OK, so what's with this end of the world stuff, anyway?
Most people have heard the “theory” that the world is going to end in 2012, according to the Mayan calendar, but recently billboards have started popping up across the country "revealing" the world’s literal last day will be on May 21 this year, allegedly based on the Hebrew Calendar.
Christian Evangelical Radio host Harold Camping and his followers have calculated this date CERTAIN of Christ's "Second Coming" (something that Born Again and other Evangelical Christians refer to as, 'The Rapture') after using a series of insanely complicated and suspiciously bogus calculations.
"It's going to be a horror story that we absolutely cannot conceive of. Millions of people will die on that day and everyday thereafter," Camping said.
According to Camping, who is the founder of the Family Radio Network, Judgment Day will begin with earthquakes — at 6 p.m. local time.
Camping's followers have been traveling around the world, spreading the word about the forthcoming day. "We see people that give us the thumb. They say, 'Thumbs up.' We also see people that, unfortunately, give us the other finger," said one devotee, Darryl Keats.
Camping's doomsday scenario has given the late-night talk show hosts grist for their comedy mills, but sadly a lot of regular people have admitted to being terrified as the date fast approaches, according to recent news accounts.
Look, I'm not a Christian anymore, but if it makes those of you who are feel any better, here are two New Testament verses apropos, from the King James version:
"For ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh," (Matthew, Chapter 25, verse 13); and, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come," (Matthew, Chapter 24, verse 42.)
Let's talk a bit here about death. As an anonymous philosophical wit once observed, "None of us is getting out of here alive."
It is vital that we come to grips with the very reality of the very real end of our lives — whether it's in two weeks or two decades, or longer.
I have Lupus, S.E., a worsening auto-immune disease that will eventually kill me if nothing else does. Since I learned my diagnosis, I have become progressively sicker, and just last week found out that I am deteriorating at quite a disgusting pace.
I was pretty bummed, but I do know the real truth; that it doesn't matter how many days or years you live, but what you do with them. (Brother, I certainly am filled with cliches today!) I don't mean how much money you make, or how "important" you are, but how many people you've touched, and how many people you've allowed into your heart.
As a sex-positive, bisexual Wiccan, I believe that life and its many pleasures are to be thoroughly explored and enjoyed; that our physical couplings should be as frequent and fun as possible, but also sometimes seen as sacred; and that the divine exists within each and every being on this wonderfully diverse and rich planet.
My faith isn't based on fear, threats, and always looking toward an uncertain hereafter, but rather what we've done in the here-and-now.
So, if the gig is up for the whole of Mother Earth, why not celebrate the life you've had every day until then, and if it's not, why not celebrate every day after?
Meanwhile, the Florida Atheists and Secular Humanists have posted their own billboard advertising a recruitment party at Tiki Bar on May 21. "The upcoming rapture that's predicted for May 21 obviously is nonsense," said Ken Loukinen of the Florida Atheists. "We're just drawing attention, poking a little fun."
Mainstream Evangelical Christians have avoided the topic despite Camping's insistence that Judgment Day is soon to come. "This is not something where there's a tiny, tiny, tiny chance it might happen. It is going to happen," said Camping.
Oh yes, quite an important uh...end note: Camping’s findings should be taken with tons and tons of salt, as people have been predicting the end of the world, unsuccessfully of course, since 1260. Camping himself “miscalculated” in 1994. In 1860 there was even a “Great Disappointment” when people were warned about the Second Coming. Much more recently, who can forget the doomsayers who predicted the end of the world at the change of the millennium, the so-called Y2K disaster that turned out to be just another glorious day!
— Danu's Daughter