Saturday, January 8, 2011
By Alan Caruba
There is no religion, past or present, that has not generated an End Times prediction. As the year 2011 begins, you can be sure that the media will begin to fill up with articles about the Mayan calendar prediction that the world will end on December 12, 2012.
There are two very good reasons to ignore this prediction. The first is that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old! The second is that the Maya civilization no longer exists, having achieved its peak around 900 A.D. and was in decline thereafter until the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the late-1500s finished it off.
Recently there was a news item about James Byron Birkhead of Owensboro, Kentucky, who, after seeing the movie “2012”, became so frightened that he began to create a bomb making factory in his home to protect his family. When welfare workers visited his home to check on his 12-year-old daughter, they heard of his plans and notified the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. They paid him a visit. Making bombs in your kitchen is as likely a way to put an end to your own world as any other.
We live in a world of real and utterly false threats.
World War Two ended in a cataclysm of violence unleashed on the world with the invention and use of two atomic bombs. The world since then has had to deal with the acquisition of nuclear weapons by large powers and small. I grant that human nature suggests that, sooner or later, some nation will use them. It will not, however, exist as a nation for too long after that.
Since the 1980s, the chimera of “global warming” has existed to enrich those who heralded it and as the platform for the transfer of trillions from wealthy industrialized nations to those that have failed to keep pace with modernity. The reason for the latter is because they are ruled by predatory criminal thugs or because, as in the case of the Middle East, Islam has resisted change since its arrival in the seventh century A.D.
There is no “global warming” of the kind described by heads of state, deceitful scientists, and, in particular, the United Nations where the hoax was originated. The recently concluded UN conference on climate change all but abandoned the hoax while advancing its one-world government agenda.
There is no “global warming” because the Earth is a decade into a predictable and natural cycle of cooling, not unlike previous ones, but one which may signal an equally predictable new ice age. The interval between the Earth’s previous ice ages has been 11,500 years and we are at the end of the current interglacial period.
All that passes for civilization has occurred during the last 11,500 years. Humans spread across the face of the Earth. Empires have come and gone. Wars, large and small, have been fought and in the past century nations became locked in a struggle between capitalism and communism, the former offering opportunity and freedom while the latter offers only slavery to the dictates of the state and the oligarchy that runs it.
Dating back to the earliest origins of mankind, religions emerged. Central to the monotheistic religions has been a theme of violence. Judaism sprang from the story of Abraham sparing the life of his son Isaac whom he was prepared to sacrifice until God interceded.
Human sacrifice is believed to reach back to the earliest days of humanity and the tribes fashioned for hunting, agriculture, commerce, and conquest. As they grew into cities and states, expansion was determined by wars sanctioned by their various gods.
In a forthcoming book by the historian James Carroll, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited our Modern World”, he traces the marriage of faith and violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Though it will please no one to admit it, Carroll notes that “the Old Testament contains six hundred passages that speak of bloody killing, by everyone from kings to empires. War—not sex, love, faith, kindness, or worship—is at the center of biblical life”, adding that the “Christian scriptures themselves are also drenched in blood.”
Just as the Mayans concluded an End Time could be predicted, the Book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse, revels in hallucinatory visions of the Four Horsemen, war, famine, plague, and death.
The Shiite sect of Islam has a comparable story of a Twelfth Imam who can only return after the world has been in a period of chaos, war, and pestilence. It is, for the Iranian ayatollahs governing their prison kingdom, an act of devotion to bring about such a period and an Iran that possesses nuclear weapons promises to do just that.
A 2007 book by Lawrence E. Joseph, “Apocalypse 2012”, examined the Maya prediction along with the creation myths of people throughout the world. He concluded that “doomsday has a profound if unspeakable allure for those who are unhappy with themselves, their society, their Maker. It’s a form of vicarious revenge that anyone can take on life’s unfairness.”
Life is, however, often unfair. Politicians offer utopian systems and schemes that promise fairness, but can never deliver because it is ultimately unobtainable. As for the various faith systems, their histories are stories of war, of scapegoating, and of an End Time myth that promises a better world.
It is just my opinion, but only mankind can make a better world and it must do so on a lonely planet hurtling through space toward an ice-covered age; a humanity in the grip of natural forces over which it has no control.
© Alan Caruba, 2011