Sunday, May 22, 2011
THE RAPTURE, NARROWLY AVOIDED
Y'all still here? Thought so. Yesterday the world was supposed to be the end of the world. To be more precise, according to a rather large group of deluded Christian fundamentalists, the Rapture was due yesterday at about 6pm Pacific Standard Time, and all good God-fearing Christians were supposed to be lifted from their tasks--whether digging a ditch or driving a car or swindling an old lady with a sub-prime loan--and raised into the glorious heavens. Well, it didn't happen.
Of course it didn't happen. Predictions of the end of the world are nothing new. They happen frequently, in fact, since it's such a good way to solidify the ranks of the faithful--and to get them to make generous contributions. Con men, hustlers and snake-oil salesmen have long realized that imminent doom is a good motivator, and those "men of the cloth" are happy to make you feel like one of the chosen few, as long as you have a Mastercard or Visa.
Getting ready for whitebread heaven in this artist's depiction of "The Rapture."
Of course, this all seems a bit foolish to me--but then I was never in the target demographic. To be honest, I think religion itself is a con game--and it squeezes people for money, directs them politically, appeases them from anger at their conditions, and deludes them about their own freedom by installing an ...internal rulebook--God? Policeman?--of social control. With all due respect to those who are genuinely searching for spiritual answers and trying to lead a selfless, non-materialistic, transcendent life of love and service--the genuine seekers whom I respect--the lion's share of religion, and certainly organized religion, is a king hell con game and instrument of social control.
As for end of the world predictions, they happen all the time. Loren Madsen was kind enough to collect some of these predictions at this webpage. Check it out and we'll see you at the next end of the world party.
Elvis Costello sings the timely tune, "Waiting on the End of the World."