I can't believe I didn't notice it at first - actually, I can, I was pretty sleepy and just wanted to read the smoking article and get onto the comics.
This odd little advertisement was next to the smoking article!
And I still missed it.
But I found it while looking for an article that was not in today's paper, but yesterday's. I felt like death yesterday, it was all I could do to read the comics, but since I love the paper, I'm supposed to read it every day. And I do get possessive of the Sunday paper, I want to go through it first. They don't even want a subscription - this expires in August. Mom only got it so I'd stop raiding her change on a daily basis.
Anyways, this was a nice little ad that took up half the sheet, height-wise and it was 3 columns wide.
8 Compelling Reasons Why:
Christ Is Coming Very Soon!
How To Be Prepared For History's Greatest Event
It is hilarious. I cannot believe somebody believes this. Mom told me it's somebody's opinion, it's not based on facts. And that makes it less funny? No.
There is a website, if you dare - JesusSoonReturn.com. I don't. I'm not brave enough to visit.
The 8 reasons are absurd and trite at the same time - the usual suspects, with a few surprises. Israel's existence, fighting in Israel, 'plummeting morality', The New World Order (The EU, the UN, the World Bank, and so on), more cults and false religions (whoever this wackjob disagrees with), and at the same time, more religion and belief of the right kind.
I did not know an increase in earthquakes meant Jesus was coming back - I guess heaven really is inside the earth's core and He's going to come up in a volcano. Take that, Pelé!
But the absolute best reason is number 5 - "Explosion of travel and education."
I'm not kidding! "Two key conditions described about 2,500 years ago for the Second Coming are that "travel and education shall be vastly increased" (Daniel 12:4, Living Bible). In all of history, the vast increase in travel has come just since mid-century with the explosion of both ground and air transportation; in education, with the advance of science and computers."
Mid-century is very important to modern Second Coming theories, Israel was created - miraculously reborn, I'm sorry, in 1948.
I'm pretty sure trains were a sign of the Second Coming when they took over, as was the wheel.
But education? It doesn't make sense. The religious right in this country hates science and education, especially public and non-religious higher education. They're fighting education and science by insisting that evolution is a theory, that the Bible's creation story is the only one, when it's clearly not. It can be taught in high school in a religious studies class, along with the other widely practiced religions of today, or even in a religious history class.
But that's a sin, somehow, because the Bible is the only thing that matters. I thought the 10 Commandments were the only thing that mattered, along with believing in Christ, but there's a lot more to it than that, apparently.
There's also the stem cell issue, where a potential life is more important than somebody already alive and possibly sick who could be looking at a cure.
It ends with an invitation to visit the website where you can see 3 exciting reports: (1) "Seven Incomparable Benefits to trusting Christ," (2) "Beware: the Mark of the Beast!" (3) "What is a Cult or the Occult?"
Your name and address will never be sold or used to beg for money, they sincerely pledge. This ad was paid for by a "concerned private contributor" with a lot of money to waste spreading the word of Christ rather than, I don't know, doing Christ-like work by helping the poor. By the by, I saw our Crisis Center brochure today - it's a ministry, and the brochure included a Bible verse about helping the poor and how good that was. But it's more important to scare everyone with tales of hell.
You know, if everyone who doesn't follow the rules is going to hell, what does it matter to those who know they're going to heaven? We're idiots, let us enjoy a sulfur shower while you play a harp (not a lyre).
Of course, the reason some people pressure loved ones is because they truly believe in heaven and hell and they are concerned that they'll go to heaven and not see their family. It's genuine, but still annoying.
This ends with advice to "clip, copy and share with others!"
I should pay for an ad saying something like that, but based on the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy five book trilogy. (Hint - the Sabbath is Thursday.) Money's money, right?
I doubt one person will object to this tripe (people object to the strip club ads in the Sports section), but if I were to run something saying that other people don't believe that, I'll be attacked. This paper has a daily Bible verse in the Op-Ed section. I'm not kidding. Saturday, the M section is devoted to religion - church picnics, never anything about a synagogue or mosque, just Christianity.
The Second Coming will not happen on a single day. There's debate over whether the bad number is 666 or 616 or 999 or 919 or 13 or 1013 or 42, plus the calendars have changed a wee bit since the Bible was written.
The Second Coming has been coming since Jesus died, it'll happen in our lifetimes has been the cry for almost 2 millenia.
Nothing has happened.
What's scary is that there are people who believe it will happen in their lifetime and want it to happen and like the war in the Middle East, because it's speeding it up. (How can it be sped up if it's God will?)
Why care about the poor if Jesus will take care of them any day now?
I'm lucky to work and live with Christians who think it's not important.