Ahh, the Rapture. At last!

Thanks to Pat Robertson, I have been told to prepare for the Second Coming. The fact that this Catholic knows about the rapture is an unfortunate byproduct of a paying too much attention at evangelical summer camps and an taking too much Latin to avoid my high school language requirement.

I suppose if I wasn’t blessed with an analytical mind, I’d find it comforting to find out that the frequency and devastation wrought by hurricanes has nothing to do with global warming. Tell me, Pat, should I be sacrificing my children now?

Hey, Sam you may want to rethink your idea that the doctrine of Islam poses unique problems for the emergence of a global civilization. How is the Islamic “reality of Paradise” different from Pat Robertson’s statement in anything other than socio-economic context?

(For those too lazy to click through my links. The subtext of Pat Robertson’s statement: Raping the environment, fucking up our disaster response and waging wars are a “Good Thing” because it will hurry the return of Jesus and carry us away from the hellhole we created for ourselves.)

I’ll be honest with you. Books such as The Late, Great Planet Earth scared the be-jesus out of me when I was a kid. Read it now and it will be laughable—you will suddenly realize the “Culture of Life” is a culture promulgated on Fear. Sorry to spoil the party: The Rapture didn’t happen then; it isn’t going to happen now. Hal Lindsey was full of shit then; Tim LaHaye is full of shit now. Rationalize all you want, but you will have to deal with the mess we make along with me. (If you don’t believe me, click on the links and buy the books. A little Amazon Associates money might help me deal with being “left behind” and is a small compensation for saving your soul.)

7 thoughts on “Ahh, the Rapture. At last!

  1. RJ Eskow has a takedown of Sam Harris on the same blog as Sam.

    Here is a choice quote: “His single-minded crusade has led him to a one-dimensional conclusion: It’s the religion, stupid.” I love the intentional use of the word “crusade” here. Here is another nice play: “Overlooking all but one of them plays into your personal agenda, Sam, but does violence to the truth.”

    Not that Sam isn’t an excellent wordsmith himself. It was this part that caused me to fit the article in this entry in the first place: “Can we even conceive of a more profligate misuse of human life? As a cultural phenomenon, suicide bombing should be impossible. But here it is.” Too bad his followup post isn’t up to the same snuff.

  2. Thank you for the link and the compliment.

    The author shares a similar background to me: we have read the same books and engaged in the same survivalism fetish when we were kids. I became versed in the clip size and ammo rate of most automatic and semi-automatic weapons in much the same way a child would know Barry Bond’s batting average. (That past knowledge sometimes comes up in polite conversation to shock my friends, and sometimes even surprise me.)

    Religions have tried to create an ontological “reason for being.” This especially true now.

    He missed the fact that this view has been well established even during the cold war, with a different set of books that I mention above—he luckily escaped evangelical summer camp. Back then, the antichrist was embodied in Communism and the 10-headed beast was the European Community. Also, he overlooks that the entrenchment of dispensational premillenialism, is symptomatic of a general narrowing of the channels of socio-political discourse.

    It is clear that Michael Standaert has clearly thought about this more and researched it more thoroughly than me. He also happens to be much more talented than me in theology, politics, and writing.

    Still, I have a little cause for optimism that possibly we have seen that premillenialism is at its zenith. The nearby Christian bookstore has closed, and while they are a powerful voting block, it is becoming increasingly apparent from the recent scathing rhetoric of Right Wing commentators they and the mainstream have parted company.

    Pragmatism is back. Perception can no longer hold back reality and David’s green stamps are about to run out.

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