Is this heaven?

Well, either I’ve been ignored by the big man in the sky or this is heaven – one of the two. In the minds of a small minority of people around the world, these are the only two possibilities.

I don’t have a problem with anyone having a particular belief (unless of course their religious fervour tells them that I must be harmed or done away with, in which case I may raise an eyebrow or two) or indeed sharing it with the world – after all it’s the same principle that allows me to write what I think and broadcast it to my lonely reader (you ARE there aren’t you?).

However to authoritively tell the world in general that god’s end game is about to begin is in my view irresponsible. Who knows how many very vulnerable people – whether through mental health problems or lifestyle – have been negatively affected by the current ‘rapture’ scare? I wonder how many of such people have been really quite worried (if not terrified) of the dire warnings issuing forth from an aged man in the good ol’ US of A? My guess is that as a percentage of the world’s population the number is quite small, but in bare numerical terms, probably exceeds six figures. And that’s a lot of scared and possibly unbalanced people. Who knows what has happened because of this prophecy? How many inappropriate acts have taken place through anxiety or panic?

There really is no accurate way to quantify the effects of this kind of proclamation by a man who apparently made the same prediction 17 years ago (I wonder how that one worked out?), but common sense would suggest that some unwitting – and as I say, vulnerable – people will have had their lives adversely affected by this. Still, it’s a religious belief being shouted from the rooftops so to speak, and so doubtless beyond any public comment by anyone with real influence.  The politicians don’t dare to make a public statement suggesting people feel reassured and calm down, more’s the pity.

How does this man’s belief differ from the other beliefs of christians? I would suggest it differs only slightly in content and not at all in nature. His beliefs are bolstered by a common faith in an invisible god – a merciful god – whom is all powerful, whom among other things saves people from disasters yet kills others arbitrarily and who has allegedly removed almost all life from the earth before and is prepared to wipe the slate clean again. This aged person who has grabbed the media’s attention simply believes on top of all this that he knows when the apocalypse is about to happen ( starting today) but other than that he is pretty much in line with almost every evangelical preacher on cable TV these days, every one of whom warns of the coming and imminent ‘end times’, often just before they ask for monetary donations to their cause.

So why, in the eyes of the watching masses, is he a fool – and the other purveyors of religious doctrine not, I wonder?

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