May 21st is tomorrow, and at 6:00 PM tomorrow Harold Camping’s prediction of the rapture will be shown to be a wild fantasy. Over the web I see people treating this whole situation with an almost wicked sense of mirth – waiting to see a misguided individual get this comeuppance. People are holding “rapture parties,” atheist groups are using the judgement day campaign to show how misguided religion is, and Christians who don’t agree with anything Mr. Camping says are busy saying was a lunatic he is.
As for me, I’m just sad.
- Sad that this is what people think this is what Christianity is all about.
- Sad that people, so desperate to have some certainty in an uncertain world, felt compelled to join this campaign and will have nothing to show for it come tomorrow night – no job, no home, nothing to identify the “us” against the “them.”
- Sad that this whole movement has become the easiest of targets for those who despise religion.
- Sad that churches aren’t, apparently, inviting people to a vision compelling enough to choke a lie.
I have no glee at Mr. Camping’s inevitable demise. I’m sad for him, his followers, and his enemies. I hope, after tomorrow, both he and they will find a path forward which doesn’t demand the cult-like certainty of knowing more than everybody else. This is one time where my cynical sense of humor looks at reality, and sees nothing to joke about.