Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Apocalypse Now

For most of my life, from time to time, I have seen cartoons in magazines satirizing street corner prophets of an apocalypse. The usual caricature is of a scruffy man, in a shabby robe with a long scraggly beard carrying a sign which reads "The End is Near" or some such.

Well, it's early morning and I am not carrying a placard as I start this piece. I am in a robe (bath) but I don't have a long beard although I am as of yet unshaven. I don't have a placard but I do have a blog and a computer. However, I have just read a piece on the web from the morning New York Times by Thomas Friedman, and so here's my message: "The End is Near."

Four years ago I began work on my book The Coming of the Quantum Christ. At the very end of my introduction, I described Science as being both Christ and Anti-Christ and raised the question of whether the scientific study of the Shroud of Turin could be the "Coming of a Quantum Christ." It was a rhetorical question. By the time I got to Chapter 17 of the book in the spring of 2014, the question was no longer rhetorical because there was in 2014 a flood of scientific reports from a wide variety of sources that climate change was real and its devastating effects were already being felt in a multitude of places. Time is running out.

Today, as I read Friedman's article my conclusion is that while time may not have completely run out, the end is fast approaching. I crammed a great deal into Chapter 17 because the principal focus of the Quantum Christ is the authenticity of the Shroud and, if authentic, its meaning. One of the items I touched on in that chapter was the claim that climate change was causing war. Some are dubious. Be dubious no more.

Friedman's Time's piece is dealing with the unprecedented heat wave that has struck the Middle East this year with a heat index as high as 163°. Millennia old sources of water are drying-up and disappearing. Governments in Iraq and Iran, among others, seem to be powerless. Electricity, and thus air conditioning, is rationed.

I am not a fundamentalist Christian. If anything, I guess I am a disciple of paleontologist and Jesuit priest Peirre Teilhard de Chardin. To a certain extent so too is Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and, I surmise, Francis, the first Jesuit Pope.

Michelle Bachman is a former member of Congress, briefly a 2012 candidate for President, and professed fundamentalist Christian. In a radio interview last April, she rejoiced that Obama was actually bringing on the "End of Times" [the Apocalypse] and what a privilege it was to be alive at this moment.

Needless to say, I am not as "rapturous" as Ms. Bachman about the onset of the Apocalypse. I do believe that Pope Francis is a prophet of apocalypse and is endeavoring to avoid it. His prophecy Laudato Si is addressed not only to Roman Catholics but to all humanity. His message has reached, and been embraced by some fundamentalists, Jewish rabbis, Buddhists and humanists.  On Tuesday, August 18, Islamic leaders from 20 countries after a two day symposium issued an Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change.

Echoing Pope Francis prophetic Laudato Si but placing it in an Islamic context it began:

"God – Whom we know as Allah – has created the universe in all its diversity, richness and vitality: the stars, the sun and moon, the earth and all its communities of living beings. All these reflect and manifest the boundless glory and mercy of their Creator. All created beings by nature serve and glorify their Maker, all bow to their Lord’s will. We human beings are created to serve the Lord of all beings, to work the greatest good we can for all the species, individuals, and generations of God’s creatures."

To my fundamentalist brothers and sisters in Christianity: Do not rejoice in "End of Times" but continue to ameliorate the miseries visited on humanity with the self sacrifices that so many of you have demonstrated. The message of our Gospel is that ultimately we will be judged not by what we do for ourselves but what we do for our neighbors who are in need. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ made clear that helping those in need was not limited to co-religionists. Our "neighbor" is all humanity.

JFK said in 1961 "on this Earth, God's work must truly be our own." Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar some 400 years before: "The fault lies not in our stars but in ourselves." I take my prophets and prophecies where I find them.

This post is not intended as a sales pitch for Quantum Christ, but if you are interested in Quantum Christ check out

No comments: