So do you think it's all the social media that's causing us to pay more attention to some lunatic's claim of the End of the World than usual? I mean, someone comes along and predicts this sort of thing every few years and usually it gets mentioned in a few jokes and we all move on.
This thing has taken on a life of its own like no other prediction, except the one those Heaven's Gate people were involved in - and that was after the fact!
I wonder what motivates these people in their "certainty." I've read some articles suggesting that people put together emergency kits for those left behind (a truly Christian thing to do, I suppose). There are billboards and buses all over the country announcing this stuff. There's a Facebook page dedicated to a post-Rapture looting party. People are talking about the earthquakes and the floods, and the widlfires, and the Terminator. Of course none of that would have anything to do with global warming - except the Terminator and that's just too hot to touch.
It seems to be surpassing even Millenial whackjobbery.
Of course, back then, I knew people who bought guns to protect themselves from Millenial Mayhem. You don't hear about that so much now, but I suspect it's because the people who really believe that a gun would be helpful in an Armageddon situation, think they are going to be the ones who get taken.
I maintain that if you think you are good enough to be taken in the Rapture, you probably won't be.
I'm not planning on it.
Fundy-lit's fascinate me. All signs and no science.
I wasn't brought up with any of this. Catholics don't really talk about the End Times, and I'm not sure the book of Revelations is even in the Catholic Bible (there's a lot of stuff that's not in the Catholic Bible that other Bibles kept), but it's been a while since I've really looked at one of those.
There was a period of time when I studied the fundamentalists, to see if I could better understand what made them tick. This was also a period of perhaps the deepest unhappiness in my adult life. Coincidence? Well, maybe.
I came to the conclusion that the very religious are looking for a set of rules for living, one that might absolve them of responsibility for things that don't make sense. Complexity challenges them so the more black and white they can make the world around them, the better they can function. And if it defies logic? Well, God works in mysterious ways.
I'll admit that I envy people who can live their lives that way, who can accept aphorisms, Scripture, and inspirational soundbites as guideposts for living. I call it the Forest Gumping of America, and I feel that it's gotten worse in the last couple of decades, but that could just be my age and general crankiness about the subject.
Do you remember the Left Behind Series? It was this dramatic story of the End Times that never seemed to end and sold millions of copies in WalMarts all across America. I actually read one of those books. I bought it in an airport in Nebraska, where the was no chance of running into anyone I knew, and I read it all the way home. Curiously, the main characters are in an airplane when the Rapture occurs and one of them has to land it with half the passengers and crew missing. Just what you want to read when you are flying home. Here's the thing about those books - they are written at a third grade reading level. The characters were one-dimensional, story was simplistic, the dialogue was terrible, but the action drew you all the way in. Kind of like an Arnold Schwartzenegger movie, now that Ithink about it.
The fact that the series got so much airtime, even on NPR, and no one mentioned how bad the writing was, spoke volumes about what we are dealing with in terms of anti-intellectualism.
Societal fringes both attract and repulse me. I have spent way too much time thinking about them. What makes people join an anti-government militia in Montana (answer: usually a Democratic President)? What makes people think that government should get entirely out of the education business? How do people become convinced there is evidence of aliens being hidden at Area 51? Why do people insist on Creationism when it defies all logic and available science? Why does the birther movement have so much traction? And while we're at it - what the hell was Donald Trump thinking?
You know there's so much information out there, and yet it doesn't seem to be making people any smarter. In fact just the opposite. People are free to take refuge under any form of foil-hat publishing outlet that they find fits their views. No critical thinking needed. It reminds me of that scene in "So I Married an Axe Murderer" where Mike Meyers confronts his beleaguered mother about getting her news strictly from the supermarket tabloids.
"Mom, why do you refer to Weekly World News...as 'the paper?' The paper contains facts." "This paper contains facts. And this paper has the eighth-highest circulation in the whole wide world. Plenty of facts. 'Pregnant Man Gives Birth.' That's a fact."
Wait, wasn't that also in an Arnold Schwartzenegger movie?