Friday, December 21, 2012

Apocalypse Now?

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

I’m beginning to think that this whole apocalypse thing is nothing but a sham to sell guns, water purification systems, and dried foods.    It is, in other words, just one more tentacle of the ever-expanding American marketplace. 

I mean, here it is going on late afternoon in the American West on the day of the supposed Mayan Apocalypse – and has the world ended, or even belched?  Hell no!  It would appear that once again the prophets of doom have either been the victims of their own naiveté (or stupidity) – or they have lied to us for attention or personal gain.

I have not heard reports of even one righteously intolerant Christian fundamentalist floating off to Heaven.  It is so disappointing.

According to the Book of Wikipedia, a pagan gospel, today marks the fifteenth apocalyptic prediction (with a specific date) since the start of the new millennium - a brief thirteen years ago.  Here is a short rundown of the finales that fizzled.

·       January 1, 2000:   Various prognosticators saw this as the date on which the world would end.  Notable among them were Christian fiction authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins who felt that the Y2K bug would instigate an economic collapse that would give the Antichrist elbow room to do his thing.   It didn’t happen, of course, but the two typists did manage to sell quite a few books to their true believers.    Evangelist and television huckster Jerry Falwell also predicted the world would end on this date.
 ·       April 6, 2000:  James Harmston, the leader of the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days (try saying that three times stoned!) said Jesus would be returning on this day.  (Perhaps he did – then took a look around and got the hell out of Dodge!) 
 ·       May 5, 2000:   A movement calling itself the “Nuwaubian Nation”  said that the planetary lineup on this day would cause a “star holocaust” that would pull the planets toward the sun. 
 ·       October 9, 2000:  A bible teacher named Grant Jeffrey thought this particular date was likely to be the “termination point for the last days.” 
 ·       November 29, 2003:  A Japanese cult named “Aum Shinrikyo” said that the world would be destroyed by nuclear war between October 30 and November 29, 2003. 
 ·       June 6, 2006:  An assortment of Christian doomsayers felt that the world would certainly end on 666. 
 ·       September 12, 2006:  Yisrayl Hawkins (love that name!), a leader of the House of Yahwah in Abilene, Texas, predicted that a nuclear war would occur on this date. 
 ·       April 29, 2007:  Televangelist and shameless beggar Pat Robertson predicted in a 1990 book that the world would be destroyed on this date.  (Poor Pat was showing signs of senility even then!)
 ·       September 10, 2008:  Several groups predicted that the world would be sucked into a black hole when the Large Hadron Collider went on line in Switzerland. 
 ·       May 21, 2011:  Radio minister and conman Harold Camping predicted the Rapture and devastating earthquakes for this date. 
 ·       September 29, 2011:  Ronald Weinland, an Internet minister and convicted tax evader, said that Jesus Christ would return on this date, and that his arrival would be heralded by nuclear explosions in U. S. port cities.  
 ·       October 21, 2011:  Harold Camping  (again!) predicted the Rapture and the end of the world on this date. 
 ·       May 27, 2012:  Ronald Weinland (again – these guys just keep on guessing!) said that Jesus would surely come and the world would surely end on this date.  (Strike two, Ron!) 
 ·       June 30, 2012:  Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, a minister in Florida who claims to be both Jesus Christ and the Antichrist, said that the world’s governments and economies would collapse on this date.    He also said that he and his followers would undergo a miraculous transformation that would give them the power to fly and walk through walls.    
 ·       December 21, 2012:  Ah yes, those pesky Mayan Apocalypse believers.

So where do we go from here?  Don’t get too comfortable because the predictions of global doom appear with the regularity and abundance of the annual walnut crop.  Ronald Weinland has now placed his apocalyptic chips on May 19, 2013 – a scant five months from now.    The late psychic (and Christian astrologer) Jeane Dixon put her chips on a seventeen-year spread between 2020 and 2037.  No word yet on the odds that she got on that bet, but they had to be less than a person would get for placing the whole pile on one specific day.   (Jeane Dixon had tried the limited approach earlier with a prediction of February 4, 1962 – but she got burned on that one!)

I just checked outside and found that there are still no bigoted zealots floating by.  It is so very disappointing!

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