A bit of an anti-climax

It’s nearly nine o’clock on May 21st and the Rapture is three hours overdue. The trees at the back of the house take on that glorious green-gold colour as the sun sets slowly. I confidently predict that it will rise tomorrow over those same trees.

Meanwhile, somewhere in California, an eighty-nine year old bible basher is spending the rest of the day wiping copious amounts of egg off his face. Harold Camping, for it is he, must be feeling pretty damned stupid if he actually believed all that tub-thumping about worldwide earthquakes. (Although there remains the distinct possibility that it was just so much posturing humbug to secure an insecure man his few brief moments of world fame!)

Camping used some of the millions donated to his tax-exempt christian radio network to splatter predictions of doom all over north America. Rather unwisely he chose to garnish these portents with the phrase “the bible guarantees it”. You silly old fool. The bible says rather a lot of things, some of them distinctly unpleasant. In fact, given a couple of hours and a chain reference bible, most reasonably literate humans can come up with enough quotes to “prove”, or at least justify, almost anything, from spurning shellfish to forced marriage or stoning for rape victims.

This isn’t the first time some religious nutjob has predicted the end of the world – Camping previously had a date of 1994 which was a bit of a flop too – and it almost certainly won’t be the last. But the whole thing raises a slightly more serious point.

Enjoy your life, do no-one harm and help those you can.

Camping based his prediction on study and interpretation of the bible – the copy he carries is very much thumbed. He has been quite spectacularly wrong. But if a preacher can be wrong about such a big thing can he be wrong about the much smaller things that matter in everyday life? Clearly, yes! (And that goes for Camping, the archbishop of Canterbury or the pope.)

I don’t believe in a god, and I certainly don’t believe that the bible is the word of that god. That said, I couldn’t give a tuppenny damn if anyone else does provided they don’t insist on imposing their beliefs on me. (Although I DO reserve the right to have a good old snigger when they have such an entertaining foot/mouth collision!)

Enjoy your life, do no-one harm and help those you can.

That’s a good route to happiness and fulfilment – and I didn’t need a clergyman waving a book to work it out for me.