The secular, especially the anti-religious, left, enjoy these spectacles of religious foolishness. They seem to confirm for them not only how absurd these end-of-days predictions are, but how absurd religion is in general.
But the left should not laugh too loudly. The religious world has far fewer doomsday predictions than the left does. At least every few years, the secular-left frightens itself -- and tries to frighten everyone else -- about another doomsday scenario.
The most obvious current example is, of course, global warming. For years now, we have been told by the world's left-wing media that scientists are united in predicting that there will be worldwide catastrophe as a result of global warming caused by manmade carbon dioxide emissions. Oceans will rise so high that they will drown many of the world's great coastal cities; entire island-countries will disappear; vast areas of the world will dry up; and countries will fight one another for the little remaining fresh water.
Compared to the global warming scenario, I'll face the Rapture -- and I'm not even Christian.
Of course, none of these global warming predictions has materialized. For example, in April of this year, Der Spiegel reported:
"Six years ago, the United Nations issued a dramatic warning that the world would have to cope with 50 million climate refugees by 2010. But now that those migration flows have failed to materialize, the UN has distanced itself from the forecasts. On the contrary, populations are growing in the regions that had been identified as environmental danger zones."
As a result of so many such false alarms, and because so many places have experienced record cold temperatures, global warming has been renamed "climate change."
But global warming is only the most recent doomsday scenario offered by the left. Here is a small sample of some others:
Recall the Time and Newsweek cover stories about how heterosexual AIDS would become a national plague -- since "AIDS doesn't discriminate." Skeptics who said at the time that heterosexual AIDS in America was largely a scare were called "anti-science." But Michael Fumento, the science writer who wrote "The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS," first in Commentary Magazine and then as a book, turned out to be right. In America, it was a myth.