05/25/2011 10:09 am ET | Updated Jul 25, 2011

Annie-1, Bible-0. The Sun Did Come Out Tomorrow

This is bad, and I deeply apologize. But I don't have anything written this week. I had intended to do something, really - I had a great story item about Sarah Palin, too - but then, because the end of the world was going to be Saturday I figured, hey, why bother? No one's going to be around to read it. So, I blew it off. Who would know?

And then the worst thing possible happened. The world didn't end. I am extremely upset. This is not my fault. Well-known, reliable religious zealots had proof - and proof from the Bible. The Bible!! If you can't believe the Bible and the most devout religious zealots, what can you believe? This is all on them. Not me. But I'm still sorry. And feel awful.

I doubt the religious zealots will feel awful, though. They never seem to about their own actions, like protesting at funerals of sinners. They're only distraught over others, which is the big selling point of religious zealotry. So, they won't feel bad about getting the end of the world wrong - again. And again and again and again. They'll say they just mis-read the Bible (again) or misinterpreted the word of God (again) or got their math wrong (again), because they're just human. Ironically, being human is the same thing they're always slamming the rest of the human race about.

Unfortunately, when the world doesn't end, it's the rest of us still around who have to clean up the mess the far right religious zealots always leave behind.

No doubt, for instance, it's because the Tennessee senate also believed the world would end on Saturday that that's why they voted for their "Pretend that Homosexuals Don't Exist" Law. They must have been dead-on certain that no one would be around afterwards to actually live with a law that shamefully intolerant. Because no one can really be that soul-crushingly intolerant, can they? I mean, unless you're a far right religious zealot.

(Tennessee, of course, has a long tradition of far right, close-minded, religious zealotry. Their Scopes Monkey Trial in 1920 was a classic, when a school teacher, John Scopes, was arrested and jailed for merely teaching the theory of evolution.)

That's the way far right religious zealots tend to operate, same as getting their latest, end-of-the-world "Whoops!" thing wrong. By forbidding schools to acknowledge that homosexuals exist everywhere on the planet (something even the Bible acknowledges), far right religious zealots of the Tennessee senate mis-read the Bible and misinterpret the word of God for their own purposes - as always. And the rest of human society risks arrest and prison by mentioning that you saw Elton John host Saturday Night Live.

In fairness, one can be excused for misinterpreting the Bible, even those who mightily claim a "literal" reading of it. After all, those "literal" words were actually written originally in Hebrew, Aramaic and ancient Koine Greek. And they, in turn, have been translated hundreds of different ways; in thousands of different languages, dialects and vernaculars;, in tens of thousands of different Bibles; giving hundreds of thousands of different meanings. Not just yours.

Insisting you and you alone know The Truth isn't what makes a person "correct," it's what makes you a far right religious zealot.

It's the same far right zealotry that turns state legislatures into de facto churches, presided over by politicians passing themselves as de facto priests, imposing religious doctrine as secular law on all people, regardless of someone else's personal faith. The same far right religious zealotry that got Texas politicians to play clergymen and pass a restrictive law against women on abortion, regardless of a woman's own, different religious belief. The same far right religious zealotry that got Wyoming to pass an even more repressive abortion law, one so demeaning to women that the state senate tried to hide it in the Agriculture Committee!

They all grow from the same seed. The end of the world ravings, the protesting at funerals, the prohibition against even discussing homosexuals, the restrictions of legal abortions for women, the arrests for teaching evolution. And more. They all are cousins. They all come from imperfect, intolerant humans - who struggle to understand the instructions for their DVR while insisting that they understand perfectly the word of God Almighty in the Bible, and that they, and they alone, demand to impose their flawed, fallible, yet somehow 100%-certain religious belief upon the governmental laws of earthly men and women, whatever others' own beliefs.

It's all the same hubris that grows from thinking they and they alone are God's messenger on earth. Because they understand what God means in all the depth of His divine wisdom and mysterious ways. Ignoring that "My thoughts are not your thoughts, sayeth the Lord." (Isaiah 55:8-9) - because He's God, and they're...well, not.

Good people the world over find solace devoutly following the word of God. What one's personal religious beliefs are, those are sacred, important - and personal. Imposing them on others, however, that's zealotry. And un-American. Worse, it's hate-filled.

For all those who are appalled by the words and thoughts expressed here, I understand. But just think -- if only the world ended on Saturday exactly like the Bible said, you would have blissfully missed them all.


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