I have bad news and even worse news. The bad news - the world will end on December 21, 2012. The really bad news - it'll be one month too late to spare us the excesses of the 2012 Presidential election.
At least that's what some loony astrology types are saying, as reported in this week's New York Times Sunday Magazine. The date comes from an interpretation of the Mayan calendar, which represents their belief that the time is cyclical and that day marks the end of one earth cycle. Not to get down too hard on the Mayans (and the New Age hucksters who leach onto them), but we've been down this road before:
Gnostics predicted the imminent arrival of God’s kingdom as early as the first century; Christians in Europe attacked pagan territories in the north to prepare for the end of the world at the first millennium; the Shakers believed the world would end in 1792; there was a “Great Disappointment” among followers of the Baptist preacher William Miller when Jesus did not return to upstate New York on Oct. 22, 1844. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been especially prodigious with prophetic end dates: 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994.I personally wouldn't put too much stock in this one, either, tho' the article detailing the movement is an interesting read.
Gotta' admire the Hovah's ability to get back on the apocalypse horse and try again, huh?