Wednesday, May 18, 2011

アメリカ人の予言:5月21日は地球の終わり An American predicts the end of the world on May 21st.

Harold Camping has become a very famous man in America. Why he is claiming that the world will end on May 21st, 2011, and true Christian believers will be taken to heaven by Jesus in The Rapture. He has had TV and radio interviews across the nation.


Here is a photo of one of his custom painted vehicles that are touring the United States.


What is the Rapture? This is a belief by American Christian fundamentalists that when Jesus returns to earth, first he will suddenly bring the true believers in Christ, both dead and undead, into heaven.


There will then be a period of turmoil on the earth, with natural disasters, wars, plagues, and other suffering.


This is called the period of Tribulation. In the very popular "Left Behind" series of books, by Christian Fundamentalist authors Tim La Haye and Jerry Jenkins, they describe a small group of Christians who Jesus leaves on Earth during the time, called the Tribulation Force.

これは、苦難の時代と呼ばれています。アメリカで大人気の本のシリーズ"Left Behind"(残りました)、原理主義キリスト教作家ティム・ラヘイさんとジェリー・ジェンキンスさんが書いたこのシリーズで、携挙後に、イエス様は数人のキリスト教信者、”苦難部隊”が地球に残ります。

According to Camping, this period is six months. According to Tim La Haye, it is seven years. Tim La Haye has his "Tribulation Force" of true believers battling Satan on earth in this period.


After this time, and the defeat of Satan, Jesus will return and set up a 1,000 year kingdom on Earth. For true believers only, everyone else has to go to Hell.


That is the basic idea behind most forms of "End Times" and The Rapture belief.


Most of Mr. Camping's followers have quit their jobs, sold their homes, and left their families to spread his message.


This 60 year old retired New York transit worker, spent his life savings of $140,000 to put notices of Mr. Camping's predictions on the New York subway.


Not all Americans believe in Mr. Camping's predictions, but some 55% of Americans believe in The Rapture.


I think this sort of belief in Apocalyptic Religious Prophecy is a sign of the decline and end of America. America does have many dire problems, but people are not trying to face reality. Instead, they are saying that all a person has to do is believe in Jesus, and Jesus will fix everything. I think this is very lazy thinking.


This makes it difficult for other countries to have rational discussion with Americans on vital topics like Global Warming. Christian Fundamentalist groups call Environmentalism "The Green Dragon" and insist it is a plot by American Liberals to destroy Christian Fundamentalism.


The sad truth here is that Americans are being very very selfish. They do not want to even consider cutting back on the wasteful American lifestyle, and all the resources they consume.


In any international conference involving Americans about any subject, at least half of the Americans will be of the Christian Right, and will have very strong views, with a powerful Christian Fundamentalist political organization to back them up. So it is now becoming impossible to get Americans to agree to rational arguments about international resource usage, or Global Warming, or anything.


Yet some Americans are smart enough to take advantage of the belief in the Rapture. According to these Christians, animals do not have souls, so they cannot go to Heaven. After The Rapture, What will become of their pets?


There is a company in America that offers a service to take care of their pets. They have a staff of trustworthy Atheists, to take care of the animals in 26 American states. Of course, since Atheists do not believe in God or Jesus, they will not be taken up in The Rapture.


The charge for this service is $135 dollars for the first pet, and $20 for every extra pet.


Of course, if Mr. Camping is wrong, and The Rapture does not occur on May 21st, and May 22nd the world is still here, the pet care company does not pay refunds.


Of course.


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