In an article for CNN, American Atheists’ Dave Silverman has a fantastic takedown of Harold Camping, the man who began the whole “Rapture Day” hysteria.
I am not sure if Camping is a liar, but I think so. He realized that religion is a great way to make tax-free money off the backs of well-meaning people, through donations to his ministry, all without fearing eternal damnation. You see, I suspect that he, like many others of his ilk, doesn’t believe in God at all.
Consider how Newt Gingrich could campaign against President Bill Clinton’s adultery as the darling of the Religious Right while actually being an adulterer himself. Consider how evangelical superstar Ted Haggard could preach against homosexuality, in God’s name, while hiding a gay lover. And consider Camping, who can get donors to cough up what appears to be a lot of money in God’s name while ruining his followers’ real lives on Earth.
These are not people who fear God or hell. In my opinion, they know very well that gods are myths. They are just bad people. Atheists have bad people, too, the worst of whom feign religion for their own personal gain.
Next week, Camping’s victims will ask our forgiveness for being so foolish, and we will forgive them, because we’ve all done stupid things. They will ask for money and we will help them, because most people are charitable.
Dave is slated to appear on CNN this weekend, and I’ll post video if/when it’s available.
Since I’m already talking about CNN, they’re doing everything they can to capitalize on Rapture-related discussion. And it’s getting out of hand.
Here’s an article about the town of Rapture, Indiana. (Really.)
Strangely enough, only one dude lives there. And he’s an atheist.
An atheist, [David] Tanner is not fretting about Family Radio founder Harold Camping’s prediction that Jesus Christ will return during the world’s destruction and ascend into heaven with true believers.
I’m not concerned if the world doesn’t end and it’s all a hoax,” Tanner said from Nashville Friday. “If it does (end), I’ve had a great time living to 46.”