Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The End Is Near(er Than It Was Just a Moment Ago)

I've written before about conspiracy theories and apocalyptic Christianity. To summarize my views: Christ tells us He's coming back, but He also tells us no one knows when; He tells us some things that will happen first but also tells us that half His followers will fail to prepare; He tells us "secret combinations" are in operation, but their "secret" nature means we probably won't be able to find out about them by just reading the criticism section of the Bilderberg Group's Wikipedia page.

Okay, nothing new for regular readers. What's new is that, this week I've seen a little more activity from "The End Is Now" Mormons. Firstly, I read this post about this news story about this book. I thought both the church's caution and Julie Rowe's response were reasoned and sound. I was a little sad that Mormons require an official rejection of faith promoting rumors, but I was glad to see that it had been over a year since the last one.

Next, I saw a Huffington Post article about Mormons who think calamity is coming this week. I've heard some people argue before that the Second Coming will coincide with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but I keep coming back to "But of that day and hour knoweth no man...." If you want to use this week to prepare for disaster, that's probably a good idea. But if you aren't planning to pay your bills due this October, that's probably a bad idea.

Several years ago, I read some national media venue story that referenced raving right-wing conspiracy-theory lunatics, with a particular mention of a specific blog. I started following that blog because, hey, I like to stay informed of the latest conspiracy theories. This week the blogger had a blog post referencing a video where "a retired military man" says a two-mile wide comet is going to hit Earth in the next two weeks, causing destructive tsunamis*. What's interesting is that the blogger lays out everything wrong with this theory. When even nationally-recognized conspiracy theorists won't touch your conspiracy theory, you've got a problem.

Here's why I even bring this up. In my Facebook news feed someone shared an article similar to the Huffington Post article, and this person wrote, "As a Mormon I'm a bit embarrassed."

What reason is there to be embarrassed? Some people who send their kids to your kid's school started buying school supplies in July. You did not. Did you feel embarrassed about your association with them? What if they did it because they thought school started six weeks early, but they were wrong? Is that any reason to feel embarrassed? The only reason I can see for embarrassment is if the preparation is just completely unwarranted, like a person who buys school supplies for a child he doesn't know he doesn't have.

I don't think the Second Coming is happening this month, but I'm not going to begrudge these people their preparation, and I'm certainly not going to be embarrassed by sharing a religion with people whose only fault is erring on the side of caution. I will, however, be embarrassed of sharing a religion with someone who is so antsy about mainstream acceptance that he needs to make sure he criticizes any Mormon who does anything that could be construed as being based on a belief of prophets, scripture, or continuing revelation.

P.S.: I am feeling a tiny bit anxious about scheduling this post to appear tomorrow. What if I'm wrong and we're mid-End Times tomorrow when this goes live on my blog? Ideally, electronics have stopped working by that point, so no one will ever know.

* = A two-mile wide comet wouldn't just cause tsunamis, it would destroy the planet, right? I remember being at a science museum in Richmond and seeing a display about asteroid collisions. I believe the display said an object the size of a car hitting Richmond would cause thermonuclear-like destruction of everything up to 100 miles away. The heat generated by the atmospheric compression of a two-mile wide comet would kill us all, and boil the oceans before any tsunami could get started.

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