Christ Comes to Omaha

Look, I know you probably already know this, but you should be really, really careful what you search for on the internet. If you’re searching crap like “end of the world,” “Omaha,” and “Jesus Coming,” you should be really, really, really careful. That’s pretty much the information-economy equivalent of walking in to a frat party at 3am with a revolver and saying, “Man, I am so wasted! Who wants to play Russian Roulette? I’ll even go first! Man, how many bullets am I supposed to put in this gun — five? Six? Let’s say six.”

It’s gotten far worse in the last year. Now that Google Instant wreaks havoc with all my precautions, I have to go the extra mile. When I have to look something up on the Scary Box, I usually strap on a baseball catcher’s helmet and chest protector before I even start typing. Which I neglected to do this time…and look what it got me!

Poster from last year from an Anglican church in Auckland, New Zealand.

No, it is not the new billboards in Omaha proclaiming Christ’s return in May; the above is a poster from an Anglican church in Auckland, New Zealand, and it’s from last year.

Get it? It’s about Joseph giving it to Mary, apparently in a somewhat ho-hum manner compared to the Big Mister, who apparently according to these particular Anglicans was just joking about that whole “virgin birth” thing and figured, Hey, I made ’em, right? So a little Prima Nocte action — no big deal, right?

Kiwis got kind of hopped up over it. Apparently some guy flipped out and tried to paint it with brown paint — yada, yada. It has less than nothing to do with the Omaha billboard, which has completely misled the reader on, for what purpose I couldn’t even begin to guess. My speculation is that it’s because it’s not a real site, it’s some kind of bullshit parasitic aggregator that, in my day, we would have called a scrubber and drop-kicked across Creation.

But I don’t really care enough to research that shit, and besides, this catcher’s mask is getting hot.

Anyway, back to Omaha. The eight billboards that went up in the Omaha area are from, a project of Family Radio, which has some provocative ideas about what you do when someone turns out to be completely wrong about something. Apparently, you believe the next thing they say without reservation. According to

The main idea is that the Rapture and the Day of Judgment will occur on May 21.

“This is not a joke. We take it very seriously,” said Tom Evans, a spokesman for Family Radio.

Harold Camping, Family Radio’s founder, came up with the date based on calculations he made using information he gleaned from the Bible, Evans said.

“I’ve never met anyone more diligent in studying the Bible” than Camping, Evans said.

In 1992, Evans said, Camping published a book called “1994?” in which he laid out his belief that Jesus would return in September 1994.

“That obviously was wrong,” Evans said.

“The real lesson of ’94 was not so much that he was wrong, but ‘What is truth? Where do you find truth?’” he said. “Study the Scriptures and the Spirit of God will guide you into the truth.”

I’m probably going out on a limb here, but I think “The real lesson of ’94” is, in fact, that “he was wrong.”

If an airline mechanic pulled that shit, would people be putting up billboards proclaiming: “Lazy Larry’s Discount 747 Repair! Only Wrong Once in 17 Years!”

Or to use an example many Techyum readers can doubtless relate to, if a police officer pulled me over at 3am and said:

“Have you been drinking?”

And I said, “No way, Officer! Not a drop!”

…and I was given a breathalyzer and proved to have a blood alcohol of .0192, I would still not be anywhere near drunk enough to say:

“Officer the real lesson of tonight is not so much that I’m drunk, but ‘What is a margarita?'”

It would not go well.

And if the same cop pulled me over 17 years later in the same car and said, “Aren’t you the guy I busted for DUI a long time ago? Have you been drinking this time?”

…and I said:

“Officer the real question isn’t, ‘Have I been drinking,” but, ‘What is a Scotch-and-soda?'”

…I’m guessing I’d be standing on one foot and touching my nose, and very possibly falling down. Even if my friends in the back seat told the officer in question: “We’ve never met anyone more diligent in using turn signals.”

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