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Wave goodbye as you rise into the sky

I hear murmurings that the world is going to end a week from Saturday, but I’m not worried about it.

As a journalist, liberal Democrat, and Episcopalian, I already have the Mark of the Beast affixed to my forehead, and my doom is certain. But some of you among the un-Raptured may be concerned. You, too, can relax. If these latest neo-Millerites* are premillennial dispensationalists, they are queuing up for departure, but the rest of us will be around for a while.

Premillennial dispensationalism, as popularized in the Left Behind books, holds that first the saved will be carried up into heaven in a rapture is a dispensation from the trouble to follow, then the forces of the Antichrist will prevail on earth for an extended period of tribulation, and finally at the battle of Armageddon, Christ will return and establish a millennium of direct rule. Then, after those thousand years, will come judgment and eternity.

So the Parousia, the arrival of Jesus, and the eschaton, the end of time, will not, under that scheme, occur Saturday sennight.

Mind you, many Christians, including many Evangelicals, do not hold with this, recalling the texts that say that no human being will know when the time is at hand. In A.D. 381 the Council of Constantinople declared millennialism to be not only presumptuous but heretical. Nervous people in difficult times, however, get hold of the books of Daniel and Revelation, obscure and difficult texts which, like the prophecies of Nostradamus, are open to multiple interpretations, particularly to the credulous. (Origen was not fond of Revelation, and so many others were dubious about it that it barely squeaked into the canon in the fourth century.)

So while there may be a possibility that the godly will drop everything and ascend into the sky on May 21, I suspect that there is a much greater chance that we’ll all still be here Sunday morning, trying as before to make the best of it.


*Millerites were the followers of William Miller, who calculated that the Second Coming of Christ was due in 1843. Some of his followers sold everything in anticipation. Then the Day of Judgment had to be adjusted to 1844. Postponements have continued since. The business of predicting the return of Christ started with Montanus in the second century and has been luring gulls ever since.



Posted by John McIntyre at 10:13 AM | | Comments (28)


Again with your facts and logic; when will it cease? Personally, I plan to protect my pets after the Rapture: . Gulls indeed.

Although the fact is obscured in translations, Revelations is written in a variety of Greek theretofore unknown to humankind. It is what someone would be likely to produce who is thinking in Aramaic and translating his overly complicated thoughts laboriously into a language he does not really understand. In this, the author (who certainly did not write the elegant Greek of the fourth Gospel) closely resembles his nutjob successors.

Origen was right.

As a humanist, who long ago took Voltaire's advice to cultivate my garden, I won't lose any sleep over this latest prognostication. And after surviving the vicissitudes of life thus far, I've also learnt not to worry about events over which I have no control. Laissez les bons temps roulez!

If you haven't yet seen it, be sure to watch the Squidbillies episode "Armageddon It On!"

The founder of Family Radio network is the principal promoter of this end of the world prediction. I wouldn't have known that had I not seen a tricked-out Family Radio RV proclaiming the end of all things driving up Route 29 at rush hour a couple of weeks ago. (Wonder what all the lacrosse moms thought when they saw it?) Their website uses phrases like "no doubt" and "guaranteed" to the point that a graceful recovery for them on 22 May seems almost out of the question.

Robin: "Holy eschatological event, Batman!

Batman:"No worries, Boy Wonder. This too shall pass....... like that darn kidney stone I shot out last week. Ugh!"

If it ain't the apocalyptic ramblings-and-rumblings of this latest band of May 21st, 2011 kookie doom-and-gloomers, then don't dismay, we have the equally fatalistic interpreters of the Mayan end-times definitely coming to a town near you, exactly on December 21st, 2012 @11:11AM, coinciding precisely w/ the advent of the annual Winter Solstice. Who knew?

However, talking to any respected, right-minded Mayan sage, (or shaman), these days, who would most surely be totally hip to this momentous completion date of a "World Age Cycle" on their Long Count, celestial-based calendar, this major benchmark merely marks the beginning phase of a period of global transition to hopefully an age of greater individual self and planetary awareness, in respect to the many formidable challenges facing our suffering, out-of sync globe at this crucial point in both cosmic, and earthly (linear) time.

We humans, as a vast aggregate of now billions of conscious, sensate, thinking creatures are at a major crossroads in our evolution, where we have choices to either continue our self-destructive path of gross consumption, and the seemingly insatiable quest for material things, or we can consciously, and w/ resolve as individuals, (and then as groups) embrace a renewed healing consciousness where we hopefully become more attuned to our better, interior selves, while recognizing how our unthinking actions have major consequence in Natures fragile balance. We humans, as a part of Nature, are integrally bound w/ all living things, for hopefully better, and not for worse.

(Yikes! I'm starting to sound like Al "Inconvenient Truth" Gore. I did nNOT invent the internet. Honest. HA!)

So this end of a major Mayan cosmic cycle, in a sense, according to shamanistic thought, represents more of a wake-up call to us human 'consumers', who sadly in this modern age have lost that earlier aspect of stewardship, and respect for Nature's bounty. The time is NOW to rekindle that vital caring interrelationship between man and nature, before, indeed, cataclysm and natural disaster become eventual self-fulfilling prophecies.

Remember folks, "Don't squeeze the 'shaman' "

I recall back in the late-sixties as a Poli-Sci major at York University in Toronto, in one of my sociology courses, we were introduced to a terrific book by Leon Festinger, titled, "When Prophecy Fails"------in short, a study in how a real-life group of mid-century (20th) doomsdayers tried to cope w/ the crushing disappointment that the great predicted global flood did NOT come to pass on the precise date portended, and moreover, scheduled alien space craft didn't arrive in 'Podunk City', U.S.A., to whisk 'the believers' away from the fatal flood waters----a rapture-by-aliens, if you will HA!.

For me, it's kind of weird that this sociological study has stuck in my noggin over all these ensuing years. It clearly made a lasting impression.

I'm fairly confident that May 21st (just 9 days hence), will come-and-go rather uneventfully, as any typical Saturday would for the past however many millennia. And, praise the Lord, May 23rd will arrive, right on 'sched', a fine Monday morn---the start of yet another boring work week. I promise.

Unfortunately, those deluded May Twenty-Firsters will be in a veritable collective funk, much like those end-of-days cultists in Festinger's tome, "When prophecy Fails". (I say, "Get a life!.")

And so it goes.


P.S: ---Prof. McI., I knew Christ (of course, from the New Testament) summoned his flock, on numerous occasions, but I hardly interpreted his entreaties to flocks of gulls. Hmm....... I'd say a kind of jocular allusion to the classic 'loaves and fishes" parable, conjuring up the image of Jesus tossing bread crumbs and fishy parts to the ravenous seabirds? If so.........not bad. HA!

I realize that things are happening that have been "predicted" but that's a little ridiculous. After all, isn't it supposed be 2012, not 2011? I'm with you; as I accept what my religion believes, I do not believe the world will end. After all, we did survive y2k with flying colors.

I am very definitely looking forward to the Rapture: the sooner the better. Being unbaptized myself, I hope to be left behind in a country where the political situation will be vastly improved thanks to the departure of all those nutty Christian fundamentalists. Maybe we can have an intelligent discussion of a lot of issues when they are transported. Maybe Texas will even be a better place.

I hadn't heard about this, but can someone who knows more please advise how this will work taking time zones into consideration? I'm 14 hours ahead of Baltimore. Will it happen when it is May 21 all around the world, i.e. midnight at the International Date Line, or will there be a rolling rapture around the globe? I need to know because I always ring my parents on the weekend, and I don't want them to disappear before I have a chance to say good-bye. Also it will be my birthday the week after, and I'm sure they'd like to offer me birthday greetings before they go.


I just love your alliterative term, "rolling rapture". Not, I would suggest, unlike those annoying 'rolling blackouts' when the major power grid is overtaxed during some of those stifling 95-degree+F summer months. However, in the later instance, the hand of God is nowhere to be found. More like the hand of the city Water & Power Department.

My girlfriend's upcoming birthday, like yours, happens to fall beyond the forecasted day of reckoning (May 21st), namely May 26th, but she's not falling for my coming-of-the-end-of-times excuse for suggesting I'll just skip buying her any B-Day gifts this time round. HA! What's the point, if all us legions of non-believers are going to rack-and-ruin, doomed for all eternity, anyhow?

Vireya, you do raise a good point re/ what time zone should be viewed as the 'correct' one for this May 21st rapture event. Clearly, those fundamentalist wackos that believe they are 'the chosen ones', are likely residing in the U.S.'s Central (Daylight Savings) Time Zone, the region where most of these crackpot end-of-days, 'apocalyptic movements tend to foment------traditional, conservative 'red states' (read staunch Republican/ right-wingers).

So undoubtedly, these deluded folk would calculate the up-up-and-away- moment-into-the-great-hereafter, according to their own local timetable. Us billions of non-'Central-DLST-Zoners' would be just plum out of luck, and would have to endure the wrath of God-------fire and brimstone, disco (inferno) music, and schlock artist Thomas Kincade dreck---- all that ichy, worldly, secular stuff........... prior to mortal vaporization.

Oh the humanity!

Is there a Dante in the house?


I think that Jerusalem time would be the relevant time zone. And of course, days on the Jewish calendar (like the Muslim calendar) begin at sunset, not at the following midnight.

So expect the Rapture on Friday, May 20, at 7:32 PM Israel Standard Time, which would be half past noon Baltimore time.

John Cowan,

Hmm...... that would factor out to roughly 9:30AM, May 20th, L.A. (Pacific) Standard Time, right?

Rats! I guess I'll have to cancel my foursome's early Friday morning tee time at our deceptively challenging Hot Links Pitch & Putt course.

My three regular golf 'buds' just happen to be a Muslim, a Jew, and a Hindu, w/ yours truly as the nominal Christian---lapsed Presbyterian. With that motley religious mix, it would appear w/ the approaching Rapture event that all bets (golf, or otherwise) are definitely off. Unfortunately, unlike the very forgiving game of golf, w/ those dramatic raptures there are sadly no 'mulligans', or do-overs. Pity.

Ironically, if this forecasted rapture event occurs on a Friday night at 7:32PM Israel Standard Time, that means it's almost coincidental, time-wise, w/ the traditional weekly Jewish sabbath, that officially begins, according to ancient Jewish writ, each Friday evening, precisely at sundown.

Hmm........ on the fateful evening of May 20th expect a whole lot of wailing, and gnashing of teeth going on at Jerusalem's Old City Wailing (Western) Wall. Oy veh smear! Just sayin'.

John, of course all this current rapture fuss is basically a bunch of bogus bull do-do, but it sure makes for some amusing discussion, and interesting speculation.

Beam me up, Scottie!


"I hadn't heard about this, but can someone who knows more please advise how this will work taking time zones into consideration?"

According to a story in the Washington Post, Harold Camping (the man behind this prediction) says the rapture will come at 6:00 p.m. local time wherever you are.

So yes, there will be a rolling rapture, and those living in areas where Daylight Savings Time is not observed, such as Saskatchewan and Arizona, will be very sorry indeed.

I see that the term "nutty Christian fundmentalists" passed without comment: what if someone had said "wacko Islamic fundamentalists?" What I really want to say is, thank you, Giovanni, for using A.D. in the correct place. That seems to be another construction that has been misused, in the press and elsewhere, and also passes without comment. Really!

I so rarely agree with P the T that I am almost too stunned to type.

Long ago, when I was a kid and fire was still a new fangled idea, our Mama's told us not to make mock of other peple's religious beliefs.

Be real careful, y'all. There are things more important than clever. Respect is not entirely out of style.

I thought Mr McIntyre was an Episcopalian. It seems disingenuous for someone who believes in the trinity, and possibly even the real presence, to mock another's laughable delusion.

"I see that the term 'nutty Christian fundmentalists' passed without comment: what if someone had said 'wacko Islamic fundamentalists?'"

Just because an offensive phrase passes without comment doesn't mean that all subsequent commenters approve; it may simply reflect the practice of ignoring trolls.

I agree with PtT, Eve and JD Considine's points. And frankly, the post that included the specious comment makes no sense. Why look forward to something that you would be left out of, when the event would serve to prove that you are wrong in your understanding of reality? That is, if God created everything - including you - why would you think it is better to live apart from him?

C.S. Lewis wrote about this method of ridicule in God in the Dock:

The modern method [of argument] is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly. In the course of the last fifteen years I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it Bulversim. ... Bulver assures us ... "that refutation is no necessary part of argument. Assume that your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove he is wrong or (worse yet) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall." [Par.] ... Bulverism is a truly patriotic game in the sense that all can play it all day long, and that it gives no unfair privilege to the small and offensive minority who reason.

One's response might be, "Lighten up, it was only a joke." And that's the problem. No matter how ridiculous one thinks another person's religious beliefs are, one shouldn't ridicule them. One could very well be wrong, you know.


Suppose I had written that premillennial dispensationalism is unsound theology based on selective and distorted reading of texts, and that it has the unfortunate effect of encouraging its adherents to see themselves as an embattled minority at odds with the rest of the world rather than bearers of good news of understanding and forgiveness.

Would you have liked that better?

Oh, and Cranmer, Anglican silliness--High Church pretension and Low Church reverse snobbery--is at least harmless.

Mr. McIntyre, your original post was very thoughtfully stated. I was slightly dismayed, though not at all surprised, that someone took the opportunity to label the premillennial dispensationalists currently making the news as being nutty.*

And as for High Church/Low Church Anglicanism being harmless, C.S. Lewis (yet again my referrent), seems to suggest otherwise. When writing about bearing with one another as fellow believers, Lewis said that High Church folks should see that they remain seated rather than kneel and keep their hands in their laps rather than perform the sign of the cross so as not to make a co-congregant feel out of place; similarly, he said the Low Church people would be falling all over themselves to kneel and cross themselves so as to join with the worship style of their church-fellows. Harmless? Someone could get hurt with all that movement and non-movement colliding!

Frankly, the picture this conjures up pleases me to no end. It amuses me too. Thank God we are created with a sense of humor.


*Disclaimer - my theology is amillenial, atribulational, and decidedly non-dispensational not because I am conviced I am right and everyone else who has read the Bible is wrong but because this is the best understanding I can make of scripture as a whole. These positions would make me unwelcome in certain circles, often for opposite reasons.

P the T,

Since when did our astute blogmeister, John, clearly of fine Scottish/ Irish lineage, and good old Kentucky stock, suddenly morph into a devil-may-care, suave Italiano------"Giovanni", no less! HA!

To be honest, in initially reading your post, I wasn't quite sure if you were referring to Mr. John Mcintyre, OR regular blogger, John Cowan, and proceeded to quickly peruse all the 'John' posts, finally narrowing it down to Mr. Mac w/ his earlier "A.D. 381" citation.

(Hmm...... I COULD see our blog-master, "Giovanni" McIntyre, leisurely strolling along the wide pavements of Roma's Via Veneto------decked out in a fine tailored charcoal-grey Armani wool suit, and spit-polished jet black Bruno Maglia shoes, keeping an ever keen bespectacled eye out for a decent bow-tie boutique along the way.)

But seriously, I'm guessing that many folk make the mistake of putting A.D. (Anno Domini) AFTER the numerical year, and the correct placement is actually PRIOR to the number, no? (As exemplified in "Giovanni's" case, i.e., " A.D. 381 the Council of Constantinople".)

Patricia, I would reckon you aren't a huge fan of the use of BCE (Before the Common Era), which basically secularizes the time-honored Julian/ Gregorian calendric schema, essentially removing Christ from the dating equation?

Now as to this sticky question of the 'morality', or perhaps more precisely, the unfairness of labeling ALL fundamentalists of whatever religious stripe, "wacko", "nutty', "crazy", "goofy", or i dare say, "disturbed', I believe there is an inherent danger here. For me, it's merely a small fringe element of so-called 'fundamentalists' that deserve the "nutty", or "wacko" moniker.

Respectfully, I would contend that most sane, right-thinking, fair-minded, informed, and reasonable folk can surely differentiate between these episodic, radical, extreme doomsdayer cultists like this current small coterie of May 21st 'end-of-days' 'rapturists', or the ill-fated followers of that deranged megalomaniac, Rev. Jim Jones, secreted in the jungles of Guyana, or those unfortunate, deluded (mostly young) souls down San Diego, CA-way, who, en masse, committed suicide, uniformly decked out, prostrate, in their stark white short-sleeved dress-shirts, black ties, and Adidais runners, fervent in their belief that Heaven was neigh----and more mainstream, established religious 'believers'.

These fanatical, crazed Muslim jihadist suicide bombers who often yell "Allah Akbar" (God is Great), just before blowing up themselves, and scores of innocent bystanders to smithereens, believing that they will be remembered and long-revered as holy martyrs, greeted by scores of celestial virgins in the hereafter, I would argue could be justly called "wackos", or "nut-jobs', bordering on, in my view, the criminally insane. Just MY opinion.

On the other hand, I totally admire and respect (most) fundamentalist Christians' abiding belief in Christ's second-coming, and further, their firm belief in Jesus as their Redeemer, assuring their eventual personal salvation, and state of eternal bliss in Heaven.

(Now, a most glaring exception would have to be that Muslim-hating evangelical preacher down in Florida, who incited the ritual burning of the Koran in his church, resulting in a handful of American U.N. workers being subsequently murdered in Iraq (?), in an alleged act of retaliation by irate Muslims. I would definitely put this abhorrent bigot in the certifiably "wacko" category.)

(IMHO, personal religious belief basically constitutes an article-of-faith, which can not be defined as either true, or false------ empirically, or through logical rationalization. The holy scriptures of whatever faith, be they drawn from The Holy Bible, The Koran, The Book of Mormon, or the Hindu Upanishads, are, in-the-main, recognized by their respective adherents as guides to spiritual enlightenment, historical interpretation, alleged divine intervention, and right conduct, but hardly have all the answers to the myriad mysteries, and imponderables of life.)

I also respect, (but don't necessarily agree with), the fundamental Jewish belief that the Messiah has YET to come onto this earthly plane, and moreover, that the Jewish faithful are justified in awaiting the blessed day of His manifestation. I accept that true 'believers' conduct their spiritual lives w/ this eventuality ever in their hearts-and-minds. Hardly wacky, or nutty.

So basically, for me, it's the wild extremes of so-called religious faith, and practice, i.e., blind fanaticism, and unquestioned worship of, or fawning allegiance toward a flesh-and-blood purportedly spiritually enlightened 'guru', that truly bothers me, and perhaps, on occasion, warrants the labeling of such fringe elements as "nutty", or "wacko".

Sadly, as we have seen, historically, many of these alleged "nutty", "wacko' religious fringe
groups w/ perhaps early high-minded intentions, lose their way, often to the extreme, ultimately leading to senseless human tragedy, and even the loss of life; as we witnessed in such graphic, and horrific fashion in the aftermath of the aforementioned Jonestown 'experiment'. Enough said.

Patricia, by-the-by, where's our loquacious pal, Picky at, these days? Hopefully he's on a little vacation hiatus, far away from his PC keyboard.

Picky, old lad, what's up?


Just who decides what texts are selective and distorted? Anyway, I don't use B.C.E. and whose idea was that one, anyway? Watching the Wedding reminded me of how well Church and State can reconcile one another when necessary. Eve, darlin,' great minds, even when so differently tuned, can agree now and again. Ain't we got fun?! And perchance His Pickyness is recovering from excesses of The Wedding - I hope his absence is nothing more serious than too many canapes at The Palace.

P the T,

Patricia, Patricia, Patricia........... you just had to get those little 'dots' (periods) in there didn't you, w/ your "B.C.E." (which I omitted in my post))-------kind of like one-upping your debating rival by getting in the very last word.? HA! (I know, you're just a major stickler for correctness, and I shouldn't take it personally.......... never mind.)

Clearly whomever came up w/ "B.C.E." was a ruddy "commoner", and likely either an atheist, or one of those fence-sitting, confused atheists, better known as agnostic. (Anyway, B.C.E. is just too close to "B.C.", for my taste, which has a totally different meaning, as you, 'Patricia the Believer', are well aware.)

I will grant you, your 'great' mind, and avid blogger Eve's are most likely, as you so eloquently put it, "differently tuned", and I agree, on occasion you may not quite see eye-to-eye. Yet clearly you gals thoroughly enjoy the fun (and sometimes more serious) back-and-forth 'blanter' (that's blog-banter for short HA!), and as American Idol judge, rocker Steven Tyler is often want to say, "...... and that's a very beautiful thing."

Yet I must confess I feel a tad disadvantaged without my London town pal Picky on board, who it would appear has been incommunicado these days. Picky, we miss you, lad!

Patricia, I don't know if it's, as you've speculated, a case of His Pickyness munching on "too many canapes" at ye olde Buckingham Palace, or perhaps I might suggest, partaking of too many of those 4:00PM-sharp high-teas w/ her Royal Highness and Prince Philip----all that rich clotted cream, flaky scones, and smoked Scottish salmon, and such---or merely too many 'naps' (as opposed to ca-nap-es), brought on by tippling the old Isle of Islay amber single malt at one-too-many grand toasts to the recently wedded, blissful Kate & William. (Although the occasional dram of ye olde Hebridian Laproaig brew hasn't slowed the old chappy down in the past. Burp! Excuse me.)

Should we put a blogosphere APB out on His Pickyness , or just be patient....... and pray a lot? HA!

Oh, I'll definitely try to track down that "Poet Under the Staircase" early 'Python' sketch. I must confess I didn't really give my all w/ the Yahoo search, although I did type in the key words.....verbatim. Darn internet. It can be a bit of a ^&#*@#$ puzzle, at times.

Hmm......... and I promise to really make a concerted effort to be less "perorating" w/ future posts, as you kind of backhandedly suggested in another recent commentary............. like this very morning. HA!

Wouldn't want my online ramblings to manifest as 'pororatinitis' would we? Nasty disorder. No know cure, totally resistant to antibiotics, constructive criticism, or well-meaning advice, and not unlike the dreaded herpes zoster virus, tends to stay w/ the host for life. WARNING: CAN BE CONTAGIOUS! Perish the thought. Oh, have mercy.

Well after that cheery note, I'll bid y'all adieu.

Patricia, hope you have a superb weekend.

(Always fun verbally sparring w/ you. You always keep it real (and fun), and that's generally a good thing.)


The first known use of vulgaris aerae, the Latin equivalent of Common Era (which is what C.E. stands for) was in 1615 by Johannes Kepler, the astronomer who discovered Kepler's laws of planetary motion. He was, needless to say, a Christian. The first use of "Common Era" in English was 1708; "Christian Era" and "Vulgar Era" were also first used at about the same time. I don't know who specifically invented the abbreviations "C.E." and "B.C.E.", but until recent years the people who used them most were Jewish; they are at least a century old.

I myself am no Christian, and consequently use C.E. and B.C.E. But I don't care who uses what abbreviation.

if the Millerites thought that the world was going to end, why did they sell everything they had instead of just giving it away - or not doing anything at all. What did they expect to use the money for?


Hmm.......... perchance the best explanation re/ these Millerite end-of-times folk cashing out their worldly possessions before being swept up in the inevitable rapture, might be their unwavering belief that any, and all 'filthy lucre' acquired upon this earthly plane, in some miraculous fashion, will suddenly transform into mana-TO-heaven (not the familiar reverse scenario, i.e., 'mana FROM heaven'), as they make their grandiose ascent to eternal bliss.

This mana (celestial currency if you will), would replicates itself in perpetuity, not unlike the equally miraculous multiplying of 'the loaves and fishes' in the ancient Biblical parable. Clearly gross usury, interest gouging, reverse mortgages, punitive estate taxes, and payday loans (all those nasty, earthly pecuniary pitfalls) will mean virtually nothing in the Millerites idyllic elysian climes that beckon in the beyond.

Basically, it would be like everyone winning the lottery 24/7, but of course the concept of time, as we've understood it as mere, flesh-and-blood, earth-bound mortals has no relevance in the blissful hereafter. Here time would be infinite, or eternal, and as such has no relative meaning in the old earthly, linear sense.

Well Anders, if you believed that little fairy tale, then I've got this massive suspension bridge smack dab in the middle of the great Mojave desert here in Southern California that I'd just love to sell you, for real cheap. I'll take either cold, hard cash, or a cashier's cheque, but please, none of those 'celestial bucks'. You'll have to wait a spell to cash in on those babies. But surely heaven can wait, no? It ain't goin' anywhere, right?

Hmm........... ain't life just one giant enigma, wrapped in a doozy of a dilemma, and rolled into one puzzling imponderable conundrum, folks? The mind truly does reel.

Stop the world, I want to get off!

Hmm........ come to think of it, I guess getting swept up in 'the rapture' may be one means to that very end. But sadly, I may not be deemed as one of 'the chosen' by 'the righteous ones', and as blogger Picky has suggested in a recent post, might have to spend all eternity, (my soul that is), in a sulphuric, roiling pit of perpetual agony, and eternal damnation. Dante's Divine Comedy immediately comes to mind.

(Picky wasn't as nearly as graphic in his description of the afterlife for the 'unbelievers' as I, but the message was essentially the same. Right, old lad?HA!)


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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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