Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Camping: a good numerologist but a poor judge of divine character?

So, what happened? Nothing, actually. Wasn't that a surprise. Then, after the non-event, hours of silence from the Harold Camping camp. Until today, when he tells us that it did happen. It was a spiritual coming. Completely undetectable, with no visible or testable effects, but nonetheless it really did happen. The world is now "under judgement," he says.

Well, I'm skeptical. I think what happened is this: Harold Camping was right about the date of the Rapture. His numerological decypherings yielded the correct answer that God put in the Bible via his well-known method of divine inspiration, but Camping got carried away. He was so concerned to get his sums right he lost sight of why he was doing them.

It seems to me that shortly after the deadline there must have been an exchange something like this:
ALMIGHTY GOD: Camping! You old reprobate! What d'you think you're playing at?

HAROLD CAMPING: Lord?

AG: You know what I'm talking about! All these billboards!

HC: Lord, I spread the knowledge of your coming, so that —

AG: I never told you to do that!

HC: But the code, the seven thousand years...

AG: Precisely! The code. Did it ever cross your mind that I might have put it in code for a reason?

HC: I, er...

AG: A code, Camping. A code is supposed to be secret. And what have you done? Only spilled the beans to the whole world!

HC: But Lord, I thought —

AG: Never mind what you thought, Camping. It's clear to me that you didn't think. I've got limited accommodation up here. Do you think I want just anybody swanning about in Paradise? Heaven is supposed to be exclusive, you know.

HC: Well, I don't think there will be that many...

AG: Too late! Deal's off.

HC: Lord?

AG: You heard me. I've changed my mind. Nobody's going to be raptured. As for the world, I'll sort something out later this year, I haven't time to think about it now.

HC: But what am I going to say to —

AG: Tell them what you like. Not my problem. You got yourself into this mess, you can get out of it.

HC: Lord, if I could just —

AG: That'll be all, Camping. I don't expect to see you again anytime soon.

HC: That's a great comfort, Lord.

AG: Don't get me wrong, Camping. What you've done has displeased — nay, annoyed me intensely. Easily enough to revoke your ticket. So it's possible you might be seeing the other chap sooner than you think.

HC: Oh.

AG: Yes. So sort it out yourself. Now, if you'll excuse me — and you will — I've got to go and be ineffable for a while. [Almighty God effs off.]

HC: Of course, Lord. [a pause] Mmm, let me see. Ineffable...
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