Friday Cat (And Rapture) Picture

Posted in Humor and Satire, Religion. Tags: . 1 Comment »

Quote of the Day

“An audio recording from five years ago has been released of Michele Bachmann predicting the end of the world. Her exact words were, ‘I’m going to run for president in 2012.'” –Conan O’Brien

Bachmann’s prediction can be seen here.

Electoral Consequences of the Rapture

“We always talk about demographic change helping Democrats with the rise of the Hispanic vote, but if the Rapture occurs it would be an even more immediate boost to Democratic electoral prospects.” —Public Policy Polling

Public Policy Polling found  that if the Rapture occurs, this will provide a  2-5 point boost to Obama’s reelection prospects as a larger percentage of those who believe the Rapture will occur are Republicans. (For the sake of discussion I’ll go along with their assumption that those who believe in the Rapture are more likely to actually be affected if the Rapture occurs, but there are certainly  counter-arguments to this imaginable.) Here is  how the match-up changes with different candidates:

Obama’s lead over Romney is 7 points with all voters, but if you take out the ones who think the Rapture will occur in their lifetime his advantage increases to 9 points. That’s because the Rapture voters support Romney by a 49-35 margin. Against Gingrich Obama’s 14 point lead overall becomes a 17 point one if you take out take the ‘Rapturers’ because they support Gingrich 50-37. And Obama’s 17 point lead over Palin becomes a 22 point spread without those voters because they support Palin 54-37.

Sarah Palin is the most popular potential candidate among those who believe the Rapture is going to occur but, unfortunately for her, her approval rating is quite low with everybody else.

One other bit of trivia from the poll: Only two percent believed the Rapture was going to occur last week, as compared to ten percent who believe Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ.

David Letterman: Top Ten Harold Camping Excuses

David Letterman: Top Ten Harold Camping Excuses

10. “Rapture got rained out”
9. “Forgot to carry the 1”
8. “Dates got screwed up because of the Jewish holidays”
7. “Que?”
6. “Hold on, God’s texting me . . . Yeah, it’s been postponed”
5. “Don’t blame me! I voted for Kucinich”
4. “To prevent bear attack, be sure to suspend all food and trash in a tree. I’m sorry, that’s from ‘Top Ten Wilderness Camping Tips’”
3. “At 89, I can’t remember how to operate the toaster”
2. “Didn’t everybody’s world end when ‘Oprah’ was canceled?”
1. “I’m crazy”

Quote of the Day

“The pastor who incorrectly predicted the Rapture said it was a very tough weekend. To make it worse, his friends keep calling him saying, “Hey, it’s not the end of the world!” –Conan O’Brien

Quote of the Day

“A lot of people are very nervous about this whole Rapture thing, though a lot of people didn’t understand it. For instance, Sarah Palin said, ‘The raptures were the scariest part of ‘Jurassic Park.'” –Jay Leno

Camping Says End of the World Is Still On For October

After Harold Camping was wrong about the apocalypse occurring in 1994 he attributed his mistake to a mathematical error.  This time he is sticking by his prediction by making some changes in the details.

Camping’s predictions can be divided into three phases for the end of the world. First, he predicted that the Rapture would occur on May 21. He has revised this to mean that a spiritual Rapture actually did occur rather than anyone physically rising up. He believes that God did “bring judgment on the world.” Next, Camping had repeated more common Christian prophesies of a period of great suffering for those left behind for five months. This was revised to speculate that a merciful God had decided to spare us this period of suffering. Perhaps having to watch the endless announcements by Republicans as to whether or not they are running for president is sufficient suffering for us.

The final part of the prediction is that the earth will come to an end at the conclusion of this five month period on October 21. Camping is sticking to this saying, “It wont be spiritual on October 21st. The world is going to be destroyed all together, but it will be very quick.”

Only a small minority of Evangelical Christians accept Camping’s prediction with regards to the exact date, however far more share the same basic beliefs while saying the date of the Rapture cannot be predicted. A Pew Research Center found that, “By the year 2050, 41% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ definitely (23%) or probably (18%) will have returned to earth.” Evangelical Christians are most likely to hold this belief: “Fully 58% of white evangelical Christians say Christ will return to earth in this period, by far the highest percentage in any religious group.” This belief is also most commonly held in the south, and those with less eduction are more likely to believe that Jesus will be returning by 2050.

Posted in Polls, Religion. Tags: , . 1 Comment »

Why Evangelical Christians Do Not Receive Much Respect

Timothy Stanley, a right wing writer at The Telegraph, argues that America’s evangelical Christians deserve respect despite being wrong about the Rapture. While I would  not form an opinion of all evangelical Christians based solely upon the Apocalyptic views of one Christian cult, I cannot accept Stanley’s argument. He concluded:

Across the United States, atheists are gathering at Rapture parties to celebrate another day of life on this corrupted Earth. Their joy as Camping’s error is plain mean. While they knock back cheap imported beer and make-out in hot-tubs, thousands of evangelicals will be providing care and love to prisoners, homeless people, drug addicts and the poor. It is a noble calling worthy of a little tolerance.

There are evangelicals and non-evangelicals of a wide variety of views who do charitable work. Non-evangelicals actually do more than “knock back cheap imported beer and make-out in hot-tubs.” You cannot judge a religious or philosophical viewpoint by highlighting the charitable work of one segment of the believers in one viewpoint and mischaracterizing the behavior of others. The real way to judge the group is by the beliefs held by the whole group.

It is hardly worthwhile to devote any time to analyzing the validity of fundamentalist Christian belief as most people have already made up their opinions here and it will not be altered by a blog post. I will just make two points here: 1) those who have a low opinion of evangelical Christians do so based upon reasons having nothing to do with their charitable work and 2) my primary objection is not with their beliefs as much as with their actions to impose their beliefs upon others.

Stanley, incidental, is working on a biography of Pat Buchanan. If he misses why people with integrity are opposed to the Anti-Semitism and homophobia of this Nazi-sympathizer, it is not hard to see why he would miss the all the harm caused in the United States by the religious right.

Update: Camping Says End of the World Is Still On For October. Majority of Evangelical Christians believe Rapture will occur by 2050.

Apocalypse Not Now

Coverage of the uneventful Rapture dominated social media yesterday. Here is a recap of my posts, primarily from Facebook and Twitter. Coverage did begin on the blog with this post. Further coverage was on Facebook and Twitter, beginning with a comment on a true event occurring Friday evening, and some opinions on the whole subject:

I was listening to the BBC News and suddenly the signal was lost. If it was already 6:00 pm in London I might be a little nervous. 🙂

The worst thing about the world coming to an end tomorrow at 6:00 pm is that the Rapture will be occurring just before Doctor Who airs.

Rushing to get through more episodes of Downton Abbey before the Rapture at 6. It really sucks when the world is going to end and you don’t get to see the full season.

As it became 6 p.m. around the world, coverage intensified:

It is 6 pm at Aukland. Any sign of the Rapture?

All my Australian Facebook friends are still here. They must be godless heathens.

Just got response to question from Verizon. If the world does end today I am still responsible for the remaining months on my  phone contract.

6 pm in London & my Facebook friends are still there; must be sinners like my Australian friends. Also means Doctor Who will still be on.

Next year we will find out if the ancient Mayan calendar is more credible than the fundamentalist view of the Christian Bible.

We now have video of people rising up during the Rapture.

What was Steven Moffatt thinking, airing the first of a two-part Doctor Who story on the day the world was scheduled to come to an end?

It is almost 6:00 local time. Personally I find the threat of assimilation by the Borg, destruction of the earth by a Vogon construction fleet building an intergalactic highway, or Skynet becoming self-aware and wiping out humanity to all be more plausible scenarios than Biblical prophesy.

6 pm and the Apocalypse is rather uneventful. Regrettably the religious fundamentalists remain here to continue messing up the earth.

“Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Nobody.” (post-rapture humor)

Meanwhile, while we had a lot of fun with this yesterday, Harold Camping, who predicted the date of the Rapture, has not had anything to say. I do not fear for his future. After he was wrong in 1994 he just picked a new date. He can do that again, and those who believed him before will probably believe him again.

The Rapture