Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bit By Bit

Maybe you thought the end of the world was going to come with a bang.
Not a whimper.
The notion that there would be one day, a moment in time when the world ceased to exist dates, for me, back to Beneath The Planet of the Apes. It comes about when Taylor, played by Chuck Heston, uses his last breath to push the bejeweled button that detonates the Alpha/Omega bomb: the doomsday device. A few years later I caught up with Dr. Strangelove, with its own quirky take on the nuclear destruction of the planet. Suggesting that there is one person who would take it upon themselves to bring about The End Of The World by pulling a trigger or pushing a button seems to be giving humans a great deal of credit that perhaps we don't deserve.
It seems much more likely that things will get worse and worse until eventually the trickle of humanity just dries up. This contrasts somewhat to the notion of The Rapture, in which the god-fearing and the innocent are swept up to heaven, leaving the wretched sinners down here to sort things out before the really bad stuff comes.
What I am seeing is more of an incremental rapture. Little by little, a few innocents at a time, the roll is being called up yonder. Compounding all these fits and spurts of chaos is the way the agents of death tend to show up in the boarding group with the victims. Hurricanes that wipe out entire neighborhoods don't tend to bother the weather-proofed celebrity bunkers built to withstand these climate-change monsters. Once again, the innocent are swept out to sea.
Does it help to imagine that somehow this is all a part of god's plan? We are all still waiting for our chance to repent, which means we could be just a mass shooting away from salvation. It helps a little to think about the five year olds who are taken decades before their time. Simply washing our hands of responsibility and placing that honor squarely in the hands of a god who would allow dozens more to be injured begins to paint a pretty nasty picture of a deity.
Or maybe it's time to realize that we aren't merely pawns in a game of biblical prophecy. Maybe the world doesn't have to end. We just need to evolve, which takes the edge off the Christian bent I've been on for the past few paragraphs. Maybe we don't have to die to be saved. Maybe we can save ourselves. Before Chuck Heston falls on that button.

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