Friday, May 05, 2006

How Bad Theology can Kill You

I make no claims about the historical veracity of the following story. I strongly suspect it is just a story, not a report of fact. It was sent to me by a student who thought it was a true story, but I have not been able to confirm its authenticity. So, caveat emptor! If it is a true story it is enormously sad and tragic, and shows how bad theology can kill you. If it is only a fictious story it is enormously hilarious... and shows how bad theology can kill you.

" A Little Rock woman was killed yesterday after leaping through her moving car's sunroof during an incident best described as a 'mistaken rapture' by dozens of eye-witnesses. Thirteen other people were injured after a twenty car pile-up resulted from people trying to avoid hitting the woman, who was apparently convinced the rapture was occuring when she thought she saw twelve people floating into the air, and then passed a man on the side of the road who she believed was Jesus. "She started screaming 'He's back! He's back!' and climbed out through the sun roof and jumped off the roof of the car." said Everet Williams, husband of 28 year-old Georgeann Williams who was pronounced dead at the scene. I was slowing down but she wouldn't wait until I stopped," Williams said. "She thought the rapture was happening and was convinced that Jesus was gonna lift her up into the sky," he went on to say.

"This is the strangest thing I've seen since I have been on the force," said Paul Mason, first officer on the scene. Madison questioned the man who looked like Jesus and discovered that he was on the way to a costume party, when the tarp covering the bed of his pickup truck came loose and released twelve blow-up sex dolls filled with helium, which then floated into the sky. Ernie Jenkins, 32, of Fort Smith, who has been told several times by his friends he looks like Jesus, pulled over and lifted his arms into the air in frustration saying 'Come back, come back,' just as the Williams car passed him. Mrs. Williams was sure it was Jesus lifting people up into heaven as they drove by Jenkins. When asked for comments about the twelve sex dolls, Jenkins replied 'This is all just too weird for me. I never expected anything like this to happen.'"


Ruud Vermeij said...

This definitely is a urban legend. With some minor googling I found this link.

"This piece was originally authored by Elroy Willis, whose intent, he swears, was purely humorous. He published it on his tongue-in-cheek "Religion in the News" Web page on August 2, 2001. Since then it has circulated far and wide, sans byline, via forwarded email."

RC said...

whew! glad that's not real...because it's crazy and would be very very sad.

--RC of

Ben Witherington said...

Thanks one and all for helping me track this down.... and so, its hysterical fiction, and still makes the same point.


Unknown said...

Another good site for checking such things is at Truth or Fiction: Here's their page on this story.

Mike Todd said...

Still - better safe than sorry. This is why I'm studying theology!

-B said...

Sounds like something for "Lark News," "The Holy Observer" or "The Onion." Point taken though.