You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
In the wake of the recent prediction that the end of the world was upon us, Gabriel Griffin shares his thoughts on the matter.
Remember that episode of the Simpsons? The one about judgment day, I think.
In it, the Day of Reckoning has come.
The Christians ascend in a column of light towards their Land of Milk and Honey, and the nasty people (everyone else) have to face the apocalypse.
Recently, this catastrophic global event was predicted to occur on the 21st of May.
Harold Camping, the perpetrator of the prediction, is a theologian who has been trying his hardest to calculate the end of the world for a while now, and hasn't been doing very well.
His earlier anticipations of rapture include May 21st, 1988, and September 7th, 1994.
He recuperated after the shock of not finding himself in the Kingdom of Heaven after May 21 1988 by saying that it was in fact a "spiritual judgment" as opposed to the physical, with fire and the like.
He then went on to re-hash his prediction, changing the date of the big day to the 21st of October instead.
This date, according to Camping, was originally the date that God would destroy the Universe (Earth included), after the five months of judgment following May 21st.
Now the judgment and the ultimate destruction are to be run together on the same day? Are we to assume that we humans (excluding the 200 million that are allegedly on the list at the pearly gates) don't even get the right to due process before the planet is obliterated?
Cast your mind back, into those ever present Biblical days, to when JC was up on his cross, crown of thorns and all, crying out "Why hast thou forsaken me?"
After a life of preaching the Apocalypse to everyone within earshot, and believing with every fibre in his body that judgment would come when he was eventually disposed of, he finds himself on the verge of death, and no fireballs? No gaping chasms? No mass plague? What the hell God? Should have stayed a carpenter.
And yet, theologians since then have still preached the word of doom, jumping into the sandals of Jesus (so to speak), and casting the book at those who do not repent, lest they be sentenced to a sinner's fate.
Ironic, that they not learn from their Messiah's near-death utterance (which one would think would be the whole point of a near-death utterance) and continue foretelling the end, then failing to deliver.
One could be inclined to think that this rapture-tease policy is the Christian ploy used to keep everyone on their toes, bracing against the next dose of fire and brimstone.
The end of the world.
Should we repent, on the off chance that repentance saves our mortal souls and transports us to a better place, leaving behind all those naughty sinners to their fate, or should we merely fall in with the sinners, and give ourselves over to ultimate judgment?
OR should a belief system that relies upon the threat of an omnipotent power annihilating absolutely everything to get one up on the sinners be pushed aside - not entirely disregarded, seeing as repression of religion never seems to work as intended - but perhaps just scrutinized on a theoretical level.
These are not rhetorical questions, and may require some thought out of whoever feels like thinking about the ever-contentious topic.
- Gabriel Griffin is a Year 13 student at Logan Park High School