For all of you who are reading this locally, I hope you have been able to enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve had the last few days. For those who read this column from distant time zones, it’s a Des Moines, WA thing…you had to be here to understand. For the first time in over 6 months we’ve had 3 days in a row of temps that reached the sizzling 60s, and today we anticipate finally reaching at searing 70!
That’s the upside of the upcoming predictions…the downside is, according to Harold Camping a civil engineer-turned-biblical-scholar the ‘Rapture’ is set for 6 pm tomorrow night. Well, at least we got some good weather beforehand.
According to Mr. Camping, the estimation of 200 million people will be raptured, which is about 3% of the earth’s population. Although I haven’t seen any schematics on the geography of this world event, I’m pretty sure that the line at Starbucks will not experience any significant reduction. Alien invasion and nuclear apocalypse combined won’t shorten that wait.
Based on my brief research, (because Googled and found an entry in Wikipedia) I discovered that the predictions are formulated using calculations involving Jewish feast days in the Hebrew calendar, the lunar month, and the Gregorian calendar. Which begs the question, is there an app for that for my smartphone? Anyone who knows me knows that I’m about as open minded as it gets, but this is a stretch even for my twisted little brain.
I cannot disprove him, but the debate I can offer up is more simplistic. It’s simply impossible to perform this particular arithmetic: Rosh Hashanah + Yom Kippur x 365, divided by 13,025 (his assertion of the earth’s actual age in years) = May 21, 2011. That comes out to the best example of ‘fuzzy math’ I’ve ever seen.
Besides which, I have asserted for DECADES that Algebra isn’t even real math. Numbers added, subtracted, multiplied or divided to, from, and with each other is “math”. When you throw letters into it, you begin to turn it into words. Call any English teacher, they’ll confirm this. Don’t even get me started on Geometry; otherwise known as “Art.”
Mr. Campings followers are also convinced of their impending departure and have taken to the streets of New York with signage attesting the fact. I’ve yet to see anyone on Marine View Drive making a statement about it, so I have to assume that his shortwave broadcasts haven’t reached us yet. Maybe I’ll stop in at the Lighthouse today to check if they’re having a Rapture Party tonight; and if so, does that include music by Blondie?
Ultimately there’s a lesson to be learned in all of this. Never take anything for granted, live each day as if it were your last, and go ahead and pay your utility bill. There isn’t a customer service department anywhere that will accept “my check is in the mail, pending the outcome of the Rapture” as a payment option.
And quite frankly, although I do not share this particular belief, I’m not making fun of it. Okay, maybe I am. But there are plenty of people and faith systems that I do not agree with, and this one just happens to fall in the ‘unlikely to be true’ category. If by chance it is, well, I’ll miss the 3% of you that will be gone, and I’ll hold your place in line while I’m waiting for my Caramel Macchiatto.