This is the final part of a six-part series about the Christian apocalypse, in which a resuscitated Jesus and his angel army will end civilization and maybe even the universe, usher in the messianic age, and take 144,000 of the elect (who the elect are is debatable) someplace where they’ll live eternally. Welcome to silly season.
My first commanding officer in the Marine Corps told his troops, “Don’t bring me a problem without a solution.” I thought this was a great way to lead.
Keeping that in mind, here are some solutions to silly season:
- Understand the terminology of eschatological thinking. Mainstream Christians usually pay little or no attention to such drivel. Pay attention. It’s dangerous.
- Realize the impossibilities of such fantasies:
- Dead people don’t come back from the grave.
- No vehicles currently exist that can carry 144,000 people into outer space.
- Human can’t survive unassisted more than five miles above sea level, much less travel all over the universe without life support. This apocalyptic fantasy was developed when people thought the world consisted of three tiers.
- The universe is about 13.8 billion years old, not six thousand as the fundies claim.
- The earth, in relation to the universe, is about the size of one grain of sand on Waikiki Beach in Hawai’i.
- Tell fundies that the End Times exist only in their fantasies. Don’t try to discuss it. Fundamentalists don’t discuss anything.
- Fundies hate facts and love scare tactics. Tell them these facts:
- Hell, heaven, and purgatory don’t exist.
- Original sin is a scare tactic. People are simply born—neither good nor bad.
- No one died for our sins. That belief is childish, irresponsible, and makes the fundamentalist god a child abuser.
- Remind them that Christianity is an adult religion in which people must assume responsibility for their actions and that no imaginary figure will save them from themselves. The message is clear: grow up.
- My friend George Johnson just published a book entitled Silence Is Not the Answer. The silence of many progressive Christians is deafening, and it gives the fundies permission to try to take over our country and eventually the world. This attempted takeover is dangerous.
- Show up at the polls. Vote the fundies out. They have only one mission: to develop a theocracy in which their way is the only way. We need all the help we can find, whether it comes from agnostics, atheists, spiritual-but-not-religious folks, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, or any of the myriad other religious adherents in our world. Fundamentalists are counting on our continued passivity and laissez-faire attitude, and it’s working. Just look at the state of affairs in Washington, DC. Being a Mr. or Ms. Milquetoast in the name of peace isn’t working. The fundies are taking over. Speak out.
- Know what you believe, be able to express it, and remind the fundies that they are a cult. Remember: Jesus was a radical revolutionary. We Followers need to be the same.
I have watched the growth of fundamentalism since World War II. The fundies have gone from an insignificant cult to a worldwide threat. Beware.
It’s time to say sayonara (bye-bye) to silly season.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Viktor Vasnetsov is in the public domain