Harold Camping is an asshole

‘Nuff said.

The good news is we get to do another rapture countdown.

By the way, this being my first post since the May 21 rapture, I should clarify that – ahem – nothing happened on May 21.

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Three days away

Three days ’til rapture.

I like to think of this whole thing as kind of win-win for atheists. On the one hand, if rapture happens it’ll just be us left over on earth. Government will be free from religion, there won’t be any holy wars, and all in all things should be pretty peaceful. On the other hand, if nothing happens, it’s a nice little slap in the face to those who are “absolutely sure” it’ll happen.

I’m absolutely aware that not all Christians think May 21st is the day of rapture. I realize it’s just a small sect of the particularly crazy ones who believe what that nut Harold Camping says. I also realize they’ll continue to be crazy once May 21st comes and goes with no incident and Camping will just claim he forgot to carry a two in his mathematical formula for predicting the end of the world. But the rest of us (not-quite-as-crazy Christians included) will get a good chuckle out of it. I’ll feel nothing but pity for those who have taken Camping’s advice and spent/given away every last bit of their money in anticipation of being raptured.

Four more days

Four days ’til rapture.

Being that you are a good Christian, you will be raptured in four days. Being that animals have no souls, your pets will not. Being that I am atheist, I also will not be raptured. Assuming you are not a cruel person (after all, you’re a good Christian, right?) you are probably interested in making sure your pets continue to receive care even after you are gone. If your answer is anything other than “Yes Dave, you’re right, I do want my pet to be cared for after my ascension into Heaven” then you are a cruel, heartless person. See also: not a good Christian. If that’s the case, you won’t be raptured anyway so my offer won’t matter. If you do want your pets receiving care, daily feed, proper grooming, etc. then by all means email me with your request. Please include your home address and keep in mind that I live in north Texas so be reasonable.

Five days!

Five days ’til rapture.

In five days, according to the crazies following Harold Camping, all hell breaks loose. Earthquakes strike in every country successively, starting at precisely six o’clock in the evening in every time zone. As I mentioned in my last “countdown” post, the first earthquakes will hit on Christmas Island, Jakarta and Singapore (because they’ll see 6:00p before anybody else) at precisely eleven o’clock at night, my time, on May 20th. Nineteen hours later, we’ll get it here.

The Camping Crazies seem to have this all mapped out pretty well. Camping himself perused his Bible, word for word and page for page, and came to the decisive conclusion that rapture will occur on May 21, 2011, and that the world itself will be destroyed exactly five months later on October 21, 2011.

This all comes from the belief in an inerrant Bible and the belief that the world was created in 10,000 (or so) B.C.E. From there they are able to determine precisely when Noah got on his boat and traveled the world. The Camping Crazies use Bible numerology and symbolism and figure that May 21, 2011 is exactly 7,000 years after Noah’s flood. Seven thousand years, and to god a year is to a day or something like that. Just Google it. Anyway, after reading how the Camping Crazies came to their collective conclusion, you can’t really deny that it sort of makes sense. I’m not saying I believe in their nonsense – it’s still nonsense – but it’s sensible nonsense.

What I do believe is that they’re reading just a little too far into the Bible. You can twist a book’s words and make it mean whatever you want it to mean. Given five decades (this is how long Harold Camping has been studying his Bible to determine the end times) I could probably find references to the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2nd, 2011 in the Pyramid Texts. The point is that you can make anything mean anything, and given enough time you could probably do it pretty convincingly.

Countdown: Six

Six days ’til rapture.

Allegedly, the rapture is scheduled to happen at 6:00p in every time zone. This tells me that by 11:00p on May 20th CST, I’ll know whether or not I should go in for work on the 21st (at 11:00p CST it will be 6:00p the following day on Christmas Island). If nothing happens on Christmas Island – no earthquakes, no people just disappearing from their homes or beach parties – at precisely 11:00p my time, then we’ll know this rapture business is just a whole lot of hooey.

Countdown: day seven

One week ’til rapture.

What if the rapture already happened? What if the six or seven billion of us on earth are the ones who’ve been left behind? Didn’t the Bible state in Revelation that only 144,000 people would be “raptured”? That’s a pretty insignificant number of people considering the overall world population. This could have happened already with none of us realizing it.

Think of the four horsemen: conquest and war? We got ’em. Lots of that going on right now, as a matter of fact. Famine? 20,000 or so people (likely much, much more) die of hunger every day. Death? Read that last sentence again. Multiply it by however many other causes of death there are. That’s an awful lot of death.

Earthquakes? Floods? Tornadoes? Have you been watching the news lately?

Of course, I don’t believe any of this stuff has anything to do with what’s predicted in the Bible. Except, perhaps, the wars – many of which can be attributed to holy books and the belief that they are the inerrant word of the god they represent. But that’s a post for another day.

The Final Countdown: day eight

Eight days left ’til rapture.

Rapture would be beautiful. The crazy Christians get what they want – ascension into Heaven with JC – and we freethinkers get what we want – no more crazy Christians. I’d say it’s win-win if it weren’t for the whole Four Horsemen thing. Death, famine, destruction and whatnot.

What’s disappointing is that once May 21st comes and goes without much ado, those who claim they know the exact time and date of rapture won’t let it drop. They’ll just say there was a mathematical error in their calculation, and that it’ll still definitely happen sometime during their lifetime. Just like it happened during Jesus’ followers’ lifetime when he told them it would.

Counting down: day 9

Nine days ’til rapture!

Counting down: Day 10

Ten days ’til rapture.

Thoughts (I)

With nothing better to discuss today, here is an assortment of thoughts.

  • This Pakistan/Pakistani-bashing has got to end. My workplace employs people of all different lifestyles, races, and from all different walks of life. Among my peers at work are a couple people from Pakistan. Not two days after Osama bin Laden’s death I heard they’ve already had to put up with mental and verbal abuse; not necessarily at the workplace, but certainly outside of work. The Pakistan government may or may not have had anything to do with bin Laden and they may or may not have known his whereabouts for a while, but this by no means subjects anybody else to any kind of abuse. Guess what? The American government has done or allowed some pretty terrible things in the past; I certainly don’t take accountability for their actions, nor is anybody who happens to be from Pakistan responsible for any of his or her country’s government’s alleged actions.
  • On the topic of Osama bin Laden, I frankly don’t care if pictures of his corpse are not released, or his “death tape” (the video he allegedly recorded to be released upon his death). I’m perfectly fine with never seeing him or hearing his voice again. As far as I’m concerned, he may still be alive, detained in a top-secret military base somewhere on the dark side of the moon. Probably not, of course. He probably really was pushed over the side of an aircraft carrier into the Atlantic Ocean somewhere with weights tied to his feet. Personally, I think that’s just too bad – science really could have benefited from studying that man’s brain. Oh well.
  • I would like to know the exact time of day (local time) that the Rapture is supposed to happen on May the twenty-first. I’m a bit of a procrastinator so I’ve got some things I’d like to work out before all that business goes down. Especially since I’ll be working that day and it’s possible everything happens while I’m there.
  • On that note, May 21st is a Saturday, so if anybody’s throwing a party around here I’d like an invite. I should be free in the evening; I’ll even bring some beer. I recommend holding the party somewhere with lots of accommodations. Being that most of the people here are “good” Christians, that means there ought to be plenty of empty houses to choose from. On the off-chance that god turns out to be loving and reasonable (I know, I’m pushing it) and I end up being raptured, you’re welcome to crash at my place. There will be plenty of beer in the refrigerator, a loaded bar, and a ton of great books and movies to kill some time with.
  • If Satan is known for punishing bad people eternally, is Satan really evil? Is our justice system evil? Our prisons? The police? If evil exists not because god is fictional but because of Satan, then does Satan have more power than god? All that aside, doesn’t the recognition of Satan as being as powerful as (or nearly as powerful as) god make the Christian faith polytheistic? Not to mention Jesus. That’s at least three gods Christians believe in. It’s actually less of a stretch to say the whole thing is rubbish.
  • If David Copperfield traveled back in time two thousand years and performed a simple card trick, we would be worshiping him now. I don’t know how magicians pull off a lot of their tricks, but that doesn’t mean I believe magic exists.

That’s all I’ve got for today.