...or so I heard. Some lunatic named Harold Camping has proclaimed that Judgment Day is upon us. At 6:00 local time, around the world, I suppose, the Rapture will be upon us. Those going to Heaven need not pack, as all your needs will be met by their higher quality staff. Those taking the elevator down toward "warmer regions" should pack for a long, arduous stay. Anyone not going in either direction should shower and have on clean underwear...just in case.
From what I can find out, Camping claims the Rapture will occur today, 21 May 2011, and that G-d will eventually get around to completely destroying the Earth, as well as the known universe, by 21 October. This immediately becomes suspect, as it's always been easier to destroy than to create. For example, an office building can be demolished in a matter of hours, but can take months to erect. That said, if G-d created everything in six days, why will it take Him five months to finish the job? Is His schedule that tight? "Hmmm...I have that dental appointment on 24 May to get that cracked tooth looked at, and My annual wellness checkup on 29 August. Oh, and I'm taking Jesus on our yearly trip to Disney World in late September. It'd be a shame to obliterate his favorite vacation spot before We had a chance to go."
As a member of Facebook, I've been seeing all sorts of nonsense pertaining to this alleged event. From what I've read elsewhere, 200,000,000 will be "Raptured," and the rest of the world will simply cease to exist come October. If one can call what Camping preaches as "teachings," then he believes that no one will be receiving damnation; they'll just come to an abrupt end. This supposed Rapture would, in fact, happen at 6:00 PM local time, time zone by time zone, and the truly faithful would be called to Heaven...
...except that the deadline has come and gone in numerous parts of the world already, and no one has been "Raptured." If anything, I'd think their faith has been ruptured. "I quit my job, sold my house and my car, gave away all my money, and spent my remaining time trying to tell the world about our imminent, cosmic changes...and now I'm unemployed, penniless, homeless, and have been labeled a lunatic. Thanks a lot, Harry!"
Well, really...What did anyone expect from a guy who previously - and loosely, I might add - predicted the Rapture back in 1994? Back then, his message was, "The end of the world is nigh...Maybe...I could be wrong about this one. But after that, I'm pretty sure about it ending 17 years later, so mark your calendars."
Lunacy, I tell you!
My own faith is rather shaky at best. I was reared Jewish. Having gotten it wrong for so many years, I kind of stopped practicing religion. Still, I'll read my Old Testament every now and again, and certainly toss around plenty of Yiddish to maintain my Hebrew foundations. And because I can only be considered a Jew peripherally, I have some beliefs that some tend to question. They question it because I apply logic where I'm supposed to be applying faith.
For example, the Bible...Rumor has it that this is the word of G-d. But when one takes history into account, the Bible seems more like a manual put out to keep people moral and healthy. In the case of keeping Kosher, there was once a time when mixing dairy and meet meant becoming deathly ill. The process of cleaning a pig so it could be eaten was beyond them in ancient times, often resulting in food poisoning, so pigs were claimed to be inedible, and sinfully so! And the Ten Commandments...? Most are also the laws on men, and not just that of G-d. (Thou shall not covet anything of thy neighbors; thou shall not kill; etc.) By claiming that these laws came from G-d put fear into men and women; follow these laws or doom your soul!
But let's remove history and propose that the Bible truly is the word of G-d. How are we, as mere mortals, supposed to understand the will of a power that's both omnipotent and omniscient? If I were just a bit more faithful, I'd have to say that anyone claiming to KNOW the will of G-d is damning themselves. For all we know, Al Pacino's character was right in The Devil's Advocate, and G-d is a celestial prankster. "He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does he do? I swear, for his own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look, but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow." (Actors say that the Devil has the best lines.) Mortals CANNOT know the will of G-d, plain and simple...to me.
Becky's response was a little more basic. "I just spent all of this time, effort, and money to get into school. I even made the dean's list! The world better NOT freakin' end!"
Thus, Harold Camping has been proven wrong. The Heavens did not open up, and no one has been called to Heaven. Or maybe they were, but were in the shower and failed to answer the call. (Alternatively, the call could have shown up on caller ID as a telemarketer, and they refused to answer while watching their favorite TV shows.) He might have been off by a few hours. Maybe it was supposed to happen around midnight. And those who have given up all of their worldly possessions in preparation of the now false-event will be hitting the welfare lines come Monday.
But, hey! We still have next year, when the Mayan calendar runs out. (I still maintain it stops because the guy writing out the calendar ran out of ink!) The planets will align, get sucked into a wormhole, and we will all be bowing to our new, robotic/zombi/ninja/pirate masters in another galaxy. THAT'S when it'll be a party.
Be well, and DFTBA!