For the better part of last Friday morning,
Black Twitter went cattywompus behind Harold Camping’s prophecy that The Rapture would occur the following Saturday, May 21, 2011. (That was last Saturday, in case you’re wondering if it took place or not.)
That Friday morning, Twitter’s more urbanized timelines were rife with horrible jokes & harmless – yet, arrogant – doubt about Christ’s return. A few times, I found myself subtweeting to people that they might probably want to chill with the taunts. Such taunting (humorous or otherwise) could clearly be misconstrued as attempts to slapbox with God, which I’m well aware that my arm’s are far too short to do. So many people were quick to dismiss Camping’s fortune telling by way of Matthew 24:36, but the devil’s advocate-y side of me says that just because no man knows the hour doesn’t necessarily mean that the hour isn’t right now, if you smell my cologne…
God can do what He wants, & there was no logical reason that He could not have allowed the beginning of the end of the system of things to begin at the prophecized moment of 6 PM. That – coincidentally – wouldn’t have had anything to do with Harold Camping or his teachings or his congregation. In the grand scheme of things, if the Rapture or something similar had occurred, Camping’s name would be irrelevant, forgotten immediately, simply because, at that point, there would be much bigger proverbial fish to fry.
Halfway through the sacreligious joke-a-thon (which I admittedly took part in) I asked myself “Are we ridiculing one human’s egregious & pompous proclamation, or are we actually allowing Jesus’ return (if you believe in that sort of thing) to become a punch line & hashtag?” There’s a thin line between the 2 that became more & more apparent as Doomsday 2011 became actual fodder for physical news broadcasts.
At some point, I noticed that a visible amount of my normally happy-go-lucky tweeters had disappeared from my page altogether. Apparently others on Twitter noticed also, because some folks mockingly joked about people disappearing early, right as #endoftheworld confession tweets started rolling in. Rather than try & explain to “people” that this isn’t the end of the world, & it’s not about “zombies,” I embraced the ignorance, cracked a few jokes, & eventually logged off. Only after logging off, though, did I realize that over half of the people don’t even understand what the Rapture signals, much less it’s characteristics. All they knew was that some crazy old White dude said the world was ending. (This is why a mob mentality is a dangerous thing.)
Even more important than Camping’s prediction, however, is the fact that he has dozens of thousands of followers, worldwide. All these people believe what he says, even when he’s wrong. These same people are sane enough, though, to donate millions to his cause. (The real) Jim Jones had a devout following like that. In fact, David Koresh did, as well. Will we be able to add Harold Egbert Camping to that list
of psychopaths, someday?
Take the “crazy” man on the corner, who yells to the clouds about whatever crazy bums yell about. He’s only as crazy as the people who listen to him. Even if what he’s screaming is utter foolishness, if he can convince an audience, it becomes truth. Again, this is why a mob mentality is a dangerous thing. Speaking of crazy, has Harold Camping spoke to the media yet?