May 22, 2013
Written by Joe Pisani
Thursday, 02 June 2011 00:00
Remember the story of Noah, slaving in the hot sun with his kids to build that immense ark and then herding all those smelly animals aboard while his neighbors stood around gawking and guffawing and jeering and cracking obscene jokes? Well, maybe not the last part.
I thought of Noah and his kinsmen during the recent hoopla about the world coming to an end. There was a lot of jeering that day, too.
Fortunately for the rest of us, these cyber-age Jonahs got it wrong, although they insist the date has been delayed to Oct. 21 (because of a scheduling conflict on God’s part, I suspect), when a massive fireball will incinerate the planet.This is about the third time that Harold Camping, the self-proclaimed California prophet, has made a doomsday prediction, which, when you consider the odds, is as good as AccuWeather’s success rate.
These evangelicals with their apocalyptic visions of the End Times had true believers pulling money out of the bank to take with them in The Rapture — at least those lucky enough to be among the 200 million chosen to go up into space and lucky enough to have a 401(k) left after the financial apocalypse.
On Saturday, May 21, at 5:59 p.m., I was eating a greasy cheeseburger with onion rings and barbecue sauce because, like many other repressed hedonists, I figured I owed myself a few guilty pleasures before the Gospel Train arrived.
But when you get past the histrionics, I suspect a lot of people have a hunch the world could be approaching a major meltdown. There are troubling signs everywhere that something is amiss, and even though the scientific community has explanations for all the weird phenomena, somehow their explanations don’t seem as plausible as the possibility that God is trying to get our attention.
Usually I begin my day by checking the news to see what went wrong this time, and while I don’t intend to deplete my 401(k) to pay for a billboard that says the end is near, there has been an accumulation of natural disasters — and they can’t all be blamed on global warming.
Remember those satellite photos of the Mississippi River overflowing its banks with floodwaters cresting on the roofs of homes, and the video of the tsunami crashing across the coast of Japan after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, following an earthquake in Haiti a year before that has crippled the country for months, and volcanic eruptions in Iceland that produced monstrous plumes of ash which crept across the skies like a shroud?
The tornadoes that swept over central and southern America left a massive swath of devastation that resembled saturation bombing in World War II, and it was rather portentous that CBS news had the story about the world ending on its Web site near a headline that said, “Deadliest tornado season in 50 years — but why?”
What’s going on? Could there be any truth to the fear that we’re entering what is ominously known as the End Times? At least we won’t have to worry about Medicare.
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