Sunday, May 22, 2011

I’m still here…

Harold Camping did us a favour.

Mr. Camping is the dude who told us that the end of the world was supposed to be yesterday. He was wrong about that prediction and maybe finally we can all move on from giving any time and space to this sort of prognosticating. Although, I’m sure that listening to the clever backpedalling that Mr. Camping is doing today from his pulpit (if indeed he decided to show up in his pulpit at all) would be mildly amusing. Maybe Mr. Camping is wondering if the level of homosexual debauchery has actually reached the critical mass that he claimed would precipitate the calamitous end of the world. Perhaps Mr. Camping is engaging in recalculations of the actual end of days which no doubt eluded him this time. You know listening to God’s voice is a tough job – especially when its supposed to tip you off to impending doom.

I doubt he is figuring out sly ways of apologizing to sincere believers who either took him seriously or are embarrassed at his antics in the first place.

I doubt Mr. Camping is helping to raise money for Robert Fitzpatrick who spent most of his life saving making doomsday posters warning people of the impending doom. Something about this story caught my attention. While Mr. Fitzpatrick may have meant this next quotation as a notification of the impending wrath of Judgement Day – there may be more truth his word than may first appear to those of us dismayed at this man’s fool hardy actions:

"If you're not saved by the time these events begin tomorrow, then you'll be left here to face judgment day."

The truth is that many people did wake up to face the judgment of horrors that have befallen them in this life. The innumerable suffering of  that we are all vulnerable to is the kind of doomsday that many people re-live over and over again. It is worthwhile to ask from where salvation will arrive for the broken relationships, poverty, disease, loneliness, etc. Fact is that for some people one final judgement day might be preferable to the daily hell that they endure.

It would seem that Mr. Camping’s antics would be more a distraction from the real life salvation that believers are responsible to bring to the world. On the other hand maybe we can finally put this end times tom foolery to bed once and for all. I mean the end is near  right? Sure it is – but let’s face it for many the end was a long time time ago. It’s time to get on with the business of redeeming whose lives seem over. Instead of focusing on this Judgement Day why not spend some time judging our own efforts to provide the tools for people to get out of the desperate situations they find themselves in. And maybe we can all hope that the media will grow a up a little or just plain tire of the idiocy of these types of stories without whose help we would have been blissfully unaware.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rich Religion

According to this research, it pays to be Hindu. This data shows that Hindus in USA have a higher level of education and the highest amount of over 75K earning individuals.  If you are bothered that your particular religion is not faring as well, its not that hard to reconcile this numbers and ameliorate your own relative religious position. Because we know that  God helps those who help themselves! Anyway, a quick recall of the basics of statistics will tip you off to the fact that there are significantly more Baptists still in USA than Hindus - and a larger sample number means that there is a greater chance of the that larger sample landing closer tot he mean (average). So multiple gods may not have as direct a correlation with wealth and education as it appears on this graphic. A smaller sample group landing on the higher education and more wealth side is significant since according to statistical theory they could just as easily land on the negative side. Interestingly, "the way of suffering" (Buddhism) leads to a nirvana of cash and degrees as well.
What might be a little more significant is that the health and wealth Pentecostals ought to check out what the Anglicans are doing cause they are kicking their blessed rear-ends. So take a moment and basque in your relative wealth and academic achievement - unless of course you are Jehovah's Witness - in which case...
Now snap out of it people. Seriously, isn't the whole point of religion supposed to be about being satisfied with the unexplainable truth - taken as faith? And isn't the reward of the afterlife the thing to strive for? Come on a little bit poorer and an little bit dumber never hurt anybody right? Ignorance is bliss and simplicity is true riches.
I think it is interesting that a rhetorical frame like this one can dance into the social head space and force education and wealth as a rubric of evaluation on religion. I think its cool our social sphere can be that banal. I think its perverse for those who might claim to hang onto any vestige of faith to exacerbate this issue further. So then what do you make of this post? God thing it goes mostly unread...