Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Jesus is Coming, Jesus is Coming! Heck, 1 out of 2 Xtians can't be wrong, can they?
The headline in the Huffington Post reads: How Many U.S. Christians Believe Christ's 'Second Coming' Will Happen Soon? More Than You May Think
The headline implies we’ll be surprised. Well, I’m surprised, but for a completely different reason.
The 2010 Pew Survey (resurrected for Easter 2013 it seems) asked Christians if they thought Jesus’ second coming will happen in the next forty years. Forty-seven percent said yes. Another twenty-eight percent said “probably not.” Fourteen percent said “don’t know,” and only 10% said “definitely not”. Whole story and chart here:
I don’t know about you, but I’d have guessed higher than 47%. That’s why I’m surprised. Let’s face it; we live in the most religious nation in the Western and Industrialized world. Our list of religiously inspired imbecility can’t be touched by any other. Just a few examples:
- Shyster televangelists who rake in millions of dollars from gullible sheep as “prayer offerings.”
- Snake handlers whose deluded adherents regularly risk (and accomplish) totally unnecessary death due to their beliefs.
- We have the second highest percentage of Creationist believers who reject evolutionary theory (49%); a level of scientific ignorance surpassed only by Turkey.
- School boards who want Creationism taught in science classes.
- Fanatics who time and again depend on prayer and withhold medical aid to sick children allowing them to die unnecessarily.
- National politicians who invoke God, Crusade, or demonic activity as justification for war; and who site the bible for their opposition to gay marriage and a woman’s right to choose.
- Religious leaders who regularly blame gays and/or the lack of prayer in school for natural disasters or acts of mass murder; declare our president “the Anti-Christ”; and demonstrate at military funerals spewing their homophobic hate. .
- Local governments that thumb their collective noses at the separation of church and state by insisting their government meetings be opened with “The Lord’s Prayer”; or that their religious symbols should be given a place of honor on government property.
- Judges whose decisions are guided as much, or more, by their interpretation of the bible than by the US or their state’s Constitution; or who see no conflict in sentencing a defendant to church attendance in lieu of a fine or imprisonment.
Given this and other indicators of US Christian crazy can anyone really be surprised that almost half of Christians think their dead man-god is going to be coming down from the heavens with a “sword in his mouth” mounted on a horse, trumpets blaring to end the world as we know it and rule over the planet within the next forty years?
After all, even though he is reported to have said he’d return in the lifetime of his contemporaries (Matt 24:34), every generation of Christians has expected Jesus’ return to happen in their life time, going back 1700 years - roughly 85 generations. No doubt each of them were surprised it didn’t happen. One would think that would be a hint, an indication, a suggestion that maybe, just maybe the fictional Jesus’ biographers were full of shit.
But at least believers are consistently foolish. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said :
”A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers and divines.”