Thursday, May 19, 2011

The rapture to come or just another Shabbat

It is interesting how quickly things spread over the Internet these days. It would seem that much of the traffic comes in waves. When the New Zealand earthquake and Japanese tsunami devastated those countries, the chatter was at a very high level and then tapered off. The same things occurred after the Navy Seals dispatched Osama Bin Laden. E-mails, Facebook entries and connections spiked at a very high level and have only recently leveled to what might be called normal levels. It would seem that the prediction by a San Francisco preacher, Harold Camping, of the imminent return to Earth of Jesus has all the earmarkings for thousands of devout Christians of another high water Internet event. It also has the naysayers, atheists and other religious leaders who disagree standing on the sidelines and waiting so they can ridicule this non-event on May 22. As a non-Christian, it is important for me to be supportive of those who wish to ascend to heaven this Saturday. However, as I clearly will not be in that number, I also hope they will not be too upset with me if I arrange my schedule accordingly. Why Camping has received so much interest, particularly when one looks at his track record (he originally predicted a similar event would occur back in 1994), is beyond my understanding. Too many people with nothing else to do, I guess. No, I think I will look on Saturday as just another Shabbat, a day dedicated to rest and peace and quiet introspection. If I'm right, all of this discussion will be thrown on the trash heap of yesterday's Internet chatter and if I'm wrong, it won't really matter. Meanwhile, I hope that Rev. Camping hasn't stopped paying his bills. He may find out his creditors are not nearly as forgiving as his fellow Christians and others will be on Sunday.

Monday, May 2, 2011

From April to May Day

The last few weeks have left me shell shocked. No, I wasn't necessarily caught in the whirlwind surrounding the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (or as NBC kept referring to it "the wedding of the century"). It was more a succession of events that included the celebration of Passover and a number of deadlines, not the least of which was that which revolved about the IRS and taking care of my tax liabilities. And then there was work. I have been extraordinarily busy, which is a good thing. I have had very little time to attend to my writing, which is regrettable. In fact, this is the slowest period of blog activity I have had since I took to writing my thoughts here. But not to worry. I am beginning to see the start of a period where, hopefully, more time will be available for me to devote to this blog. The recent events in Pakistan which resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden have given me time to reflect on what all of this should mean for Americans. I am immensely proud of what our Navy SEALS accomplished and without any loss of life on our side. While I can't say I am sorry that this man of hate is dead, I am sure that we will not receive more security by his quick and terrible dispatch. We as a nation will have to be vigilant and know that there are many others who stand ready to take his place. For those on the fence this may be a lesson to keep them from making a commitment, but for some Bin Laden's death may serve as a source of inspiration. There are crazy people out there who usually don't make any impact on American society. Unfortunately, Bin Laden did and it took three presidents and five terms of office to finally put him into a watery grave. I can only hope that we never again experience an attack so vicious on our heartland and that we will never let down our guard to permit it. I reflect back on the key words uttered by the SEAL commander to let the President and others in the situation room know that Bin Laden was captured or killed. It was a phrase named in honor of a Native American who had waged war on Washington, but whose fighting style was so legendary that it survived him. What President Obama, Secretary Clinton and others heard was "For God and Country. Geronimo! Geronimo! Geronimo!"