Disappointment, despair and Harold Camping

Thinking about the despair, fear and trauma of Harold Camping’s devotees leading up to and through and after his supposed Day of Judgment this weekend, I keep thinking back to a man I once knew. He was an old fundamentalist preacher and retired military chaplain with whom I spent several holidays years ago when I was briefly married to his granddaughter.

The old preacher bore more than a little resemblance to the farmer in Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.” That was a good word for his personality, too. Gothic. If Pat Conroy, Flannery O’Connor, Barbara Kingsolver and Stephen King got together to write their ultimate stern father/religious zealot/ominously dour character, they might have come up with something like the chaplain. He was a sullen and depressive, but volatile man who cast a long, dark shadow over the lives of his two daughters, never forgiving them for not being sons. He drove one into a lifetime of therapy and the other into a lifetime of denial.

He was not a man who invited fondness, but he was family, after all, and so we loved him. If that love tended to be more an expression of duty than of affection, it was also warmed by occasional bursts of pity. It was hard not to feel pity whenever he had one of his bouts of maudlin emotion and uncontrollable weeping. He was a lifelong teetotaler, but when these sudden moods struck him he became a sober version of a mawkish drunk, sobbing and proclaiming his deep love for strangers in the bar. The strangers in this case were his own daughters, grandchildren and family who would exchange nervous looks and do their best to comfort him as, one by one, we would each make and repeat the promise he would beg us to make him.

“Don’t worry,” we would say, “you won’t be cremated. I promise. No, no, it’s OK. We won’t let that happen to you.”

The old preacher, you see, was a “Bible prophecy” enthusiast. He was a devotee of John Hagee, and of TV host Jack Van Impe and of anyone connected with Dallas Theological Seminary and its premillennial dispensationalist obsession with the End Times as interpreted through their crazy-quilt re-editing of Revelation and Daniel. He eagerly devoured all of their books and many other, even stranger works — self-published volumes of cryptic numerology, cramped and fevered tomes identifying the Antichrist as Kruschev or Kissinger or Ted Kennedy.

And somewhere, in one of those fringe-of-the-fringe books, he had encountered and adopted the idea that cremation rendered a body immune to resurrection. When the last trump shall sound and the dead in Christ are raised, when the sea gives up its dead and every grave is opened, he believed, those who have been cremated would remain only ashes.

The idea fit somehow with his stubborn illiteralist approach to the Bible. Those verses that spoke of the graves being opened or of “those that are asleep” being raised from their graves said nothing about those who had no graves but whose ashes had been, instead, scattered to the winds. And the idea was fortified by whatever author or radio preacher promoted it with a diatribe against cremation as a supposedly unholy, “pagan” practice — as though it were some sort of evil anti-sacrament that trumped every means of grace. I think he may have identified cremation, somehow, as the supposed “unforgivable sin,”  a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

And it terrified him. Constantly. He expected the Rapture to occur any day, any moment, but he also knew that he was an old man and that, if the End tarried another year or five or ten, he might well die before Jesus came like a thief in the night. Once he was dead, he would be powerless to prevent the living from having his body cremated and if that happened he would be eternally separated from God. This is what he believed and what he lived in fear of every day.

Witnessing that terror and hopeless fear, seeing the suffering that it brought, I stopped thinking of his “Bible prophecy” obsession as a kooky, but mostly harmless set of beliefs. I began to realize that it was a framework that burdened its followers with the inevitability of disappointment, false hope, denial and an inconsolable fear. Its adherents were its victims. There were other victims, too, but its main damage was wrought in the lives of those who most believed it.

Again, this business about cremation isn’t taught by the “mainstream” Bible prophecy salesmen. This is not something that Tim LaHaye or Hagee or Hal Lindsay believes. But their teachings offer a host of other, similar ideas just as baseless and just as cruelly oppressive.

Talk to anyone who grew up in a Rapture-believing church or family and they will tell you stories about panic-inducing moments when they found themselves suddenly alone and feared that everyone else had been raptured while they had been rejected by God. This guy thinks that’s funny, but it’s actually traumatic. That’s why no one forgets the horror of such moments. Laughing at one’s own trauma can be transformational and healthy. Laughing at someone else’s trauma is just cruel.

That fear and trauma, we were sometimes told, was a good thing. It was a holy terror — a reminder to make certain that we prayed the right prayers and felt the right feelings to ensure that we would not be among those left behind. This is what they thought the scriptures meant when they spoke of “the fear of the Lord” — the powerless terror of the child of an abusive parent.

And that terror is what Harold Camping and his followers are feeling now. And it is what they will be feeling again Saturday evening, after that terror and despair first abates, then metastasizes in the realization that the world has not ended and that they are not the righteous remnant they staked their identities on being.

Fortunately, Camping is not as widely influential as LaHaye, so we’re talking about only thousands of followers, not millions. But that’s thousands of people, thousands of families experiencing one kind of trauma now and due for another, existential, shaken-to-the-core trauma come Saturday. That some of this trauma is self-inflicted or that, like most victims of con-artists, they are partially complicit in their own undoing doesn’t change the fact that we’re still talking about thousands of people in pain, fear and despair.

It may take a while to help them pick up all the pieces after the great earthquake that never happens, and I’m not even sure how to help them. But I want to try — partly out of pity, partly out of duty, but ultimately out of love because, after all, they’re family.

  • http://sophia8.livejournal.com/ sophia8

    Anybody remember the New Age loons who were in communication with aliens and who predicted that Planet X would wipe out the  earth in May 2003?  They came up with all kinds of excuses when the month went by and nothing happened.  Take a look at Zetatalk,com.  It basically boils down to “The aliens lied – and anyway, lots of things actually did happen, even though it wasn’t the end of the world. So there.”

  • http://sophia8.livejournal.com/ sophia8

    I’ve not read through all the comments, but I’m puzzled as to how that “no resurrection without a body” is actually supposed to work?  What about amputees who die?  Or people who die in bomb explosions and only leave  a few disconnected body parts to bury?  Do they get resurrected with only what they were buried with?  If so, what about people who die of cancer?  Do they get resurrected complete with their tumours? Do people who die of CJD or Alzheimers able to wake up with the comprehensively trashed neural tissues they were buried with?

    It just doesn’t work, does it?

  • P J Evans

     sophia8, there have been people who had their amputated limbs preserved so that the limbs could be buried with them.

  • http://profiles.google.com/scyllacat Priscilla Parkman

    I’m tired of this particular wank.  Every time someone tries to be mature and approach people like this as victims, to try to find a way to correct what’s happening, someone always chooses to misinterpret this as “shut up,” “leave them alone,” “be polite,” “play nice,” etc.  “They don’t know any better” does not come automatically with a side of “…so just let them victimize people without restraint or consequence.”

  • Lori

     

    So the time isn’t one of the things we should render unto Caesar? It’s so hard to keep track. 

    That’s a fair point. I have no idea if time would fall under the “render” rules or not. The whole issue of what has to be rendered to Caesar and what it means that all authority is appointed by God seems to be highly “flexible”.

  • Lori

    There was an article in Slate about what happens to failed doomsday cults and it mentioned another book that I’ve seen, but had forgotten about—-”Expecting Armageddon: Essential Readings in Failed Prophecy”. It’s an anthology looking at various studies done on failed end of the world predictions.

  • tiredofit

    There’s nothing you can do to change people’s minds who are willing to believe and even proselytize this tripe.  They are just as unbalanced as people who claim that aliens are going to come and take us away to a beautiful planet if we wear purple shoes, drink poison and lie down in a particular pattern.  The difference is that these folks are often given a pass because they call themselves “Christians” and thus are able to provide cover to other people who believe this stuff but keep it to themselves while trying to bring about Armageddon.

  • tiredofit

    Talk to them about what?  These are folks who have a pathological need to believe in something that is patently ridiculous, and if this particular event didn’t come on they will believe there is a rationale for it or move on to the next idiocy.  Talking to them about their belief is no more useful than trying to talk a devout Christian out of believing Mary was born without her parents having sex.

  • http://profiles.google.com/scyllacat Priscilla Parkman

    So, your answer is “othering” and consigning them to darkness.  So, I guess what I should do now is give up on you… your theology leaves a lot to be desired, IMHO.

  • http://profiles.google.com/scyllacat Priscilla Parkman

    So, your answer is “othering” and consigning them to darkness.  So, I guess what I should do now is give up on you… your theology leaves a lot to be desired, IMHO.

  • tiredofit

    Nope.  My solution is to ignore them, and wish everyone else would.  They are harmless to others, and mostly harmless to themselves.  And if you had ever had contact with folks like this — and I have from the time I was 10 and a cult split off from the local Catholic church (I’m not Catholic) including some friends of mine — you know that they have a pathological need to believe in something and will find something else.  If they don’t, it will likely drive them mad and I am not qualified to either give them the new belief system nor to provide therapy to ameliorate the underlying cause.

    Instead I spend my time and money making a difference in people’s lives, making sure they have food and shelter after a disaster, for instance.  Or that medical care is available for the indigent.  Or food for people who have been looking for work for a year or more.

    My theology is just fine, thank you.  No theology makes each person responsible for every misery out there.  That would be overwhelming and self-defeating.  I don’t feel the need to save every person on the Earth, and especially not people who are delusional but not harmful. 

  • Michelle

    People who try to bring about Armageddon are really scary.
    They’ll destroy the world in hopes of speeding up their own rapture. In effect they are doing the work of the Devil for him (if you believe in the Devil).

  • Shadsie

    If I had a limb amputated, I doubt they’d let me do what I’d probably really want to do with it.  If it were up to me, I’d get it stripped down to the bone and see if I could make art out of it.  I posted a link to my wildlife-bone art earlier.  Making a painted cross out of my own femurs would be… well… neat.   And yes, I am crazy. And, no, they’d never let it happen… though I did do a painting after my own x-ray once.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7KUWW2NDDTAFQS5NLCA2OKNTEQ Kyle

    I can’t believe anyone took that video seriously.  That’s a sad statement unto itself.

  • HeadShoulders

    I know you want to be sensitive, Mr. Slacktivist, and I agree that’s a good thing, but it’s not (if you’ll forgive the pun) the end of the world.  Most religious fanatics who learn they were wrong about something like this quite easily accept it as part of their world view.  Mostly, they use the “false prophet got it wrong” excuse, which neatly relieves them of any real responsibility for the “failure”.  There will be some few who react far more negatively, especially those who sunk their life savings into this, but they’ll be a tiny minority.

  • P J Evans

    Most of them will continue to believe, because it’s easier to believe their leader missed something minor or made a mistake in arithmetic than it is to admit that they were fooled into believing something (even if all their friends and relations Told Them So). Otherwise the JWs would have disappeared decades ago.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    There’s nothing you can do to change people’s minds who are willing to believe and even proselytize this tripe.

    How many people are there who onced believed whatever exactly it is that you’re calling tripee (doomsday cults, I think), but no longer do?

    If n>0 then you are wrong. I bet it is. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    There’s nothing you can do to change people’s minds who are willing to believe and even proselytize this tripe.

    How many people are there who onced believed whatever exactly it is that you’re calling tripee (doomsday cults, I think), but no longer do?

    If n>0 then you are wrong. I bet it is. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

     There will be some few who react far more negatively, especially those who sunk their life savings into this, but they’ll be a tiny minority.

    Perhaps Fred considers that tiny minority to be as valuable as the righteous men of Ninehah?

  • tiredofit

    if n>0 but at such a low % that it makes identifying them impossible, then it is not worth it unless you can gather all of them in a room and do group therapy.  There are people who can be helped, but why would I or you be the ones to do it?

    I suspect that x>(n * y) or whatever with x being the number of people who find another baseless universal belief and y being some hugely ridiculous number.

    And it is tripe, since people have believed in doomsday since the beginning of time and the world is still here. And so are people. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Well, it might be close to impossible to identify such people from the population of the whole world, but since we each live in skewed little subpopulations, for some of us it’s not hard at all to identify them within our own circle of infuence. Personally, I’ve never met anyone who I’ve known to believe in the rapture, but that’s because my little circle has very few people of the particular brand of fundamentalist that tends to go in for that sort of thing. But clearly Fred and other commenters here do know people who believe in this stuff, so identifying them is not the problem.

    As to why one would want to help them, Fred’s last paragraph answered that. He didn’t say that you have to, just that he wants to. Why object to what someone else wants to do, partly out of pity, partly out of duty, but ultimately out of love?

  • Anonymous

    Off topic, but anyway
     
     Good news people I have placed 134 comments And I have received 100 likes.
    Woohoo!!!!!!!!

  • Mackrimin

    “They don’t know any better” does not come automatically with a side of
    “…so just let them victimize people without restraint or consequence.”

    Problem is, it kinda does. Our current culture has taken the counter-reaction to racism to the other extreme, where we consider all cultures equal. That works just fine until we encounter a culture – or one develops within ours – which oppresses people. In fact, I’d say that this is one of the biggest challenges of our globalizing world: how do you deal with the fact that all cultures are not equal (if you disagree, remember that Nazi Germany and Ku Klux Klan are/were cultures too, and ask yourself if you’re willing to consider them moral equals) without becoming the oppressor forcing your will on others yourself?

  • hapax

    The KKK is NOT a “culture” — it is a criminal organization.  That is, a formal organization specifically created to carry out terrorist acts. 

    There was in the USA a racist culture that supported and protected that criminal organization.  That culture is now vanishing, because of social pressure and disapprobation.  I live right down the road from the headquarters of one of the KKK splinter groups, and even here in the (still) racist and bigoted God’s Country, the KKK is looked on as low-class, nasty, the punchline of a joke.

    This is because we *engaged* with the culture, and improved it — not perfected it, the dear Lord knows, but it is much better than it was.

    Nazi Germany was not a “culture” — it was a country, ruled by a dictatorship with a nasty ideology that capitalized on the widespread anti-Semitism in European culture and the grievances (some justified) of the population of that specific country.  The rulers of that country were treated as the war criminals they were.  The people of the country were engaged with, educated, and for the most part freed of that horrible ideology — Google “deNazification — to the extent that the populations of the former Nazi countries are among the least anti-Semitic and pro-fascist in Europe.

    As a citizen of a country that is currently spending BILLIONS throwing bombs at how many? five now? different countries and fighting drug racketeers all over the world, I am baffled as to where you get the idea that “our current culture” has become all that tolerant and accepting of organizations and regimes that we have (justifiably or not) deemed immoral.

  • Mackrimin

    The KKK is NOT a “culture” — it is a criminal organization.  That is, a
    formal organization specifically created to carry out terrorist acts.

    The KKK is an organization with multiple persons agreeing to certain values. As such, it most certainly _is_ a culture. Furthermore, it was created as a continuation of a certain culture – namely, the slave-owning South.

    There was in the USA a racist culture that supported and protected that
    criminal organization.  That culture is now vanishing, because of social
    pressure and disapprobation.

    You contradict yourself here. You say KKK is not a culture, yet you say its culture is vanishing. And good riddance, but make no mistake: it existed, and it still does. In US and elsewhere.

    Nazi Germany was not a “culture” — it was a country, ruled by a
    dictatorship with a nasty ideology that capitalized on the widespread
    anti-Semitism in European culture and the grievances (some justified) of
    the population of that specific country.

    Of course it was a culture. Compare Nazi Germany to Weimar Republic that preceded it, or to West Germany that succeeded it, and tell me it wasn’t different. And, more importantly, tell me what the difference between these was – it couldn’t be the people, since those were mostly the same, so it was…?

    The people of the country were engaged with, educated, and for the most
    part freed of that horrible ideology — Google “deNazification — to the
    extent that the populations of the former Nazi countries are among the
    least anti-Semitic and pro-fascist in Europe.

    Yes… And just what was de-Nazification? A genocide? No? So what was destroyed by de-nazification? It couldn’t possibly be… culture? Nazi culture?

    As a citizen of a country that is currently spending BILLIONS throwing
    bombs at how many? five now? different countries and fighting drug
    racketeers all over the world, I am baffled as to where you get the idea
    that “our current culture” has become all that tolerant and accepting
    of organizations and regimes that we have (justifiably or not) deemed
    immoral.

    As a citizen of a country that is not currently throwing any bombs anywhere, I’d like to keep it at that, and am trying to figure out how to live between two cultures which, I’m afraid, could well turn out to be mutually incompatible.

    Or, to put it blunter, I’m trying to figure out how the Hell I can reconcile Islam to Finnish culture. Especially when there are (mostly Finnish) influences who want to enable Sharia law, despite this being contrary to Finnish constitution (which guarantees equality before law at 6th paragraph).

  • Lori

     

     You contradict yourself here. You say KKK is not a culture, yet you say its culture is vanishing 

    No, hapax did not contradict herself. What she said is that the KKK is an organization that was supported by a particular culture. That culture is now vanishing and as a result the organization has lost it’s power and position. 

  • hapax

    You seem to define “culture” not as  I’ve usually seen it used — something like “the attitudes, feelings, values, and behavior that characterize and inform society as a whole or any social group within it” — but rather something like “the behavior of a subgroup that I’m going to characterize as a whole.

    The culture of the Southern USA =/= the criminal behavior of the KKK, although they shared some things in common (e.g. racism).

    The culture of early twentieth century Germany =/= the criminal policies of the Nazi party, although they certainly shared some things in common (e.g. anti-Semitism).

    And the culture of Islam most certainly =/= “Sharia law”, which I’m not sure that you understand, since first of all there are maybe four major schools and innumerable minor schools. 

    The point of my examples above is that we can’t simply write off entire cultures — or individuals within these cultures — by pointing to the most extreme behaviors supported by one bad belief within those cultures.

    Instead, it has been proven by your very own examples that the most effective technique is to punish the *bad actors* — by whatever legal means available — and work with the broader culture to alleviate and eliminate the particular bad beliefs.

    I know very little about Finnish culture.  But I know a fair bit about Islam, and I can’t think of a society that is inherently inimicable to Muslim “attitudes, feelings, values, and behavior.”  Perhaps you could isolate the *particular* belief or actions that you feel are so incompatable, and engage with the culture to alleviate those?

  • Mackrimin

    No, hapax did not contradict herself. What she said is that the KKK is
    an organization that was supported by a particular culture. That culture
    is now vanishing and as a result the organization has lost it’s power
    and position.

    Fine. Let us say that KKK is simply an ultimate expression of a particularly disgusting culture. Now who wants to argue that that culture – the one that spawned KKK – is equal to ours, speak up? And any who doesn’t, consider my question: how to reconcile different nonequal cultures to each other without becoming a tyrant yourself? Because that is what “multiculturalism” is really about.

  • Anonymous

    things are different in Europe than they are in the united states: they took some things over from Europe we took some things over from them.

    Cultures changes because of wars, technology, fiction etc.
    Change happens sometimes incredible fast and sometimes it takes generations to change something. 

  • hapax

     

    Now who wants to argue that that culture – the one that spawned KKK – is equal to ours, speak up?

    [waves hand]

    What do you mean by “ours”?  Because the culture of the US South is MY culture, thank you very much: gospel music and the blues, sweet ice tea, long summer nights, the smell of curing tobacco, NASCAR and football, fried catfish, deb balls, and deep black mud; and yes, anti-intellectualism, religious conservatism, fetishization of poverty, and racism.  I’m working real hard to get rid of the vicious evil parts, while keeping the parts I love.

    Maybe it’s inferior to YOUR culture.  I don’t know much about it, beyond what you’ve said here.  I do know that most cultures are made up of a multitude of beliefs, behaviors, values, and expressions, and I would be a fool to try and lump all of this together on an absolute scale of “Good” and “Bad”.

    Your culture may indeed be an unalloyed paradigm of tolerance, freedom, creativity, and sophistication that puts all others to shame. But judging by your repeated sweeping dismissals of the entirety of Islam on several threads, I don’t think you can boast of a lacking a certain strand of ethnic bigotry.

  • Lori

    How good of you to try to sort out how to pick up the White Man’s Burden for the 21st Century. [/sarcasm] 

  • Mackrimin

    What do you mean by “ours”?

    Whatever anyone cares to claim as their own, pretty much.

     

    Because the culture of the US South is
    MY culture, thank you very much: gospel music and the blues, sweet ice
    tea, long summer nights, the smell of curing tobacco, NASCAR and
    football, fried catfish, deb balls, and deep black mud; and yes,
    anti-intellectualism, religious conservatism, fetishization of poverty,
    and racism.  I’m working real hard to get rid of the vicious evil parts,
    while keeping the parts I love.

    I see. So do I. However, I have to wonder if “long summer nights” are really a cultural feature :).

    But I grant you “ice tea” as a superior cultural achievement :).

    Maybe it’s inferior to YOUR
    culture.  I don’t know much about it, beyond what you’ve said here.  I
    do know that most cultures are made up of a multitude of beliefs,
    behaviors, values, and expressions, and I would be a fool to try and
    lump all of this together on an absolute scale of “Good” and “Bad”.

    “Good and bad” are a useful filter to reject the obviously evil and accept the obviously good. They are also the only scale that truly _matters_: if something is not “bad”, why reject it? And if something is not “good”, why root for it?

    Your
    culture may indeed be an unalloyed paradigm of tolerance, freedom,
    creativity, and sophistication that puts all others to shame. But
    judging by your repeated sweeping dismissals of the entirety of Islam on
    several threads, I don’t think you can boast of a lacking a certain
    strand of ethnic bigotry.

    Well, it’s true that my culture is not the best in the world yet. But I won’t rest until it, and I, indeed are (or I’m dead). That’s my goal in life – to refine my culture into the best it can be – the best in the world. The reason I’m “dismissing” Islam is that I’m simply not sure of how to integrate the best of it with the best of mine – all the religiousness makes things even more difficult than they otherwise might be. And yes, I suppose I should reconsider that attitude. But I’m not a religious student; how should I go about learning about it? Oh well, my current job gives me enough free time to go back to university, so I guess I could simply take classes in a year or so.

    And yes, I figure I have my work cut out for me, especially considering my own personal imperfections, which also need to be overcome. Nothing of worth comes easy, I suppose.

    Isn’t that kinda the whole point of life: constant improvement?

  • Rikalous

    [blockquote]“Good and bad” are a useful filter to reject the obviously evil and
    accept the obviously good. They are also the only scale that truly
    _matters_: if something is not “bad”, why reject it? And if something is
    not “good”, why root for it?[/blockquote]

    I think that what hapax is saying is that, while we can clearly identify, say, racism as bad and fried catfish as good, cultures are too complicated to say “That’s a good culture and that’s a bad culture,” or even (usually) “That’s a better culture.”

  • http://profiles.google.com/turton.michael Michael Turton

    It’s not just Christians. Try getting autopsies done or cadavers donated in Buddhist cultures where people believe the body must remain whole after death. 

    Michael

  • JayH

    It wasn’t the emotional display alone that makes me think it’s fake – it’s the things she actually says. It sounds like scripted dialogue.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Move along, nothing to see here.

  • Anonymous

    Camping: “Did I say May?  I meant October.

  • http://profiles.google.com/scyllacat Priscilla Parkman

    I have no idea what you just said.  (I have a nice bunny with a pancake if you’d like, or even pie.)

     I have the feeling my statement has been turned on its head.  Urging compassion for people who are “doing it wrong” does not exclude preventing them from harming others or subjecting them to the consequences of doing so, is what I meant to say.  Is it so hard to figure out what “harm” means that if I think someone is doing something wrong, I can’t do anything about it for fear of oppressing them?  I think not.  And how did culture get into this?  When did I say anything about culture?  

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Was he using an old Julian calendar?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Or, to put it blunter, I’m trying to figure out how the Hell I can reconcile Islam to Finnish culture. Especially when there are (mostly Finnish) influences who want to enable Sharia law, despite this being contrary to Finnish constitution (which guarantees equality before law at 6th paragraph).

    Finland has Lutheranism as the official state religion, right?

    I sincerely doubt there are anywhere nearly enough Finnish Muslims to replace Luthernalism, so I suspect you’ve been listening too much to whoever the Finnish version of Rush Limbaugh is.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Ruuhka Limbäugh?

  • Harold Fail

    Another Harold Fail starting tomorrow.  LOL.

  • Anonymous

    I am so happy here and enjoy this story. It brings me some special feelings. Hope you have a cheerful day.Good post.

    http://www.highschooldirectory.com

  • chaitanya

    I am not going to say what everyone else has already said, but I do want to comment on your knowledge of the topic.
    You are truly well-informed. I can’t believe how much of this I just wasn’t aware of.

  • Makabit

    Devout Christians don’t believe that. Unless, like many other people, they are terribly confused about what ‘immaculate conception’ means.

  • tiredofit

    That’s kinda my point. So many people believe Mary was born without sex, instead of without sin. Biblical “literalists” believe all sorts of things that are not in the Bible, but are told to them by equally ignorant religious “leaders.”

    I used to worry when talking to these folks that they didn’t have a grasp on basic science, on American history, on basic facts that make up our lives. But eventually I realized that I should give up on judging their rationality based on my own experience, accepted scientific theories and historical knowledge.

    These folks can’t even get their own history, science, religion, facts right! They base everything on a book that they haven’t read, don’t understand and refuse to study.

    It is willful ignorance, a position that starts at the finish point and then forces everything to meet that point. You cannot argue with such people, cannot convince them with logic or facts. You can simply walk away.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X