According to these folks, the true followers of Jesus Christ will be magically whisked away to be with him in Heaven, leaving the rest of us poor shlubs to tough it out here on Earth.
And, apparently, these folks are serious… very, very serious: they are attempting to warn as many people as possible about the impending end-of-the-world…
One of my favorite places in Washington, D.C., is the National Mall. When you stand in the center with the U.S. Capitol on one end, the Washington Monument on the other and the Smithsonian museums flanking the sides, you can’t help but feel you’re having the quintessential D.C. experience.
Because the mall is so popular, it has become a type of free-speech zone. People often stand around hoisting signs with various political or religious messages and pass out literature.
Today’s Washington Post has a story about a group of fundamentalist Christians who are working the mall with an aggressive pamphlet campaign. These folks, who follow a radio evangelist named Harold Camping, are convinced that the world will end on May 21 at 6 p.m. Not surprisingly, they feel compelled to warn us all.
Call me a skeptic. A few years ago, I read an interesting book titled End-Time Visions : The Road to Armageddon(authored by an evangelical Christian) that chronicled a long list of failed end-of-the-world predictions. Somewhere around the house, I have a flier handed to me by a fellow who was convinced that the world was going to end in October of 1988. When it didn’t happen, the man who made the prediction, Edgar Whisenaut, insisted that his calculations had been off by one year, and it was definitely going to happen in 1989. … [emphasis mine]
Now I have to say – well, meh. I mean, come on folks, people like these have been claiming the end-of-the-world is coming ever since there’s been religious belief. And, as the bolded part above notes, there is one all important fact that every last one of these predictions have in common: they have all been dead, flat wrong. Period.
Here’s my bottom line prediction: don’t worry about the Rapture on May 21st, because it isn’t going to happen. I further predict that the true believers in this fairy tale will somehow attempt to rationalize away the glaring fact that they look like complete idiots because of how obviously wrong they were. And, for the hat trick, I predict that the next time some nutty group comes up with a religious doomsday scenario based in some esoteric reading of the Bible or another holy book, there will be far too many people willing to gobble up the nonsense.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be enjoying a really big laugh on May 22nd :)