Doomsday Reports and Prophecies, Rich Paschall
Since this may be my last message to you here on SERENDIPITY, I really should make the most of it. Maybe there should be some clever short story with a surprise ending. Perhaps there should be an amusing article about our politicians and the dumb things they say. There could be a serious commentary about the never-ending election cycles. Of course, top ten lists are always popular. We could have our Top Ten favorite Doomsday Songs.
It seems there’s another interesting celestial event that has people declaring the end of the world. This time it is the fourth full lunar eclipse (tetrad) in a short time (since last year) that produces a red looking moon. This is where certain hues of light can bend around the earth to give the moon a reddish appearance. It is similar to the effect that we see when sunsets appear red. (Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.)
Now, as seems to happen with every unusual event, the lunatic fringe is declaring a lunar disaster. It is an apocalypse to make Apocalyptic movie makers proud. Prepare, my reading friends, since this may be the last chance to read here. We should, therefore, spend some meaningful time together. Tomorrow you may be off to somewhere well beyond the red moon.
A preacher in San Antonio, Texas (I resist the urge to joke here as I have friends in San Antonio.) has announced the end on the world this Sunday (or Monday, if Jesus is busy). He wrote a book about it a couple of years ago in plenty of time to cash in before the actual event. I would mention his name or book, but he has enough publicity. His name is all over the internet lately.
Why do various people run around claiming the sky is falling, or at least turning red? It is a Biblical saying that announces, “The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes.” So perhaps the Lord will come if the moon looks like blood, but will it “turn to blood?”
Of course, the “blood moon” has appeared many times over the centuries. What makes this one the apocalyptic version? Perhaps because it is good for book sales and church attendance. What will the good reverend say next Sunday, if there is a next Sunday?
Hopefully you all recall the Mayan apocalypse. That was the date when the world would be destroyed by an asteroid or some such thing because the Mayan calendar was going to run out. People prepared for December 21, 2012 to be their last day on earth. I wonder how many spent all their money thinking they would not need to pay rent or the mortgage in 2013.
Harold Camping, who has now gone to the great beyond anyway, predicted that May 21st, 2011 would be the end of the world as we know it. In fact, his radio station supported him with a publicity campaign. Camping was a radio preacher and evangelist. When there was no cataclysm in May, he adjusted his date to October 21. That did not happen either.
Famous television evangelist Pat Robertson suggested in his 1990 book that the earth’s destruction would come on April 29, 2007. The fact that this did not happen does not seem to have hurt his television career. He is still making comments of questionable merit.
When I was young, the “prophet” and psychic Edgar Cayce had already made a number of claims about the earth that would come true in the 20th century. It was fascinating reading and I picked up several of his books. I even thought there was merit to much of what he said. Unfortunately it was all guess-work with little success. By now, the lost continent of Atlantis should have arisen from the sea, China should have been completely converted to Christianity, California should have sank into the ocean and Armageddon should have happened. That prediction was for 1999.
Despite the many spectacular failures, people still take the words of the “sleeping prophet,” Edgar Cayce, and stretch them to fit many historical events. I guess if I predict a major weather event in the next decade or that a world leader will die in office by the year 2025 I will somehow be a great prophet. I will not be predicting the end of the world, however, for fear of having to explain why that did not happen, and why we are still having to put up with Republican debates.
If there is no doomsday, I invite you back tomorrow for more reading right here. If we make it to Tuesday, I will start thinking about my contribution to this site for next Sunday. If we don’t make it to next month, just consider that the election season ended early. That will be the upside.