Wrote the following comment on May 20th, 2011 at 5:10 pm #
Kudos to you if you get this pop culture reference.
Wrote the following comment on May 20th, 2011 at 10:23 pm #
Does this mean I’m not going to that conference tomorrow? Yippee!
Wrote the following comment on May 25th, 2011 at 6:44 pm #
You know that guy got millions of dollars in contributions, and while I am not saying he was a fraud in every way, I am curious as to how he lives and where that money goes. There are some people out there who gave up life savings and all kinds over predictions this plonker made!
It’s interesting though, people here were chatting the other day about how we should feel sympathy for those people who were mislead by Camping (the preacher, not the thing in tents) yet they didn’t seem to like my suggestion that we should feel the same sympathy for the 9/11 terrorists or people who blow themselves up on buses. Somehow that kind of foolishness was not worthy of any sympathy but my argument was it is exactly the same. Just pure blind belief.
Anyway, the Rapture has been postponed now until October. So we’ve still got a little time
Wrote the following comment on May 25th, 2011 at 7:29 pm #
And yet it is easier to have sympathy on a drunk who ruins his own life than it is on a drunk who gets behind the wheel and ruins someone else’s life. In the case of Camping’s followers, they mostly harmed themselves, whereas in the case of those who engage in terrorist practices for the sake of Jihad, they destroy others. This said, I get what you are saying about blind faith, and yet one of the motifs that occur throughout Christian scriptures is that faith will look like “foolishness to the Greeks” (the masters of reason).
Getting at the issue of blind faith from another angle, what if Camping had not made doomsday prophecies, but instead called his followers to imitate Christ by selling their worldly goods, give it to the poor, and live the rest of their lives in a common life of humble simplicity in service to the poor. Wouldn’t this kind of action look foolish, and yet at the same time evoke admiration in people due to its humanitarian nature? It would be very much like a modern Franciscan movement, which is a movement that many religiously minded and non religiously minded people find praiseworthy.
I think we feel sorry for Camping’s followers because they were suckers who got no kind of reward for their sacrifice, which is where I think you see parallels between them and the 9/11 terrorists. But again, the difference is that the former harmed themselves and the latter harmed others.
The thing about belief is that it brings its own kind of vision that enables believers to move beyond the given and into what may yet be. It often moves people into the seemingly impossible. Those who don’t have faith are bound to judge those with faith within the limited horizons of their framework. A complicating factor in all this is that sometimes religious people do things that are innately stupid and are not of the category that I have just been describing, and so discernment is needed.
As I have grown older, though not necessarily because I am older, I think that pride is ultimately what bars people from entering into an experience of the Kingdom now. The pride of the religious blinds them from seeing how their attraction to a religious quack is emerging from some kind of brokenness in their own character. And, the pride of the rational is that they cannot envision anything that exceeds their own wisdom and understanding, and so they never step out beyond their limited rational horizons.
Wrote the following comment on May 27th, 2011 at 10:35 pm #
It’s going to sound like a bad thing to say, and you know I have a great respect for your own faith and personal knowledge of that, but sometimes I think that religion and stupidity are bed buddies. Certainly faith and foolishness are cousins.
Wrote the following comment on May 28th, 2011 at 3:16 am #
Simon – Religion and stupidity are bed buddies, but only because people and stupidity are bed buddies. Stupidity is just a part of the human condition, and it takes unique shape along different human avenues, with religion being one of them. Granted, stupidity in religion is perhaps particularly egregious, but I don’t think it is unique to religion.
Wrote the following comment on May 29th, 2011 at 7:50 pm #
You are right, of course, Anthony.
Wrote the following comment on June 1st, 2011 at 3:31 pm #
I’m goin’ nekkid! ;>):-
Wrote the following comment on June 2nd, 2011 at 6:55 am #
Nekkid. Now that you say it, that option seems quite obvious. Of course that nakedness is merely a prelude to being clothed in his glory.
Wrote the following comment on June 2nd, 2011 at 1:21 pm #
Say… you seen my dog? My neighbor’s dog is missing, too. Matter of fact, seems that several dogs are missing. How about Sierra? Is she still around?
Come to think of it, I haven’t seen several folks in a while, either. Kinda’ thought I’d have heard from ‘em by now. You know… something like the “Having a wonderful time; wish you were here” kind of message.
Wrote the following comment on June 2nd, 2011 at 4:47 pm #
Maybe we’ve had it wrong all this time, and the dogs are the one who got raptured. What if our entire faith structure was based on an unfortunate typo and it was Dog not God who created the heavens and the earth?
Wrote the following comment on June 2nd, 2011 at 5:30 pm #
It’s kinda’ like the dyslexic insomniac agnostic.
He would stay awake all night wondering, ‘Is there a dog?’