Posts Tagged “apocalyptic”

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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Glenn Beck crying & pouting - boo freaking hoo, poor little Glennie!Over the last 10 years or so, talk radio in Hartford has taken a remarkably Right-wing turn. All the nationally-syndicated vehement Right-wingers are aired here, by one station or another (the two chief talk-radio stations being WTIC-AM and WDRC-AM). The local shows are, in many cases, even more extreme in their Rightism. Local talk guys like Jim Vicevich and Dan Lovallo sometimes make Rush Limbaugh look like a Marxist.

What makes this trend as odd as it is, is that Connecticut is more or less a reliably “blue state”: In the 2010 mid-term elections — which saw the Right and the GOP make gains across the country — Connecticut actually veered back toward the Left, electing a Democratic governor to succeed a retiring Republican, and keeping every statewide and Congressional office squarely in Democratic hands. This, of course, has enraged the Right and the local talk-radio hosts, who’ve done everything but burn the new governor, Dannel Malloy, in effigy over his proposed tax increases — and I expect that, soon, they’ll hold an anti-tax “tea party” rally in Hartford, where precisely that will be done!

But despite this trend, which as I said has been a long time coming and is firmly entrenched, one of the nationally-syndicated Rightist talk-radio hosts has lost his show in Hartford. It’s none other than Glenn Beck, and if this report from the Hartford Courant is to believed, it’s because his ratings fell due to being too religious (WebCite cached article) even if the station’s announcement doesn’t say it:

The management at the Blooomfield-based station suggested the Glenn Beck syndicated show was gently being dropped so it could add a new daily morning show with Jones, and a second featuring her and Davis sharing co-hosting duties.

But the real story, the Courant suggests, might be something else. The president of Buckley Radio which owns the station offered this:

“Some of his direction has changed over the last year and a half,” [Rick] Buckley said. “He is preaching a lot more than entertaining.” …

Buckley, whose father started the company in the 1950s, said Beck’s show had changed and taken on more of a religious tone since his August 2010 rally in Washington, D.C.

“There is no question I think he had a big change after his Washington conclave. Something hit him down there. His show changed after that,” Buckley said. “In its basic elements that he had been doing for a long, long time. He got much more into the doomsday and a lot more talking of the religious aspects of people’s lives and stuff like that. For us in New York and in Hartford, we just felt that a local program would be better.”

In recent months, Beck’s show has frequently veered into apocalyptic religiosity.”

What I don’t understand is, if the Glennster is somehow “too religious” for Hartford’s talk-radio crowd, why did WDRC’s rival station, WTIC-AM, give the convicted felon and former Connecticut governor John Rowland and his preacherman and erstwhile theo-political operative, Pastor Will Marotti a three-hour show called Church and State State and Church? I’d love to think Beckie-boy is “too religious” for Connecticut talk-radio, but I’m not really convinced it’s the case. I expect that it’s simply because the Beckster’s audience is beginning to unravel and he’s losing some of his loyal following — enough of it, at least, to cause his ratings to decline measurably.

Photo credit: Hartford Courant.

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Heaven's Gate® - How and When It May Be Entered - screen captureIn the vein of answering the question “Whats’ the harm in having crazy metaphysical beliefs?”, law enforcement in southern California are looking for a tiny sect whose members have disappeared in search of the apocalypse. CBS News provides this report on these folks and the search (WebCite cached article):

Deputies searched a wide swath of Southern California early Sunday for a break-off religious sect of 13 people that included children as young as three and left behind letters indicating they were awaiting an apocalyptic event and would soon see Jesus and their dead relatives in heaven, authorities said.

The group of El Salvadoran immigrants, described as “cult-like” by sheriff’s officials, was led by Reyna Marisol Chicas, a 32-year-old woman from Palmdale in northeast Los Angeles county, sheriff’s Captain Mike Parker said.

The group left behind cell phones, identifications, deeds to property, and letters indicating they were awaiting the Rapture.

“Essentially, the letters say they are all going to heaven to meet Jesus and their deceased relatives,” sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said. “Some of the letters were saying goodbye.”

The fear is that they’ve decided to commit collective suicide.

If a grown adult makes a decision to follow some delusional hyperreligious nutcase, that’s one thing. It’s a free country, and people are free to be stupid. Even psychotically and suicidally stupid. But to drag children down into one’s chosen psychosis, is something else entirely.

I can only hope these people are found and their children corralled to safety, before it’s too late to save them from the adults’ apocalypticism.

Update: The group has been found, and its members accounted for. See e.g. this AOL News report (cached):

Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker told the Los Angeles times the group members were cooperative with authorities. They told police they were praying to end school violence and sexual immorality.

I have no idea how “praying to end school violence and sexual immorality” relates with “going to heaven to meet Jesus and their deceased relatives,” but hey, what the hell do I know?

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