After storm sirens blew in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Walker wrote, “There were enough signs of the last days to fill a thousand folk ballads: a drowning city, death and starvation, martial law, rumors of barbaric behavior.” One survivor told a TV news reporter that it was “kind of like the end of the world.”
Global warming alarmists use massive storms to advance their agenda, spreading their own form of end-times hysteria. Somehow, life goes on. But the lives of nearly 200 American Indians didn't continue following an 1890 massacre which sprang from reaction to the Ghost Dance movement that contained a world-ending scenario.
Since 1970, Hal Lindsey's “The Late Great Planet Earth” has sold more than 35 million copies. Its argument that Armageddon was nigh hasn't come true. Nor have the pronouncements of all the panic merchants who based predictions not on Scripture but on the religion of environmentalism or the exploitation of tragedies. The Cold War was rife with worry about world-ending destruction. That passed. But what lies behind the Islamic Curtain remains cause for concern. Also the weather.
What 9/11 and Katrina remind us of, Walker concluded, is that “the last years never quite seem to arrive. We exit apocalyptic time. A city starts to rebuild. Normal life resumes. Many people's worlds come to an end, but the world itself persists. And then the next disaster strikes from above, or the next millennial fever surges up from below. The end times never really end. It's always Armageddon somewhere.”
So raise a glass and toast the new year. It's always five o'clock somewhere.
McReynolds is The Oklahoman's Opinion editor.