Monday, July 23, 2007

Apocalypse Wow!

It’s the end of the world as we know it, if some folks have their way. On the Conservative Christian end we have church leaders like Pastor John Hagee, convinced we must restore the Jewish people to the Holy Land so Jesus will return on a white cloud:
Pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio and a world-reknowned TV evangelist, [Pastor John] Hagee organized the lobbying blitz (the second in two years) to try to exert political power in Middle East policy, including consideration of a pre-emptive strike on Iran.

Scary stuff, especially when you remember that Pastor Hagee has the ear of the White House, and he’s leading them right where they want to go. Hagee wrote a book about how an invasion of Iran was prophesied in the Book of Esther, and he’s doing his darnedest to make sure it happens on his watch. Yikes.

On the left side of the aisle, I’m getting inundated with scary e-mails warning of a pending apocalypse due to Peak Oil, President Bush’s Presidential Directive #51, FEMA’s REX-84 plan, etc. Either way, civilization as we know it is over, get yourself educated on permaculture, buy some land out in the country, move to Canada. etc.

Someone pass the popcorn.

Once upon a time we had crackpot evangelists predicting the end of the world at every turn. The Jehova’s Witnesses have made nine apocalyptic predictions, none of which happened. Maybe they’ve given up. In the ‘80s one Christian leader said the Africanized or “killer” bees dominating the news at that time were a sign of the Rapture. This year we had some Christians saying the massive, worldwide die-off of honeybees are a sign of the Apocalypse.

Anyone remember Edgar Whisenant and his “88 Reasons” why the Rapture would be in 1988? And 1989 ... and 1993 and 1994 ... Give it up, buddy.

I love my liberal friends but I wish they’d quit telling me all the reasons why Peak Oil is real and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. The world has run out of oil, they say, and because the world is dependent on oil, there will be massive riots, food and water shortages, chaos in the streets, etc. It’s “Mad Max” without a cute guy in leather. These are some of the most hopeless voices of despair I’ve heard; at least the Christians are telling me I can get to heaven if I repent.

Now I’m getting hysterical e-mails from friends telling me about how President Bush is going to declare martial law, after finding a reason to invade Iran. Excuse me if you’ve heard this one before ... in Oct. 2006 (the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007) ... in 2005 (bird flu) 2004 (elections cancelled) ... in 2002 (internment camps) ... Etc. etc.

I no more buy these dire predictions than I believe the Rapture is imminent, or would be if only we’d invade Iran, prompting nuclear annihilation so the handful of Jews left on the planet could return to the Promised Land ... and convert to Christianity. Apocalypse, fuck yeah! It's the awesomest!

Tell me, does any of this make sense to anyone? Who thinks that Mr. Commander Guy Of 27% has enough support anywhere in this country to seize control of the government and declare martial law, rounding up the liberals and placing them in internment camps? That’s just silly.

I think we’re so programmed for fear in this country that we’re starting to go a little nuts. The news media is telling us to be scared of everything, including our shadows. I mean, for crying out loud, two weeks ago I saw a TV news report warning in ominous tones how running might be dangerous for your kids! Running!

Come on, people. Calm down. The apocalypse ain’t comming any time soon.

And if I’m wrong, you are all free to mock me until the end of day(s).