Thief in the Night

There’s those that will knock you over to get your wallet, and those who con you into throwing away your life’s savings…

The sky turned dark Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t a sign of the world’s impending doom – just passing rain.
Welcome to the No-pacalypse – a disappointing finish to what doomsday believer Robert Fitzpatrick thought would be the End of Days.

“I don’t understand why nothing has happened,” a deflated Fitzpatrick said in Times Square just after 6 p.m. “I did what I had to do. I did what the Bible said.”

“I obviously haven’t understood it properly, because we’re still here,” added Fitzpatrick, 60, surrounded by a phalanx of reporters and skeptical onlookers.

The retired MTA worker from Staten Island bought $140,000 worth of advertising, proclaiming that the end was near. He and followers of California televangelist Harold Camping thought a global earthquake would strike the East Coast just before 6 p.m.

I think Harold Camping is worse than the ordinary mugger. Some time ago I was listening to interviews on NPR with victims Bernie Madoff, the pyramid king. They felt so betrayed, and self-blaming. It’s really nasty to win someone’s trust and do that to them. Fitzpatrick sounds like a vulnerable man who had the bad luck to be cleaned out by a con man.

According to CNN Money Harold Camping has millions– more than enough to restore Robert Fitzpatrick’s life savings and whoever else he has particularly screwed over. He also holds enough FCC broadcasting licenses to make him a media baron. That’s really scary.

We need to re-think this religious tax exemption thing. I’m all for giving tax breaks to charitable and religious organizations that serve the community, but we shouldn’t let every con man who comes along build a tax-free empire. Even Jesus paid taxes. It’s in the Bible.

I truly feel sorry for Robert Fitzpatrick and all the others who gave money to this crook. But then again, Mr. Fitzpatrick looked forward to my imminent torment and death in the Great Tribulation. Even so, he’ll have the benefit of secular programs like Social Security and Medicare. The people who help him will be accountable in a way that failed prophets are not.

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4 responses

  1. You know, in honor of the occasion, I went back and re-read Revelation. You know your Bible, ninjanurse, so what did I miss?

    What they described–rolling earthquakes and the world gone by October just doesn’t fit the description of what I read. Where was the Antichrist? The Beast from the Sea? The Woman with the Starry Crown? The Serpent, the ancient enemy? The thousand years?

    And what, pray tell, was he calculating?

    It’s almost enought to make me thing he hasn’t actually read the book. Maybe he did the Cliff Notes?

  2. You got it, Klaus. And doesn’t the Bible rock as a work of exciting literature compared to the vapid images of people in their Sunday best being vacuumed up into an eternal church service?
    I experienced eternity in this life, during a service at Guiding Star Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. They invited a guest minister who had not been in the pulpit for a while, and he hated to give it up. Approximately four hours of which the last two were his exit. The Lord sustained us to walk the extra mile with him, and there were no casualties.

    1. Robert Crumb did an amazing rendition of the Book of Genesis in graphic form-it wasn’t a parody or anything-really just as valid as any medieval work of religious art.
      Actually,Crumb’s people seem to look more like who really lived there in those times.
      I can’t imagine him turned loose on the Book of Revelation.
      I really don’t get how people are gulled by individuals like this guy.
      Remember when Oral Roberts said God had demanded a million dollars or he’d “call Roberts home”?He raised the money!!
      What would God need with a million dollars?
      Maybe I get what you said about “Starhawk” not being rich now.
      A “spiritual”leader probably shouldn’t be too wealthy,although I wouldn’t expect them to necessarily take an oath of poverty.

      1. I’m a fan of Robert Crumb, and his partner in crime, Aline Kominsky.
        I think someone tried to bring a class action suit against Oral Roberts, because he didn’t raise the money yet he was still alive.
        I wish someone would do that to Harold Camping.

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