The end of the world is happening tomorrow! (But not really.) Actually, by the time you read this, a good chunk of the Faithful should have been raptured by now, and subsequently, that time zone should have started to succumb to earthquakes. Supposedly, every place on earth gets a one-two punch of rapture-earthquake at 6 p.m. local time on Saturday May 21. In other words, Christmas Island (aka Kiritimati Island) should be gonzo about now. Australia, too.
I feel bad for the people who believe this. My parents got sucked into something like this once and it was a weird time for our family. Some old preacher guy with a lot of followers called for the rapture to happen in September 1994 (I don’t remember the actual date), and they believed it (or, at least, I remember a lot of weight being put into that prediction).
Update: I just did a little research. It’s Harold Camping that’s calling for a May 21 judgment day, and he was the same dude that called for it in 1994. I’m astonished people are listening a second time.
The worry over if I was a “good enough Christian” to go to heaven was heavy on me constantly, even though I was skeptical of the entire concept of the rapture and “the End Times”, predicted or not. Horror stories of what would happen to non-believers post-rapture were hurled at me from the pulpit every Sunday morning, but I never quite believed them. When nothing happened that September (I was 12), it started me down the road of thinking for myself, although it would be several years before I would be un-entangled from the trappings of religion completely.
There are young teenagers who are going through the same thing right now, and they’re scared and lonely like I was. It’s a really awful place to be when you’re raised in an environment of fear, and my heart breaks for them. As much as I’d like to laugh off the nutters, I’m just plain angry at them for being so stupid.
So a message to the young faithless who are scared of their own natural skepticism: it’s OK. Really. There is peace without the insanity of your wild-eyed preacher screeching at you to adhere to a moral code you find ridiculous. And, if Dan Savage will forgive me for stealing the phrase, it gets better.
Image from here. I would have taken my own – there are plenty of these around in the subways and on the streets – but I can’t quite help feeling awkward about pointing my camera in their direction.