42/100 of America beieves we are in End Times

That’s the figure I got today on the Glenn Beck Show.

Plus an End Times author invited to speak before Washington lawmakers.

I’m comfortable with American dopers, but are the rest of you nuts ? Now I’m getting really , really scared. How the fuck do you properly re-educate such a priveledged and powerful segment of the global population. As a Canadian, I think I just woke up to realize I wasn’t dreaming a nightmare.

I know, seriously. We’ve gotta get that up in the 90’s.

Am I the only doper who is one of those 42 %?

I’ve lived with my current roommate for about four years. Known him for five. I’ve always found him reasonably intelligent and open-minded. A little ditzy with a sprinkling of ADD, but otherwise pretty reasonable.

Lately he’s been spending a lot of time with his family and coming home with stories about how everything prophesied in the Bible has come true. The only thing that hasn’t come true - yet - is the part where they say Israel will become a country and wage war on all its neighbors. But that part is coming true now!

I honestly don’t know what the hell is going on with people. My roommate used to belong to the Straight Dope. I always tell him, “go on the Dope and present some of these theories.” His answer? “Oh, those are all just scientists who will twist your words because they don’t want you to believe in the Bible!”

He’s scaring me.

I’m not happy that a country of extremist religious loons has nuclear weapons.

Oh god, let’s hope so.

So its okay to be somewhat religious, as long as you believe benign things that are acceptable?

As long as you and yours don’t take this country into another Dark Ages. Keep it to yourself.

I do keep it to myself. I vote Socialist, actually.

I meant, keep it in your churches and charities. Keep your superstitions out of politics and laws.


Not that I mean to rain on the parade, but could we get a link to the actual survey that says 42% of Americans believe this is the end times? I’m dubious about info received third-hand.

Check out the Gallup site - register for it for 30 days free if you’re not willing to pay for it (we get access via work to check out polls on energy matters, but I can browse around). See how many people believe in King James Bible literalism and Adam and Eve coexisting with dinosaurs, and other things, and I think you’ll be shocked at some numbers higher than 40%. Or just Google a little bit if you really want to be depressed.

Heck, even I don’t believe they coexisted with dinosaurs!

As a Christian, I find the certainty some of my coreligionists have that we’re living in the end-times to be almost comically arrogant.

The belief that we’re living in the end times really boils down to believing that this point in history is somehow special. That the gorund has never been riper for the Second Coming. That things have never been worse.


Compared to the World War II era (in which the Nazis plotted to build themselves an occult pagan mythology as the slaughtered God’s Chosen People by the trainload), or its near aftermath (in which atheistic communism expanded and gained weapons that threatened to destroy all of civilization), we’re in an exceptionally peaceful era.

Besides, Jesus specifically told us that we wouldn’t see it coming. I don’t think he meant “this weekend, but I can’t tell you if it’s Saturday or Sunday”.

We’re not special. We don’t have insight that others in history didn’t have. There’s nothing wrong with living every day as if it may be your last. You’ll face judgement if you’re hit by a truck tomorrow, even if Judgement Day is millenia in the future. Just don’t live your life as if it may be everbody’s last.

While I am not happy to see a claim that 42% of the country believes some odd thelogy that was invented in the last 170 years, I would be curious to see how the number has changed over the last 60 years. If the number has remained more or less constant, it simply means that as bad as we have been, we are not getting noticeably worse. If there has been a sharp upturn in the number, I would be curious to see its trigger: Nuclear Cold War? Hal Lindsey? The Moral Majority? The Left Behind books? The current scare from segments of the Muslim world?

Even among the few folks I have known who really thought that they were in the End Times, nearly all of them continued to save for retirement, invest in stocks, keep up their house payments, and vote for school issues so that their kids and grandkids would have an education. I’m not sure that a response to a poll question, “Do you believe we are in the End Times?” actually translates to much more than a general belief that in some not-too-distant-but-still-unpredictable moment, God is going to pull the plug (or rapure the faithful, or not rapture the faithful, or whichever variant of the rather numerous End Time beliefs they happen to hold).

Additionally: While Secretary of Interior Watt was noted for his “burn it off; God is going to rip it out shortly” approach to the environment, it is notable that there is actually a strong conservation movement within the Religious Right that indicates that even if a bunch of them thnk we have few years (months?) to go, we are supposed to do the right thing up until the end.

Haven’t we been in the End Times for like 200 years??

Christians have believed from the start that they were in the End Times. If you read the New Testament, a lot of it (Paul’s Epistles specifically) talk as though Jesus were coming back within the next couple minutes. Menocchio is right that there really isn’t anything special about this time as opposed to every other time in the last two thousand years. My guess is that if you looked at the percentage going back to the early church, it’s always been this way.

So fine, it’s the end time, let them end already, who’s stopping them? End! Finito! You done yet?