Addendum at the end of the post
You sir are why I don’t read the internet. Your mocking GOD is hateful and you are a poor excuse for a CHRSITIAN. When you judgement comes you will not be so funny then and your are not funny now your just think you are [Sic].
It’s been a week since Harold Camping’s non-Rapture.
It’s been, what? four days since I wrote the rapture posts?
The hate mail is now down to a trickle, but for a while there it was a torrent.
Rather predictably, none of the faithful – like the fuzzy rapture monkey above, who wrote me a long lovely note about how I can burn in Hell forever, Praise Gawd! – were sucked into outer space by Zombie Jesus.
Frankly, I’m a little disappointed, but I guess I can live with that.
It might actually be for the best. Perhaps there’s a lesson there. For the faithful.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I think it would have been hysterically funny if these glassy-eyed simpletons actually did get sucked up into the sky like dustbunnies in a vacuum cleaner. The world would be a better place without these chowderheaded genetic failures. But, the fact that The Big Moment failed to materialize, yet again, is even better. Did it dent their belief? Only momentarily, then Harold Camping had yet another divine epiphany and told his legions of gullible followers, “Good news, Lemmings! Spoke to Righteous Jesus Dude, I was totally correct, the Rapture did actually happen just like I said it would, but it was a sort of an invisible spiritual deal because merciful happy forgiving God wants to spare the unsaved five months of torture (so he can torture them for all of eternity later apparently. How five months makes a difference compared to, oh, forever wasn’t explained – but never mind that!) and for absolutely sure the world is going to end on October 21st. Send money!” Camping didn’t explain if the actual no-foolin October 21st end of the world will be invisible too, but I suppose he just assumed that was a given.
A more perfect example of the human mind’s ability to rationalize complete bullshit into shiny fairy dust there never was.
The people who believe in this crap are drooling idiots, and these idiots deserve every single bit of mockery and derision currently being directed at them. Ridicule is entirely the correct response and I laugh in their bewildered sobbing faces, fuck ‘em and the Winnebago of Doom they rode in on.
Now hang on, Jim, I hear you say in that tone you reserve for greeting uninvited Jehovah’s Witnesses at the front door when they show up just as you sit down to dinner, that’s pretty cold hearted. Don’t you have any sympathy for the poor deluded fools who left their families, quit their jobs, and spent their life savings on posters of doom in anticipation of Launch Day? Do you feel nothing for their disappointment, their crushing despair, their confusion and the dashing of their dreams like small helpless puppies dropped from a height onto concrete like little water balloons full of chunky spaghetti sauce?
Have you no empathy, man?
What I’d actually like to do is grab these silly bobbleheads by the lapels and shake them until I’ve shaken every last bit of stupid right out of their empty skulls. And make no mistake at all, stupidity is exactly what this is. The worst kind of stupid: deliberate stupidity. Selfish stupidity. And I do not, ever, have sympathy for those who engage in willful foolishness.
I simply cannot and will not suffer fools gladly.
Sounds harsh, I know. And it sounds like I’m coming down hard on religion.
That’s because I am.
Or rather I’m coming down hard on a particular kind of religion.
See, what these people are engaged in is not faith, but rather selfishness.
That is the fundamental principle of their belief. Selfishness. Pure and simple.
Selfishness. I’m pretty sure that’s a sin.
This childish belief system is literally escapism. This Rapture horseshit is nothing more than a wish fulfillment fantasy, a little daydream where Happy Smiling Bearded Tanned Chiseled-Chest Jesus Man comes down from the sky in a beam of pure white awesome surrounded by sparkly angel farts in a spotlessly white robe to hold their hands and rub their shoulders in a totally non-homoerotic way and tell them how wonderful they are and how they were right all along about everything and how God loves them best of all and how all the mean people that they don’t like are assholes who are finally going to get what’s coming to them and then the Soap Opera Savior will take them away from all their earthly woes by flying them up into the sky to a wonderful magical place of crispy shining clouds and Roman fountains and fluffy kittens and white marble where they’ll be skinny and healthy and happy and young and rich and glamorous and talented and fabulous and surrounded by skinny, healthy, happy, young, rich, glamorously talented fabulous people who believe everything that they do and nothing that they don’t and where there are no ugly disagreeable stinky fat dirty people who are smarter than they are and who make them feel bad about themselves and there will be no bills to pay or shitty jobs to go to or ungrateful kids to raise or unshaven horny husbands with morning breath or frigid wives with fat asses or houses to clean or crowded highways or poor people to feed or sick people to care for or indeed any responsibilities at all and they can spend all of eternity thinking happy thoughts and having earth shaking bang bang sex with angels on cottony clouds without guilt or having to sleep in the wet spot and the rest of the time doing exactly what they want to do without any kind of consequences ever – and the icing on the big God cake is all the people that they don’t like will burn in lakes of fire while wrapped in chains of ice hidden away from God’s sight forever and ever and ever exactly as they deserve and the Saved will get to say Ha HA! Fuckers, told you so, nyah nyah! Amen.
That is exactly what The Rapture is, and it’s why I got a ton of hate mail this week – people get very upset when you mock their little fantasies, especially a selfish little bit of escapism that they’ve spent so much time and effort on, polishing it and adding little embellishments, worrying it around over and over like an ingrown nail.
But here’s the sad part, if these people really believed that they were going up into the sky to live with the Cloud People, they wouldn’t give a fig as to what I think, after all, I’m just one of trillions of souls who will finally get what I so justly deserve, right? That’s right, trillions, all the graves will open up and all the people who ever lived, ever, will walk the earth and a whole lot of us aren’t going to get to go. So why in the hell would they bother to send me hate mail?
Unless, of course, they’re afraid that their little Rapture balloon will pop and then they’ll be stuck dealing with, you know, actual life. Here. Now. Today.
And, man, dealing with real life is such a bummer. What if the whole purpose of life is to do the best you can with what you got?
Oh hell no, there’s got to be more than that! Why, we’re special! Sure we are.
It’s selfish and conceited to an extraordinary degree to believe that you’ll be saved and others won’t - and you’re OK with that.
Yeah, so? Big deal, so they believe in The Rapture and Magic Eight Ball Jesus and Heaven, what’s the harm? Why does it matter? They’re not hurting anybody.
Selfishness has consequences. Conceit has consequences. Always.
Real consequences, in the real world.
A number of these stupid bastards abandoned their families, husbands left wives, wives left husbands, parents left children, they left jobs and homes and responsibilities and waited for Jesus to come along and rapture them away to happy magic land where the bunnies fart sunshine and rainbows and taste just like Grandma’s fried chicken.
Think about that.
No, really think about that. Think about the consequences. Think about what kind of person it takes to believe in this crap, to want it, to hope for it.
When you think like this, there are consequences.
The people who allow themselves to believe in this nonsense, who willingly embrace this garbage, are the kind of selfish self-involved self-centered sons of bitches who would abandon their own children in order to save themselves. These are the kind of sorry pusillanimous assholes who, given the choice last Saturday (Remember, it was real to them), when they believed that The Question was actually being put to them for real, made a conscious and deliberate decision to sacrifice their own families. Families? Hell, they intended to abandon the whole human race, they intended to sell out the whole Goddamned planet – every person who ever lived all the way back to the very beginning.
That’s what they intended.
Not one, not a single one, of these sorry pathetic sacks of shit looked up into the sky and said, Hey! You up there, you son of a bitch, kiss my ass! Take us all, or don’t take any of us. If my children are going to Hell, then I’m going with them. If my wife is going to hell, she’s not going without me, asshole! Have and to hold, better or worse, richer or poorer, that’s the deal. You want my family? My friends? My world? You’re going to have to come through me to get them! Tell Jesus to bring help, because he’s gonna need it.
No, instead they stood in parking lots and on mountain tops and in churches and said, Hey, psssst, Jesus, screw them, no really screw them forever and ever, you can have my kids, my wife, my husband, just take me to happy land, Baby, so I can dance naked among the clouds!
Sympathy? You must be joking. I have nothing but utter contempt for these cowards.
Harold Campings [sic] isn’t a real Christian!
Yeah, yeah. I hear you. I got a couple hundred emails from real Christians quoting The Book of Mathew. There were a bunch of comments to that effect too, but I deleted them because I don’t want them stinking up my blog. These “real” Christians tell me that Jesus will “come like a thief in the night” and no man can knoweth the day or hour of His return
Gotcha. I’d have probably gone with a different metaphor, if I was writing the Holy Book, but that’s not even close to the most significant changes I’d make (Ten Commandments? Bah. How about only one: Don’t be a dick. There, done, now go and be happy and shit will work out).
I’ve got bad news for you: you don’t get to disown Harold Camping or the rest of these bozos on a technicality. They believe in Jesus, ipso facto, they’re Christians. They might not believe like your particular branch of Christianity but don’t go getting all smug here because Camping doesn’t have the corner on selfishness. Sure, Harold Camping put an expiration date on his version of the Bible (and granted, his expiration date is like the expiration date on a box of MRE’s, more of a guideline than what you’d call an actual rule), but other than that, his beliefs really aren’t distinguishable from one hell of a lot of people in this country who are going to be listening to pretty much the same exact message come this Sunday. A lot of them think that some day they’re going to fly up into the sky with Jesus, even if they don’t pretend to know the exact date, and everybody else is going to burn, burn, burn, forever, and they can’t wait for that to happen because it’s going to be awesome. Hallelujah! And sure, there’s a whole lot of folks who, while they don’t exactly buy into the Rapture Rocket thing, are still convinced that someday they and their best friends are going to be partying in the clouds with Jesus while everybody else gets to attend Satan’s BBQ. Every single one of these people, from snake handling Evangelicals to Unreconstructed Catholics who recite the Mass in Latin are firmly convinced that they’re right and everybody else is damned to eternal torment.
A lot of these folks might claim to respect other’s beliefs, or lack of belief, but they don’t. In their minds, respect of other’s beliefs means, Hey, I didn’t burn your ass at the stake, what else do you want? Now, don’t be gay, don’t choose, don’t think, don’t question, don’t be uppity, don’t be different from me – now bend over and I’ll respect you in the morning.
This colors how people think.
And there are consequences.
Jesus said feed the hungry, but really why should we? They’re all just going to burn anyway – if they don’t believe like us.
Jesus said clothe the poor, but again, that would be a waste of good clothing. Wouldn’t it?
Jesus said heal the sick, but they wouldn’t be sick in the first place … if they believed like we do.
The only thing we need to know about the world is: God did it. Don’t ask. Don’t think. Don’t strive to know. God did it, that’s it and that’s all.
No need to conserve resources, they’re ours. God will either make more or blow the earth up before we run out.
No need to take care of the planet, it’s disposable anyway. Pollution? Climate change? Extinction? Fuck it, Jesus has that covered.
No need for respect of others, by definition they are damned to fire and torture and eternal hellfire anyway. Fuck them too.
Peace in the Middle East? Now why would we want that? War in the Holy Land is one of the signs, man!
Selfishness, that’s what this worldview fosters. Selfishness.
Ask yourself this, how many abortions could have been avoided if the Catholic Church spent as much on correcting the causes of unwanted pregnancy as they did on preventing the teaching of birth control around the world? Tell me again, which is the lesser sin? Which one could you live with? Sex without conception for pleasure or abortion? Seems fairly obvious to me, but then again I’m not Catholic.
How many many battered spouses could have gotten help last year if the Church of Latter Day Saints spent the same amount on shelters and counselors as they did defending the sanctity of marriage by opposing same sex unions in California? Seems to me Mormons should be the very last people telling others how to be married, but then again I’m not a Mormon.
How many homeless could have been fed, clothed, and sheltered if those megachurch TV evangelicals had spent even a fraction of their tax free billions on doing what Jesus rather specifically enjoined Christians to do instead of glorifying themselves? Seems to me if the world is going to end, there’s not much point in a huge glass and steel cathedral complete with TV studio and holy casino, but then again I’m not born again either.
How many angry young Muslim men would be less angry, more patriotic, and less likely to fear and distrust their neighbors here in the United States if the Southern Baptist Convention had spent its money helping to build an interfaith center near Ground Zero instead of fighting it tooth and nail? Jesus said something about turning the other cheek, something or other about forgiveness and humility, something about hubris and something about judgment being reserved for God, but I don’t recall the specifics because I’m not a Baptist either.
How many sons, daughters, wives, husbands, how many families, could have been saved if Harold Camping’s followers had spent their money on taking care of others instead of going off to save themselves? How many baseball lots and family recreational parks, how many classroom improvements in New York’s impoverished schools, how many after school programs could the eighteen million dollars Harold Camping’s Family Radio raked in from selfish listeners last year paid for? I don’t know, but then again I don’t believe in The Rapture.
How much of the National Debt could have been paid down if these various churches rendered unto Caesar as they were directed to do by Jesus? Enough to pay for our schools? Enough to fund college grants for our kids? Enough to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, shelter the needy? Fix Medicare so old people don’t have to split pills and do without? Could we fund mental health programs so crazy people could get help and maybe get better and not spend their lives on the street or shooting Congress women in the head? Would we have enough to keep funding alcohol and drug rehab programs to help addicts get better and maybe get jobs and maybe stop being homeless? Beats me, but then again I’m not exactly what you’d call a Christian.
Someday you will watch people raise up to meet your GOD but you will be left behind. You will be sorry then.
Perhaps so, but in the mean time, I’ll make the best of this world and do my part to leave it, when the time comes, a little better than I found it.
Since you live here too, how about you stop acting the asshole and lend a hand?
I’m pretty sure that’s what Jesus would do.
As expected, this morning the inbox has some nice feedback from the faithful. I’ll paraphrase the common themes:
WHY DO YOU HATE GOD?!!!!
Well, you know, should the Christian God actually exist, it’s not as if the guy is particularly likable. I suppose the best I could manage in that case is the kind of regard a rat might have for the scientist running the experiment, “Thanks for the food pellet and this nice exotic disease, Poindexter, but you should know the first chance I get I’m going over the wall.” Face it, most of the “love” believers feel for “God” is the kind of love a battered wife feels for her abuser – just ask the folks in Joplin, Missouri this morning, “He totally fucking destroyed the town and killed our families and neighbors and sucked little Billy right through the goddamned wall and turned his body into Jell-O, but man He spared me so He sure must be awesome! Whatever you do, don’t question it, He doesn’t like that.” But here’s the thing, I don’t hate your God, any more than I hate a volcano or an earthquake or snow, just because somebody points out the fallacies of your belief system doesn’t mean they hate God, Jesus, or America. You’re using “Why do you hate God” as a set of earplugs so you don’t have to deal with the logical fallacies of your silly belief system. That’s your problem, don’t make it mine, i.e. you look to the beam in your eye first then get back to me.
WHY DO YOU HATE CHRISTIANS?!!!!
I don’t hate Christians, or Muslims, or Mormons, or Jehovah’s Witnesses, or those gomers who hang out on street corners with the fist full of flowers and the dazed looks on their faces. And I actually dig the Jews (I hate to show favoritism, but they’ve got just totally awesome food). Repeat, I don’t hate them. Most of the time I don’t care, however, when you start demanding that I live my life in accordance with your beliefs, then you’re getting on my nerves. When you use your beliefs as an excuse to act like a dick, then we’re going to have a problem. I refer you to a devoutly religious man, Ghandi: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
I’M A CHRISTIAN AND I AGREE WITH THE BASIC PREMISE OF THIS POST, BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE SO HATEFUL (OBNOXIOUS, ARROGANT, MEAN, SARCASTIC, FOUL MOUTHED, and so on and so forth).
Eye for an Eye, Sparky. Couple of points, when you tell people that they’re going to burn forever along with their kids and friends and neighbors and etcetera because they don’t believe like you do, well then you are being an obnoxious dick. When you claim to have all the answers, when you claim that you’re special and exceptional and saved, you’re being a prideful dick. It’s OK for you to express blind faith without a shred of proof, but if I’m confident in my beliefs then I’m “arrogant” – that makes you a hypocritical dick. When you attempt to force your religious beliefs on others, and especially if you whore it up as “intelligent design” or “morality” or “It’s a Christian Nation” or some other euphemistic bullshit, then you are being an insulting selfish dick. Yes, insulting, because recasting religion as science says very clearly that the rest of us are so fucking stupid we can’t see what you’re up to. When you come to my door and tell me I’m going to burn forever in a lake of fire because you’ve got all the answers, you’re telling me that my experience and education and worldview is completely invalid and you can kiss my ass. When you use your religion to deny others their basic civil rights of life, liberty, and happiness, then I’m going to punch you right square in the mouth. When you tell people that “it’s a Christian Nation” you’re telling all the rest of us that we don’t count, that we’re second class citizens, that we don’t belong and then we’re going to have a problem, you and me. You reap what you sow, so said Jesus. You’d like me to be more polite with posts like the one above? Fine, you go first.
WHEN THE RAPTURE REALLY DOES COME, YOU’LL BE SORRY
Couple things: First, you should know right up front that I don’t respond well to threats, from you, from your preacher, or from Jesus. Really. Second, why do you care if I’m sorry or not? Ask yourself that, then ask yourself if the emotion behind your childish little threat is the kind of thing that will get you in the front door of Heaven when your time comes. If you’re right, you shouldn’t have to threaten people. Think about that.
MATHEW 24:36 BUT OF THAT DAY AND HOUR KNOWETH NO MAN, NO, NOT THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN, BUT MY FATHER ONLY. HE’S COMING BITCH.
Here’s a thought: According to Christians, God is big on tests. He supposedly gave you free will, but you’re not supposed to use it. He gave you the ability to disbelieve and numerous reasons to disbelieve up to and including putting dinosaur fossils in the ground and manipulating the decay of Carbon-14, but you should believe anyway. In point of fact, there is one hell of a lot of proof that God does not exist, and exactly none that He does, but you should believe anyway. That’s why they call it faith, right? The Christian God is big on tests of faith and character, the bible is full of such tests. Ever ask yourself, what if? What if this whole rapture thing is a test? Given free will, when you thought it was the end, you choose to abandon your children, your spouse, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your nations, your world, your people for a free ride to paradise. What’s that say about your character? Do you really think that’s the kind of person Jesus wants to spend eternity with? How about the rest of you believers? Are you really living your life as if you believe the Rapture is coming? Really? Or are you just using it to make other people do what you want? Do as I say or you’ll be sorry. Remember, according to your belief, Jesus knows what’s in your heart. Maybe, just maybe, there’s no rapture at all, maybe it’s just a test to separate the selfish assholes from the worthy. Think about that.
You can stop writing me now, I’m not the one you need to convince.