Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Bad News of Jesus Christ

Yesterday morning, my alarm woke me as it always does, at 5:40 AM.  Ah, the joy of having a high-schooler with a crazy early schedule.

My clock radio is an ancient Sony the color of milk and caramel.  It's a DreamSmasher, or something to that effect.  It dates back to the mid 1980s, so it chargeth not my iPhone nor hath it any connectors, but it still gets the job done, dadblangit.  It wakes me either with a totally uncustomizable alarm klaxon, which works but is horrible, or by turning on the radio, which is a bit better.  I keep it set to the FM news station that pitches us traffic and weather on the eights.

It's good to know what's going on.

So when I woke, I woke to a conversation between a guest and a host, talking about the departure of the Pope.  They were talking about a potential replacement for Benedict, and going through a list of Cardinals who might be tapped to be the Servus Servorum Dei.

The guest seemed excited about a particular Italian Cardinal, who he was reasonably sure had a shot at it.

"I see what you mean," said the host.  "That could totally work.  So, if he does get chosen, when do you think that Rome will be destroyed?"

And I said, Hwwaaaaat?

Although the non-digital dial did not show it, I must have bumped the knob that adjusts the radio overnight, nudging it slightly up the dial.  I was no longer on 103.5 FM.  This was a Christian station.

The conversation went on, with both the guest and the caller actively speculating on the likelihood that the city of Rome would be destroyed by a small asteroid in the next few months.  "It seems that's where we're headed," said the host.  "That's certainly what the prophecy suggests," said the guest, citing some bits of John of Patmos.

They seemed sort of bouncy about it, excited that this papal transition might be a harbinger of the end times.   They were particularly excited at the prospect that an ancient, historic city, one currently home to two point eight million human beings, might imminently be obliterated by a large hunk of space rock.

What this sort of apocalypse-porn fantasizing has to do with being a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth is utterly beyond me.  If you were unfamiliar with what Jesus taught, and this was your first encounter with Christianity, what would this say?