Politics, Sex, Religion, and all those impolite Human Conversations...

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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Monday, December 06, 2004

Consider the lilies of the field...

Why even bother with changing the Social Security system?

Why even bother saving? The end of the world is nigh! If you're a firm-believer why worry about the future, just leave the deficit, the climate-change, and the war along with your clothes when you're raptured, just like these godly folk: Sect took out loans in preparation for doomsday, helping to bring down small bank
For more than a decade, a 9,000-member polygamist sect that believed civilization was about to end was borrowing money like there was no tomorrow.


Ultimately, the bad loans -- along with the embezzlement of nearly $5 million by the bank's head cashier -- would lead to the collapse of the 99-year-old bank. Regulators shut it down in June at a cost of millions to shareholders and ordinary depositors who had nothing to do with the sect.


Keith Church, who joined the bank as president in 2000, said that after it failed, he learned from several people in the business community that sect members had taken a secret oath in 2000 to borrow as much money as they could to prepare for the day that civilization -- along with the financial markets -- collapsed.


Church said he puts much of the blame for the bank's failure on a lack of aggressive oversight by regulators. He said he was trying to clean up the mess by calling in bad loans and lining up investors when the state shut the place down.

However, their actions were not without consequences and probably not even in line with the Lord's desires. But hey, some churches think it's OK, following the logic of living each day like it's your last.
With the collapse, 13 of 30 bank employees lost their jobs and pensions, and some must sell their houses. The bank's failure also left 50 uninsured depositors, including turkey farmers, the Chevy dealer and a state college, with a combined $3.6 million in losses. Many were small-business owners who learned too late that deposits over $100,000 are uninsured.

Now I am not dissing anyone's belief - just pointing out the curious contradictions I've seen in millenarian groups.

It reminds of a poem I read over 20 years ago (if anyone knows the source, please let me know). From what I remember (I doubt I can do it justice) here is the gist:

I was riding to work on the bus with the usual passengers. When a someone gets on the bus and tells us the end of the world is here! For some reason we believe him and soon we are all naked and making love to one another...In the aisles, in the seats, and even hanging by the straps...With no thought of status or beauty.

The next morning, on the bus to work, everyone was ashamed and refused to look at each other. Then someone yells, "So what if the world didn't end, we should act like it is..." We all look up and saw the truth of that in each others eyes, and soon we are all naked and making love to one another...In the aisles, in the seats, and even hanging by the straps...With no thought of status or beauty.

Well the world didn't end, though it seems like it's beginning to...

In other words, if you act like it's the end of the world you just might bring it about.

All things considered, that's a scary thought...