Back in September I received a slickly-produced brochure in the mail. The cover read, “The Appearing: Are you ready?” Oh boy, here we go. I immediately sensed religious crackpottery…surely it was about to tell me about an upcoming event with earth-shattering implications! At first I wondered why they called it “The Appearing.” It’s not a very dramatic title, is it? Hmmm, I don’t appear impressed. Since they’re obviously referring to end-times crapola, I think they could have used a title with a little more oomph, but oh well. I especially liked the font they used, which just has that religious look to it, as well as the cross they substituted for the “T”, which is obviously not part of the font so they had to fudge it.
Anyway, I normally toss this peepeecaca in the trash right away, but after taking a look inside, it was so ludicrous that I immediately wanted to dissect and ridicule it a little. Or a lot. (NOTE: Click the photos to enlarge!)
Opening up the brochure we see that they’re hawking a five-part lecture, each one on a different day:
- A Planet in Upheaval: Tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, floods…what in the world is going on? Wow, that’s scary! I mean, this planet never had tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, floods, volcanoes, or even hurricanes in all its millions of years of existence…until recently. Now they’re all happening, and it’s because THE APPEARING is imminent! Save us, Baby Jesus!
- Planet Earth’s Final Battle: Revelation speaks of a final conflict. How does it affect you? A final conflict, eh? Will it be on pay-per-view? Drat, I don’t have cable…
- The Appearing: What ancients saw, you will experience! Oh boy! I love new experiences. However, there have been plenty of movies made about what the ancients supposedly saw, so this experience had better be good. I mean, Jesus can hardly outdo Mel Gibson.
- When History Repeats Itself: Does a Midieval cover-up threaten your future? Hidden truths! Forbidden knowledge! WooOooOoOOooo! Spooky stuff. Gotta appeal to those conspiracy-minded folks out there who think they’re about to be let in on a Big Secret.
- The Day After: Where will you be the day after the appearing? Oh, I’ll still be here. With the sane people. Y’all go on without me, I’ll catch up later.
This five-night festival of twaddlecock was put together by televangelist Shawn Boonstra, who runs a T.V. ministry called It Is Written. (His co-pastor is named Mark Finley. Amusingly, we have a somewhat notorious drag queen here in Seattle with the same name. Coincidence??) And it wasn’t even until the back page that I realized that it wasn’t even a live lecture, but rather a video special via satellite. They beamed this thing into churches all over North America, spreading religious fear and paranoia from city to city. How nice of them. And how disappointing, though maybe it’s better to do it this way in order to avoid those pesky questions that people might stand up and ask…
Their fancy website is loaded with more scare-mongering silliness, enhanced with video and sound effects via Macromedia Flash. There’s even a DVD in the works, oh joy! It’s all very slick and stylish, and it simply creeps me out to think how much money was spent on this giant production rather than poor families or children needing medical care. You know, stuff that Christians are supposed to care about. They’ll say, “Oh, but we have to warn you about what’s coming! Jesus! Destruction! Any day now! Really!” Yeah, yeah, yeah…all that crap is in Revelations. It’s old news. Time to start giving to your community, not scaring the shit out of them.