I Survived the Rapture… and all I got was this Lousy Blog Post

Apparently, at 6pm yesterday, the rapture was supposed to have taken place. Harold Camping, some crazy bat-shit biblical guy, explicitly stated this to be fact. He also devised some kind of mathematical scheme to justify his prediction. It went a little something like this.

1. In 1970, Camping dated the Great Flood (you know, the one that rid the world of unicorns, centaurs, and dragons) to 4990 B.C. If you take Genesis 7:4 (“Seven days from now I will send rain on the Earth”), justify it as an apocalyptic prediction, and add a splash of 2 Peter 3:8 (“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day”), carry the four, stir, and garnish with a cherry, you get 2011. Harold Camping, you have just proven you can do math.

2. Camping takes the 17th day of the second month mentioned in Genesis 7:11 (“The Birth of Slurpee’s”) to mean May 21st. So, the first day we ever had on this planet is April 4th? I may have missed the point with this one, but it just seems kind of random. I was never the greatest Catholic in the world.

2b. Camping justifies it as this:

HAROLD CAMPING’S ALGEBRAIC PREDICTION FOR THE RAPTURE OF 2011 (REVISED)

1. The number 5 equals “atonement”. The number 10 equals “completeness”. The number 17 equals “Heaven”.

2. Jesus was crucified on April 1, 33 A.D. (ironically, this is modern-day April Fool’s Day). The time between the first-ever April Fool’s prank and this past April Fool’s Day is 1,978.

3. If 1,978 is multiplied by 365.2422, the amount of days in a “solar” year, you get 722, 449 and some long decimalage. Just for the sake of keeping it simple, we’ll remove the decimalage.

4. The time between April 1st and May 21st is 51 days.

5. 51 added to 722,449 equals 722, 500.

6. (5 x 10 x 17)2*, or (atonement x completeness x heaven)2* also equals 722, 500.

*denotes squared, like… math… I don’t have a way to configure it to look right.

Hmm… where have I seen this before?

Well, all this math checks out (thank you Microsoft Windows calculator). Camping says the equation tells us a “story from the time Christ made payment for our sins until we’re completely saved.”

Keep in mind, also, Camping tried this stunt in 1992, citing that 1994 would bring about the end of the world. For some Nirvana fans, that was the case, but as far as Camping is concerned, when it didn’t happen, he made a “mathematical error”.

Camping has been criticized by many, many people, often from within Christianity itself. According to Matthew 24:36, “Of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only.”

All this has me thinking about the end of the world. How? When? Why? I don’t have all the answers, but in the vain numerology, I have composed my own scientific hypothesis, which I will address momentarily.

There have been many times when the end was allegedly upon us, and people’s fears of what they don’t understand or know play into the mass hysteria that coincides with a radical prediction.

People have been thumbing over the very, very vague predictions of the French “prophet” Nostradamus (or, Nostadumbass, as I refer to him every so often). Apparently,  Nostradamus has predicted everything from the Great Fire of London, Nazism, and even the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Critics of the predictions state that this is mostly a form of retroactive clairvoyance, or “post-diction”, and that most who claim the quatrains to be true have just found ways to put the vague words into historical context.

Probably the most enduring prediction of the end of the world is actually coming next year. On December 21, 2012, the Mayan Long Count Calendar expires, signaling the end of the 13th bak’tun, each a period of 144,000 days. Each bak’tun, is based on planetary alignment, and each one ends with everything contained in the Milky Way Galaxy lining up perfectly, causing the Earth’s magnetic field to change, volcanoes to erupt, etc… etc… etc… until, as some scientists explain, a massive solar flare destroys the Earth’s electrical balance.

Or some shit like that.

The only way I have been able to justify the end of the world in 2012 is with the Cubs winning the World Series (refer to “Robert Franklin’s Sports Nation” for more). My equation goes a little something like this. Keep in mind, all information is relative to Opening Day 2012.

  1. The year in question is 2012. The Cubs were founded professionally in 1871, meaning the team is officially 141 years old.
  2. If you add the official age of the team (141 years) with the year of their last Major League Championship (1903) and the length of the drought (103 years), you get the number 2147.
  3. Subtract 2012 from 2147, and you get 135.
  4. The inaugural season of the National League was 1876, in which the Cubs were a charter member.
  5. Add 135 to 1876, and you get 2011, the year of the alleged rapture.
  6. Add 1 sketchy hug from soon-to-be free agent Albert Pujols to Cubs general manager Jim Hedry, to get 2012.
See, it all comes full circle. Albert Pujols could very well end up playing with the Cubbies, bringing this horrifying prediction into fruition. If Albert Pujols signs with the Cubs for the 2012 season, they win the World Series are we’re all screwed.
Camping’s mouth. Couple that with the recent Japanese earthquake and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, and you get one crazy, bat-shit lady who tries to “save” her children from the coming hellfire by cutting their wrists and throats with a box cutter.
Let’s look at this a little more objectively. It’s always an assumption that the end times are going to be a horrible thing. Who’s to say it won’t bring about a period of enlightenment or something? The Bible is an interpretive text, meaning that there is no definitive analysis available. It’s part folklore, part re-telling of a man’s life, and part enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped conundrum. Nobody really knows what it all means.
Through the wonders of carbon dating, scientists have discovered there to be at least five major and eight lesser extinction events over the course of the planet’s history. In 1982, Jack Sepkoski and David M. Raup identified the five major events, but also explained that there is a relatively smooth continuum of extinction events throughout planetary history. In short, it’s something that is supposed to happen.
This is all probably easy for me to say since I have had such a back-and-forth relationship with Christianity, but also, this is what makes sense.
The event described in the Book of Revelation describe the end of the world as it was known before. This is also how one describes an extinction event. The fire, brimstone, and pillaging of Satan’s Crusade can be identified to meteor strikes, which are responsible for many ecological catastrophes throughout recorded history.
So, in conclusion, since I have the tendency to ramble:
“I’ll believe it when I see it.”
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About Robert L. Franklin

Ah, the About Me section - social networking's excuse for you sounding like an elitist prick. Hmm... what to say? What to say?
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