Friday, May 20, 2011

Rapture, Crapture...

Wow, I apparently haven't posted on the blog in like 6 weeks. Sorry. I've been playing a ridiculous amount of Mortal Kombat really busy with work lately and just haven't had time to sit down with the laptop for more than five minutes at a clip.1 In any event, it has come to my attention (thanks to about a dozen billboards I pass going to work every morning) that the end of the world is tomorrow. Lame.

We actually discussed these May 21st Rapture folks on here earlier in the year, but to my surprise they've not only failed to go away, but they've attracted a fair amount of media attention.2 I suppose this comes from a combination of the nearness of the appointed date and the ubiquity of the billboards crowing about it, but I've nonetheless been pretty surprised by the level of buzz that's been generated around this. A couple of my friends from work have even asked me about it, specifically because they want to know "how we know it's not true".

Because we're adults...?

The only real question is how the folks over at We Can Know are going to react when the earth isn't torn asunder by a cataclysmic earthquake Saturday evening. They're already hedging their bets a bit by claiming that, in fact, tomorrow will only be the beginning of the end of the world and that the earth won't actually be destroyed until October. History teaches us that some combination of the following three things is likely to occur:

  1. The True BelieversTM will claim that their math was off and that the end of the world is actually coming later.
  2. The True BelieversTM will seize upon any even slightly unusual happening in the news tomorrow and swear that it represents a subtle start to the End of Days. This one won't be too easy in this case, since these folks are calling for the actual Rapture - that is, the bodily ascension of the faithful into the sky. There's not too many ways that could happen inconspicuously.
  3. The True BelieversTM will announce that through their prayers and faith, the End of the World has been forestalled so that more of us filthy, unsaved heathens will have a chance to come into the fold before Armageddon.
If I were a betting man, I'd say that number 2 up there is probably the most likely. I suppose we'll find out tomorrow evening.

Oh, and if you were wondering, these folks who claim the world is ending in 27 hours are still accepting donations.

1.) I'm especially sorry for all the folks (all three of you) who've had comments awaiting moderation for a month. The moderation is really there to filter out spam and that Dennis Markuze guy, but if I'm not regularly posting on the blog I don't think to log in and check the comments queue.

2.) Over the years we've also met this guy, this guy, this guy, and these yahoos. We've also watched a bunch of Rapture films made in the 1940s and talking about how the end was imminent 70 years ago.


LadyAtheist said...

My question for them is how do they know which time zone is the Godly one? What if it's 6:00 p.m. CHINESE time?

Jay said...

Camping's a predestinationist, if memory serves. He teaches that everyone who will be saved has already been picked. Consequently, if you're one of the lucky few, you shouldn't be making any plans for Sunday dinner this week. If you're not...

I'm not really sure quite what to make about pegging the time to 6 PM anywhere. It'll be kind of obvious when things start not happening in New Zealand.

I'm more concerned about the reaction of the people who sold their homes and such to follow Camping's ravings when they find out they're still here.

Skippy the Skeptic said...

My understanding is that everything is supposed to happen at 6pm through each timezone in turn...

As I recall there's a story in Alex Boese's "Elephants on Acid" that discusses a group of researchers who embedded themselves in a UFO cult run by a lady named Dorothy Martin. The cult expected the world to end in December of 1954, and the researchers were all on hand, undercover, with the group when everything was meant to go down. They hypothesized that the group would fold quite quickly after Martin's prophecy failed, but in fact they just became more insular and convinced. Martin apparently remained a new age guru until her death some 30 years later.

I suspect that's what we can expect to happen here. Some people will fall away from the group (many of them financially destroyed as Jay mentioned), but those that remain will be hardcore True Believers that will stand by Camping for years to come.

The Atheist said...

I love that timezone thing. It's an unspoken 'the people who'll believe this are too pants-on-head retarded to do the math with the timezones, so I'll just make it local time'.