Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm still here, are you?

At around 6:00 PM local time yesterday, the sky darkened with ominous clouds. Rain began to fall steadily, and after about twenty minutes... let up and the sun came out again.

So much for the much publicized coming of the Rapture and the beginning of the end of the world. How many failed doomsday predictions do we really need before people actually figure it out?

While the media probably made this 2nd spectacularly failed attempt of a televangelist to predict Judgment Day into a much bigger deal than it needed to be, the amount of people who supposedly bought into the reworked calculations of 89-year-old millionaire preacher Harold Camping speaks to a pretty sad state of affairs.

While it's very, very easy to poke fun at these people, some of whom dumped their life savings into billboards and religious tracts in a last ditch effort to save a few extra souls before zero hour, I can't help but feel sympathy. To anticipate the violent end of life on Earth with any kind of glee or excitement, to me, identifies someone who is deeply troubled and desperately disappointed with their lives.

Today, I have no doubt these people woke with a sense of foolish disappointment. How hard must it be too look people in the eye after you spent your last weeks saying goodbye and telling them how sad you would be to leave them behind when you ascended to heaven? How hard it must be to carry on living a life that's clearly so dismal you can't wait for it to end.

While the 'true believers' hoped that their endgame proselytizing would lead people to examine their own beliefs and make the 'right' choices that would save their souls, I hope this latest prophet-for-profit debacle will lead some people to re-examine their need to hope for the end of everything and find a more positive way to spend their time.

If reality doesn't make you happy, at least give fiction a try.


RoseOfTransylvania said...

Agreed. I never believed in it - atheist here - but thIS doomsday stuff has tragic side - people giving away all they own, etc.

Jennifer Colgan said...

Hi Rose! What's worse is many of them haven't re-evaluated. They just assume THEY somehow made a mistake or misunderstood and they'll fall for it all over the next time someone makes a false prediction.