Friday, May 20, 2011

Pain of Others (editorial rant)

You may have noticed, that I'm not exactly pro-Christian. However, I notice a great deal of pagans behaving in a questionable manner. They are making fun of tomorrow's rapture. Won't they feel dumb if it actually happens?

More importantly, how are they going to feel Sunday when it doesn't happen? The people that believe will be in spiritual shock. Pain. Confusion. True, some will tell themselves the little lies necessary to return to normal. Others will not. This is not something to laugh at.

Will these pagans be laughing if someone commits suicide over this? Will they be laughing when children don't have a home because mom and dad sold it? Will they be laughing because kids no longer have respect for their parents because of listening to a false prophet? What if this turns into a Heaven's Gate situation or even worse a replay of Jim Jones? Both of those are very unlikely but still, it could.

Pagan and magickal beliefs are laughable to many people. I don't like being laughed at, do you? I am sure most of these people are sincere seekers of God. I see little wrong with that, save the evangelism part.

I am all for severity when it is deserved/earned. I think now is the time to have mercy in our hearts. These people will be hurting and embarrassed come Sunday. I hope the pagan community can behave a little better when this has past than they have as it approached.


Frater A.I.T. said...

You are a more compassionate fellow than I. I feel that persons who cannot be bothered to read their own holy book--which makes it clear that this sort of speculation is wrong, for them-- deserve the sort of ridicule they receive in situations like this.

Robert said...

Compassion seems to be something I am learning of late. Shrug.

Imagine the mind that needs to grab onto something like that? How scared they must be or how something. No matter what it is, it can't be fun to live in those minds over the long term.

Wounded humans.

Kristina said...

Hi Robert,

Gosh, I never post on these things. I don't think a lot of Christians believe it either. Plus, it isn't just pagans having parties. Plus, your girlfriend is totally ready; you just need an escape plan.

I think this requires balance. If you are getting together with friends to have fun and add some levity to this, I really don't see the harm. Don't we make fun of ourselves at times and talk about funny hats and Cthulu. Cults and the like. I think it is how you approach it and how you deal with others.

Of course we should empathize with others, but I don't know. It is probably good if a big earthquake doesn't destroy us. Bad things and bad decisions plague people all of the time. We just continue on and allow people to experience life as they need to, for them.

In summary, it is about intent and maliciousness and how one makes others feel. If you are at a get-together with like minded people, it's one thing. If you are mean to others, it is another.

I think I had to respond to this because when I was invited to my rapture party, I didn't think at all about Christians or how they would feel. I just though it would be good to see friends :)

Mr Black said...

compassion is the thing that will save our world, I applaud this post.

being able to see both sides of the tracks, I find that every religion, tradition, group, collective, etc, etc has people like these who fail to see the other side or the consequences.

now, a good rule of thumb is (and I assume everyone has been taught or heard of this) if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all.

Ron said...

Cognitive Dissonance

Look up "When Prophecy Fails" or "Expecting Armageddon." These movements have a long history in the US such as the Millerite Heresy in the early 1800s. Usually, after the prophecy fails to occur, the followers will not reject their beliefs but will modify them and their movement will continue to exist or will morph into a something new but similar. Some of the followers of Millerism eventually went on to found the Seventh Day Adventists.

So, in a nutshell, most of the followers of this present day doomsday cult will be shocked when their prophecy fails to come true but will become even more fervent believers with some potential changes to their original belief system.

Like you, I hope there are no suicides as a result. The leader has already been wrong once, so maybe they have enough experience with failure in order to carry on.

Soror FSO said...

I think it's wonderful that you are thinking of the feelings of others. Compassion is a great virtue. However, not all jests are made with ill intentions, some people makes jokes to cope with life's circumstances, some people makes jokes because they merely have a broader sense of humor. Jokes are made of political events, embarrassing moments, religious beliefs, sex, pain, love, all of life's circumstances...they are meant to be taken with a grain of salt, not with seriousness. It all depends on one's perception in life. If I believed that Rapture was occurring today, you would find me after Church joking and laughing with my friends and family and enjoying the few hours I had left with those I loved either because I would be staying or leaving, either way I would believe the world be throughly changed and would want to enjoy that which I had and prepare for what was to come.

Robert said...

Kristina and FSO,

Of course you are both correct that many jokes made, have no intent of belittlement. It is like telling a racial joke behind closed doors. No harm is intended. In the vast majority of cases, most harm humans do to each other, outside of war and crime, is fully unintentional.

The problem is these things are being thrown in the face of believers. Facebook after rapture looting sites, invites to rapture parties on facebook where people have Christian friends and who may believe, if not in this rapture, or the concept in general.

Yes, I know my friends. I have a great deal of respect for them. I know that no harm is intended but is it being done? Is the concept of potential harm being considered? There is no way for me to know.

Yes, this is odd coming from me but a long time ago, I drove several hundred miles to hear one sentence, "Seek not consistency, only truth"

Robert said...


Yes, you are right for the majority of them. My concern is for the minority.

Diana Rajchel said...

I have some of the same fears that you do. There are people who have blown their life savings, placing their bets on the world ending. It's going to be frightening for those who find they've ended their own world.

Phoenix said...

I agree. Laughing at others misfortune, errors in judgement, total and utter devotion to their faith - it's not something that can be swept under the carpet. These people are going to go through a very difficult time right now, the energy we spend mocking them would be better spent helping them back into living.

MP said...

Nope, I feel no reason to feel compassion for people who were duped by a known fool - Harold Camper pulled the same thing in 1994, and took in millions of dollars of donations, just like he did this time.

Robert said...

Yeah, those children sure did get duped. It is their own fault really for picking those parents. No reason for compassion there.

MP said...

So, Robert, do you feel compassion for kids who find out *gasp* there's no Santa Claus?

Robert said...

There is a bit of difference between a shared cultural transition to maturity and losing faith in one's parents at an early age. I will not apologize for feeling compassion for anyone.

Soror FSO said...

Personally I think it is lovely that you such a great compassion for these people, especially the innocent victims (i.e children).

What is most unfortunate to me however is 1. the loss of faith in the Divine that many people will now carry and 2. how grown, intelligent adults continue to put their faith in humans while putting it in some wrapping paper of God. History has shown us over and over and over again that these "Doomsday Prophesies" are a farce.

When one is willing to give up their free thought, their will, their lives, and the lives of others to totally believe without second thought that a man on this earth (no matter how holy he seems) can take the place of God that is the real crisis.

No one saw Harold Camping walking on water, raising the dead, or healing with a touch. Christ proved his kinship with The Father through observable acts.

Situations like this should be examples for people to learn from. Humans need to focus more energy on the perfection of their souls they can gain from their relationship with the Divine or Christ in this matter, and living proper lives rather than frivolously spending their money or their lives worshiping or believing some man's prophesies. In this case Mr. Camping acted as the golden calf, and people graciously worshiped him and his cause without proof or evidence.

I do not believe they "deserved" to be punished or afflicted, but I do believe they are facing the implications of irresponsibility. I understand this fully as an ex-member of Robert Zink's group. Even after we removed him, even after we removed ourselves, the compassion felt for those of us who sought real truth was offered by very few. Mostly (and to my surprise) we were chided for allowing this man to wreak the havoc he did, and for not leaving sooner (even though many of us stayed for the period of time we did trying to get this man on the straight and narrow). It was a lesson in humility harshly learned.I expected the crook and instead was stung harshly by the scourge and I learned that it was not man I should put my faith in, their fears, their favors, their promises...but instead the Divine, and I have grown exponentially due to this.

I think the greatest compassion in this situation would not be to "feel sorry" for those who have lost, but to pray that they learn as well from this situation and their choices and learn to lead more fulfilling, responsible, and truthful lives.

Robert said...

in regards to FSO's comment. I normally do not publish anything on the matter she discussed. I choose not to participate in GD issues of the day. However, I posted it because she was talking about her lessons in context with my post.

Posts that respond need to be fully on topic and keep that controversy very much out of the main. I will use my own judgement. There are no appeals.

Soror FSO said...

Gratitude to you for allowing my comment to go through, and please know that I did not mention it in anyway to "stir the pot", only for purposes of giving a personal example.

I have much respect to you for your honesty and courage.


Robert said...

I figured that from your context FSO. That didn't look like pot stirring. It looked the result of self-reflection or at the very least, a portion of the results.