Good morning all,
Today, I was very pleased to discover that The Rapture never happened (cached copy of the official website here). My family, all devout Christians remained bound by the laws of gravity, and according to The Guardian, there is about an average level of misery and destruction in the world. Nothing that would suggest to me that the world will end on October 21st – which is nice, as that’s my dad’s birthday and I have a few ideas of what to get him already.
Yesterday I spent a pleasant afternoon with friends, showing off my new piercing. 6pm happened (the supposed Judgment time) and you will have to take my word for it that I have never seen a bluer, more pleasant May sky in London, completely devoid of people floating up towards the heavens. We atheists and agnostics and those of faith not dogma can sit smug that we knew it wouldn’t happen, it was all a lot of fuss over nothing.
It is now deeply tragic, then, to hear and read about people who genuinely feared the end of the world and hurt themselves and others because of it. Harold Camping is a dick. I bet the vast majority of the people in the world who’ve heard of him will probably agree that he’s a dick. He’s a cretin who should never have been given airtime and publicity. He’s a moron who should have been dismissed by everyone from individuals right up to the major news outlets who chose to air his idiotic views in prime time news slots.
All of us talk bollocks sometimes (some more than others *cough cough*) but major news outlets don’t take most of us seriously, and don’t even put most of us onscreen to have a giggle at our expense, though anyone watching The Apprentice might disagree. It’s fine to dismiss arseholes for what they are, but don’t rest the blame for the horrific actions of the individuals above solely on Camping. We should have never given him the time of day, and those unfortunate people PZ Myers refers to should have been under some kind of program of professional help before it got to the point where they could do serious harm.
As a former Christian, I can say with confidence that the first thing you do when you’re scared about something with a religious tangent to it (ie Judgment Day) is to speak to a priest or religious older person. A responsible priest will assure you that either it won’t happen (because the Bible is too perfect a document to be understood by mere humans apparently) or that you’ll be ok if it does happen because you’re a good Christian/person etc. They will also alert the authorities if they get the impression that you will do something to harm yourself or others. Believe it or not, some priests are good people.
To blame Harold Camping for these atrocities is to ignore the many hours of free publicity he was given by journalists and TV producers who should know better.
Here’s some Blondie to lighten the mood. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!