The "rapture preparation" that really upset me was featured on the local news last night, a story about someone planning to kill his animals today so that they wouldn't have to manage without him.
One NYT article on it quoted a 16 yo whose parents were True Believers and whose mother had told the girl she wasn't going to make to heaven, but her parents were. What kind of mother is THAT?! (Bad one, in my view.)
I'm never really comfortable with mocking faith, but this week I've been feeling more than a little sick at all the mockery of the Rapture believers because there are real people and real creatures being very hurt as a result of this belief. I know that when someone marginalizes me with mockery or some other kind of bullying, I dig in my heels, and I wonder how much of that is making this situation so much worse.
That's a tricky one.
Research has shown that immediate disagreement/confrontation can--if done well--change behavior and sometimes belief. But that's early in the development of attitudes about (for instance) race, gender, and so on. When a group of like-minded individuals has formed, then opposition does evoke the "us v. them" response. However, opposition, including ridicule, can limit the number of new members...again, if the potential new groupie meets disagreement and ridicule of the idea (not of the individual) from those he/she already likes and trusts, then he/she is likely to discard this fascinating new idea. OTOH, if he/she is surrounded by others in the group, chances are any doubts will be cast aside and the group will grow.
The "end days" ideas have been powerful in evangelicalism for centuries now, with periodic outbreaks led by someone who declares a specific date to be the one. There's always a reason why, as that date passes, it was wrong (usually having to do with a failure of faith..."We could have had Heaven now, but not enough really believed..." Sort of a "Tinkerbell and the death of fairies" approach.) End days offer those who believe in it a whole menu of benefits: you can quit worrying about the problems of the world--they aren't your problems anymore, you can consider yourself special because you know something the rest of the world doesn't (or is too evil/stubborn/stupid to grasp despite your attempt to tell them)--and special because you're going to be swept away from your problems while others are left and suffering deserved punishment, you can consider yourself a hero because you _tried_ to save them.
One of the families in the NYT article, for instance, no longer bothered to save for their children's college education or fix up the house: immediate relief of worry and expense. The worry about whether family members will make the takeoff date are time-limited and thus more manageable than previous worries: a year or two (the time frame in which most of the people who believe it's coming today joined up) versus a decade or more for putting several kids through college and getting them launched into the workforce. If I believed that I'd be yanked up to heaven this evening, I wouldn't be working (in between posts here) on copyedits for a book that wasn't going to be published anyway. I wouldn't be worrying about the mess in the house, a business trip next week, the health of family members and friends who are on my prayer list, the political situation (here, in the nation, in the world.)
So I certainly see the attraction of the whole "end days" belief system...if you can only pin down the date, then you know when your struggles will be over and the good times will start.
Probably one trying to scare or guilt her kid into following her religion. I met quite of number of kids with parents like that when I was in college.
I remember sitting on the grass in highschool in the early 70s discussing the prospects of the world ending in nuclear war - which looked pretty good back in those days. We were talking about the year 2000 and how incredibly *old* we'd be! Even if the world was still around, would it even be worth still being alive if we were so old and decrepit? LOL
Somehow we survive. And if we're lucky we have a few laughs in the process. Quite often, I must say, at the idiots who predict apocalypses regularly. Speaking of having a laugh, you might enjoy this short and very sarcastic post
by someone on my flist.
For me, that conversation was in the early '60s...none of us were going to live past 30-35 anyway, so...
And here we are, wrinkly and regarded as too old to have any fun or know anything...heh-heh-heh.
It's the wrinkly ones who have the most fun. Now, I just have to wait until I get wrinkly. =^.^=
Wow, where did you get ten thousand Africanized bees? Don't let them get near you!
A friend of mine in Australia says it's still there.
And those people live in the future.
And I'm still here. Nor have I seen anybody floating upward over head (though, admittedly, we've had some clouds and the trees' leaves are out, so maybe I wouldn't have.
The people who are into the Rapture thing will usually tell you that certain other denominations aren't going to qualify, including mine, so I didn't even bother to dress for the occasion. I'm looking out at a cardinal picking up something to eat from the ground, and a pair of blue jays over by the artificial stream. We have three pale yellow flowers on water lilies in the pond (bottom of stream.) Sufficient unto the day is the beauty thereof. Though we could really use rain and a good lot of it, preferably spread over the next month at 2-3 inches a week.
Rapture or no, I will be at an End of the World party at Kerrville tonight. If anyone ascends, I will wave bye-bye to them and go on about my business.
I hope you have a lot of fun.
I hope your husband is feeling better.
Two units of blood helped a lot. He's feeling enough better to scare me ("I'm fine; don't worry...")
I, on the other hand, am limp as a wet rag.
I am really glad he is doing better its amazing how much it will help. (though the time it takes to take a unit in is now my baseline for boring)
I hope you still eat your peas though yum with some onion and butter.
Oh, the peas are over with. It got too hot for them and they gave up. Now we're watching the tomatoes get fatter and begin to turn color--my husband ate the first ripe one the other day (tiny cherry tomato) but I'm holding out for the big ones--I think they taste better. We had rain last night so it's too wet to see if the potatoes are forming--the plants are taking off.
Rapture: It's just this one guy.
Camping first did this schtick for a date in 1994, apparently.
What makes me disgusted is all the money people give him for it, rather than doing some good for others. Meh.
I went on a tear about it on a mailing list. I quoted part of the gospel of Matthew as a counterargument for him being able to know with such certainty.
If the world ends this month, my priority is to make sure I've hugged my kids more. So, I should just hug my kids more every week, right?
Very sorry to hear that himself was ill.