Sunday, May 22, 2011
No Darwin Awards Yet
We had a good time here Friday making fun of predictions of the rapture. We weren't the only ones. The internet is rife with photos of piles of clothes left empty. At parties last night, people celebrated not being raptured. I heard of a gathering where they released 20 blow-up dolls filled with helium. Hilarious.
It's a tad less hilarious for those who believe(d) in this stuff.
I don't think Harold Camping deserves 100% of the blame. Sure, he perpetrated a fraud (and collected $18 million from his followers to advertise it), but it's not like he forced people to believe him. Folks needed this. They ate it up. A few wanted so badly to leave this awful, awful earth that they sold everything they had and spent their life's savings in the process.
$18 million. Imagine if Camping had decided to do something good, like help people.
They say God helps those who help themselves. You know the story about the guy stranded in the flood who's sure God will save him? A boat comes by and he refuses to get in it, saying "God will save me." A raft comes along with friendly folks aboard. He says no to their offers of aid. "God will save me." A helicopter comes but he won't climb on. "God will save me," he says. Finally, when the water's up to his chin and there's no help in sight he calls out, "God, why haven't you saved me?" and God says, "Hey! I sent you a boat, a raft and a helicopter! That's all I've got!"
Some churches have offered consolation and counseling to those followers of Camping whose hopes were dashed along with their bank accounts and their pride. Maybe a few will see the hand of their God in that generosity, offering a life raft. But when Camping has disappeared from the limelight, the rest of the cowards who are too lazy or scared or just plain tired to help themselves will seek out some other Jim Jones, who will be more than glad to lead them by their noses to their ignominious doom.
I feel sorry for these people, I really do. It makes me angry to see them abused. But they make it so easy for the bad guys.
I post at midnight. I hope this story doesn't get any worse by morning.
If only the numerals in the photo said "2012." Close, but no cigar.