Fun secular childhood facts: Until I was in high school, I was unaware that Judgment Day was a Bible thing. I thought James Cameron made it up as the name for a plot device for his movie.
Thank God the Apocalypse finally happened, because shit was getting downright unbearable at the corner of 13th and University.
For weeks now, all kinds of interesting flavors of angry religious nutjobs have been drifting through campus, setting up shop in the amphitheater outside the student union, and yelling a bunch of heinous things that would make for some pretty blue standup comedy if they weren’t so damn serious about them.
We had a couple of fat old dudes from the South, pacing around yelling to all us college kids that we were sinners. We had a crusty Edward James Olmost lookalike in a vest and bowtie doing basically the same thing. He was relieved by a withered old woman in a white Chip Kelly visor who had a lot to say about why it was OK to bomb abortion clinics. Standing just outside the amphitheater, meanwhile, was a guy holding a massive ‘JUDGMENT DAY IS MAY 21’ sign and yelling about how the Bible was a hojillion times better than science.
Have you ever noticed how different peoples’ speech patterns get when they’re talking about Jesus? “And then JESUS did say to the masses that this is my BODY, this is my BLOOD, and if you don’t live by that message you will BURN in HELL for all ETERNITY!”*
*This example was severely undercut by the fact that I know absolutely nothing about the Bible.
My dearest wish is that one day people will talk about me the same way. “And TRUMAN did return from the bar, and he did say ‘FUCK, if I don’t get some FUCKING TAQUITOS in me soon I will literally MURDER a BABY!’”
This three-ring moron circus drew a considerable crowd of hecklers and debaters, who, by their very presence, turned it into easily a seven-ring moron circus. Hipster philosophy majors – by which I mean, philosophy majors – would periodically jump up and interrupt whatever sermon was going on by regurgitating whatever contradictory/horrifyingly racist Bible verses they’d read online.
Heads up: If a person has the sack to stand in public and scream that all women are whores, nothing you say – no matter how meticulously fact checked it is – will make them think otherwise. The real reason that you’re yelling at them is because you’re just as big of an attention whore as they are, and you’re hoping that your point-by-point critique of the Bible you found on reddit will earn you the affections of some sexy MENSA member with a bag of raisins in her purse.
This isn’t something that just affects religious or crazy people – everybody is, to varying degrees, completely convinced that everything they believe is absolutely true, infallible, and right. Hunters know that blowing deers’ brains out is good for the environment. PETA members are sure that dressing women like animals and putting them in cages will stop animal testing (somehow). Boise State fans are certain that their football field isn’t the sporting equivalent of 9/11.
The reason that anybody argues ever is because usually people wind up being royal dongs when they meet other people who are sure that something different is absolutely correct, and the reason that those arguments, like the ones by the student union, wind up being fruitless is because there’s no hard evidence to prove, conclusively, that either party is right.
I know that the Philly Cheesesteak is the best sandwich of all time. That knowledge is good enough for me, but not good enough to shut down all those motherfuckers repping the French Dip. There’s no objective way to prove that the Cheesesteak is better – if the other party doesn’t recognize that a sandwich with steak on it covered in cheese and onions is just inherently good, then you can’t make your primary argument and there winds up being no resolution.
That’s what made Harold Camping’s doomsday predictions so delightfully exciting for me. He very publicly and expensively painted himself and his followers into a corner, plonking down millions of his and others’ dollars to announce that the world would end at a specific date and time – which, considering the fact that he was already wrong about this shit once before, means his balls must be so huge that God would have trouble fitting them into Heaven, were the Rapture to actually have occurred on Saturday.
It was a once in a lifetime chance to see people I fundamentally disagree with have their worldview be proven completely, irrevocably wrong; the Halley’s Comet of laughing at idiots, if you will.
Oh, grab your telescopes! There it goes now:
The longer I watch the confused old man who just blew his life savings so that he could become a laughing stock, I start to feel like kind of an evil bastard for being so excited to watch these people be sad and wrong.
But keep this in mind: These people are sad because the world wasn’t violently destroyed over the course of five months, plunging 97% of its population into eternal torment in Hell. The fact that there was no horrendous global catastrophe makes them sad. It doesn’t make it okay that they ruined their lives, but keep in mind, they ruined their lives in the course of acting like a bunch of dicks.
If there’s anything to be learned from this, maybe it’s that we shouldn’t go around telling everybody that our shit doesn’t stink. Of course, we all know in our hearts that it really doesn’t, but, purely in the interests of self-preservation and general politeness, maybe we ought to refrain from telling other people about it on the off chance that we might be wrong.
Truman Capps really wants a Philly Cheesesteak right now.