Well, it looks like the end is once again near. And pretty near at that. Christian Fundamentalists have been saying that the end of the world would happen for quite some time, but apparently, a new mathematical equation has fixed the new end to occur on May 21, 2011. The equation is much too sophisticated to make an appearance on this blog, as math in general befuddles and irritates me the way that old ladies with coin purses in supermarkets do, but if you were to believe this new end formula, the end will begin on May 21st and then the end will end on October 21st. So it won't happen in a great zombie style apocalypse, but it will gradually occur, once the real Christians of the world have been delivered, leaving the rest of us to suffer hell on earth.
May 21st happens to be the long weekend, the first of many summer pleasures. So while most of us are going to be thinking barbecues, fighting with weeds, putting in tomato plants, and debating that 24 of beer, the 'real' Christians are going to prepare to meet their Maker and experience life everlasting in eternal Paradise with God.
Well, no need to rethink that 24.
It's kind of nice to know that the end is going to be a gradual process. I'm not a big fan of radical change overnight, and as any good historian will tell you, change rarely occurs like that in real life. In fact, many factors generally lead to those grand changes. There are often facts that show mini-incidents leading up to revolutions and for every person who has ever expressed an original idea, there have been thousands before who have thought it and never thought to express it. So it makes sense that things have a process involved.
If you follow Biblical doctrine closely, the process should be gradual and painful, slowly reducing the human race through a series of violent plagues. My limited Sunday School education with the puppets talking about God tells me that there are 7 of them in all. Which basically means that we're in for what pop stars call a Cruel Summer.
Phew. That means that I don't have to start dieting in order to get ready for bathing suit season; I'll have way more important things to do, like organize my Rapture Day party. I hope that I have enough icecubes.
Of course, not all Christians are convinced that the end is quite so nigh. They argue that a literal and numerical interpretation of the Bible is probably incorrect and likewise, that it has been stated by one of the apostles that the end date of the world is not knowable- at least, probably not to us. Which makes sense, because history also indicates that even when faced with great change and seeing the warning signs along the way, none of us are ever able to predict things with great accuracy. It's part of the great mysteries of the universe, the things that we can't know in life, like when it will end, either for us as individuals or for us as humankind.
And respecting the great mysteries of the universe, leaving them to God, and not calling upon ourselves to do it for God, is probably the most religious thing you can do.