Sunday, May 15, 2011

No, Virginia, there isn't a Rapture on May 21st

"It's the Rapture! Quick, get Bart out of the house before God comes." -Homer Simpson

I don't know if any of you have seen the billboards proclaiming the Rapture that's going to happen May 21st. I've seen an English and Spanish one in Houston, myself. A lot of people are wondering if The Rapture is happening on May 21st and I have an answer. No, it isn't.

But what will happen on May 22nd will be a huge case of cognitive dissonance. A lot of people are going to wake up Sunday morning and wonder why they weren't raptured the day before. Their reactions will be one or more of the following.

1 - They will assume that due to irregularities in the calender, their prediction was only off by a day or two, so perhaps it will happen within the following week. Harold Camping, the man behind these predictions, will issue a new set of calculations that reveal another date, and then another.

2 - Camping and his followers will state that Something did happen on May 21st, and it was super spiritual and the start of End Times. It's the theological equivalent of the 'girlfriend in Canada,' as only they will have seen this act of God, but trust them, it happened.

3 - They will tell us that God changed His mind, thanks to all the caravans of the faithful who spread the word over the past few months. The Rapture was totally going to happen, but because the faithful got the word out, they averted it. But it's going to happen again soon, and this time God means it. This will convince the faithful to go out and proselytize extra hard.

I am confident in predicting this because it's what always happens when an 'End of the World' date comes and goes. It's textbook cognitive dissonance, and we are very good at the mental gymnastics required to explain how reality doesn't match up to our beliefs.

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