Announcing our doom and damnation? That’s as American as apple pie. We tell pollsters we believe in ghosts, angels and the Second Coming. The current style of apocalypses dates from the days of Jesus’ death 2000 years ago. The rapture was supposed to be hours away. Jesus was expected to fly up from the cross to his father’s mansion and then bounce back again out of the blue sky to take us to eternal life together. That’s been a moneymaker for churches ever since.

And yet, it is amazing how interested everyone is in Saturday the 21st. Some of us are excitedly mocking it, readying ourselves for “survival hang-overs.” It is also true that nowadays we pick up the Times and expect an earthquake and fire and flood on every page. Today it’s the quake in Lorca, Spain. The Mississippi is flooding again. Before that the hundreds of tornados, the tsunami in Japan with its radioactive coda. Hmmm…fire or ice?

It is easy to take the gallows’ humor route to the apocalypse because commercial media and traditional leaders of nation-states won’t discuss the possibility of an overall coherence to all these extreme natural events, which have tripled in recent decades and seem to be accelerating. To give these tragedies anything more contextual than another tabloid story about heroism and suffering – would be to join this Oakland pastor Harold Camping who says it’s all over on Saturday, May 21.

Many of us believe that human beings are causing these tragedies. The activitiesrequired by the corporations’ need to continually expand – all the damming, drilling, polluting, de-foresting and over-fishing and hydro-fracturing and the emission of more CO-2 gas every month –– this has no impact on the Earth? There is a common sense that suggests that this pressure on the earth’s crust and oceans and air would have results that are different than the corporations’ greenwashing ads.

The people that share the belief that we ourselves are at least part causing these monster storms and quakes – we’re from everywhere but we’re not very organized. There are the earth scientists who have talked this way for years, of course. There are the first nations peoples who have always told us that the Earth is a living being speaking through the animals and the weather and the soil.
Artfully proposing apocalypses is an old way to make a buck. But now it’s turned around. Making a buck is hastening the End.

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Rev. Billy Talen

Rev. Billy Talen

Spiritual Leader of the Church of Life After Shopping. We find a kind of home-made spirituality in backing away from products, turning away from brands, malls, traffic, centralized authority. Turn toward local compassionate economies... Amen!

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