and so, my students said, saturday will be the judgement day. and then i asked – do you have the grammar exam so early? no, they said, it’s more like the end of the world come this saturday. so i went to the google, and dug round a bit.
it turned out to be much more than a grammar exam. it turned out to be one more of those ‘judgement days’ that various sort-of-christian sects are so fond of proclaiming since C1 AD. the usual schedule. the usual scheme. today, may 21, 2011, will be the day when the true believers will be taken up in rapture to heaven. one thing i really found fascinating on the website (http://judgementday2011.com/) was a t-shirt saying “rapture ready”.
and then i thought two things:
first, the sheer arrogance of those calculi (calculating the exact date of the judgement day, based on imagined numbers, they say they found in the bible). the sheer stupidity and literal-mindedness that will bring many people to ruin. the lack of imagination, to think that |harold camping|+|bible-reading|=god.
i only hope they will not destroy lives, make people commit suicides, bring chaos to the world now, when ‘there is no plan b’, as one of them said in an interview to the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13468131).
second, i thought, this is an excellent example about what the bible is not meant for. of how a reading is possible, and how it is totally wrong, biblically, ethically, theologically. how a personality can impose themselves on a community, pretending to have the truth. but in order to have something like this imposed on a community, the individuals of that community must have refused to use their brain altogether.
and then, i thought, why is it that people refuse to think for themselves, to make decisions, to live? because if this were the judgement day, and god did come to sit in judgement, maybe the question he asked would be – what have you done to the gifts you received from me – sentience, freedom, power to create, love? why have you used god’s name to betray and destroy this world and each other?
because we are not called to judge, but to live a life that is lucid and clear. we are not to called to be inerrant, but to learn by admitting our mistakes and grow by correcting them. we are not called to be gods, but to be human, protectors and caretakers of this world.
and in case someone thinks that because harold camping got it wrong, the whole christainity is wrong, think again. just because one engineer wants to get into the news by bad mathematics, it does not mean that the faith, hope and charity thing is off. it just means that there are some people in the world who think that they are gods, which is nothing new, and will undoubtedly repeat over and over again. cheer up. this is just the first of april run wild again.