Is it the Apocalypse yet?

Today, September 23rd, is the beginning of the apocalypse (in case you weren’t paying attention), according to some people who are so arrogant that (a) they believe the supreme deity of the universe is speaking in a coded language only they are privileged to understand and (b) they believe themselves so important, there is no possibility the most climactic moment of the history of the universe might happen while they are not around.

I’ve never heard a prophet make a Rapture/Apocalypse prediction that doesn’t fall squarely within their lifetime. Ever wonder why that is? Ever thought how egocentric that is? And doesn’t that explain a lot?

Anyhoo… if anyone has seen a plague of locusts on the horizon or a river of blood replacing the otherwise normally hemoglobin-deficient Mississippi, let me know. Send me a message if half the cattle in Egypt suddenly breaks out in boils. And if anyone hears an apology from the erstwhile prophets of the end times for causing unnecessary panic, then DEFINITELY let me know ASAP: having any of those people actually admit they were wrong would be a surer sign of the apocalypse than anything they could have predicted by reading entrails.

Instead, MY prediction is this: over the next few days we’ll hear multiple explanations about why the prophets weren’t really wrong. Most failed prophets of the end times resort to a few tried and true tropes: the end times did actually happen, but they were metaphorical or “spiritual” (see Harold Camping), the end times were averted thanks to their prayers and intercession (YOU’RE WELCOME, SINNERS), or they start stretching the definition of common words to accommodate their prediction. For the latter, see the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their definition of end times, which started after multiple failed predictions by saying that the end of the world would definitely occur in 1914, then changed to saying that the end times would BEGIN in 1914, then changed to saying that the end times would begin within a generation of 1914, then that it would happen at some point during the entire lifetime of people who were born in or before 1914, and these days (as those people are dying) off it’s changed to “anyone who understands what happened in 1914″. In a hundred years they’ll still believe it, but it will be “in the lifetime of anyone who has a 1, 9, or 4 in their birth year.” And so on forever, until the Sun explodes in 5 billion years and someone can finally say “SEE!? I WARNED YOU!” as they evaporate.

But I think the excuse we see will be the typical one: we predicted that the End Times would happen, and they actually HAVE started (can’t you SEE all the SIGNS?) but everyone is too blind to see it yet. I remember that argument from when I first started getting interested in religion over 30 years ago, and I can guarantee that the people who used it fervently back then have an excuse for why nothing has happened YET, but definitely WILL ANY DAY NOW. Because there was an EARTHQUAKE and a METEOR and there are WARS AND FAMINE and there is TURMOIL and THOSE THINGS HAVE NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE IN HISTORY.

Live for today and stop worrying about the End Times, folks. If they come, it will be because we brought them about ourselves, because we were fighting about whose interpretation of the supreme command to love each other is correct. And if there’s one thing I won’t abide, it’s an ironic death.

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