Posts Tagged “jesus christ”

an epic mistranslationI have to give the guy credit for being tenacious. Even in the face of the spectacular failure of his May 21, 2011Second-Coming of Jesus” prediction, Bible scholar religionist crank Harold S. Camping remains unshaken in his claim that his “prophecy” will ultimately come to pass. His had always been a two-part prediction: That Jesus Christ would return on May 21, 2011 — ushered in by a vast globe-spanning earthquake, among other “signs” — followed 6 months later, on October 21, 2011, by an even more catastrophic “End of the World.”

Obviously the events he predicted would happen this past May never took place, but afterward Camping rationalized away his failure. WIth his promised “End of the World” coming up in just a few days, as LiveScience reports, Camping remains firmly and irrationally committed to his (already-demonstrably false) crankish scenario (WebCite cached article):

The radio preacher who predicted Judgment Day on May 21 has not backed down from his claims that the end of the world is near, despite the lack of a Rapture or world-devastating earthquakes leading up to the doomsday.

In an announcement on his Family Radio Network website, Harold Camping stands by his earlier predictions that the world will end on Friday, Oct. 21. Originally, Camping had predicted hourly earthquakes and God’s judgment on May 21, to be followed by months of torment on Earth for those individuals left behind. Using numerical codes extracted from the Bible, Camping set the date for the end of everything for Oct. 21.

The article briefly explains how — in typical crankish manner — Camping redefined both the events of this past May 21, and his own prediction about it, so as to make himself still look “correct” even though he most certainly was not:

When May 21 came and went without fanfare, Camping revised his story. The “earthquakes” he had predicted did occur, he writes on his website in a post titled “What Happened on May 21?” — only instead of shaking the Earth, God shook mankind “with fear.” Likewise, although no one was raptured, God is no longer saving souls, Camping writes.

“What really happened this past May 21st?” Camping wrote. “What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what He wanted to happen.”

I’m really not surprised at the screaming irrationality that Camping exhibits. He’s invested a lot of his time and money into his doomsday predictions (including a prior one that failed to come true back in 1994). For him to just throw up his hands — after all these years and after all these predictions — and just ‘fess up to having been wrong, would obviate all of that … not to mention it would call into question whether he should consider returning the millions of dollars in donations he and his organization have collected over the past couple years, from his sheep who believed in his obviously-wrong predictions. Simple economics and personal pride, then, all but force him to insist that “the End of the World” will take place this coming Friday, October 21, 2011. He just can’t help himself. Even if the rest of us know better.

Finally, for the record, I’d like to point out something that is also demonstrable, and that is that all Biblical prophecy is bullshit. A putrid, steaming load scooped right out of the back of the barn. All “Biblical prophecies” are false! Every stinking last one of them. Every time. All the time. And it will always and forever be so, because the very words of the Bible prove it, beyond the shadow of any possible doubt. It’s not up for debate or interpretation or number-crunching or anything else — it simply is. Period.

Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker.

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Picture on receipt / WYFF-TVIt’s an old story, people seeing figures in random things. This is a known phenomenon, called pareidolia, and it happens because the human brain is wired to detect and discern familiar patterns in things. It seems to be particularly common among the religious, who are forever seeing the Virgin Mary, angels, Jesus, etc. in things and proclaiming these appearances to be “miracles.” The latest such example comes from South Carolina, as reported by WYVV-TV in Greenville (WebCite cached article):

An engaged couple in Anderson County says a shadowy image that turned up on a receipt from Walmart looks like the face of Jesus.

Jacob Simmons and his fiancee, Gentry Lee Sutherland, said they bought some pictures from Walmart on Sunday, June 12.

The following Wednesday, the couple had just come home from a church service when Simmons spotted the receipt on the floor of Sutherland’s apartment. He says the receipt had changed.

The appearance of this apparition didn’t come as much of a surprise to the couple:

“Then the more you look at it, the more it looked like Jesus, and it was just shocking, breathtaking,” Simmons said.

The couple said the image seemed to answer a question they had just been asked at church.

“We had a message on knowing God, abiding in him,” Sutherland said. “(The preacher asked) ‘If you know God, would you recognize him if you saw him?’”

Folks, blotches of this sort form all the time on store receipts like this one, especially in the summer, since they’re printed on thermal paper, which — by design — darkens with heat. That the blotches can appear to form something recognizable — such as in indeterminate face — is not at all surprising, given the many millions of such receipts which are printed every day in this country. This very well could be a coincidental production.

Or, it might have been by design: One could very easily heat up a plate with a face engraved on it, press it to the receipt, and voilà! instant Jesus-face.

Folks, there’s nothing to see here. No supernatural power is needed in order to explain this. Besides, the idea that the Almighty has nothing better to do with the infinite power at his disposal than to imprint his blotchy face on a Walmart receipt (and upside-down, at that!) in South Carolina is, well, laughable in the extreme. Get over yourselves, fercryinoutloud.

Photo credit: WYFF-TV.

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Psychic entrance-ring bellThe laughable debacle in Hardin TX — where officials were fooled not once, but twice by the same “psychic” tipster — just got even more laughable. KHOU-TV in Houston reports that the “psychic” is defending her reports, and insists police got it all wrong (WebCite cached article):

“I was calling to have a welfare check on three live children,” said the 48-year-old woman, who only wanted to be identified by her nickname Angel. “Everything pretty much got blown out of proportion.”

Liberty County Sheriff’s deputies, the FBI, DPS officers and the media converged on the town of Hardin looking for signs of a mass grave. The information spread around the world, but Angel claims she said nothing about dozens of bodies. …

“I didn’t file a false report. If they make it to be false that’s up to them, you know. All I can do is pray that everyone involved, you know, I did what I was told to do.

“Angel” claims she was merely doing the Lord’s work:

I followed what Jesus and the angels told me to do. It’s up to them from there,” she said.

Well, there you go then. If Jesus and the angels said it, then it must be so!

Like the renowned — and consistently wrong — Sylvia Browne, “Angel” claims to have solved crimes using her powers, er, contacts with Jesus and the angels:

The Texas woman said she’s worked with law enforcement in the past and said she was just doing what she thought was right.

If you’re wondering how this “psychic” got a bunch of law enforcement folks in Texas to fall for her bullshit — not once, but twice! — then wonder no longer:

“They up front asked me how I got the information, and I am a reverend. I am a prophet and I get my information from Jesus and the angels, and I told them that I had 32 angels with me and they were giving me the information and then it went from there,” she said.

In a Bible-Belt state like Texas, all one has to do is identify oneself as clergy and mention Jesus, and Bang! instant credibility. People there will leap to do whatever such a person says.

Officials in Liberty county continue to insist they were right to have allowed themselves to be swindled — not once, but twice:

Officials at the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office maintain the investigation was by the book.

There. Now don’t you feel a whole lot better?

Hat tip: Mark at Skeptics & Heretics Forum at Delphi Forums.

Photo credit: adamrice.

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Judgment Day: May 21, 2011As I type this, it’s just after 6pm EDT where I am. Harold Camping’s promised May 21, 2011 Second Coming & Rapture — which he had said would occur at 6 pm in each time zone around the world (WebCite cached article) — has gone by, but without Jesus Christ reappearing, and with no discernible ill effects. The same time (i.e. 6 pm) has previously gone by, in — what? — 17 time zones around the world already, but likewise with no Jesus showing up, and no ill effects. And all the Christians are still here … no one, again as far as I know, has been vacuumed up into the sky to meet Jesus.

It would be easy for me to say something like, “I told you so!” or “I knew it!”, but honestly, that’s too easy. Anyone with half a functioning brain knew it wasn’t going to happen. For millennia, so-called prophets have claimed to know when “the End of the World” would come (cached), only to be proven wrong later, when the world managed, somehow, not to get exterminated at the appointed time.

For the record, the universe is also not going to end on December 21, 2012 … the so-called “Mayan Apocalypse” … either. The Maya did not actually predict any such thing, but even if they had, their credibility would be limited by the fact that they didn’t foresee the collapse of their own civilization around 900 CE.

I must, however, congratulate Camping and his sheep at Family Radio for diligently promoting this false prediction. The (failed) prophet was interviewed by many media outlets over the last few months, but never once conceded he might be wrong, and consistently refused even to entertain the question of what he would do if his Rapture never came.

That said, I’m still laughing at the cadaverous Bible scholar religionist crank, and at the morons and idiots who actually believed his nutty scenario. What do you fucking clowns think now that your “Bible-guaranteed” Second Coming never took place!?

Photo credit: JonDissed.

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The End is Near sign at Sweet Melissa's, SavannahI’ve blogged a number of times about Bible scholar religionist crank Harold Camping of Family Radio and his wingnut prophecy that Jesus is going to return on May 21, 2011 (this Saturday! hallelujah!) and that the world will end five months later, in October. It’s obvious the guy’s theories are whacked. But what I find amusing are all the other Christians out there who are trying to angle away from Camping and his sheep. Just one example of this is Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, who penned a whine for the CNN Belief blog about how Camping makes Christianity look bad (WebCite cached article):

What harm is there in an 89-year-old preacher making prognostications about the end of the world?

First, such predictions give non-Christians one more reason to discount the Bible.

There are plenty more examples I could cite, but this one is enough to make the point that a lot of evangelical and/or fundamentalist Christians are tripping over themselves trying to get away from the lunatic Camping and his “prediction.” The problem is that their religion is inherently predisposed to such predictions! Christians through the millennia have repeatedly predicted death, doom and destruction, based on any number of suppositions and extrapolations, only to be proven wrong eventually (cached). In fact, the founder of Christianity — none other than Jesus Christ himself! — made some very clear and explicit “End of the World” predictions, which likewise failed to come true:

“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Mt 16:28)

“But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” (Lk 9:27)

Those are not the only such predictions Jesus made, but they’re enough to make the point: No Christian can really be a Christian without believing in a Doomsday, and without believing in Doomsday predictions. To condemn Camping for making such a prediction, and triangulate away from him because he did so, is laughable. Selectively veering away from the more ridiculous aspects of their religion only makes Christians look like “fair weather” believers … eager to trumpet their metaphysics when they think it makes them look good to do so, but equally eager to get out of the way of the follies which are part and parcel of Christianity.

In case anyone isn’t already clear on the matter … all Biblical prophecy is bullshit. All of it. All the time. Forever and ever.

Photo credit: mmwm.

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Repent The End Is NearAre you excited? I’m sure the idiotic sheep from Family Radio who follow Bible scholar religionist crank Harold Camping are. They’ve been roaming the country lately, telling everyone they meet that Jesus Christ is returning in less than a week to suck up all the Christians and leave the planet to wallow in misery and torment, until the End of the World arrives, six months from now.

I eagerly await Camping’s prediction going bust, but cringe to think what sort of twisted rationale he’ll cook up to explain why it was wrong. The last time he made such a prediction, back in 1993, that September 6, 1994 would be “the End of the World,” he later said he’d made “an arithmetic error.”

I leave you with a link to a Salon article about Camping and his latest prediction, which ends thusly (WebCite cached article):

What will the Nostradamus and Mayan Calendar people say if the apocalypse doesn’t come in 2012? And how about the Family Radio believers and other Christian Adventists, with their appointed dates for Armageddon?

Well, the current predictions may prove false, but the doomsayers need not worry. The numbers can always be crunched again — and again and again.

Photo credit: Robert Bejil Photography.

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Snapshot of Washington Post video of Harold Camping, his followers, and their Project CaravanI’ve already blogged about Bible scholar religionist crank Harold Camping, who predicts that Jesus Christ will return — and vacuum all the Christians off the face of the earth — on May 21, 2011. With that date now less than two weeks away, he and his followers are now traipsing around the country in their “Project Caravan,” trying to scare the country into believing his insane apocalyptic drivel. The Washington Post reports on their (largely unsuccessful) attempt to get the nation’s capitol to buy into the bullshit (WebCite cached article):

The unexpected and potentially rotten news that the world will end on May 21 rolled into the District on Thursday morning, plastered on a caravan of five recreational vehicles that parked near the Washington Monument. …

As if the message weren’t scary enough, the dozen or so occupants of the RVs — vanguard of a national campaign funded by a fundamentalist Christian radio network and fueled by bus ads and Internet buzz [cached] — wore highlighter-bright yellow shirts that said “Earthquake So Mighty, So Great.” They offered pedestrians handouts saying there was “marvelous proof” that “Holy God will bring judgment day on May 21, 2011.”

Note that the Post gets Camping’s scenario slightly wrong. Camping does predict Christ’s return on May 21, but he doesn’t claim that will be when “the world will end.” Camping claims that will happen on October 21, 2011, after the non-Christian remnant left on the earth endures 6 months of horrific “tribulation.”

Also of note is the glee with which Camping and his followers embrace this disastrous scenario:

“Have you heard the awesome news?” the side of the RVs asked, in big bold letters. “The End of the World is Almost Here!”

Their elation at what they believe will be other people’s suffering reminds me of the Puritanical Church Father Tertullian, who described in detail how he plans to revel in the eternal torment of non-Christians, in his De spectaculis, chapter XXX (you can read this wonderful and enlightening passage in full, in my post on this Great Christian).

At any rate, the Post has video of Camping’s crew and their admitted failure to reach everyone they meet:

How pathetic. Maybe we should give these people real jobs, so they have don’t have time to roam the country trying to scare people into thinking oblivion is on its way.

And … as I always do with any post dealing with “Biblical prophecy,” I’m closing this post with a link to my page explaining how and why all “Biblical prophecy” — whether Camping’s or anyone else’s — was, is, and always will be total bullshit.

Photo credit: Snapshot from Washington Post video.

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