Obviously, someday, somewhere, somehow someone is going to get it right and actually predict the time and place when it all comes to an end, at least for humanity. The trouble is, when it does happen, there won't be anyone around to say I told you so. Revelation reads like the author (John the Whoever) expected it to all come tumbling down in some sort of blood soaked revenge fantasy. He had real issues with women, not to mention the Romans and his fellow Jews. Apparently a combination of paranoid schizophrenia and never getting laid can put a hurting on one's mental stability. John fully expected the end of times in his life and must have faced his own personal apocalypse a bitter and frustrated man. Since then, every semi -charismatic psychotic with a hair up his ass and a gaggle of weak minded followers has been predicting the Second Coming. From Savonarola to David Koresh, so far, no dice.
Which brings us to the problem with this way of thinking. It becomes us against them. When the "other" is excluded by God's will, anything that happens to them is also God's will. If you're chosen you make it, if not, well, you just burn forever. Although the planet would be a better place if the wingnuts that believe this sort of stuff raptured off into the heavens and left the rest of us alone. Maybe they could take the Islamists, Moonies and Scientologists with them. What is more disturbing is that we have had two presidents and one vp candidate who have ascribed to John the Revelator's fever dream. Now I'm not sure these religious beliefs influenced policy decisions but they couldn't have helped. I might be alone in this but I prefer my government leaders with a least of veneer of rationality. According to Jonathan Kirsch in A History of the End of the World Ronald Reagan was batshit crazy even before the alzheimer wagon came to pick him up sometime during his second term:
"That's a sign that the day of Armageddon isn't far off, everthing's falling into place. It can't be long now"
Thanks, Ron. No wonder you didn't give a shit about going toe to toe with the Soviets. You figured you'd drop your pants and ascend to heaven before the first nukes went off. And arms for hostages? Why not? Whoopee, we're all going to die. And your buds were as batshit crazy as you (by the way, blogging a personal note to a dead president is eccentric, not crazy):
I have read the Book of Revelation and yes, I believe the world is going to end - by an act of God, I hope- but everyday I think that time is running out."
Caspar Weinberger - Secretary of Defense
"I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns."
James Watt-Interior Secretary
Explains a lot, doesn't it? And we have the current, soon to be former, occupant of the White House who has done his best to usher in a period of Tribulation. And, of course, Sarah Palin, demon free since 2005, proclaiming the need to move our embassy to Jerusalem. We Apocalyptitians know what that means. You betcha.
So, in my preparing to believe, I'm going to have to leave this whole Revelation thing on the back burner. I think I'll do it last in my traipse through the Bible. Which is as it should be, I suppose. I just can't get past the seven headed beasts coming out of the sea and I certainly can't, uh, swallow that whole thing with the Big ole Babylonian Whore with her cup of fornications. Just too gross.