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The Real, Dark, Doomsday Which Happens With Every Apocalypse…

The Real, Dark, Doomsday Which Happens With Every Apocalypse…

By Hannah Spadafora…..
Saturday, May 21st was set to be judgment day, the beginning of the end of the world. Harold Camping said so, and many people, upon hearing his prophecy through his unique Christian program on FamilyRadio.com, felt it deeply rang of truth. This left believers with many decisions to make on how to prepare for the end—or, more precisely, how to stop preparing for a future in a world which was nearly finished. It was posted on billboards, bellowing from bullhorns of trailer preachers, and eventually covered extensively, as a strange thing, on the news. And, according to followers, to have kept on living as if the world wasn’t about to be cast into judgment or rocked to its end would have been to show distrust in God’s plan. So, as the question of what one would do before they die merged with the question of what one would do to avoid hellish torture, some believers just stopped.

The Good News of Star Visitors, Part II

The Good News of Star Visitors, Part II

By Kenny Smith…..
The similarities linking Camping and Boylan are likewise intriguing. Both offer dramatic, magical worldviews envisioning a new and improved human condition, whether in heaven (far from the screams of the damned) or upon a renewed earth and a galactic civilization. As such, both instantiate a stream of millennial thinking with a long history in American culture and by no means limited to institutional religion. Americans have been eager to export their styles of government, economics, science, technology, language, philosophy, medicine, entertainment, and social customs of all kinds, as well as religion, in an effort to lead the world into a new and better age. More personally, both Camping and Boylan are highly educated and experienced professionals, and their skill sets have helped to constitute their worldviews. Camping, a Berkeley-trained civil engineer, has spent decades studying the Bible and crunching the biblical numbers to arrive at his various predictions.

Harold Camping—Penny Guru of Spiritual Scams

Harold Camping—Penny Guru of Spiritual Scams

By Michel-Camille Bordeau….
We can’t expect restoration of trustworthiness with the likes of Harold Camping. He’s already made that very clear. After the fiasco of May 21st, he took time to regroup, and when he was ready to face the public, he came out to announce that he wasn’t wrong, he couldn’t be wrong, and he would never be wrong. The Patriarch, provider of eschatological hope, had spoken. But these were not the expected words. He did not seek forgiveness or offer an apology to his wounded children and/or the rest of the world. Being wrong was the right thing for him—and he was certain that God would forgive him. In fact, he was convinced that it was in God’s plan…for him…through him… and for the rest of the world… whether we liked it or not. Even if some of us, his dearest fans, suffered great emotional injury.

The Nonpocalypse as Postmodern Ritual

The Nonpocalypse as Postmodern Ritual

By Kenny Smith ….
An enormous investment of cultural energies was on display this past weekend, most clearly evident in the nation-wide soul-saving efforts of “Camping-ites,” that is, devotees of the Family Radio preacher, Harold Camping, who predicted that this past Saturday, May 21, would see the return of Jesus of Nazareth and the Rapture of all true Christians. The Advent and Rapture, Camping further insisted, would be presaged by a series of terrible earthquakes unlike anything humanity had ever witnessed. They would sweep, tsunami-like, across the globe, starting in the distant South Pacific island of Kiritmati (also known as Christmas Island) at 6:00pm Kiritmati time, reaching each earthly time-zone as local clocks tolled 6pm.

Dog Whistle for Prayer Warriors – Palin as Victim of Blood Libel

Dog Whistle for Prayer Warriors – Palin as Victim of Blood Libel

By Rachel Tabachnick, Talk To Action….
Palin’s use of the term “blood libel” has caused a furor for reasons described in Chip Berlet’s article. Journalists have speculated whether use of the term was inadvertent, with one writer stating that because Palin is from Alaska, she is “oblivious to the sensitivities and political correctness” of the lower 48. Palin knows her base and its sensitivities. Some of her supporters believe themselves to be the most persecuted and oppressed minority in American history. Their media warns that Christian patriots are the new Jews, headed for a holocaust at the hands of a “dangerous Marxist/Leftist/Homosexual/Islamic coalition.” In a video titled “Marxism in America,” (Ret.) Lt. Gen. William Boykin warns that Obama and his brown shirts (planned in the healthcare bill) are leading to an authoritarian state. The video was promoted on numerous Tea Party websites prior to the election. Militant imagery has become commonplace, including “spiritual mapping” featuring marked targets showing the location of demons which must be eliminated from communities.

The Fear is Real:  A New View of Halloween "Hell Houses"

The Fear is Real: A New View of Halloween “Hell Houses”

By Lucia Hulsether, Religion Dispatches
“Mom, is this going to be scary?” asked an elementary school-age boy waiting in line behind me at the Tribulation Trail in Stockbridge, Georgia. His mother brushed off the question: “It’s only scary if you don’t accept Jesus.” But at Tribulation Trail fear was a theme from beginning to end. And if it wasn’t a traumatic experience for this child, it probably should have been.

Rapture

Rapture

An encounter she had with the Left Behind Series which a neighbor had given her in a book exchange. As a Catholic, my friend had never been exposed to the concept of the rapture and was curious about its origins. She posed the following questions: Which branch of Christianity believes in the rapture and where did this teaching come from?

“Christian Militias” and the Unpredictable Nature of Religious Diversity

“Christian Militias” and the Unpredictable Nature of Religious Diversity

Religions are also constantly changing, developing, becoming something new, and, to some degree, one can never step twice into the same church, synagogue, mosque, or temple, or religious tradition. Meanwhile, the Hutaree (pronounced Hu-TAR-ay)… was going in the other direction, with increasing talk of violence.”