Just an observation:
Obviously the end-times whackos proclaiming that God is going to destroy the earth this weekend because of some crazed interpretation of an equally-crazed prophecy from their Bible are ludicrous. They deserve all the ridicule they are reaping, and all that is to come when their prophecy fails. But their beliefs are almost exactly identical to the beliefs of millions of “ordinary” fundamentalists who also expect the “Rapture” to suck them up to heaven because they’re so special, while God smites the rest of us because we’re not; the only difference being that they named a particular date for it to occur. And further, while (as many people don’t realize) the “Rapture” is actually a minority belief among mainstream Christians*, it too is merely an overly-literal version of the general expectation of pie in the sky by and by for “the elect”, and pitchforks and sulfur for everyone not like them, that defines the religion.
In other words, the only difference between the nuts preparing for the end this weekend and the nuts preparing for the end at an unspecified date is that this week’s nuts were prepared to put their beliefs in empirically testable form. And they’ll be wrong, of course, but so will the others. The mainstreamers, however, will be able to retain their smug certainty in exactly the same crazy beliefs simply because they refuse to state test conditions under which those beliefs could be seen to be right or wrong. Or, to put that another way: mainstream Christians are less rational than the craziest people in the country right now.
* There are also bizarrely complicated in-fights over whether Jesus is going to save all the fundies and smite all the rest, or smite all the rest and then save all the fundies, as well as over exactly how long the smiting will go on, so not all Rapturizers have identical beliefs, but they’re equally crazy.