Also sprach Kliban, in a cartoon that I unfortunately cannot track down anywhere on-line. This quip is also variously attributed to George Carlin, and probably others, as well.
This is what repenting looks like.
This pic of a billboard in Connecticut comes from this website, tracked down via images on TEH Googly, but I've seen one just like it in Toledo, my old home town. It seems there are people who, under the influence of "a California radio station led by 89-year-old Harold Camping, who initially predicted the world would end in 1994," now believe the world will end on 5/21/11. Check here for updates. Well, maybe not - I might forget. Just like Camping's believers have forgotten the 6 years of relative peace and prosperity that followed the world's last use-by date.
OTOH, what followed that was Bush the lesser's terms 1 and 2, and quasi-term 3, currently in progress; so maybe they are on to something.
But not very much.
Many May 21 believers say the Bible contains clues that brook no argument. God tells Noah the world will end in seven days; the Bible also equates a day to 1,000 years. The date of the flood has been set at 4990 B.C., so adding 7,000 years plus one for the missing year "0" produces the year 2011. Translating a biblical reference to a month and day, from the Hebrew calendar to the Gregorian, results in May 21.
"It's no other date. It's only that date," said Michael Garcia, special projects coordinator at Camping's Family Radio enterprise.
The gathering up of saved souls will begin, followed by five months of chaos and tribulation that will serve as a spiritual going-out-of-business sale. It will culminate with the end of the world on Oct. 21.
That is daunting to Anthony Hernandez, a 44-year-old technology worker from Chester Township who runs a monthly Bible study class in his home. Although he devotes himself to proclaiming the message of the May 21 date, he knows that doesn't guarantee his salvation.
"If I find myself here May 22, then I'll be unsaved, because all the believers will be taken," he said. Asked if that scared him, the father of seven answers, "It is scary. I don't know if my children are saved."
Hmmm. I know that the bible, like the Q'ran and the Kama Sutra, is literal truth, and all that. But, what if someone made a slight miscalculation? And doesn't that missing year "0" thang look a bit like a fudged digit? Look - 1 year out of 7000 is only 0.014%, relative. Even literal, divine-inspired truth has to have that kind of a margin for error.
Which takes us to 2012!
You know, if the Aztecs and the Bible agree on an earthly expiration date within 0.014%, then you have to suspect something is up.
What I suspect is collusion. I don't know how they got together on this, back in the day; but - you know - the Lord does move in mysterious ways.
Regardless, I predict a very troubled Anthony Hernandez will still be here on 5/22, which happens to be a Sunday. So - according to the prediction, Jesus would come down to save his true believers on Saturday. In Old Testament times, when God put the date stamp on the human race, Saturday was The Sabbath. Saving the anointed sounds like a bit of servile work, and - if you remember - even God rests on the Sabbath.
The only thing I can conclude is that Camping hasn't thought all this through very well. I'm leaning towards some random Thursday (I never could get the hang of Thursdays) in 2012, though even by then we'll be nowhere near having maximized entropy.
The thing that troubles me is that if we are supposed to have "five months of chaos and tribulation" before the curtain falls, how in the hell will we recognize it?
(H/T to the LW)