Posts Tagged “christ’s second coming”

And nearby seems to be the end of the world?‘Tis the season … for billboards, apparently. I’ve blogged already about the putative “Bible scholar” Harold Camping and his declaration that the Rapture will come on May 21, 2011, and the end of the world will come exactly 6 months later, on October 21, 2011. Apparently, in spite of his previous — failed! — prediction that “the End” would occur in 1994, his crew remains convinced of this lunatic scenario; The Tennessean reports on their advertising campaign (WebCite cached article):

There are 24 shopping days left till Christmas.

And 171 days left until Jesus’ second coming.

That’s the message on 40 billboards around Nashville, proclaiming May 21, 2011, as the date of the Rapture. Billboards are up in eight other U.S. cities, too.

Fans of Family Radio Inc., a nationwide Christian network, paid for the billboards. Family Radio’s founder, Harold Camping, predicted the May date for the Rapture.

The Tennessean doesn’t offer any pictures of the signs in question, but the Friendly Atheist does, and here’s one:

Picture of one of Camping's billboards, courtesy of the Friendly Atheist

Picture of one of Camping's billboards, courtesy of the Friendly Atheist

If you need to know why I’m sure Camping is wrong and has no idea what he’s talking about, I covered all that in my previous post on the matter, and honestly, he’s not worth my having to repeat myself, so I’m not going to duplicate that effort here.

Just a little food for thought: I wonder how many atheists are screeching and railing over these signs, and demanding that they be taken down, because they’re too “in your face.” Offhand, my guess is that none are.

Update: I’ve set up a special page on my blog, counting down to Camping’s predicted Rapture and Armageddon. Just so everyone is prepared … to laugh at Camping’s idiocy, when they fail to come to pass as he predicts.

Hat tip: The Friendly Atheist blog.

Top photo credit: Vlado Stajic.

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No Signal - Message not received!Harold Camping’s organization is actively responding to the Internet buzz over his prediction of the Second Coming happening on May 21, 2011 and their recent nationwide advertising blitz to announce it to those of us who’d been blissfully unaware of it. For example, the Religion Dispatches post that was my own first notice about it, has a number of comments generated by his followers (scroll down the page to see them). And my own humble blog posting on the matter even got some attention from them. I noticed the following on Twitter (see below). The “j.mp” links are to a supposed news article about the “home church” movement in evangelical Christianity, and to Camping’s organization’s literature Web site. The other links are more obviously to Camping’s ministry online. Apparently my blog posting … and my twitter-blip announcing it … got their attention.

Twitter capture screen-shot

Unfortunately they didn’t actually bother to read what I said. They just pinged back with their usual apologetic / proselytizing / “repent-for-the-end-is-near” bullshit, as though their mindless blather has any meaning to me. They took the time to see my blog entry — and took the time to reply, stating so — but did not actually digest anything I said.

Moreover, they sent each tweet 3 times, for a total of 6 responses. As if multiple tweets are more likely to be noticed.

In response I’d like to say to these folks: Stop wasting your time spewing your inane drivel back at me. I’m not stupid, and I’m not even new to this evangelical “end-times” Bible-prophecy bilge. I was once a fundie, and — significantly — I know what your game is. I appreciate that you took the time to respond to me on Twitter, but if you don’t respect what I said enough to respond to it intelligently and respond to its content, then you can’t very well expect me to respect any of your “end-times” garbage, now, can you?

Photo credit: drinksmachine.

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Time is running out!Harold Camping, a presumed Bible scholar who runs a network of Christian radio stations, claims he knows when the Second Coming of Christ will take place: May 21, 2011. He and his ministry are so confident in that prediction that they’ve taken out bench advertisements around the country to warn people of it. Lauri Lebo at Religion Dispatches has the story (WebCite cached article):

A friend snapped this photo on the way to work in Colorado Springs:

Date of rapture announcement (2011-05-21)

Apparently, these pictures have been popping up around the country, with sightings from Erie to Waco to the Bay Area.

Lebo points out that Camping’s past predictions have not panned out too well:

This is not the first time Camping has predicted Judgment Day:

On Sept. 6, 1994, dozens of Camping’s believers gathered inside Alameda’s Veterans Memorial Building to await the return of Christ, an event Camping had promised for two years. Followers dressed children in their Sunday best and held Bibles open-faced toward heaven.

But the world did not end. Camping allowed that he may have made a mathematical error.

Camping’s ministry’s Web site also proudly announces the May 2011 date (cached), and he appears to want to beat the New Agers and their “Mayan prophecy 2012 doomsday” at their own game:

We are living at a time when mankind seems to sense that the end of all things is very near. Just about everyone has a theory as to how the world is threatened and when that end might come. The media and the Internet are full of doomsday speculations concerning the New Age “Mayan Calendar” and the year 2012.

The crap about the Mayans predicting the end of the universe in December of 2012 is complete bullshit, as I’ve already blogged. The Mayans themselves couldn’t even predict the coming collapse of their own civilization, which happened around 900 CE, so one can hardly expect them to have been any more accurate about the end of the universe.

Camping and his followers claim he’s some sort of Biblical scholar, however, he — and they — appear not to have read this important verse, concerning the coming of the Son of Man:

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Matthew 24:36)

Thus, the Second Coming cannot be predicted. Anyone who says s/he knows “the day” or “the hour” it will happen, can only be lying, because only “the Father” knows when it is. Jesus admits even he does not know when it will be! It also means the name of Camping’s Web site — “We Can Know” — runs contrary to scripture.

Not only is this not the first failed prediction Camping has made, the history of Christianity is littered with past failed predictions of when “the End” was supposed to have come — but didn’t. James “the Amazing” Randi compiled a list of some of these, and they comprise Appendix 3 (cached) of his Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural (which is available online for free). “End of the world” predictions are common and apparently easy to rationalize away when they fail. My guess is that, on May 22, 2011, Harold Camping will be rationalizing away the failure of his Jesus to show up and vacuum the Christians off the surface of the planet.

Update 1: I’ve set up a special page on my blog, counting down to Camping’s predicted Rapture and Armageddon. Just so everyone is prepared … to laugh at Camping’s idiocy, when they fail to come to pass as he predicts.

Update 2: I’ve posted a static page on my blog explaining — in terms of scripture itself — why all “Bible prophecies” are baloney. Have a look, if you’re interested.

Update 3: Camping’s followers are now trolling the country, trying to stir up apocalypticism, as part of their “Project Caravan.”

Update 4: The Rapture is now less than a week away. I’ll bet you can’t wait!

Update 5: As one would expect, non-Campingite Christians are angling away from Family Radio and their Rapture prediction. Unfortunately for them, they can’t do that; such predictions have been part of Christianity since its inception, Jesus himself made some of them!

Top photo credit: Sister72. Middle photo credit: Religion Dispatches.

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