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Judgment Day Lessons

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The purported judgment day on May 21, 2011 came and went with nary a soul being lifted into heaven, a dead body being thrown out of a grave, or Jesus descending down on earth to do whatever it is Jesus does. There was a volcano eruption and some small follow-up quakes. So it appears that even if God had the will, he didn't have the might to pull off the big event.

In a weird way I'll miss Harold Camping of Family radio, the persona behind the failed doomsday prediction. I loved listening to his radio program, Open Forum, for a number of years. It was almost a self-challenge. Can I listen to him without being influenced or deceived?

He left no wiggle room around his forecast. It was absolutely going to happen. He was so sure of himself, that he wouldn't even entertain questions regarding May 22, 2011. He'd chastise people who inquired, reminding them may 22nd will only be the second day of judgment and nothing else. Ironically he would admonish his listeners to cast aside pride and arrogance, while he was steeped in them himself.

No doubt he'll be back with a new rapture date. People have short memories, but things won't be quite the same. For one he's older now and may not live to see that date and this past campaign was a colossal flop, considering how long and wide the false prophesy traveled.

The point with Camping is that in reality he's no different than any other preachers or prophets, past or present. If you were scoffing at him, think about what your own beliefs are. Perhaps you believe in some supreme being who communicated with prophets and left behind a sacred book. You may believe in heaven and hell, and in an evil character called Satan. Do any of these beliefs make any more sense than what Camping was preaching?

In some ways Camping was admirable and courageous for declaring something concrete within his religion. He set a an actual date as proof that the Bible really was sent from his God. Now that his evidence has been debunked, we can say that the Bible is but a book written by people and not some divine being. Other religions are too smart to make such statements. They just dance around generalities without giving any concrete evidence. That keeps them a safe distance from the truth-seekers while they continue to brainwash newcomers and collect their monies.

People should have been rid of religion years ago, but the money-making enterprise is too powerful to slip away quietly. And with so many religions to chose from, anyone can pick their favorite flavor of superstition. There are as plentiful as rock bands and ice cream flavors. I am not suggesting throwing religions away completely. On the contrary, they should be kept and preserved as historical documents and events that shaped our lives for good or bad.

There was a time when ordinary people needed religion as a crutch, a guide, and a moral compass. It eased them into a sense of security, a sort of a defense mechanism to tackle the bewilderment they suffered by all sorts of unexplainable events around them. That time has long passed and we no longer need fabricated answers to our questions. We've learned to cope with unexplained events and understand that not everything must have an easy-to-digest answer. Religion no longer deserves its holy and sacred position among us. What it deserves is a historical status like many other things from our past.

The sentiment is best summed up by Captain Kirk, reasoning with an ancient God. "We've outgrown you. You ask for something we can no longer give." He retorts to Apollo. (Star Trek, TOS, Who Mourns for Adonais?)

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