Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 21, the end of the world?

From Lunatic's Asylum 

The ad reads: "Global Earthquake! The Greatest Ever Judgment Day: May 21," above a photo of night over Jerusalem and a clock about to strike midnight.

Robert Fitzpatrick, a retired MTA employee from Staten Island N.Y. believes the world is coming to an end next Saturday and has shelled out $140,000 on a NYC Transit ad campaign in an attempt to warn mankind of its pending doom, according to the New York Daily News.  His doomsday warning has appeared on 1,000 placards on subway cars, at a cost of $90,000, and at bus shelters around the city, for $50,000 more. 
I'm certain there's really nothing extraordinary about our Mr. Fitzpatrick. His millennial mania began after he retired in 2006 and began listening to California evangelist Harold Camping's "end of days" predictions.

The fact that he's managed to find a special brand of stupidity that mixes religion and numerology tells me that this is probably someone who spent his life searching for something...anything...that might take him out of his preoccupation with an unfulfilled life. He quite probably bounced around from one philosophy to another, and never showed any sort of constancy in his lifetime until someone came along and consolidated the disparate threads of his thinking and personal philosophies and wove them into a tapestry that would guide him through the rest of his life. I know plenty of people like this, scatter-shot thinkers with no self-esteem, absorbed by astrology, numerology, and "the healing properties of crystals", and they almost invariably, always wind up in a Church somewhere. Now, whether they wind up there because religion makes some sort of sense to them, or because they have no place left to go, is open to debate.

The fact that it's Jerusalem which appears in the center of Mr. Fitzpatrick's apocalyptic poster tells you all you need to know. Not London, not New York, Ankara, Beijing or Tokyo, only Jerusalem. Even when these ultra-Evangelicals support Israel, it's only because Israel is a necessary ingredient in the formula that will bring about there version of the Rapture. Under different circumstances, Mr. Fitzpatrick could have probably become a suicide bomber, or would have poured gasoline over his head and ignited it on a public sidewalk. If he had tits, he would have become a 'Feminist Scholar'. Fifty years ago, this sort of soft-headed mindset and single-mindedness of purpose would have made Mr. Fitzpatrick the perfect Leftist Revolutionary. Instead, his twisted understanding of Christianity just tells him to waste his money, which I guess makes him harmless enough.

I can't prove to you that God exist, or prove that his "Evangelical Numerology" is an invalid predictor of the End of Times.  They're "matters of faith" after all. Prophecy is a double-edged sword. If you don't believe me, consider this: how many self-professed Nostradamus scholars do you know that became millionaires utilizing his prophecies, rather than by selling books about their opinions on Nostradamus?  What do you reckon is the percentage chance on any given day when a prediction given to you by a medium you called on your telephone and paid $1.99 a minute to turns out to be correct? How often does your horoscope make any freakin' sense, let alone give you any useful information?
Matthew 24:36  - "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."  

I was taught to let prophecy reveal itself to me, not to go looking for an answer to it's meaning. When Jesus says of the Temple in Jerusalem "not one stone will stand upon another..." it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that his real meaning is that "nothing is permanent". It doesn't take a slide rule or a numerologist to tell me.

But in Mr. Fitzpatrick's defense, at least his money didn't go to another one of those destructive charlatans that society pays way too much attention to: the psychiatrist. Somewhere there's a pill-pusher with an M.D. who won't be able to get the leather upholstery in the new Mercedes this year. 

Edited by Diogenes Sarcastica 


  1. Curiosity might yet get the better of me on the end of days link... Thankfully that alone doesn't put me in Mr. Fitzpatrick's class.

    Wonderfully written post!

  2. Thank You, Dean. Reading the linked page is what got me thinking about the whole thing.

  3. Very well said and now, mark this down: the end of the world as Obama sees it will end for him come November, 2012 ... (can hardly wait!). If I am proven wrong, then I'll move to Jerusalem!