Allegories Gone Wild–All The Chicken Littles Come Home To Roost…

raptureSomehow, I never get tired of these folks. It’s kind of simultaneously fascinating and repellent, like driving past a bad accident and rubbernecking anyways:

End of Days in May? Christian group spreads word

RALEIGH, N.C. – If there had been time, Marie Exley would have liked to start a family. Instead, the 32-year-old Army veteran has less than six months left, which she’ll spend spreading a stark warning: Judgment Day is almost here.

(And me without my sunblock!)

Exley is part of a movement of Christians loosely organized by radio broadcasts and websites, independent of churches and convinced by their reading of the Bible that the end of the world will begin May 21, 2011.

‘Loosely’ is a word more likely to describe their mental state.

To get the word out, they’re using billboards and bus stop benches, traveling caravans of RVs and volunteers passing out pamphlets on street corners. Cities from Bridgeport, Conn., to Little Rock, Ark., now have billboards with the ominous message, and mission groups are traveling through Latin America and Africa to spread the news outside the U.S.

Yeah, screw feeding and clothing the poor! Super-Jesus will bail his elite fan club out!

“A lot of people might think, ‘The end’s coming, let’s go party,’” said Exley, a veteran of two deployments in Iraq. “But we’re commanded by God to warn people. I wish I could just be like everybody else, but it’s so much better to know that when the end comes, you’ll be safe.”

How people like this live with anti-climax, I’ll never know.

In August, Exley left her home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to work with Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio Worldwide, the independent Christian ministry whose leader, Harold Camping, has calculated the May 21 date based on his reading of the Bible.

Only the millionth chump to pull this stunt – but the religious never learn.

She is organizing traveling columns of RVs carrying the message from city to city, a logistics challenge that her military experience has helped solve. The vehicles are scheduled to be in five North Carolina cities between now and the second week of January, but Exley will shortly be gone: overseas, where she hopes to eventually make it back to Iraq.

“I don’t really have plans to come back,” she said. “Time is short.”

The next 60 years is going to be one, long involved shock.

Not everyone who’s heard Camping’s message is taking such a dramatic step. They’re remaining in their day-to-day lives, but helping publicize the prophecy in other ways. Allison Warden, of Raleigh, has been helping organize a campaign using billboards, post cards and other media in cities across the U.S. through a website, We Can Know.

Meanwhile, children starve in the streets.

The 29-year-old payroll clerk laughs when asked about reactions to the message, which is plastered all over her car.

Never heard of bumper stickers, apparently.

“It’s definitely against the grain, I know that,” she said. “We’re hoping people won’t take our word for it, or Harold Camping’s word for it. We’re hoping that people will search the scriptures for themselves.”

Shouldn’t believe any word of it, I’d say.

Camping, 89, believes the Bible essentially functions as a cosmic calendar explaining exactly when various prophecies will be fulfilled.

Yes, senile dementia does some rotten things to people.

The retired civil engineer said all his calculations come from close readings of the Bible, but that external events like the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948 are signs confirming the date.

Oooh…that’s novel. No wait, it’s not.

“Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment,” he said.

Not gonna hold my breath.

The doctrine known as the Rapture teaches that believers will be taken up to heaven, while everyone else will remain on earth for a period of torment, concluding with the end of time. Camping believes that will happen in October.

Hey! My birthday’s in October! I wanted a pony, not the Apocalypse!

“If May 21 passes and I’m still here, that means I wasn’t saved. Does that mean God’s word is inaccurate or untrue? Not at all,” Warden said.

Oh yeah. Hunker around the campfire kiddies, as Uncle Warden explains his crazy.

The belief that Christ will return to earth and bring an end to history has been a basic element of Christian belief since the first century. The Book of Revelation, which comes last in the New Testament, describes this conclusion in vivid language that has inspired Christians for centuries.

Which has been disproven. But nobody listens.

But few churches are willing to set a date for the end of the world, heeding Jesus’ words in the gospels of Mark and Matthew that no one can know the day or hour it will happen. Predictions like Camping’s, though, aren’t new. One of the most famous in history was by the Baptist leader William Miller, who predicted the end for Oct. 22, 1844, which came to be known as the Great Disappointment among his followers, some of whom subsequently founded the Seventh Day Adventist church.

So this’ll be the Second Great Disappointment?

“In the U.S., there is still a significant population, mostly Protestant, who look at the Bible as kind of a puzzle, and the puzzle is God’s word and it’s predicting when the end times will come,” said Catherine Wessinger, a professor at Loyola University in New Orleans who studies millennialism, the belief in pending apocalypse.

Bad news: the bible IS a puzzle – conjured up by lunatics and rearranged by the surrounding society to suit whatever fantasies are in fad.

“A lot of times these prophecies gain traction when difficulties are happening in society,” she said. “Right now, there’s a lot of insecurity, and this is a promise that says it’s not all random, it’s part of God’s plan.”

Gee, the doomsayers can be blamed…on the economy?

Past predictions that failed to come true don’t have any bearing on the current calculation, believers maintain.

No surprise there.

“It would be like telling the Wright brothers that every other attempt to fly has failed, so you shouldn’t even try,” said Chris McCann, who works with eBible Fellowship, one of the groups spreading the message.

That analogy would only apply, if the Wright brothers never flew. Because these EOT’s (End Of Timers) don’t realize that none of the ‘prophecies’ in the wholly bibble ever came true.

For believers like McCann, theirs is actually a message of hope and compassion: God’s compassion for people, and the hope that there’s still time to be saved.

Oh, nice article. Don’t even bring in a skeptic to discount the effin’ thing.

That, ultimately, is what spurs on Exley, who said her beliefs have alienated her from most of her friends and family. Her hope is that not everyone who hears her message will mock it, and that even people who dismiss her now might still come to believe.

Because why? Because it’s crazy. Or as Malcolm in Serenity said it best: “Ah, hell, Shepherd, I ain’t looking for help from on high. That’s a long wait for a train don’t come.”

“If you still want to say we’re crazy, go ahead,” she said. “But it doesn’t hurt to look into it.”

And the poison spreads.

Till the next post, then.

This entry was posted in Absurdity, Bad God!, Crazy fundies, Delusion, for fuck's sake!, Religion, Stupidity, Superstition. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Allegories Gone Wild–All The Chicken Littles Come Home To Roost…

  1. Mark says:

    After having religious beliefs beaten into my head as a child, as a young adult I read a book titled; “The Late Great Planet Earth”. According to that book that is over 30 years old, the end was coming any friggen moment. Needless to say the end times did not arrive as written and began my journey of questioning all religious statements.

    Hopefully what this new statement will do when these dates pass without event will cause others to question as I did the true belief of organized religions…control of the masses for the profit of the few who chose themselves to lead.

    Good post !

  2. HMDK says:

    The Battered Wife-Syndrome of religion.

  3. Zarathustra says:

    You know………. when I think about it, I wish the “Rapture” would happen already. All of these ‘FREAKS’ would just be raptured, of have their asses beemed up to their Hell, and leave the rest of us alone……. My wife & I, well, we have to wait…….. till we Orgasm… while making love to each other, to have a few seconds of rapture, a few times a week………… ;-)

  4. Zarathustra says:

    You know………. when I think about it, I wish the “Rapture” would happen already. All of these ‘FREAKS’ would just be raptured, or have their asses beemed up to their Hell, and leave the rest of us alone……. My wife & I, well, we have to wait…….. till we Orgasm… while making love to each other, to have a few seconds of rapture, a few times a week………… ;-)

  5. Brooklyn Boy says:

    I’m sure this group of loons will find some kind of escape clause in their book of fairy tales when the world doesn’t end in May. The Jehovah Witnesses’ (the most stridently ignorant people I have ever encountered) prediction of the end of the world in the 1970s didn’t come to pass, they just pulled a Joseph Stalin. They edited all their literature and claimed that they never made such a statement in the first place.

  6. Captain Al says:

    To help these people out I’m willing to buy all their houses, jewelry, cars, RVs, etc., since obviously they won’t be needed anymore. I’ll take them off their hands for, let’s say, 1 cent on the dollar. No need to thank me.

  7. KA says:

    I’ll take them off their hands for, let’s say, 1 cent on the dollar.

    If ever I see someone w/1 of those tshirts/bumper stickers, I am SO using that.

  8. jimmer54 says:

    That is a long wait for a train don’t come, Enit?

    I hope these people have enough strength of character to admit that they were wrong when this day comes and goes. However what they will probably do is reevaluate and pick a new date. I just hope that they are not so crazy as to have any kool-aid available.

  9. ChuckA says:

    A few random thoughts in response to that madness; which, incidently, reminds me, a bit, of the new Ricky Gervais series on the Science Channel…
    “An Idiot Abroad”, with Karl Pilkington.
    [I'll just say, I agree with Pilkington's reaction to actual life in China and India.]

    RE Exley’s…
    “If you still want to say we’re crazy, go ahead,” she said.
    [Me]:
    “You ARE crazy!…
    TOTALLY fucking batshit crazy!”
    There…I’ve said it.

    And, as to “go ahead” (make my day?)…
    Sorry, I’ll “stay behind”, if you don’t mind.

    “But it doesn’t hurt to look into it.”
    Wadda-ya-mean?…my brain hurts, just thinking about “looking into it”. Sorta like looking into…a bottomless black hole? (No sexual pun intended?)

    Oh yeah…also (obviously WITH pun intended):
    “Happy Camping” to all you flying “World-end-as” (ala the ‘Flying Wallendas’?), oxygen deprived, and apparently totally nude, campers; drifting through the endless, non-atmospheric void…with nary a washroom in sight; let alone any fast food joints…like…
    “Chick-Fil_A”, :McFuctards”, “Booger King”, “Windy’s”, etc…?
    I suppose, however, other than loaves, fishes, crackers and watered down wine, you’ll be “eating Jeebus”…?
    What!…”Boner appetit!”? ;)

  10. ScottDogg says:

    Wake up, people!!!!1!11!uno!!! The world actually ended on the 29th of August 1997! Haven’t you watched Terminator 2? We are just brains and central nervous systems suspended in alcohol whose consciousnesses are controlled by supercomputers powered by aliens who abducted us from the planet HD 209458b! They virtualise a terrestrial environment that simulates how the Earth would have been like were there no such thing as the Apocalypse!!!!! These beings are our saviours!!! Worship them, and you shall receive the secret to universal peace! Disbelieve in them, and you will get an eternity of rectal probing!¡!¡!¡!¡!

    OK, I kid. Seriously, why doesn’t it surprise me that these folks are from North Carolina? I know that a lot of crazies come from that state, and I’m sure that the sane and rational people who live there find them embarrassing.

    “If May 21 passes and I’m still here, that means I wasn’t saved. Does that mean God’s word is inaccurate or untrue? Not at all,” Warden said.

    I actually feel sorry for these people. When May 21 passes, and they think that God has given them up, what will these people do with themselves? Will they go into a deep depression because they think that they are doomed to go to Hell? Or will they go nuts and rape, murder, strangle puppies, rip tags of matresses etc. as much as they can before the world ends because they think it won’t change the fate that’s in store for them?

    Religion is a fantasy for people who can’t cope with reality. Death sounds unpleasant? Worry not, we all have souls and will live forever. What about hurricanes and earthquakes? Oh, that’s just God punishing sinners. All the evidence supporting evolution? That’s God just testing our faith – since faith is more virtuous than human reason. Every passage in the Bible that literally depicts God as a sadistic monster? Those are just metaphors because he is good by definition. :roll:

    Anyway… for a bit of humor value, here’s a Chick tract on the subject of the Rapture.
    God: It’s time. Gabriel, sound my trumpet!
    Gabriel: ***FFFFFFFFAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRTTTTTTTT***!!!!!

  11. Bronze Dog says:

    I remember an old web cartoon called Romanov, which had a nice style along the lines of old silent films: Interstitial text, no actual dialog.

    Episode: Culture (text in two different colors): Romanov joins a flying saucer cult, undergoes “mutual brainwashing” (Conga line of people washing each other’s exposed brains with soapy sponges). It ends with them all out in a field under the stars, waiting for the end. The interstitial as morning arrives: “Armageddon’s eternal procrastination.”

  12. hogarm says:

    The origins of the “rapture theory” can be traced to the early 19th Century. A Scottish woman, seriously ill, confined to bed, delusional, had a vision. She divined that prior to the tribulation, those lucky old Christians would be caught up into the air, or “raptured,” thus escaping the evil temptations of the antichrist.
    Confirming it in the bible, is Matthew 24:37-42. NIV
    As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
    Note that the “people” were partying, eating & drinking, screwing around & they were the ones that were taken, not the YHVH-fearing Noah & his band of merry boat-builders. So if we apply that to what Esus said, I’m the one eating, etc., so I will be taken away and spared the tribulation, and the Zionist Christians and the Jews will be the ones that have to stay and deal with the antichrist.
    The lesson being, “eat, drink and make Mary.” Except for you guys whose

  13. Raptured (again) says:

    A few years ago, I noticed a car with a bumper sticker which read “In case of Rapture, this vehicle will be unmanned” using the same route each day as myself. The driver looked very holy and pious. The radio announcer one day said it would be next week. On the given day, lo and behold I am at the red light stuck behind this car. The appointed time is counted down by the radio announcer, comes and goes, the lights change to green and the car drives off. The bumper sticker disappeared overnight.

    Hogarm: That should be “Eat drink and be merrie, for tomorrow thou shalt DIET”!

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