Posts Tagged “end of the world”

The End is Not NearI’ve blogged for well over a year about the cadaverous Bible scholar religionist crank Harold Camping and his two-pronged doomsday scenario, which failed spectacularly as of this past weekend, in spite of his insistence that it would, in fact, play out as he’d predicted. He and his organization, Family Radio, have been running silent for the last few days, in the face of that failure. But finally, the Christian Post reports, he or they have finally managed to tacitly admit that he’d been wrong (WebCite cached article):

For the past five months, Harold Camping‘s Family Radio website had posted on its main page an “explanation” of why the world did not end on May 21 and why it would truly end on Oct. 21. Four days after Camping’s failed doomsday date, however, that explanation has been removed, suggesting that Family Radio may be out of the rapture prediction business.

The move comes soon after Brandon Tauszik, a documentarian who has been attending Camping’s Oakland, Calif., church for eight months, confirmed with The Christian Post in an exclusive interview [cached] that the Bible preacher has informed those close to him that he will effectively retire.

It would have been more courageous of Camping to have overtly admitted having been wrong, rather than stealthily just deleting content from his Web site in the hope that no one will recall what he’d said. But that’s still better than what he did after the first part of his doomsday prediction (i.e. that Christ would return this past May 21) failed, when he insisted that Christ had, in fact, returned “spiritually” rather than violently in the wake of a vast, globe-spanning earthquake.

Oddly, though, the Christian Post proceeds to provide something of an apologia for the failed prophet:

Additionally, Tauszik told CP that Camping has changed his views about the possibility that one can know the exact date of the end of the world, a notion that Camping has maintained for at least 20 years; the doomsday prophet made his first public end of the world prediction in 1992, claiming the world would end in 1994.

There has been evidence of a “softer” apocalypse message from Family Radio, with more emphasis placed on perpetual readiness for judgment from God rather than a specific date on a calendar to prepare for.

Readers of this blog know that this is not true; far from “softening” his message, in the days leading up to his promised October 21, 2011 apocalypse, Camping insisted it woud still take place. I have no idea why the C.P. would choose to mischaracterize Harold Camping and his group, but they are.

Lastly, I’d like to say that I take no pleasure in the fact that Camping suffered a stroke this summer and has been forced to retire. I may find his apocalyptic religionism laughable, but don’t consider his ailment funny at all.

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Harold Camping is seen reading the Bible in his office at Family Stations Inc. offices in Oakland, California in this still image from video May 16, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Reuters TelevisionIt’s a bit after half past 9 pm where I am, which means that “the End of the World” — for me, according to the cadaverous Bible scholar religionist crank Harold S. Camping — is less than 2½ hours away. What’s more, as Reuters explains, it seems he’s trotted off somewhere in order to get himself ready for “the Big Event” (WebCite cached article):

An evangelical broadcaster whose end-of-the-world prophecy earlier this year stirred a global media frenzy has vanished from the public eye and airwaves ahead of his recalibrated doomsday date, set for Friday. …

Reached by telephone on Thursday, network spokesman Tom Evans declined to comment on Camping or his prophecies, except to say that he had “retired” as a radio host but remained chairman of the board of Family Stations Inc.

Although Camping himself and his organization has claimed to be confident that “the End” will soon be here, I’m even more confident that I will be around tomorrow just as always and that nothing will have changed all that much from tonight. I’m declaring — in advance! — that Camping will end up being proven a failed prophet. Of course, that should be news to no sane person. After all, all Biblical prophecy is 100% pure bullshit. It always was, and always will be.

Update: Hey Harold — it’s now just after midnight on the 22nd where I am. No Armageddon. You missed again!

Photo credit: Reuters / Reuters Television.

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an epic mistranslationI have to give the guy credit for being tenacious. Even in the face of the spectacular failure of his May 21, 2011Second-Coming of Jesus” prediction, Bible scholar religionist crank Harold S. Camping remains unshaken in his claim that his “prophecy” will ultimately come to pass. His had always been a two-part prediction: That Jesus Christ would return on May 21, 2011 — ushered in by a vast globe-spanning earthquake, among other “signs” — followed 6 months later, on October 21, 2011, by an even more catastrophic “End of the World.”

Obviously the events he predicted would happen this past May never took place, but afterward Camping rationalized away his failure. WIth his promised “End of the World” coming up in just a few days, as LiveScience reports, Camping remains firmly and irrationally committed to his (already-demonstrably false) crankish scenario (WebCite cached article):

The radio preacher who predicted Judgment Day on May 21 has not backed down from his claims that the end of the world is near, despite the lack of a Rapture or world-devastating earthquakes leading up to the doomsday.

In an announcement on his Family Radio Network website, Harold Camping stands by his earlier predictions that the world will end on Friday, Oct. 21. Originally, Camping had predicted hourly earthquakes and God’s judgment on May 21, to be followed by months of torment on Earth for those individuals left behind. Using numerical codes extracted from the Bible, Camping set the date for the end of everything for Oct. 21.

The article briefly explains how — in typical crankish manner — Camping redefined both the events of this past May 21, and his own prediction about it, so as to make himself still look “correct” even though he most certainly was not:

When May 21 came and went without fanfare, Camping revised his story. The “earthquakes” he had predicted did occur, he writes on his website in a post titled “What Happened on May 21?” — only instead of shaking the Earth, God shook mankind “with fear.” Likewise, although no one was raptured, God is no longer saving souls, Camping writes.

“What really happened this past May 21st?” Camping wrote. “What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what He wanted to happen.”

I’m really not surprised at the screaming irrationality that Camping exhibits. He’s invested a lot of his time and money into his doomsday predictions (including a prior one that failed to come true back in 1994). For him to just throw up his hands — after all these years and after all these predictions — and just ‘fess up to having been wrong, would obviate all of that … not to mention it would call into question whether he should consider returning the millions of dollars in donations he and his organization have collected over the past couple years, from his sheep who believed in his obviously-wrong predictions. Simple economics and personal pride, then, all but force him to insist that “the End of the World” will take place this coming Friday, October 21, 2011. He just can’t help himself. Even if the rest of us know better.

Finally, for the record, I’d like to point out something that is also demonstrable, and that is that all Biblical prophecy is bullshit. A putrid, steaming load scooped right out of the back of the barn. All “Biblical prophecies” are false! Every stinking last one of them. Every time. All the time. And it will always and forever be so, because the very words of the Bible prove it, beyond the shadow of any possible doubt. It’s not up for debate or interpretation or number-crunching or anything else — it simply is. Period.

Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker.

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Judgment Day: May 21, 2011As I type this, it’s just after 6pm EDT where I am. Harold Camping’s promised May 21, 2011 Second Coming & Rapture — which he had said would occur at 6 pm in each time zone around the world (WebCite cached article) — has gone by, but without Jesus Christ reappearing, and with no discernible ill effects. The same time (i.e. 6 pm) has previously gone by, in — what? — 17 time zones around the world already, but likewise with no Jesus showing up, and no ill effects. And all the Christians are still here … no one, again as far as I know, has been vacuumed up into the sky to meet Jesus.

It would be easy for me to say something like, “I told you so!” or “I knew it!”, but honestly, that’s too easy. Anyone with half a functioning brain knew it wasn’t going to happen. For millennia, so-called prophets have claimed to know when “the End of the World” would come (cached), only to be proven wrong later, when the world managed, somehow, not to get exterminated at the appointed time.

For the record, the universe is also not going to end on December 21, 2012 … the so-called “Mayan Apocalypse” … either. The Maya did not actually predict any such thing, but even if they had, their credibility would be limited by the fact that they didn’t foresee the collapse of their own civilization around 900 CE.

I must, however, congratulate Camping and his sheep at Family Radio for diligently promoting this false prediction. The (failed) prophet was interviewed by many media outlets over the last few months, but never once conceded he might be wrong, and consistently refused even to entertain the question of what he would do if his Rapture never came.

That said, I’m still laughing at the cadaverous Bible scholar religionist crank, and at the morons and idiots who actually believed his nutty scenario. What do you fucking clowns think now that your “Bible-guaranteed” Second Coming never took place!?

Photo credit: JonDissed.

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The End is Near sign at Sweet Melissa's, SavannahI’ve blogged a number of times about Bible scholar religionist crank Harold Camping of Family Radio and his wingnut prophecy that Jesus is going to return on May 21, 2011 (this Saturday! hallelujah!) and that the world will end five months later, in October. It’s obvious the guy’s theories are whacked. But what I find amusing are all the other Christians out there who are trying to angle away from Camping and his sheep. Just one example of this is Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, who penned a whine for the CNN Belief blog about how Camping makes Christianity look bad (WebCite cached article):

What harm is there in an 89-year-old preacher making prognostications about the end of the world?

First, such predictions give non-Christians one more reason to discount the Bible.

There are plenty more examples I could cite, but this one is enough to make the point that a lot of evangelical and/or fundamentalist Christians are tripping over themselves trying to get away from the lunatic Camping and his “prediction.” The problem is that their religion is inherently predisposed to such predictions! Christians through the millennia have repeatedly predicted death, doom and destruction, based on any number of suppositions and extrapolations, only to be proven wrong eventually (cached). In fact, the founder of Christianity — none other than Jesus Christ himself! — made some very clear and explicit “End of the World” predictions, which likewise failed to come true:

“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Mt 16:28)

“But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” (Lk 9:27)

Those are not the only such predictions Jesus made, but they’re enough to make the point: No Christian can really be a Christian without believing in a Doomsday, and without believing in Doomsday predictions. To condemn Camping for making such a prediction, and triangulate away from him because he did so, is laughable. Selectively veering away from the more ridiculous aspects of their religion only makes Christians look like “fair weather” believers … eager to trumpet their metaphysics when they think it makes them look good to do so, but equally eager to get out of the way of the follies which are part and parcel of Christianity.

In case anyone isn’t already clear on the matter … all Biblical prophecy is bullshit. All of it. All the time. Forever and ever.

Photo credit: mmwm.

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Snapshot of Washington Post video of Harold Camping, his followers, and their Project CaravanI’ve already blogged about Bible scholar religionist crank Harold Camping, who predicts that Jesus Christ will return — and vacuum all the Christians off the face of the earth — on May 21, 2011. With that date now less than two weeks away, he and his followers are now traipsing around the country in their “Project Caravan,” trying to scare the country into believing his insane apocalyptic drivel. The Washington Post reports on their (largely unsuccessful) attempt to get the nation’s capitol to buy into the bullshit (WebCite cached article):

The unexpected and potentially rotten news that the world will end on May 21 rolled into the District on Thursday morning, plastered on a caravan of five recreational vehicles that parked near the Washington Monument. …

As if the message weren’t scary enough, the dozen or so occupants of the RVs — vanguard of a national campaign funded by a fundamentalist Christian radio network and fueled by bus ads and Internet buzz [cached] — wore highlighter-bright yellow shirts that said “Earthquake So Mighty, So Great.” They offered pedestrians handouts saying there was “marvelous proof” that “Holy God will bring judgment day on May 21, 2011.”

Note that the Post gets Camping’s scenario slightly wrong. Camping does predict Christ’s return on May 21, but he doesn’t claim that will be when “the world will end.” Camping claims that will happen on October 21, 2011, after the non-Christian remnant left on the earth endures 6 months of horrific “tribulation.”

Also of note is the glee with which Camping and his followers embrace this disastrous scenario:

“Have you heard the awesome news?” the side of the RVs asked, in big bold letters. “The End of the World is Almost Here!”

Their elation at what they believe will be other people’s suffering reminds me of the Puritanical Church Father Tertullian, who described in detail how he plans to revel in the eternal torment of non-Christians, in his De spectaculis, chapter XXX (you can read this wonderful and enlightening passage in full, in my post on this Great Christian).

At any rate, the Post has video of Camping’s crew and their admitted failure to reach everyone they meet:

How pathetic. Maybe we should give these people real jobs, so they have don’t have time to roam the country trying to scare people into thinking oblivion is on its way.

And … as I always do with any post dealing with “Biblical prophecy,” I’m closing this post with a link to my page explaining how and why all “Biblical prophecy” — whether Camping’s or anyone else’s — was, is, and always will be total bullshit.

Photo credit: Snapshot from Washington Post video.

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Picture of dead-end road signGiven my blog posts on so-called “Bible scholar” Harold S. Camping and his prediction that Jesus will return on May 21, 2011 consistently get lots of hits, I assume there’s a lot of interest out there in “Bible prophecy.” If so, it’s not new. People have been using scripture to predict Armageddon, almost since the beginning of Christianity.

It occurs to me that there are folks who think the Bible has predictive value. The truth is, though, that it has none. Not one bit. So I’ve posted a static page on this blog explaining — in terms of scripture itself — why this is the case. Enjoy!

Photo credit: FreeFoto.

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