Monday, January 4, 2010

...And I Feel Fine.

Harold Camping laughs at those who say the world will end in 2012. It's a completely ridiculous idea to Camping, not because it is ridiculous to peg any date for the world's end, but because, in Camping's view, it's just plain the wrong date.

According to Camping, who has spent the great majority of his 88 years of life studying the Bible, the rapture will be May 21, 2011. According to this article, by Justin Berton at the San Francisco Chronicle, Camping has a large following, even though his previous eschatological prediction failed when the end of the world did not come on September 6, 1994.

Camping pores over scripture attempting to find a hidden meaning in the numbers found there. This reminds me of the brilliant episode of The Simpsons, "Thank God It's Doomsday",
where Homer does his own predictive calculation for the end of the world, working out random selections from the Bible on a chalkboard until he's convinced he knows when the rapture is coming.

It makes me ill to see people still falling for this garbage. I lived with the "end of the world" mentality as a Jehovah's Witness. It's a mindfuck. You put your life on hold for a date. You don't deal with your health or your life mindfully because, well, "the end" is just around the corner, so why bother? But I digress.

How does Camping justify his beliefs? Like all good fundamentalists he feels he has God's backing.

"We are now translated into 48 languages and have been transmitting into China on an AM station without getting jammed once," Camping said. "How can that happen without God's mercy?""

In the words of Homer Simpson: "God loves you. He's gonna KILL you!"

tall penguin


wraithinwings said...

I think the biggest moment of wonder I had when researching the history of Jehovah's Witnesses and others who were/are part of the apocalyptic movement was discovering that there are people out there exactly like JWs. For some reason I'd grown up with the misconception that Jehovah's Witnesses were the only religion who actually laid any claim to divine backing and truth. I was shocked to find that it just wasn't so, and it carried parallels in the Latter Day Saints, Adventists, Christadelphians, etc. It was a moment of "Oh my god, they've been fucking with my head." Now everytime I see it, it's yet another coffin nail in the burial of a life I once loved, and would have lived and died for.
Thanks :)

tall penguin said...

Hey Lauren,

It really is bizarre the way we thought. The "true believer" is the worst of the worst, until they come to realize how many others think they're true believers as well. For most though, it doesn't make any difference. For most, their true belief is truer than the other's true belief. Ridiculous in hindsight but not so much when you're living it. It's amazing what you can justify with magical thinking.

"Now everytime I see it, it's yet another coffin nail in the burial of a life I once loved, and would have lived and died for. "

I feel this. Deeply.