Welcome to 2011, everyone. We’re one month in and it promises to be as crazy as the last. There was so much kookiness in January that it is difficult to even know where to begin.
Oh wait. Yes, I do. Let’s start with Harold Camping. He is an 89-year-old, California-based Christian radio broadcaster who prophesied the end of the world in 1994 and failed miserably. Guess what? He’s done it again. According to Camping and his followers, the world is due to end in rapture in May 2011. That’s right, folks. We have less than two months left, which is a real bitch because I was planning on attending TAM 9 in July and my husband’s car is almost paid off.
What, might you ask, would lead Camping to try to convince people that the rapture is right around the corner? The Bible, of course. He believes the Bible contains the date of the return of christ and that date is May 21, 2011. You don’t have to take my word for it. Visit his website for a full dose of crazy: WeCanKnow.org. His flock is out and about turning vehicles into moving billboards for his cause. His website has a photograph of an actual billboard with the message “Noah Knew. WE Can Know.”
Oh really? Did Noah predict the end of the world, get it completely wrong, and then have another go at it 17 years later?
What I find most staggering about the whole thing is that the sheeple who follow him have already worked out a solution to protect their beliefs if he fails yet again. One of his followers was quoted in an MSN article as saying, “If May 21 passes and I’m still here, that means I wasn’t saved. Does that mean God’s word is inaccurate or untrue? Not at all.” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40885541/ns/us_news-life/) And that really is faith in a nutshell, yes? People hold to their beliefs even if all evidence points to the contrary?
Speaking of Noah, next on the chopping block is Ark Encounter, aka the Ark Park. This is a creationist-themed museum/park scheduled to be built in Kentucky. As of right now, their website indicates they have raised $930,104 of the $24.5 M that Answers in Genesis will be contributing to the project. That’s right. They are going to spend $24.5 million dollars trying to convince people that an event for which there is no scientific evidence actually occurred.
Think about all the tangible good that could be done with $24.5 M. Now gently put down that fork you were about to use to gouge out your eyes.
If you haven’t put your own eyes out in frustration and are still reading this, I encourage you to think about what this park actually means in terms of christian faith. The folks over at Answers in Genesis believe that the Bible is literally true from cover to cover. They believe literally in the story of Noah, that angry god-daddy was mad at his unruly children and thought that the best solution would be to drown all of his children in a massive flood and start over.
And they believe that this god is good and most worthy of worship.
Let’s imagine an actual human father thought his children were unruly and beyond all hope of discipline or order. And then let’s imagine he consequently drowned them all in the bathtub. Would we spend $24.5 M building a theme park for THAT guy?
These two stories were highly publicized and you’ve probably already read or heard about them. I hope you don’t feel ripped off by this post, like when you turn on your favorite sitcom and realize that the lazy assholes just cobbled together a clip show.
My point in sharing these with you is that I think, to some degree, this craziness works to the advantage of the rational. I’m not talking about the religious craziness where people hurt themselves or parents pray instead of taking their kid to the doctor. I certainly don’t want anyone to get hurt. This type of crazy, however, might be okay. The more media attention this kind of insane behavior gets, the more laughable religion becomes.
So to Harold Camping and followers and to Ken Ham and all the loony-tunes over at Answers in Genesis I say, keep rocking your special brand of crazy. And keep the cameras rolling at all times so that the whole world can see.