Religious faith is a source of strength in many people’s lives. But religious faith when taken too far can prove ludicrous–or disastrous.
On Oct. 22, 1844, thousand of Millerites, having sold all their possessions, climbed to the top of hills in Upstate New York to await the return of Jesus and the end of the world. They suffered “the great disappointment” when it didn’t happen.
In 1212, or so the legends go, thousands of Children’s Crusaders set off from France and Germany expecting the sea to part so they could march peaceably and convert Muslims in the Holy Land. It didn’t, and many were shipwrecked or sold into slavery.