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I was listening this morning to a man on the radio prattling on about the signs of the upcoming apocalypse and the onset of the End of Days, and how the Final Judgement was upon us. Part of his prattle was about 9/11, the death of a sycamore tree and it's supplanting by a cedar, which was apparently foretold in the Book of Isaiah as one of the signs that Judgement was upon us.
He went further and pointed out that in a speech by Tom Daschle on the following day, this very passage was quoted, and that that was yet another sign.

How freaking pompous do you have to be? The biblical passage was researched and deemed appropriate for the speech, and the choice of a cedar tree to supplant the sycamore was also researched. It's the reason the sycamore was planted in the first place. It's completely self-referential, yet it's taken as a "sign".

Blessed are the righteous, for on the Day of Judgement they shall point and laugh.

Taken seriously for a moment, the Day of Judgement is an artifice designed to keep the wild folks in line. Religion in general has been used for a very long time to codify the mores of a society, and in truth has been essential for the development of civilization. Judgement is just one tool in the toolshed of Bad Things That Will Happen If You're Not Good So Be Good For Goodness' Sake.

But even if one day the skies open up and trumpet-bearing androgynous angels come down to Deliver The Righteous Unto Heaven, my judgement will not bear on whether I believe some prat on the radio; it will be based on how I lived my life.

Not everything that I've done has been good, not everything that I've done has been nice to other people. There are times that I've been mean and spiteful and full of pride and lust and a few other spices. But overall, I've been a decent human being. I can walk into the Star Chamber with my head held high.

I am not righteous. Nor am I pious. My faith is a personal thing that has only been shared with a few, and I'm okay with that. I've learned to live my life according to some simple rules that mean that I don't have to live in a bunker surrounded by KEEP OUT signs.

So on the day when the Great Mothership comes down to suck up the righteous, I'll likely be one of the ones left behind.

And somehow I'm okay with that.

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April 2012


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