I’m sorry to say that this probably will be my last column, due to circumstances beyond my control. Apparently, the world is ending.
This information, as you likely heard, comes from painstaking mathematical calculations by religious broadcaster Harold Camping of Family Radio and was advertised on billboards across America and in more e-mails than I can count.
According to Camping, God decided to conduct a rolling apocalypse, holding it at 6 p.m. Saturday in each time zone (the Lord evidently adjusts for daylight saving time). So at midnight Friday in Washington, Jesus was to begin calling followers on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean to the rapture.
After Jesus summons his most loyal followers (about 3 percent of the world’s population) to “great joy and wonder” in the sky, the rest of us — I’m a Washingtonian, a journalist and a Jew, so I’m a sure bet for the “left behind” category — will have five months of wailing, gnashing of teeth and climbing over corpses until the last of us dies on Oct. 21 in the Battle of Armageddon.
The bad news, if you’re reading this, is that you, too, have been left behind (unless you have the Washington Post app on your iPad in the Kingdom of Heaven). So before we go on with our doomsday, let us pause to consider what brought us to this time of tribulation.
Camping points to traditional signs: the creation of the State of Israel and the spread of “gay pride.” But if we think about it, the signs of the End of Days were all around us. We just didn’t know it because our air-traffic controllers had fallen asleep. Consider:
The Banishment of the Newt
The Temptation of Huck
Mike Huckabee, once a Baptist minister and the preferred presidential candidate of religious conservatives, is tempted by dark forces to forgo a run for the White House and instead jams with Ted Nugent on Fox News.
Donald Trump, whose bushy orange hair burns but is not consumed, abandons his efforts to prove that President Obama is the Kenyan-born antichrist in favor of a renewed contract as a reality TV star.
Second Coming of the Fornicator
Arnold Schwarzenegger is terminated by his wife, Maria Shriver, because of his secret love-teenager. Meanwhile, commentators speculate that all of Europe will be destabilized after the head of the International Monetary Fund is sent to Rikers Island on seven charges related to an alleged sexual encounter.
Strange Phenomena in the Sky
Air Force One has an aborted landing in Connecticut. The first lady’s plane has a close call with a military cargo jet at Andrews Air Force Base. Moments after Air Force Two lands in Chicago, two jets at O’Hare International Airport nearly collide.
Secret Anti-Fox Plot Revealed
The Secret Service joins the not-so-secret medium of Twitter and promptly divulges details of its conspiracy against Fox News. A tweet from the official Secret Service account discloses: “Had to monitor Fox for a story. Can’t. Deal. With. The. Blathering.”
Collapse of Economic Laws
Congressional Republicans proclaim it might not be so bad if the United States defaults on its national debt. The Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, determines that the budget-cutting deal reached in April actually increased discretionary spending.
Disruption in the Holy Land
Glenn Beck takes a break from his fights with the Anti-Defamation League to travel to Israel.
Sins of the Flesh
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), who represents a large number of Apostolic Christians, takes off everything but his gym shorts and sneakers to pose for a glossy magazine. An ethics report on excommunicated Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) reveals that he chose the National Prayer Breakfast as a place to tell his mistress that he wanted to marry her.
In retrospect, so many signs were not a coincidence. All that was missing was for the Messiah to reveal Himself. Or, as it turned out, Herself. This, too, was right before our eyes.
“Our phones have been ringing off the hook,” Rep. Michele Bachmann told Fox News, announcing plans to accelerate her announcement of a presidential run. “People are saying, ‘Michele jump in, we want you to run.’ ”
Bachmann for president? You can keep your apocalypse, Mr. Camping. This is rapture.