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(Anthony Jenkins/The Globe and Mail)
(Anthony Jenkins/The Globe and Mail)

Drawn Off Topic

Jane Siberry on 'Judgment Day' Add to ...

Singer-songwriter Jane Siberry is one of the artists appearing Saturday, May 14, at Bluebird North All-Star Edition, Koerner Hall, Toronto. Her latest release is With What Shall I Keep Warm.

A fringe U.S. evangelical Christian group, Family Radio, has erected billboards around the world advising that Judgment Day will occur on May 21. How will you be judged?

Anything to do with judgment is a misnomer. I don't believe in a God that furthers separation. I believe the greater power, so to speak, is not about nor being separate, and judgment automatically separates people.

Why not judge? Does someone who has been a nasty person all their life deserve the same fate as someone who lived life doing good?

I think judgment is from within. It's not a God judging. Someone who is nasty - they're the one who has to sleep at night.

Do you expect Judgment Day in a week - or do these people have it wrong?

I don't think it is going to happen then. I hope not. I have way too much to do.

Assume they have it right and the world is going to end on May 21. What will you do to prepare?

A very wise elder once told me "finish hoeing the row." In other words, keep on track no matter what is going to happen. So I'd say you keep doing your own thing. All of us. Do whatever you can to stay on track.

As far as I understand, the Second Coming is already here. It's a consciousness. It is not someone who is going to arrive and land in a clearing in the forest. The Hell that they talk of is going to be people creating their own unhappiness, a Hell on Earth.

The Second Coming is seen as a time of salvation for "true believers." What do you believe in?

To me that kind of separatist thinking is not at all what Jesus or other avatars taught. I don't give it any credence. It is the same kind of thinking that is intolerant toward any kind of difference. I'd like to change the term Judgment Day to Non- Separation Day … no, Non-Judgment Day! That's better! I'm looking forward to when Non-Judgment Day comes.

It seems to me that the more adjectives used in describing a religious group - radical, fundamentalist, evangelical, splinter, fringe, etc. - the more remote from reality they are. Nutbars … or is that judgmental?

Yeah, it is. It doesn't come from a greater understanding. "Fringe" just means less than a certain percentage of the population is aware of it. Lots of really good things could be defined as fringe. If I told you some of the things I believe, you'd probably think I was a nutbar. It is all relative.

We now have access to many more ideas well beyond the mainstream. Family Radio is part of that and doing a very good job of disseminating their views. They have erected 2,000 billboards in 40 countries - and in 17 cities in Canada - warning of imminent judgment and doomsday.

What are they saying is the end is at hand, get your house in order. That I believe. I feel it for myself. Its time to get my house in order. I see that around me too.

Assuming they are right and you have a week to get your house in order. To what do you attend first?

I'd make sure I apologized and I'd make sure I told people I loved them.

The Second Coming presumes the return of Jesus Christ. Who would you prefer to come back?

My Mom, Shirley Stewart, although she is probably so busy wherever she is she wouldn't have time. I'd like to see the Second Coming in every one of us. That we all be Jesus. That we all embody that consciousness.

Religious people seem to prefer an actual man to come back, not a concept. They're expecting the long-haired, bearded, down-from-the-cross Son of God.

Well that's because they forget that he's black. And Jewish.

Believers are going to get a big shock on May 21 then. Jesus is black and Jewish and the world will be ending in cataclysm to boot.

You won't know what to look at. Oh my gosh, it is going to be stressful!

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