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I'm scared out of my wits
Posted Feb. 20, 2009

I have not been sleeping well recently. A few things have been keeping me awake with worry and fear. Ideas of pointless killing overseas or a failing economy have got me worried more than ever. These stories have flooded our media and continue to haunt this country as we wander into an uncertain future. Now I have one more thing to add to my list of nightmares, Jesus Christ.

Yes, the holy man himself has recently been brought center stage with talks of a major comeback. I speak, of course, about The Rapture. I was shocked to learn that recently a church in Chino Hills just finished a weekend seminar preaching and preparing Christian followers for The Rapture. Although it’s ridiculous to preach the idea the world is ending, the truth is that several people could have misinterpreted these ideas. Fear is a dangerous thing and if you incorporate these ideas to an entire country unsure of its future, you might have people misinterpret the meaning.

The seminar took the issues that are going on right now and applied them to the teachings of the Bible. If the fear of worrying about a capitalism melt was not enough, now I need to worry about the destruction of the world. Of course, if you know your bible history, The Rapture comes from Revelations and explains that Jesus will return to earth and save his followers. This is gross generalization, but that seems to be the problem.

Now America was built on the idea of freedom of speech and religion. This means that I have no problem with someone having these kinds of beliefs. These strict teachings only become a problem when they are forced down the throats of people who do not believe them. This typically happens when people misinterpret certain ideas. For example, how is a child supposed to react when they read the paper and see this large group of people preaching the end of the world? Furthermore, what are the children of these followers taught to believe in this kind of situation? How does a child, unable to really grasp these ideas, respond to these kinds of teachings?

Consider this; say for example someone was driving down a long stretch of road trying to get from point A to point B. All of a sudden a stoplight appears in the distance and it turns red. It is natural for the driver to slow down and eventually stop for this approaching red light. Well, think of The Rapture as a permanent red light. If our mentalities become fixated on this fear that life will end and Jesus will come down and save only those who praise him, how does one become a productive member of society?

It seems my sleepless nights will never be put to rest. Our society is built on this idea that we need to feel comfortable all the time. The Manson clan followed Revelations to cleanse their lives, Americans followed George W. Bush to fight an unknown terrorist threat, and the residents of Salem followed their judges and hanged innocent people claiming they were witches. The cycle seems to repeat itself time and time again.

Perhaps this trend will pass soon enough. People will wise up to the idea that the Mayan calendar is just a series of numbers or that the Bible is just a book of words. Only time will tell; and who knows maybe the world will end, although it will probably by our own hands and not God’s.

Michael Escañuelas, a sophomore English major, is editorial cartoonist for the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at michael.escanuelas@laverne.edu.