Jesus’ Broken Dates

Jesus apparently has his calendar out. Again. This time it looks like May 21 is a red-letter day (he has a predilection for red-letters too). Well, at least it’s penciled in, like many other broken dates. An unemployed woman in Colorado Springs has decided to spend her dwindling reserves on bus bench advertisements reading “Save the Date / Return of Christ / May 21, 2011,” according to CNN. She states in the interview that she believes her job until judgment day is to get the world ready. She will find herself standing in the unemployment line on May 23 (the 22nd is a Sunday), more likely than not. Even more disturbing than the mostly harmless neurotic behavior of the unemployed (who am I to cast the first stone?) is the choice of Jerry Jenkins as an expert witness in the story.

Who questions a bus bench?

Jenkins and perennial Paleo-Con Timothy LaHaye wrote the “Left Behind” series that made more than a cottage industry out of repackaging Christian apocalyptic mythology into slick, science-fictionesque novels. They have more than a vested interest in promoting “and they lived horrifically ever after” scenarios. There is good money to be made by trolling the fears of the gullible. Very good money.

Our Colorado Springs prophet took her date from a billboard in Texas, a leading purveyor of rapture-mania. The thing that’s been left out of this – and many other apocalyptic episodes – is a serious consideration of the Bible. As most biblical scholars know, doomsday predictions generally derive from misinterpretations of ancient metaphors. Jesus, at least according to the canonical Gospels, was much more concerned about fair treatment of the poor and disadvantaged than he was about raining down brimstone on Babylon. Instead of spending money to warn the folks of Colorado Springs about yet another end of the world, why not donate the money to a local food bank and try to make the world a little bit better place?

4 thoughts on “Jesus’ Broken Dates

  1. Just found your blog for the first time today and read a few of your postings. Love it! I appreciate the information and the thought you put into your work. Great suggestion, too, about donating money to the local food bank. When people ask me if I’m ready for the second coming, I tell them, “Hey. I do my best every day. That’s the best I can do. Why would I give a crap about that?”

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      • Thank you very much. That’s very kind of you, and I appreciate your support. I have begun a blogroll so that I can add you, as well.

        I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying your blog. Wit + soul + religious studies. What a refreshing combo!

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  2. could we take it as read that the Jesus of the canonical gospels was a little variable in temperament?

    I am waiting for all this revelatory stuff to start.. What is it? 7 months?

    Do you think if we drank the worlds supply of absinthe we would put a dent in the wormwood market?

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