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The rapture and the media

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by burk48237, May 21, 2011.

  1. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Note: this is not intended to be a religious discussion, which is against the rules in OT, more a discussion about how the media covers religion. And how we react to that coverage.

    TNR had an interesting take on the media coverage of the Rapture prophet and I tend to agree. The coverage is intended in some ways as a self aggrandizing "we're not as stupid as them" coverage. In fairness the guy did buy billboards to announce the end, but to add to TNR the story also fits the meme of the ignorant, suspicious fundamentalist much like the way over covered Fred Phelps. This meme seems to guarantee attention by our media. This despite the fact that a majority of those who call themselves Christians aren't fundamentalist and a vast majority of even the fundamentalists don't agree with the Phelps and Campings of the world.

    The other thing I find interesting about the coverage is how harmless this group is (except to themselves). There is no one in this group making bomb belts for toddlers or preparing a batch of Sarin for the Tokyo rail system. So much for the "all fundamentalists are the same argument".

    The Media's Shameful Obsession With The Rapture | The New Republic
  2. Good points.
  3. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I think part of it is also the traffic Jam to see an accident mentality. I mean I get that it's a story, I just think it's gotten far to much attention.
  4. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    News is about extremes, good or bad. It's rare that the status quo gets coverage. Editorializing is also extremely common, and it's hard to avoid doing so when you've got a subject that's "good" news fodder and less emotionally taxing than the more common extremist elements.

    Is it good journalism? Probably not, but it fits in perfectly with the bulk of our news coverage.
  5. Simo98


    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    Realistically I think its a pretty light-hearted topic for the news that isn't really all that serious for a huge majority of us, and anyone who did believe that the rapture was coming wouldn't care what the news thought anyway.

    I don't think its really newsworthy, but as far as a story that appeals to a wide audience, and isn't particularly damaging or controversial, I don't have a problem with it personally.
  6. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    "gleeful in knowing the exact day when these people will experience their life’s greatest disappointment."

    LOL, that's using myopia in the service of shameless guilt-tripping. How many times has Camping predicted the rapture now? Does every single failure count as these folks' "greatest disappointment" to The New Republic?;)

    The author conveniently leaves out the fact that a lot of coverage has centered around Camping's repeated failed predictions and the fact that he's using them to bilk people out of their hard-earned money.
  7. I am everything that that quote describes... and still totally cool with it ;).
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Eschatologists and other prophets for the end of the World are a danger to society, especially for gullible or weak people.
    It lead more than once to people ruining their lives, commiting suicide or various crimes.
    The media should always treat them as such rather than joking about their behaviors.
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In addition, eschatology and foreign policy are probably a bad mix.
  10. I live 40 miles from that demented idiot in Boulder who started this.

    Hopefully he will retire now.

    Barnum was right - there really IS a sucker born every minute.

    Maybe some of those people will now realize just what fools they have been and gain some common sense....which is the least common attribute these days.
  11. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    My daughter had her 16-year birthday party last night. Her friends all went to sort of big sandpit area behind our house to "wait for the rapture" there. They all thought it was great fun.

    What surprises me is how much attention all this garnered. There was absolutely nothing unusual or interesting that I ever heard of about this particular end-is-nigh prediction. It was really pretty pedestrian. But for some reason, it was all over the media and the internet and everyone was bubbling about faux rapture parties. Quack preachers predict an imminent end of the world all the time. Why did THIS particular case hit the popular consciousness this way?
  12. ^^^ If it became such a big news story, it must have piqued a lot of people's curiosity. IMO people are afraid and are looking for a major event to change everything from the way it is now.

    If this story, which is based on nothing out of the ordinary, made such an impact, then what will happen during Dec 2012? A lot of people are convinced that something will happen, and the predictions are not coming from just one source. I'm not saying that I believe in doomsday prophecies, but when enough people believe in them big things can happen.
  13. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Ridiculing stupidity is easy and cheap. On the other hand, if it serves to make the gullible think twice, it may serve a purpose. But unfortunately, it doesn't ever seem to impinge on people's thoughts that way.
  14. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
  15. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
    I knew as soon as I heard about this story months ago that it would be a complete waste of time. Yet the media kept talking about it, like it was a real story. It appears to me too many people in the media are too lazy to go out, do some research, and at least make an honest attempt to provide the public with actual news. This story wasn't amusing, it wasn't interesting and it was an insult to the public's intelligence in countless ways. In the meantime, areas which have been ravaged by natural disasters continue to not get the attention they deserve from the media. For some reason, talking about something completely meaningless gets the air time instead.
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Religion, as most people understand it, requires a belief in the supernatural, i.e. a belief in things that are contrary to the way we understand how the world functions. Omnipresent gods, angels, resurrections, etc. are impossible according to science as it is commonly understood. People who believe in prophets who predict the end times are simply being consistent. Unless a religious person has a spirituality that allows for a lot of symbolism and metaphor instead of literal interpretations, it is hypocritical to make fun of fundamentalists of any sort.
  17. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    You could say the same thing about Donald Trump's recent antics.
  18. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    "The Media" is business, like any other. They provide a commodity. People buy worthless "news" FAR more often than actual journalism. If people stopped buying crap, the media would stop selling it. Supply and demand.
  19. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Interestingly enough, I don't think that my favorite newspaper covered the rapture at all, or if they did, I missed it. I only found out about the rapture from online media and hallway conversations at my workplace.
  20. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I thought they were expecting the Raptor.

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