Seriously, I think the Mayans are getting a bad rap. A lot of what OTHER people said they said doesn’t appear to be true. The NBC News story I saw suggested that December 21, 2012, wasn’t apocalyptic in their tradition; it was just another cycle.
It appears that others have superimposed their own dystopian values on the Mayans. It made for not-so-clever comic fodder, of the “How can they predict the end of the world when they couldn’t even foresee their own elimination?” variety. Though JibJab had some fun with it, and this picture WAS rather humorous.
There’s also the issue that these end-of-days pronouncements, and particularly the one for December 21, 2012, actually have an effect on people. I’ve seen educated, otherwise rational adults express uneasiness over the predictions; it just gives off a negative vibe. Children are particularly vulnerable to the noise. I think it’s probably like how kids of my vintage fretted about the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) of the Cold War, US v. the USSR. I DO wonder, though, if we’ve hit a global warming tipping point.
Cheri of Idle Chatter mused about what if it were the last day. What would I do? Wouldn’t bother bearing grudges, but would make sure that as many people I knew were aware of how much I cared for them, especially those I didn’t tell often enough. *** The End is Nigh, Look Busy
…how Matthew 24:6-7, “And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…” has been misinterpreted, which I found oddly comforting.
I was noting to someone – probably Arthur, right after the Christchurch earthquake in February, that I’m not much of a believer in the apocalypse, as portrayed in some religious literature. Then the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster in Japan helped generate this Newsweek cover. Still don’t believe it, though if the world destroys itself, it’d more likely be at our own hand.
Then I came across this article about how Matthew 24:6-7, “And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…” has been misinterpreted, which I found oddly comforting.
Do you believe either in Biblical end times or the possibility that we, through being a poor tenant of this earth, are bringing to pass our own destruction? Ah, a good Lenten question.
And do uncertain times make the notion of superheroes more attractive?
“America has been a land of religious freedom. To many people, it seems impossible that this country could ever be anything but a defender of liberty in matters of faith.
That actually is a very dangerous view because it easily leads to complacency, assuming that what has been always will be…”
I’m not a big fan of Biblical apocalyptic writings. It’s less that I find them true or untrue and more that I see them as irrelevant. If Jesus is coming back, he said clearly that no one knows the day or time when he’ll reappear. Thus, all the speculation about this sign or that “proving” the Lord’s return, something that’s been going on for over 1900 years is, to my mind, pointless at best.
The article concludes that the United States is the “land beast” mentioned in the books of Daniel and Revelation (read the article if you want to know what that means). The land beast is a global, end-time superpower and a Christian nation. I know others seem to think the land beast is the UN, BTW.
But here’s the stuff that piqued my interest: if the land beast…is the United States, we can conclude that this nation’s historic separation between government and religion will end someday, because the land beast will enforce a particular form of worship…[it] will enforce its false worship with an iron fist. Anyone who refuses to receive the mark of the beast will be barred from carrying out any economic activity—he or she will not be allowed to buy or sell…
America has been a land of religious freedom. To many people, it seems impossible that this country could ever be anything but a defender of liberty in matters of faith.
That actually is a very dangerous view because it easily leads to complacency, assuming that what has been always will be… If we fail in our vigilance, the United States could very well turn on its historical principle of religious freedom.
Indeed, there is evidence that this is happening even now. I am frankly troubled by the profound hostility some Christians in America hold toward the principle of church-state separation, which is the foundation of religious freedom. Church-state separation simply means that government and religion operate in distinctive spheres, each recognizing the unique responsibilities of the other. They are separate in the sense that neither should ever control the other.
Should the United States ever abandon its commitment to the principle of church-state separation, persecution of dissenters will inevitably follow… we should defend, for as long as possible, the principle that government and religion operate in separate spheres, neither dictating the laws that govern the other.
So while I don’t necessarily subscribe to the apocalyptic premise of the piece, the conclusion that church-state separation is a good thing is a position with which I can firmly agree. *** This is from The Onion, but I’d swear it’s true: God Angrily Clarifies ‘Don’t Kill’ Rule