Well folks, this is it. According to radio personality and end-of-times evangelist Harold Camping, this will be the last column I’ll ever have the pleasure to write for Chenango County’s hometown daily. Michael Stipe – of R.E.M. fame – would say it’s the end of the world as we know it, while Mr. Mojo Risin’ himself, Jim Morrison, would’ve simply called it the end. And I’m guessing singer-songwriter Don Henley is sitting on a porch somewhere with a world of trouble on his mind, strumming on an old, battered acoustic guitar and singing about the end of the innocence.
Yes, according to Camping, Judgment Day is upon us – May 21, 2011 – and I guess you could say that I feel fine.
For those of you unaware of the apocalyptic nature of Christianity’s ultimate disappearing act, the Rapture signals the return of Jesus Christ, the arrival of his arch-nemesis (known, appropriately, as the Antichrist) and the eventual return of the kingdom of heaven to Earth (after seven years of fire and brimstone, of course).
Personally, I’m not all that worried about it.
You see, our friend Mr. Camping has made this kind of allegation before, namely in September of 1994, and – let’s be honest – it’s not the first time some far-fetched doomsday prophecy has been thrown our way.
In reality, we should be used to this type of thing by now, don’t you think? I mean, it’s not like we haven’t already suffered through the (nonexistent) mayhem and chaos of the turn of the century and Y2K, the catastrophic possibility of a devastating meteor strike (think Bruce Willis in “Armageddon” and Morgan Freeman in “Deep Impact”) and the constant threat of (how many times now?) nuclear war.
At least the Mayans gave us until 2012.
But no, according to an extremely ridiculous number of whacked-out religious fanatics out there, Saturday, May 21, 2011, will mark the end of life as we know it. It’d almost be depressing if it weren’t so downright laughable. To put it simply, they may be selling, but I’m not buying.
Mr. Camping, however, is definitely a believer, and he’s even developed a mathematical theory (similar to the one he put together back in 1994) that proves the Bible gives undeniable proof of his claim. For my part, I’d like nothing more than to see his (and every other nut out there that truly believes this nonsense) face come Sunday morning when he realizes his calculations were, once again, off the mark.
And just to keep things on the straight and narrow here, I’m certainly not criticizing or finding fault with the beliefs of Christianity – or any other religion for that matter – I’m simply calling things the way I see them.
Topics such as the end of world, as you can well imagine, provide an excellent opportunity for some truly insightful discussion here in the office of The Evening Sun. In fact, yesterday found your hometown daily’s staff of writers – true to form – debating the non-controversial issue.
“I’m really not all that worried about this whole ‘destruction of the universe’ deal, but couldn’t it at least wait until after Blues Fest?” were the first words out of my mouth, followed closely by my assertion that I could definitely come up with a much more convenient date. “How about October 17?”
“Wait a minute, no way, October 17 is my brother’s birthday,” shouted out one of my esteemed co-workers.
“Just make sure it happens before Pumpkinfest,” came another voice, from somewhere across the newsroom.
About the only thing we could all agree on was that the end should – most definitely – occur on a Monday morning at around 6 a.m., well before we make our way into the office to hastily type away during those precious hours leading up to deadline. That way, everyone gets to enjoy one last weekend, partying with friends, spending time with family and, hey, you wouldn’t even have to worry about setting the alarm clock Sunday night.
Unfortunately, if Mr. Camping’s dire prediction is correct, none of this will matter, and on Saturday (I think the voices told him around 6 p.m.), a devastating earthquake will lay waste to the entire planet.
I don’t know about you, but there go my plans for the weekend.
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