This is an actual sign in the window of a local Mexican fast food place.Â There is an idea floating around our Freethinker list serve that next time several of us will park our cars beside the Interstate, leave a door open and put a sign in the window, RAPTURED.
While there is much fun to be had over the phony prediction,Â there areÂ sad things as well.Â I read on the web that several of the guy’s followers sold all their stuff and were ready to “die”.Â
It is always sobering to see the effect religious leaders can have over their followers.Â Â In the last few decades, we have seen a few mass suicides lead by such people.Â
There are dozens of stories of people taken into religious cults.Â Parents, whoÂ take their childrenÂ away fromÂ these cults find it requires extensive deprograming.Â Such is the power ofÂ personalities and ideas.
It’s also encouraging to see religious leaders who are aware of the potential they have for power over people and make certain they do not exercise it.Â I saw Jay Bakker interviewed a while back and he alluded to the care that needs to be taken in handling this problem.
Fortunately, the religious leaders who do harm is a tiny minority.Â Â Pastors and priestsÂ are mostly wonderful people who work in a difficult profession.
Bad things seem to happen when a bad religious leader findsÂ weak and vulnerable followers.