And now back from the Rapture to current global crises, still underway…

This sobering article on growing concerns about the security of Pakistan’s growing nuclear arsenal — not to mention concern over the very Pakistani officials overseeing it — from the Times of India should put the fear of God into those of us breathing a sigh of relief (or chuckling) about the most recently passed End-of-Times prediction…

Pak nuke security in focus again after naval base attack

While Pakistan insists that its “crown jewels” are under foolproof security, at the heart of the debate is worry that they are vulnerable to internal pilferage or attack by a “jihadized” military, judging by multiple attacks on military facilities by terrorists who seemingly have the inside track on security, including in the Mehran strike. A recent Wikileaks cable citing Pakistani military officials admitting sabotage of F-16s by “Islamists amongst the enlisted ranks” has added to the concern.

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What the anointed did…

So far, no global earthquakes, no mass disappearances or people rising into the sky.

But — apparently — more disappointed confused folks than you’d like to think.

There was a young truck driver and his family that the Los Angeles Times talked to…

Keith Bauer, a 38-year-old tractor-trailer driver from Westminster, Md., took last week off from work, packed his wife, young son and a relative in their SUV and crossed the country.

If it was his last week on Earth, he wanted to see parts of it he’d always heard about but missed, such as the Grand Canyon and the Painted Forest. With maxed-out credit cards and a growing mountain of bills, he said, the rapture would have been a relief.

The LA Times reported that Bauer was philosophical.

On Saturday morning, Bauer was parked in front of the Oakland headquarters of Camping’s Family Radio empire, half expecting to see an angry mob of disenchanted believers howling for the preacher’s head. The office was closed, and the street was mostly deserted save for journalists.

Bauer said he was not bitter. “Worst-case scenario for me, I got to see the country,” he said. “If I should be angry at anybody, it should be me.”

Not everyone, however, appears to have been as philosophic in their reaction.

Others had risked a lot more on Camping’s prediction, quitting jobs, abandoning relationships, volunteering months of their time to spread the word. Matt Tuter, the longtime producer of Camping’s radio and television call-in show, said Saturday that he expected there to be “a lot of angry people” as reality proved Camping wrong.

Tuter said Family Radio’s AM station in Sacramento had been “severely vandalized” Friday night or Saturday morning, with air conditioning units yanked out and $25,000 worth of copper stripped from the equipment. He thinks it must have been an angry listener. He was off Saturday but planned to drive past the headquarters “and make sure nothing’s burning.”

Camping himself, who has given innumerable interviews in recent months, was staying out of sight Saturday. No one answered the door at his Alameda home, though neighbors said he was there.

MORE: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rapture-20110522,0,5118540.story

The New York Daily News talked to others among his followers.

Believers, like former MTA worker David Fitzpatrick, who had mortgaged their life savings for Camping’s predictions, seemed puzzled by the predicament they found themselves in. But few have blamed Camping for leading them astray – again.

“Some people were saying it was going to be an earthquake at that specific time in New Zealand and be a rolling judgment, but God is keeping us in our place and saying you may know the day but you don’t know the hour,” Marie Exley, who helped put up billboards across the Middle East, told the AP from her home in Bozeman, Montana. “The day is not over, it’s just the morning, and we have to endure until the end.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/05/21/2011-05-21_as_doomsday_passes_attention_turns_to_harold_camping_religious_leader_who_starte.html#ixzz1N2wCm2G3

 
This writer seldom gives spiritual advice in this space… actually, make that never.

But when reading any document searching for intent or messages or meanings I would say one thing: start with the big print.

Harold Camping claimed his prediction was culled from carefully sifting and correlating information from the Holy Bible and analyzing it from the point of view of his 80 plus years of Bible scholarship.

But the Bible itself says, in Matthew 24:36: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

This just in: World doesn’t end on time!

‘Judgment Day’ predictions threaten to be a bust

Damn! Er… no pun intended.

CNN Money does a number on End-o-Times predictor network Family Radio here: http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/19/news/economy/may-21-end-of-the-world-finances-harold-camping/index.htm?hpt=C2

Catholic hierarchy clears itself of wrongdoing, blames society for predator priests

Unbelievable.

That’s what I thought when I read about the Catholic Church’s long promised report on the problem of predator priests and church cover-ups of crimes by priests and the church’s long history of persecution of the victims.

According to the Los Angeles Times…

Sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the United States is a “historical problem” that has largely been resolved and that never had any significant correlation with either celibacy or homosexuality, according to an independent report commissioned by Catholic bishops — and subjected to fierce attack even before its release on Wednesday.

The report blamed the sexual revolution for a rise in sexual abuse by priests, saying that Catholic clerics were swept up by a tide of “deviant” behavior that became more socially acceptable in the 1960s and ’70s.

OK… we have the hierarchy’s excuse-making for the culture of the celibacy and the priesthood.

But to what do they attribute the shameful and often absolutely criminal misconduct of that very hierarchy in covering up crimes, over and over putting known predators back in positions where they could continue abusing children and other vulnerable persons, paying bribes and blackmail, helping criminal priests avoid prosecution, and — perhaps most despicably of all, attacking the victims and their families when they couldn’t otherwise bribe, intimidate or coerce them.

Some of the apologists for the hierarchy try to obfuscate the nature of the problem by ‘hiding’ the issue of predator priests within the more prevalent ‘problem’ of priests who violated their oathes of celibacy in consensual sexual relationships… oh, they say, the pederasts and victimizers were only a small fraction of the sinners.

Well, I’m perfectly happy to disregard those greater numbers and let the merely ‘imperfect’ work out their imperfections.

But the many in the hierarchy who facilitated and covered up the crimes of real predators?

They belong in prison with the rest of the criminals.

3 GOP Senators falsely claim to have seen official bin Laden death photo

Wotta crackup.

Not one, not two, but three Replublican U.S. Senators claimed to have seen an official photo of a dead Osama bin Laden after leaving a briefing by CIA director Leon Panetta. In the words of one-time GOP golden boy pin up model, Scott Brown, the  supposedly official photo showed bin Laden was “definitely dead.”

Which was odd, because a number of other Senators who were there, including intel committee chair Dianne Feinstein and GOP Armed Services committee top man, John McCain, said they hadn’t seen any such photo.

A day later, ‘corrections’ were being sheepishly issued.

Turns out, of course, that the Republican senators fell for one or more fake photos circulating on the internet and in email  (some of which is part of a Trojan horse strategy to distribute malware).

But some of their Democratic rivals and adversaries are pressing as to why the Senators suggested  they’d seen official photos, presumably as part of the Panetta briefing — and why, given the nature of what they did see — they were so convinced that they’d seen the real thing.

This isn’t necessarily the little peccadillo that the senators would like to make it out to be.

Brown, in particular, is being called to task for his brash assurances that he’d seen official death photos of bin Laden, as the Boston Globe notes.

In an interview after the Panetta briefing, Brown had said: “Listen, I’ve seen the picture. He’s definitely dead.”

He later issued a one sentence disclaimer saying the photos he’d seen were fakes but declined to give any details on where he’d seen them or why he had previously been so unequivocal in his implication that the photos were the real deal.

GOP Senator from Georgia, Saxby Chambliss, later said the image he’d seen was merely an “electronic image” and that it was not from an official briefing or document. Fellow Republican, Kelly Ayotte, from Brown’s neighbor state, New Hampshire later said she’d been shown the bogus photo by an unnamed senator and assumed it was real.

More:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/05/questions-abound-fake-bin-laden-photos-duped-lawmakers/

http://news.cnet.com/2300-1026_3-6033210.html

http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/05/fake-osama-bin-laden-photo-fools-senators.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/trio-of-senators-fooled-by-false-bin-laden-photo/2011/05/04/AFDaJQrF_blog.html