At this point, it is not “too soon” to ask if anyone remembers Harold Camping. Mr. Camping was a garden-variety babbling pastor from California who was of the view that the world would end in 2011. He was of course wrong about this (as is self-evident).
I previously alluded to the so-called Mayan “apocalypse prediction” and rather quickly discovered it to be something of a myth. It seems that a few convenient facts combined with some overly-literal interpretations of texts got blown out of proportion in popular culture. I have since removed this reference.
Continuing their proud tradition of “guess-work prophecy”, running up to the 2016 election, evangelical preachers tried to take credit for prophesying events which they had botched countless times in the past. The “prosperity-gospel” (or seed gospel) crowd had basically thrown in their lot with the theocratically-inclined Ted Cruz whom, as you know, was mowed over by the Donald. Nothing to worry about–the Christian political-wing merely shifted its focus to their newly-anointed.
It was not surprising to me (or to anyone who had even a scrap political awareness at the time) that they got it so wrong. The below video is one of many which shows just how invested the Christian Right was in Ted Cruz. Here is Rafael Cruz (Ted’s father) milking the crowd.
This is all ridiculous of course, but for the benefit of evangelical readers who somehow believed their redeemer had come (and those who now give that benefit to president-elect Donald Trump), you will forgive me if I presume to quote scripture:
“of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
I can hear the protestations of the faithful already: “There are signs of end-times!” Duly noted–but people have been saying that since–well–basically forever. In ancient Rome, a sudden outbreak of plague left entire bustling commercial and agricultural hubs desolate and littered with melted corpses. Combined with Lombard raiding, this led many Christians and Jews within the empire to believe that time itself was coming to an apocalyptic halt. At the time of Justinian’s death, there were those who opportunistically blamed him for being a demon-inspired ruler. (Of course, this hypothesis was only proclaimed publicly after the man was safely dead and buried).
The simple truth is that we humans are not as bright as we like to think we are. We are too keen on spotting patterns where there are none—and perhaps even worse—reading meanings within those patterns that bear no relation to anything other than our preconceived notions. We also seem dangerously lacking in our aptitude to learn from history’s mistakes and stupidities and almost resigned to repeat our past blunders in perpetuum.
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