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e_moon60

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Hmmmm...and related comments [May. 21st, 2011|12:04 am]
e_moon60
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I might've noticed sooner that Twittinesis wasn't sending my daily Twitter posts here except for husband being in the hospital and then the copy edits, but now I've noticed.  Haven't seen any notices about it...but dang.   And their website is suspended (suspended?  Huh?) 

I did notice that there's another dadgum header design I don't like (light colored and busy--very distracting) at the top of my "post an entry" page.  I really, really, REALLY don't like having these changing header designs that (with few exceptions) aren't anything I'd pick in a million years.   Sometimes in the selections they make there's one I wouldn't mind so much, but only once has it won.   Dark, people.  Dark, cool colors if any, not some busy loud thing in warm colors.  And especially not cute or symbolic.

And then there's this Rapture thing.   I guess the people who believe that read a different Bible than I do and also don't read about all the previous times people have been sure, and sold their stuff or quit work and...the day came and went and everything was the same.   Oops.  Unless you believe in a God who can't stick to a plan and keeps shilly-shallying and changing the dates...previous experience would suggest that the certainty of a specific time is, um, misguided.   "Yes, I know I said Tuesday at 0900 Greenwich Mean Time, but I'm otherwise occupied then and decided to do it two years from Friday at noon, Central Daylight..."  Could the world end tomorrow?  Sure.   And I could be hit by a falling tree limb, bitten by a rattlesnake, stomped by a maddened cow, hit by a car,  stung by ten thousand Africanized bees, shot by a drug-crazed criminal, or just  trip carrying something out the back door, fall, and hit my head on the concrete steps...dead, in other words, in any and every way that's possible.   End of this world for me.   The first time I got all hot and bothered about some disaster that might happen, my mother sat me down and said "Even if the world is going to end tomorrow, brush your teeth tonight.  Even if it's going to end at noon, make your bed and wash the breakfast dishes.  Even if it's going to end at suppertime, do your homework before you play."   There were other such conversations, because the early '50s were another time a lot of people were sure the world would end (usually with total nuclear war) and we kids worried, as kids do.  I thought her advice was dull and annoyingly practical ("Eat your peas anyway--it might NOT be your last meal...") especially all that stuff about chores. 

But here I am.   And here you--reading this--are. 


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Comments:
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-21 01:09 pm (UTC)
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.)
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[User Picture]From: hilleviw
2011-05-21 04:14 pm (UTC)
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.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-05-21 04:56 pm (UTC)
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.
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From: paulliver
2011-05-21 09:29 pm (UTC)
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.
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