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Editorial    by Royce Carlson

December 19, 1999

Millennium Madness

As the last hours of this millennium are approaching there are weird things happening. No, the lights arenít going to go out. The airplanes probably arenít going to fall out of the sky and the world wonít end (I hope!). Itís people that are getting weird.

People are flocking to Israel Ė "The Holy Land" to await Jesusí return. They think he will show up in Jerusalem or Bethlehem or somewhere on January 1st, 2000. Although hotels around the world are getting much lower sales than expected for this New Yearís Eve events, the Holy Land and Rome are going to get lots of visitors. Some will be carrying large crosses strapped to their backs and some will spontaneously rip the sheets from their hotel beds and wander the streets wrapped in them. I expect lots of admissions to mental hospitals.

I recently heard that the same thing happened a thousand years ago. There was panic about the world ending as the year 1000 was approaching. People joined monasteries in significant numbers and many were sure that Jesus would show up on January first. So, this yearís strangeness is nothing new. In fact, some group or other predicts a specific date for the end of the world each year. Some years there were several dates that the world was supposed to end on. This has been going on for at least a thousand years and probably much longer than that. Are all these predictions the ravings of the insane? Maybe. Maybe the world did end on each of those dates only it started back up again immediately.

Religious belief is a powerful force in many peopleís lives and sometimes it drives them over the edge. The more rational of us shake our heads but, really, all religion is irrational. This is a good thing. I have heard many people try to justify their religious beliefs as rational and get offended if their rationality is questioned. One of the mainstream paradigms of western society is the worship of rationality, logic, and the scientific method. The rational mind is only a very small part of who and what we are. The irrational mind is where creativity, genius and heroism come from. A rational world would be stagnant and extremely boring.

So, this New Yearís Eve, put on some funny clothes, dance a funny dance and do something weird to bring in the third millennium. And donít expect Jesus to show up. Heís not coming this year. How do I know? Because my wife and I are God.

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