So. Browsing through Netflix, I decided - for some reason - to start watching "Waiting for Armageddon." It's dealing with peoples' beliefs about the Rapture and the "End times." And the things I've seen in just the first... maybe twenty minutes? of this are just - sickening and saddening.
For those who, for whatever reason, have no idea what I'm talking about, the Rapture is basically Jesus coming back and snagging his followers to - quote - "live in the clouds." Which I've always been inclined to take poetically, versus "Crap, run guys, 747 coming through." After which we get teh Antichrist ruling, rivers turning to blood, etc. and then a final battle.
But it's not just that BS (and that if people actually looked, their "end times" describes... all of history, and the return was supposed to be in the disciples' lifetimes) that bothers me. No. It's this mother and her daughters.
She's talking about how one won't get married, how another (who might be a grandkid, I just haven't watched that far in) will never get their drivers' license - and the absolute crushing of these girls who are upset that their grandparents had all these stories to tell, had nice long lives, and yet "I'll never be able to see the world, to have a family, to have these stories to tell them, because Jesus is coming."
How fucking twisted. When an atheist - or a-religionist, I suppose, even antireligionist - talks about religion being child abuse? This is the sort of crap that is being talked about. These kids *have no hope* of a long life. They expect to be gone before they're in their mid-20s.
And really, think about it - how does this affect someone's view of the world? Global warming? Not a problem, we'll be gone soon and the devil will make it worse! Conservation? For what? Save for the future? Why, when there is no future?
I look back and I used to believe in this. Fervently. I probably mentioned being part of a decidedly fundamentalist Baptist church. I *believed* this... but at least I still planned for the future. I wanted a wife and kids, a good career, someone to grow old with. But my view at the time was "Yes, it could happen at any point... but until then, I need to live my life as best I can." Not ... this.
I just can't understand how people can do that to their kids. Or themselves. And they'll likely still turn around and say "Religion gives hope." What I hear in these families is not hope. And it's heartbreaking.