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May 19, 2011 1:43 PM   Subscribe

"Harold Camping, 89-year-old leader of the ministry Family Radio Worldwide, has predicted that a five-month destruction of humanity will commence Saturday with a Rapture, in which believers will ascend to heaven. 'Whereas this five-month period will be an enormous horror story for those who have not been raptured, it will be a time of great joy and wonder for those who are raptured,' according to the Family Radio website. Camping uses a mathematical formula linked to prophecies in the Bible. He once predicted Sept. 6, 1994 as Judgment Day, but that math didn't quite work out. This time around, Camping's organization took out an ad in Reader's Digest, stating: 'The Bible guarantees the end of the world will begin with Judgment Day May 21, 2011.'"*

Well, it's time to party!

But, wait. Hold on there. God's decided to reschedule the Rapture (video | 03:07).
posted by ericb (437 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
And, of course, The Rapture is coming due to 'the gays.'
posted by ericb at 1:44 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:45 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


man I wish God would send me an Outlook reminder or something
posted by desjardins at 1:45 PM on May 19, 2011 [17 favorites]


I wonder if this is why the Bible thumpers next door bounced their rent check.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:45 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


ericb: "And, of course, The Rapture is coming due to 'the gays .'"

You're welcome.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:46 PM on May 19, 2011 [41 favorites]


I'm making popcorn.
posted by lordrunningclam at 1:46 PM on May 19, 2011


If this thread turns into a thoughtful, nuanced discussion of the role of prophecy in modern Christian theology, the end times truly are at hand.
posted by dubold at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2011 [54 favorites]


Rapture? I hardly know 'er!
posted by Zozo at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


CBS News: End of the world comes May 21st, Harold Camping says: CDC focused on zombie attack.
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


The other day, I saw some 5 or 6 vans drive through downtown Providence, RI, with placards professing this rapture and full of people handing out pamphlets to anyone within arms reach. Secretly, I want to find one of their churches and, in the middle of the night, hang a giant banner over its doors: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'm planing on going out at night, eating cars.
posted by The Whelk at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2011 [53 favorites]


Be sure to sign up for the celebration.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Craigslist Ads Troll for Post-Rapture Freebies
posted by benzenedream at 1:48 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


(In the middle of the night on Saturday, that is.)
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:48 PM on May 19, 2011


What happens if you grab their feet as they arise bodily into Heaven?
posted by orthogonality at 1:48 PM on May 19, 2011


Shit Sandwich™, with a side of "stupid old fool who should just go fucking die and dance with his false fucking messiah already."
posted by dbiedny at 1:48 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


My (admittedly hasty) dimensional analysis suggests there might be some small problems with that formula.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:49 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, the CDC really does have an article on zombies. That is totally an appropriate use of my tax dollars.
posted by desjardins at 1:49 PM on May 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


I was surprised to see that this guy even bought time on a digital billboard here in Fargo, ND. It's a good thing that Jesus got a media blitz right before his return, otherwise it'll be like that time when the concert promoter didn't put enough money into advertising that Styx concert and nobody bought tickets.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:49 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


At this point it seems only fitting to share this wisdom, posted in an earlier MetaFilter thread:
I was handed a tract this weekend that was full of exclamations of how the Rapture was coming on May 21, 2011. It had some calculations to explain how they came up with this date, most of which relied on 7000 years having passed since the Flood, but I couldn't help but notice that they hadn't taken into account the change from Julian to Gregorian calendars, so I, for one, will be laughing heartily when the Rapture comes on May 10, 2011 and whoever did the math on these tracts looks really dumb.

posted by Copronymus at 10:48 AM on March 29, 2010 [17 favorites −] [!]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:50 PM on May 19, 2011 [24 favorites]


I know reporters don’t like to hear from the Bible, but the Bible has every word in the original language — it was written by God. Incidentally, no churches believe that at all, they don’t hold the Bible in the high respect that it ought to be. But every word was written right from the lips of God, and God declares: [Camping reads various passages from the Book of Revelation describing the Rapture.]

Why excise this? I'd like to read them. At tell us what passages!

If six o’clock rolls around and there are no major earthquakes, are you going to start to get worried?
It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. I don’t even think about those kind of issues. The Bible is not — God is not playing games. I don’t even want to think about that question at all. It is going to happen.


Man, I shudder to think what the world will be like for these folks on Sunday.
posted by brundlefly at 1:51 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apparently there are roughly 300,000 people on Facebook (requires login) who are ready to loot those who go to heaven.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:51 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have to admit things like this always give me a wiggins. Then I realize how amazingly selfish it is to assume your religion is the right one and who gives a crap about people who've never heard of Christianity or dare to worship a different god.

Still, it makes me uncomfortable.
posted by Kitteh at 1:51 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


when the Rapture comes on May 10, 2011

well that explains why the past week has been so shitty.
posted by desjardins at 1:51 PM on May 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


Serious question: does anyone know how many people actually take this seriously? Is this just a fringe cult thing or does mainstream christianity think there's anything to it?
posted by freebird at 1:52 PM on May 19, 2011


Well, if I die due to rapturous whatnot, rain of fire, raptor infestation due to Jesus, whatever, at least I will go as I lived: at a Walk for Choice rally.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:52 PM on May 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


"And, of course, The Rapture is coming due to 'the gays'"

I'm afraid to ask, but I will - why is there a pile of pickles at 2:17?
posted by HopperFan at 1:52 PM on May 19, 2011


Shit my crazy ass grandpa says.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:52 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


the Bible has every word in the original language

His Aramaic has one THICK accent.
posted by GuyZero at 1:53 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


I, for one, will be laughing heartily when the Rapture comes on May 10, 2011 and whoever did the math on these tracts looks really dumb.

Joke's on you, unbeliever! There was no rapture on May 10. If there had been I would be here.

Oh wait.
posted by orthogonality at 1:53 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


everyone knows Judgement Day is August 29th, 1997
posted by nathancaswell at 1:53 PM on May 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


they're seemingly buying up a lot of ad space for a fringe movement. I wonder if has something to do with the general crash in ad prices recently.
posted by The Whelk at 1:53 PM on May 19, 2011


pm for 2 million sunblock
posted by nathancaswell at 1:53 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, I shudder to think what the world will be like for these folks on Sunday.

He's already stated that if the world doesn't end, but it will so just hypothetically, no one is getting their money back.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:54 PM on May 19, 2011


I'm so tired of hearing about these losers.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:54 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


ericb: "And, of course, The Rapture is coming due to 'the gays yt .'"

You're welcome.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:46 PM on May 19 [2 favorites +] [!]


Seriously, I appreciate your hard work in setting up this event, all with the end goal of launching a whole TON of assholes off the face of the Earth. Hi fives all around!
posted by FatherDagon at 1:55 PM on May 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


I will be really pissed if I don't get to go to the food truck rally on Sunday.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:55 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Another source of comfort is my super-religious grandma who believes in Judgment Day but thinks it's a sin to assume to know when Jesus returns.

In other words: my grandma ain't buying it, then I'm good.
posted by Kitteh at 1:55 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


His Aramaic has one THICK accent.

If you had any idea how hard it is to avoid making the obvious puerile jokes, you wouldn't make remarks like that.

It's just plain cruel.
posted by aramaic at 1:56 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Serious question: does anyone know how many people actually take this seriously? Is this just a fringe cult thing or does mainstream christianity think there's anything to it?

It's on a billboard on 95 just outside of Baltimore. I was thinking about posting the site a while ago, but I believe a large part of their advertising comes from asking believers to drain their savings / credit to buy billboards with the knowledge that they'll be floating to the sky in 2 day's time.
posted by codacorolla at 1:56 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, Kitteh, I'm with you. For some reason, my brain will occasionally fixate on this kind of thing and wonder "but WHAT IF HE'S RIGHT?!" Which of course, he's not, for any number of reasons.

I wonder how much of it is due to some unconscious, ill-placed belief in the wisdom of crowds. If there's just a crazy guy yelling about this, I can attribute it to mental illness or whatever; but if it's a lot of people handing out tracts and buying billboards, then I start to wonder if I'm the crazy one.
posted by dismas at 1:56 PM on May 19, 2011


Apparently there are roughly 300,000 people on Facebook (requires login) who are ready to loot those who go to heaven.

I say if the rapture doesn't go off as planned, we still get their stuff anyway. I want some new stuff.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:57 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wonder if this is why the Bible thumpers next door bounced their rent check.

My dad's neighbors quit working on their new house for this reason a year or two ago. His realtor is having a hell of a time explaining to potential buyers that it won't be a problem past 5/21.
posted by Big_B at 1:57 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mentioned in a related AskMe that I am descended from an earlier end-times nutbar prophet. ....Having that on your family tree gives you a really interesting perspective on this kind of thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:58 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm afraid to ask, but I will - why is there a pile of pickles at 2:17?
That's the surprise!
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:58 PM on May 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


Damn.. what if the Rapture really had occurred on the 10th? ... and the three people that ascended are looking down at the rest of us benevolently.

Serious question! Bonus: How much kudos does this guy get if, come Sunday he says something along the lines of "I guess I missed the boat, but the Rapture did happen, now I'll just have to work harder to prove myself before the end-times are done and the 'new earth' is born"...?
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:58 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude's 89. Of COURSE he believes the world's gonna end any minute now. He's just confusing his world with everyone else's.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:59 PM on May 19, 2011 [19 favorites]


I'm planing on going out at night, eating cars.

What the hell? I thought you only eat guitars now. This South Beach stuff is confusing.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:59 PM on May 19, 2011 [27 favorites]


I've already said that while the rest of you are out looting the homes of the raptured, I'm going to be going through your stuff. So lock up, you amoral bastards.
posted by padraigin at 2:00 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Dude's 89. Of COURSE he believes the world's gonna end any minute now. He's just confusing his world with everyone else's.

Hell, I turn 37 on the 21st and I believe the world's gonna end any minute now.
posted by Dumsnill at 2:02 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


This rapture prediction is fully endorsed by William Miller.
posted by mullingitover at 2:02 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


they're seemingly buying up a lot of ad space for a fringe movement. I wonder if has something to do with the general crash in ad prices recently.
followers are buying the space, like the poor man who spent his life savings on the NYC campaign. :/
posted by dabitch at 2:02 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, Kitteh, I'm with you. For some reason, my brain will occasionally fixate on this kind of thing and wonder "but WHAT IF HE'S RIGHT?!" Which of course, he's not, for any number of reasons.

I wonder how much of it is due to some unconscious, ill-placed belief in the wisdom of crowds. If there's just a crazy guy yelling about this, I can attribute it to mental illness or whatever; but if it's a lot of people handing out tracts and buying billboards, then I start to wonder if I'm the crazy one.


Yeah, that's part of me what makes me feel like a fool and a scaredy-cat simultaneously.

I found it funny in an article I read earlier today--because I have been under the impression that there's TONS of these people--that the Family Radio only has "tens of thousands" of listeners/contributors. And then I come to the realization that compared to the number of people on Earth, their believers are a very small number indeed.
posted by Kitteh at 2:03 PM on May 19, 2011


When I went to the Creation Museum last week, I was REALLY disappointed to find that they were still collecting admission. I figured they'd be all like, "WHATEV, DUDE, WE'RE HEADED HOME! TAKE AS MANY ANIMATRONIC DINOSAURS AS YOU CAN CARRY!"
posted by jph at 2:03 PM on May 19, 2011 [36 favorites]


end goal of launching a whole TON of assholes off the face of the Earth

The premise of the Left Alone series.

The Best UC Berkeley eccentric is a Family Radio adherent. He's got a little chalkboard on which he's been counting down the days.

I'm scheduled to do some systems upgrade stuff in the wee hours of Sunday morning. If the world ends, I'm totally not bringing the servers back up.
posted by Zed at 2:03 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


End of the world comes May 21st, Harold Camping says: CDC focused on zombie attack.

Correction: Gay zombie attack. Only fabulous brains will be eaten, and a nervous-looking Stephen Hawking will be setting his wheelchair on warp nine.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:03 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


This shit just makes me so fucking ANGRY. We can laugh at the idiots but people are seriously ruining the lives of themselves and their children over this. I watched my father succumb to this disease of the mind (fortunately not this particular instance, but a similar set of beliefs), hoarding gold and silver coins. There's nothing so depressing as getting a letter from your father telling you how to get to the gold and silver before the government does.

This bastard should be locked away with other con men.
posted by charred husk at 2:04 PM on May 19, 2011 [21 favorites]


all I know is, I've got a week's vacation coming up which I've had to 100% prepay --- if the world ends this Saturday, I'm gonna be pissed.....
posted by easily confused at 2:05 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


This was my favorite apocalyptic prediction.

Goes nicely with this.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:06 PM on May 19, 2011


No memo, no event.
DIVI rule 319#, sub- section 4:Unscheduled apocalyptic events
posted by clavdivs at 2:06 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


so we are good.
posted by clavdivs at 2:06 PM on May 19, 2011


You all are acting like it's going to be all fun and games. You may have another think coming.

Thank you, oh childhood spent watching brain-warping religious propaganda.
posted by vverse23 at 2:07 PM on May 19, 2011


Tim Kreider on the subject.

If a bunch of people touting an apparently whacko end of the world theory ever actually say something along the lines of "Folks, we're not sure, but we strongly suspect that the world is going to end, and we believe you have the right to know. Here is our reasoning, please check it over, especially if you have expertise in the subject, and if you can see any way to avert it, let us know so we can help. We recommend that people prepare themselves for the possibility of the world ending, but calmly go about their lives and don't do anything drastic either way until the question has been thoroughly resolved." Then I'll be scared.

Oh wait, that's climate change.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:07 PM on May 19, 2011 [110 favorites]


Step into a world, where there's no one left, But The Very Best!
posted by blackfly at 2:08 PM on May 19, 2011


After the rapture pet care.
posted by dabitch at 2:08 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, ever since I believed Busta Rhymes that there was ONLY 5 YEARS LEFT, I don't believe in anything anymore...
posted by Theta States at 2:09 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Three things to love about The Rapture:

1. Pranks. Like leaving empty pants, shirts, socks in piles or spread out on lawns.

2. Salvaging. Camping outside Good Christian homes with your papers and salvaging flag.

3. Remining the loons that a Silent Hill-esque Inverse Rapture is entirely possible, as befits some of them for their hate, bigotry, and violence.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:09 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wanted to start printing a counter-bumper-sticker: IN CASE OF RAPTURE, KINDLY LEAVE KEYS UNDER FLOORMAT.

Alternatively, everyone needs to go out and hang a sign up on Sunday morning that reads WELCOME TO HEAVEN!!!!

and underneath that:

PRIDE RALLY AT 7, AFTER PARTY 10 - ???
posted by jquinby at 2:11 PM on May 19, 2011 [53 favorites]


... I believe a large part of their advertising comes from asking believers to drain their savings / credit to buy billboards ...

Yep.
"Camping first inaccurately predicted the world would end in 1994. Even so, he has gathered even more followers -- some who have given up their homes, entire life savings and their jobs because they believe the world is ending.

Esther, the receptionist in the Oakland office, said some of her most extreme coworkers have recently driven up in fancy cars or taken their families on nice vacations as a last hurrah."
Just one example ...
"Ex subway worker sinks $140,000 life savings into campaign advertising the end of the world."
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on May 19, 2011


No, Kitteh, I'm with you. For some reason, my brain will occasionally fixate on this kind of thing and wonder "but WHAT IF HE'S RIGHT?!" Which of course, he's not, for any number of reasons.

I think that's the same kind of thinking that happens when we purchase a lottery ticket.
posted by Theta States at 2:13 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


"How should judges, lawyers, and publich health officials respond to an apocalyptic terrorist attack?"

Why, The “New York State Public Health Legal Manual" (pdf inside!)
posted by clavdivs at 2:13 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are even ads in the BART trains proclaiming the end of the world (with a big splashy medallion saying "The Bible guarantees it"), which is kind of unusual for the not-very-religious SF Bay Area. Nobody seems to pay them any attention though, which is par for the course around here. The best part is that the image is a man squatting down, silhouetted by a melancholy sunset, looking for all the world like he's taking a dump. Yeah, that's the way I want to ascend to heaven!
posted by Quietgal at 2:13 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


After the rapture pet care.

WSJ: For Pets in End Times, Service Offers Salvation.
posted by ericb at 2:14 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Flowchart: Will you be left behind?
posted by jefficator at 2:15 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


But but but Saturdays are sabbath days for many of us...does that mean the good Christians finally get their wish and leave us behind to rot in all eternity with each other? Can a quick conversion fix this?
posted by Postroad at 2:15 PM on May 19, 2011


I think that's the same kind of thinking that happens when we purchase a lottery ticket.

I have a pet theory that our brains aren't built to handle probabilities of less than around 5%, so anything below that gets rounded off to "unlikely but it MIGHT happen!!", emotionally speaking.
posted by theodolite at 2:16 PM on May 19, 2011 [19 favorites]


I've already said that while the rest of you are out looting the homes of the raptured, I'm going to be going through your stuff. So lock up, you amoral bastards.

If you guys just swap houses it'll mean less carrying.
posted by justkevin at 2:17 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Serious question: does anyone know how many people actually take this seriously? Is this just a fringe cult thing or does mainstream christianity think there's anything to it?

No one I know thinks there's anything to it. Particularly since Jesus HIMSELF said no man would know the day or the hour.

As I said to a facebook friend earlier, more chance of a zombie apocalypse this Saturday than a Rapture.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:18 PM on May 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


I have a dentist's appointment on Saturday. I really hope that it happens before 2PM, because that could save me a lot of trouble.

Serious question: does anyone know how many people actually take this seriously? Is this just a fringe cult thing or does mainstream christianity think there's anything to it?

I think that most mainstream Christians - even the ones who believe in the rapture - think that this sort of date-setting is stupid. Some of them may well believe it's coming "real soon now", but they still buy life insurance.

Anyhoo, his calculation is just nutty. He takes the date of the flood, assumes the line "Seven days from now I will send rain on the Earth" refers to the end times (and not, you know, rain) and does the one day is as a thousand years business.

He has calculated the date of the flood as 4990BC. Whatever. Add 7000 years to that and you get 2011. Here's the funny bit - he previously predicted 1994 (which didn't happen, obviously). His flood date hasn't changed in decades, so either he is not capable of adding 7000 to 4990BC and getting the right answer or he's pulled a completely new calculation out of his ass. It turns out, it's the latter. His 1994 estimate didn't involve the "rain on the Earth" verse at all - he used a completely different verse (New Testament this time) which he reads as saying that there will be 2000 years between the birth of Christ (which he calls 7BC) and the second coming.

He claimed that his 1994 predication had a "mathematical error". Nonsense. His error wasn't in mathematics at all. His calculations were fine, all of his assumptions were bogus. He shifted to a new set of assumptions and away he went.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:18 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Can any mathematicians help me out here?

In this equation:

(5 × 10 × 17)2 or (atonement × completeness × heaven)2 also equals 722,500.

Why is he squaring the product of atonement, completeness and heaven?

Other than the math, I think this guy's got a rock-solid theory.

As an unbeliever though, I'm to stalk the streets now, hunting people for food, just to get a head-start.
posted by fryman at 2:18 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


FatherDagon: " Seriously, I appreciate your hard work in setting up this event, all with the end goal of launching a whole TON of assholes off the face of the Earth. Hi fives all around!"


Again, you're welcome, and as someone cleverer than me wrote already today:

Could you imagine if the Rapture really happened on Saturday and all those evangelicals got sucked to to the sky and left the earth to us? What kind of a world would we who are left behind experience?

Who would try to ban books in libraries? Who would make idiotic "challenges" to evolution and otherwise actively attempt to drag public education into a practically pre-literate state? Who would obsess over controlling everyone's sex lives? Who would protect the pedophiles? Who would teach impoverished people around the world that family planning—the simplest and most important tool they have to gain control of their own lives—is evil? Who would use fiction as an excuse for bullying? Who would steal from the poor in an insane extortion racket and then build an immense palace to celebrate their own wealth?*

Please, please go to heaven, you radical, regressive Christians. The fields of science, education, the arts, and health care are begging you to go away. Politics would be better if you disappeared. The world would be a more peaceful place. I cannot think of one way in which my world would be worse if you all went to heaven. I can think of dozens—probably hundreds—of ways in which my world would be better.

Fucking go, already.


* Okay, this last one isn't a strictly religious problem.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:18 PM on May 19, 2011 [43 favorites]


Matthew 24:36 - No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, only the Father.

So he doesn't believe in reading the bible, but he believes he knows what it's all about?
posted by nomisxid at 2:21 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


"According to their most recent IRS filings, Family Radio is almost entirely funded by donations, and brought in $18 million in contributions in 2009 alone.

According to those financial documents, accountants put the total worth of Family Radio (referred to as Family Stations on its official forms) at $72 million. With those kind of financials -- and controversial beliefs -- it's no wonder skeptics have accused the group of running a scam.

... Meanwhile, some employees are questioning the meaning of Harold Camping's goodbye letter sent to the Family Radio mailing list last week. While he says farewell, he encourages employees to 'steadfastly continue to stand with us to proclaim the Gospel through Family Radio.'

Could that mean he plans on disappearing, but the company should still go about its business as usual?

... Also curious is why Family Radio requested an extension to file their nonprofit paperwork. The group is required to submit financial documents in many of the states where they solicit donations, and in Minnesota they requested an extension from their July 15 deadline to November 15.

July 15th was already well past their Judgment Day prediction -- when they say believers will ascend to heaven -- so why bother requesting an extension to November?"*
posted by ericb at 2:21 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can someone please tell me if this means cottage traffic will be better or worse for May Two-Four?
posted by Kabanos at 2:23 PM on May 19, 2011


Should his prediction also come with a proviso of which time zone the rapture will occur on the 21st?
posted by Keith Talent at 2:25 PM on May 19, 2011


Whether serious or spoof, the After the Rapture Pet Care site is rapturous. I could not help but sign up to rescue a couple of cats. Haven't gotten any spam from them yet.
posted by Corvid at 2:25 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, does the end of the world start this Sunday or not? Because my mortgage payment is due Monday but if we're all going to die five days later, I'd rather not spend the next week eating Pot Noodle and will instead spend those funds flying back to the US for a Shake Shack.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:26 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm looking forward to conversations with these people on the 22nd.

Of course there was a Rapture. Your God said there would be one. He wouldn't be wrong, would he? You just weren't included.

Oh, you mean someone interpreted his words incorrectly? Can that happen? I wonder what else has been interpreted incorrectly?
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:26 PM on May 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


GOOGLE WILLIAM MILLER
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:26 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Matthew 24:36 - No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, only the Father.

So he doesn't believe in reading the bible, but he believes he knows what it's all about?


He's got an answer for that.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:28 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Man, I shudder to think what the world will be like for these folks on Sunday.

End-times cults are common enough that several of them have been the subjects of (socio|psycho|anthropo)logical research.

Worth reading: When Prophecy Fails, wherein the term "cognitive dissonance" is coined. You may have heard that term.
posted by ardgedee at 2:28 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Should his prediction also come with a proviso of which time zone the rapture will occur on the 21st?

From what I understand it's a rolling rapture that will occur in one time zone at a time. No joke.
posted by blucevalo at 2:28 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


A funny detail is that Camping has said, apparently, that the rapture will occur at 6PM progressively, in each time zone.

What if you stand right on the border, and cross over from the side it hasn't happened to the side where it has. Do you get to skip it?
posted by Rinku at 2:29 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


re After the Rapture Pet Care: you can get a T-shirt! or stackable mugs! They don't say it's a Limited Time Offer, so I guess they don't really Believe.
posted by Corvid at 2:29 PM on May 19, 2011


And I'm not inclined to snark, but I will remark that my Twitter feed has been more entertaining this week than it has been for a long while.
posted by ardgedee at 2:29 PM on May 19, 2011


You'd think there'd be really, really good sales at the shops and stuff.

WHERE ARE MY CHEAP WHITE GOODS?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:29 PM on May 19, 2011


Should his prediction also come with a proviso of which time zone the rapture will occur on the 21st?

Well, we should start seeing rapturing in New Zealand sometime the morning of Friday, 5/20, local USA time.

To quote the awesome movie Strange Days, which I just watched:

HOST
Now just so the rest of us know how
much time is left, when is the
Rapture supposed to hit, exactly?
Is it midnight New Year's Eve?
Is that midnight LA time, or Eastern
Standard or what? I mean, what time
zone is God in, anyway?

LORI
I pray for you all.
posted by AzraelBrown at 2:29 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Has he got an answer for why he thinks Jesus got crucified 33 AD, when most theologists put Jesus' birth date somewhere around 4 BC instead of 1 AD? The rapture should have happened years ago.
posted by ymgve at 2:31 PM on May 19, 2011


SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 2:32 PM on May 19, 2011


I have a dentist's appointment on Saturday. I really hope that it happens before 2PM, because that could save me a lot of trouble.

I think you're out of luck - the Rapture will happen at 6pm, wherever you are.
posted by rtha at 2:34 PM on May 19, 2011


well, at least it's Happy Hour.
posted by The Whelk at 2:34 PM on May 19, 2011


I've had Family Radio's "Open Forum" number on speed dial for years now just so I can give 'em a call on the 22nd.
posted by whuppy at 2:36 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just hope no one does anything crazy.
posted by codacorolla at 2:37 PM on May 19, 2011


Even Rapture Ready thinks Camping is incorrect. That's got to mean something, right? (Then again, the Rapture Index has been "Rapture Ready" since 1995, so what does that guy know?)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:38 PM on May 19, 2011


well, at least it's Happy Hour.

Open bar, dude!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:38 PM on May 19, 2011


~It's on a billboard on 95 just outside of Baltimore.~

Man, if that was the litmus test for legitimacy we'd be living on Planet Crown Royal under Emperor Cash 4 Gold and his Hustler Club Nymphette Army.
posted by chronkite at 2:39 PM on May 19, 2011 [30 favorites]


Argh. This is ANOTHER setback to the release of The Hobbit.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:40 PM on May 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


ZenMasterThis: "He's got an answer for that."

Wow. I find that justification a lot more interesting than the prophecy itself.
posted by brundlefly at 2:40 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I so look forward to all the believers getting the hell out of here....
posted by tomswift at 2:40 PM on May 19, 2011


The rolling rapture is genius for those of us in North America. Sucks to be you, Australia.

SO we're clear, I plan on spending Saturday fornicating like a mad man, then a last minute repentance just as Jesus and Co. sweep into my time zone. Who is with me? Send a picture if you are interested in the fornication.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:41 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Just in case, I'm getting my son a white hat with ears, a green backpack, and a stretchy dog.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:42 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


why is there a pile of pickles at 2:17?

I'll tell you later.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:42 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


/me reschedules the singularity
posted by Skorgu at 2:43 PM on May 19, 2011


This church is in Oakland CA. People have planned to be there at 6 PM Pacific time for gloating etc. But, the reverend has instructed his followers to stay home and wait for the coming of the lard, I mean, Lord alone. Kind of spoils the fun. Supposedly, New Zealand gets the rapture first as it begins to sweep across the earth like a heavenly Hoover sucking them believers up in to the air.
posted by njohnson23 at 2:44 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude can be completely contradicted from within his own worldview:
"And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."
- Luke 12:39-40

"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
posted by sciurus at 2:44 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

Oh no, zombie seals!
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:45 PM on May 19, 2011


I think they are already up to their eyeballs in foolishness. Having said that, I remember folks who flipped out over Y2K and stockpiled water and batteries ----- and were frustrated with me because I wasn't in a panic.
posted by effluvia at 2:45 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

I could totally get behind a Ninja Jesus. That would be awesome.
posted by desjardins at 2:47 PM on May 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


This stuff is all over Boston - the first banner I saw was at the St. Patrick's Day parade (not in the parade, just on the sidelines) and I figured it was some weird local thing until friends from other parts of the country started talking about it. Their trucks and billboards are all over the place here - I really don't understand where all the money is coming from. Also I love the "The Bible Guarantees It!" medallions - not much a guarantee if you can't get your money back. Funny or Die is so hit-or-miss, but I really liked that one.
posted by naoko at 2:50 PM on May 19, 2011


Why is everyone focusing on the rapture, the boring part of the end times? I've watched enough history channel to know that after the rapture the anti christ is going to come, and he's supposed to be charming and jewish, and give everyone numbers and credit cards, or something. Hopefully after this all shakes out I'll get to be anti christ. I'm jewish certainly charming... maybe I'll rent some space out after the rapture, get some bagels and lox and see if I can ascend to world domination.
posted by catwash at 2:54 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


I still haven't come across an article that estimates how many followers this dude has. I've read that there are 2,000 billboards. I'm wondering what the billboard to follower ratio is (not including the 350 Family Radio employees who may or may not agree with their boss).

Because if the billboard to follower ration is less than 17 to 1, I'm pretty sure it invalidates his mathematical formula for the Rapture, based on my extensive study of pornography.
posted by perhapses at 2:55 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, because it's keyed to time zones, it will happen to all of China at once, but when it gets to the US, it will take three steps (or is it four)? Fascinating. Who would have guessed that God had such an interest in timekeeping.

If Camping doesn't hold a press conference on Sunday, all available reporters should be camping on his doorstep demanding one.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:56 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm planing on going out at night, eating cars.

What the hell? I thought you only eat guitars now. This South Beach stuff is confusing.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:59 PM on May 19 [2 favorites] No other comments.


awwww, really? I'm still back here, eating up bars, where the people meet. What can I say - I had a bunch of papers to grade, I got behind -- I didn't think anybody would notice.

crap.
posted by toodleydoodley at 2:57 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, should I let the mean spirited part of me out and five months from now turn to the still-here uber-Christian people who are fretting over this and say,

"So... God didn't want you, huh?"
posted by quin at 2:58 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


CAUTION: IN CASE OF RAPTURE, THIS VEHICLE WILL STILL BE MANNED, BUT PROBABLY SPEEDING. PROBABLY NO TURN SIGNALS EITHER.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 2:58 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Usually I'd just trot out Matthew 24:36 and let it stand, but...

May 21st is my goddamned birthday, so all the signs and bullshit take the form of a long, gnarled, finger pointing directly at me, indicating "DOOM, DOOM, DOOM..."

Dang dummy millionaire crackpot keeping me from enjoying my birthday...
posted by anotherbrick at 2:59 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


In all fairness to him, you can't win if you don't play.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:00 PM on May 19, 2011


I don't hate them for their beliefs. I hate them because this Rapture meme has spawned a million lame jokes all over everywhere. I've done the math and concluded that they've hastened the end of comedy.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:00 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Now what am I going to do with all these Bitcoins?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:02 PM on May 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


When the news cycle isn't dominated by actual disaster, it's dominated by fantasy disaster.
posted by perhapses at 3:04 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


GOOGLE WILLIAM MILLER

Hey, Christians aren't the only ones who have woefully and grandly mis-predicted this sort of thing; plenty of Jews have done it too. I mean, where's the love for Sabbetai Zvi and his 17th Century followers? Now that guy peddled some Grade A tinfoil hat material.

Oh, right; after his predictions continually failed to come true, and the world somehow not ending, he and his supporters became Muslims. That's one way to get around the "what do we now that the world didn't end" questions -- just change your religion! How funny would it be if that was how these latest "the end is near" types wound up too?

One of the Sabbatean leaders, Osman Baba, was formerly a Sephardic Jewish guy from Salonika named Berechiah Russo, and was probably a distant cousin of my husband's family.
posted by Asparagirl at 3:05 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


How does this change the meaning of my Forever stamps?
posted by found missing at 3:05 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah god, these loonies never learn, do they? I'm going to be celebrating not being raptured at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago on Saturday night. Those bastards in the kitchen had better not be good Christians, that's all I can see. meanwhile, here is a relevant, and highly amusing link.

Notice the way the whole concept of the rapture is totally alien to these Brits.
posted by Decani at 3:06 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Been listening to the family radio for a little while now, music's OK.
posted by klue at 3:07 PM on May 19, 2011


So, because it's keyed to time zones, it will happen to all of China at once, but when it gets to the US, it will take three steps (or is it four)?

Six in Canada. As in so many things, Newfoundland is a half-hour out of step.

Hey does this mean that Samoa recently gave its citizens an extra day of existence?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:07 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


All I can SAY. Not see. God damn you, afternoon Ardbeg! No rapture for you!
posted by Decani at 3:07 PM on May 19, 2011


Corvid: re After the Rapture Pet Care: you can get a T-shirt! or stackable mugs! They don't say it's a Limited Time Offer, so I guess they don't really Believe.

Of course they don't believe, or they'd be sucked up into heaven with the rest of the believers. After the Rapture Pet Care will still be around, so no trying to loot their merchandise.


anotherbrick: May 21st is my goddamned birthday, so all the signs and bullshit take the form of a long, gnarled, finger pointing directly at me, indicating "DOOM, DOOM, DOOM..."

If you weren't so God-damned, you could be rejoicing in the Good News of Something Something. And if all else fails, you can sing the Doom song.


found missing: How does this change the meaning of my Forever stamps?

THE GUV'MNT KNEW ALL ALONG!
posted by filthy light thief at 3:08 PM on May 19, 2011


End Times Related: Crazy concedes to crazy.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:09 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


My birthday is Sunday. If it's actually the Rapture on the 21st, at least I'll have some fun people to party with the next day.
posted by Ruki at 3:10 PM on May 19, 2011


I wonder what the economy would be like if 25 to 30% (estimated through Wikipedia) of the U.S. population suddenly disappeared into the sky. I mean... that couldn't be good, right?
posted by codacorolla at 3:10 PM on May 19, 2011


I mean, where's the love for Sabbetai Zvi and his 17th Century followers? Now that guy peddled some Grade A tinfoil hat material.

A couple of years ago I read about him in a book on the Jewish history of Thessaloniki and proceeded to tell the story of his life to everyone I met for the next month, which, unfortunately, didn't seem as thrilling to most other people as it did to me, but I love it. I mean, it takes some serious moxie to keep believing in your Messiah after he converts to a different religion.
posted by Copronymus at 3:10 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Considering which 30% we're talking about, it would be better than good.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:11 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is one grain of the larger bushel why humans are so fucked up. People would rather spend gobs of cash on billboards and advertisement proclaiming the end of times and going on and on how nice things will be for (the right sort of) humanity afterward, rather then working to create a just and kind utopia where we live now. We need people to take care of the here and now, not sticking their heads in the clouds all eager to kick off on some suicide-by-god scheme. These would be the last people some supreme deity would want by his/her/it's side.

"I could have had that nice gay fellow down there who works in hospice and saves kittens on his day off, instead I'm stuck with these egotistical asshole? damn!"
posted by edgeways at 3:12 PM on May 19, 2011 [18 favorites]


Supposedly, New Zealand gets the rapture first as it begins to sweep across the earth like a heavenly Hoover sucking them believers up in to the air.

This gives me a great idea for the action movie to end all action movies.

IN A WORLD, WHERE THE RAPTURE SWEEPS ACROSS THE EARTH LIKE A HEAVENLY HOOVER, ONE MAN, WHO HAD THE MISFORTUNE TO FLY ACROSS THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE ON MAY 21ST, MUST NOW FIND A WAY TO LITERALLY OUTRACE GOD!!! comingsoontoatheaternearyou.
posted by crackingdes at 3:17 PM on May 19, 2011 [16 favorites]


I'm scheduled to do some systems upgrade stuff in the wee hours of Sunday morning. If the world ends, I'm totally not bringing the servers back up.

posted by Zed


"Hey, why aren't the servers up?"

"Zed's dead, baby, Zed's...oh wait, sorry. He's just been taken up to heaven."
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:17 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what the economy would be like if 25 to 30% (estimated through Wikipedia) of the U.S. population suddenly disappeared into the sky. I mean... that couldn't be good, right?

Improving unemployment numbers???
posted by dibblda at 3:19 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Improving unemployment numbers???

I'm sure that 30% buys a lot of shit too, and I don't know that I'd necessarily want the jobs that they were in.
posted by codacorolla at 3:22 PM on May 19, 2011


It's most interesting to me how successfully this idea has permeated our consciousness.

I guess there's a case to be made that traditional advertising works. But otherwise, I can't imagine why the whole thing has so much traction. It probably helps that there is an exact day/time set, so people can prepare for a definite Yes/No at some point and people will know immediately. And certainly digital media has played a role in spreading the idea, more than it would have been 50 years ago. I don't know. I'm sure a basic fascination with the End of Days exists in most people, so that probably helps too. But maybe all of those things put together is what created this sort of mass awareness of something that is, practically speaking, pretty out there.

(Btw: has this business taken into account that it's daylight savings time? If we spring forward an hour, does that mean that at 7pm EDT everyone will be raptured, or again: has the Lord taken the extra hour into account?)
posted by indiebass at 3:22 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder what the economy would be like if 25 to 30% (estimated through Wikipedia) of the U.S. population suddenly disappeared into the sky

Considering the population seems to skew older we may just have a way to keep Social Security alive in perpetuity
posted by edgeways at 3:22 PM on May 19, 2011


Aww man, now I'm never gonna play Duke Nukem Forever.
posted by hellojed at 3:23 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Real Christians are shutting up and waiting impatiently for the 22nd.
posted by tommasz at 3:23 PM on May 19, 2011


As a civil engineer, Camping knew the rapture was near when he first noticed shit flowing uphill.
posted by digsrus at 3:24 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


This timezone stuff almost makes you all sound as if you believed the Earth was round.

Sinners.
posted by 7segment at 3:26 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


An article about Camping's media rep.

Geek analysis of Teh Rapture's unintended consequences.

Seconding When Prophecy Fails. Sociologists were embedded with a millenarian group (flying saucers, but still...) in order to find out what happens when things don't happen as predicted.
posted by CCBC at 3:27 PM on May 19, 2011


It's Never Lurgi: "I have a dentist's appointment on Saturday. I really hope that it happens before 2PM, because that could save me a lot of trouble."

If your dentist is not a Christian, I think he will expect you to keep his appointment. I don't think the rapture of the church and the kick-off of the Tribulations will exempt you from having to go to your previously scheduled appointment.

Then again, if your dentist IS a Christian, then don't bother showing up.
posted by falameufilho at 3:29 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


The real problem, which people are not talking about, is that this guy who says he is an engineer and has spent practically his whole life working on this date comes up with a fifth-grade mathematical equation to back up his claim.

At least devise a creative and eloquent equation that would inspire a bit of awe. (5 × 10 × 17)2 or (atonement × completeness × heaven)2 also equals 722,500. That's all you got. I see why you are no longer an engineer.
posted by perhapses at 3:31 PM on May 19, 2011


And certainly digital media has played a role in spreading the idea, more than it would have been 50 years ago.

And yet, I first heard of this from people at work who first learned about it from billboards.
posted by Rash at 3:32 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


...after the rapture the anti christ is going to come, and he's supposed to be charming and jewish, and give everyone numbers and credit cards, or something.

Oh man, that'd be fantastic! I'm a single American living in Japan, and I've been wishing these bastards would let me have a credit card for YEARS. I just don't think I have it in me to marry one of these ladies just for the credit line, but paying off a USD card is just such a hassle.
posted by GoingToShopping at 3:38 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


A lot of predictable lulz. Fair enough, these guys earned it. But.

I have far more respect for him than for the rest of the religion-thumping loons out there. At least he has the balls to make a verifiable prediction. He may be deluded, but perhaps at least he's sincere. Unlike the various TV evangelists who are far too canny to make any predictions, they'd rather live off of the stupidity of their followers indefinitely.

And really, to all those making fun of this guy: how are the rest any better? How is Catholicism any better? How are any of the apocalyptic religions better? Because they're canny enough not to make hard and fast predictions that can be tested?

And how are the doctrines this guy espouses any worse than assorted nonsense from any religion anywhere? As long as you base your world-view explicitly on disavowing reason and embracing magic, how are you any different? A wrong answer is still a wrong answer - it's all wrong. There's one answer to 2+2 and that's 4. Making fun of the guy who says 3 while you say 5 is not exactly warranted.

So - I give this guy at least that much credit. He's willing to make a hard prediction and hopefully take the consequences. The other loons deserve far more contempt.
posted by VikingSword at 3:39 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have such vivid memories of having a real gut-level reaction to The Rapture... it's an interesting examination of how this kind of belief system can really impact people who buy into it.
posted by hippybear at 3:39 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, the CDC really does have an article on zombies. That is totally an appropriate use of my tax dollars."

Turns outs that, notwithstanding the CDC's shocking lack of advice to stock up on bats, shotguns and ammo, preparations for a zombie apocalypse is almost exactly the same as preparations for a tornado, flood, massive fire, earthquake, nuclear emergency or civil unrest. Money well spent IMO.

blucevalo writes "From what I understand it's a rolling rapture that will occur in one time zone at a time. No joke."

Glad I live in PST as we'll have lots of warning. I am kind of curious what happens to people flying west who leave their origin zone before the rapture and land after the rapture has occurred at their destination.
posted by Mitheral at 3:41 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


To someone who seriously asked, mainstream Catholics, Protestant, Orthodox Christians do not believe in the Rapture. The idea was started by some minister from a small Protestant sect in the 19th century. The do believe in the end of the world as told by John in revelations, but Jesus said nobody knew the day or the time, not even Himself. Only the Father knows.

There are many different interpretations of Revelations, including that it was about the Roman Empire, not something in far distant times. More conservative interpretations take it as literal prophecy but for most the rapture is not part of it. The idea of the rapture was popularized in recent times by the dreadful "Left Behind" series of novels. You will find very few theologians of any brand of Christianity that take any of it seriously, and in fact would consider it hubris for anyone to claim to know when the end would come.
posted by mermayd at 3:41 PM on May 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


I feel so damn sorry for the kids whose families are buying into this stuff lock, stock and barrel. There are people who are timing their staples - food stores, bank accounts, you name it - to run out on Saturday. There's a contingent who've quit their jobs to travel the country spreading the message. Coming back from a shattered worldview or bankruptcy is bad enough, and these people are going to be faced with both. And at least they jumped in willingly; their kids are just screwed.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:44 PM on May 19, 2011 [18 favorites]


So - I give this guy at least that much credit. He's willing to make a hard prediction and hopefully take the consequences.

What consequences? He didn't face any the last time he was wrong. Unless by "consequences" you mean "more donations," in which case, yeah, he'll probably get that.
posted by rtha at 3:48 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Only the Father knows.

Cool. My dad is coming to visit in June so I'll ask him.
posted by perhapses at 3:49 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


It would be interesting to know whether Family Radio has spent every bit of their assets in anticipation of the rapture occurring on May 21st, or if they have held something back for the future. What did they do in '94?
posted by Daddy-O at 3:49 PM on May 19, 2011


Daddy-O, according to one of the articles ericb linked to, some of the employees are still making appointments and carrying on the business as usual, while others have taken expensive vacations or bought nice cars. It seems like some of the followers, however, have spent every last dime. I sure hope Camping helps those people get back on their feet financially.
posted by perhapses at 3:54 PM on May 19, 2011


Also, Daddy-O, can you tell us the real date? Please?
posted by perhapses at 3:55 PM on May 19, 2011


I would love to meet these people who believe on Sunday and tell them the rapture really did happen, that I saw my mom get lifted off right before my eyes, so that really means they were left behind and unworthy of Jesusland. I would pay so much money to see the look on their faces.
posted by shen1138 at 3:58 PM on May 19, 2011


So was Camping also influenced by Kubrick?
posted by perhapses at 4:02 PM on May 19, 2011


Jesus Christ, the "mathematics" is based on this: According to Camping, the number five equals "atonement", the number ten equals "completeness", and the number seventeen equals "heaven"?

How can people believe in this stuff? Well, the answer is simple. People join cults. (I did once!) The Leader says something. Ya gotta believe or renounce many years of belief. I have to say, I have no idea why this old guy has developed such a following, but that's how it works.
posted by kozad at 4:03 PM on May 19, 2011


Rapture Fail.
posted by pianoboy at 4:03 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not the followers of Camper and Family Radio perhapses, I'm asking if the organizational assets of Family Radio have been liquidated and spent on billboards, etc. The real date is May 21st, 2011 according to Camper. I don't believe in the rapture, so my opinion is that there is no real date. What the hell do you mean?
posted by Daddy-O at 4:04 PM on May 19, 2011


I think I might take my thrift shop donations and portioned out into little piles on my street.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:06 PM on May 19, 2011


And how are the doctrines this guy espouses any worse than assorted nonsense from any religion anywhere?

Seriously? For one thing, what mermayd just wrote above.

This Rapture thing is a marginal freak phenomenon globally speaking. Mainstream brands of Christianity across the world have no teaching about the Rapture. The Book of Revelations is even explained as a metaphor. Mainstream brands of Christianity across the world are too busy with much the more mundane preoccupations of power and tax funding and influence and political relations to bother with preaching about the end of the world.

The people who believe literally in the end of the world are the kind of people who also throw in the mix Nostradamus, apparitions of the Holy Virigin, Maya prophecies, auras and crystals and UFO's and big conspiracies by the government to tap our brains with a microchip and think homeopathy alone can cure cancer if only big pharma would let us know the truth. These people, thankfully, are not and do not even inhabit the same reality as the religious leaders in mainstream religions with official relations with heads of state and the like. Else, we'd all have been fucked a lot sooner than next Saturday.
posted by bitteschoen at 4:07 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I for one welcome our new Raptor overlords
posted by Juicy Avenger at 4:08 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


May 22nd:

"Sorry folks. Calculations were a little off. Now send us your money so we can update the billboards?"
posted by Zivel at 4:09 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was surprised to see that some of the billboards here in San Diego were in Spanish.

That means that either a) they think Jesus loves brown people too or b) they're equal opportunity con artists.
posted by snsranch at 4:09 PM on May 19, 2011


No one I know thinks there's anything to it. Particularly since Jesus HIMSELF said no man would know the day or the hour.

As I said to a facebook friend earlier, more chance of a zombie apocalypse this Saturday than a Rapture.
Sounds like you don't expect it. So, I feel obligated to point out to you that in that same speech, Jesus went on to say that "the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him".

But in any case, Camping is prepared for your argument; he says that the statement that you point out was only applicable to people before the tribulation. As we are now (he says) in the tribulation, the restriction no longer exists; instead, as the Bible also says:
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
posted by Flunkie at 4:09 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


As far as I know, from what I've read, the bulk of the assets of Family Radio are their FCC licenses (worth $50ish mill.) and that they still have a million and a half in cash.

Are you not the Father, Daddy-O?
posted by perhapses at 4:10 PM on May 19, 2011


Bah. Everyone knows, or should know, the world ends on July 5th, 1998! On that day, the flying saucers from Planet X will save all dues paying SubGenii and kill the Pinks and Normals... If they're lucky! PRAISE "BOB"! AIYIYIYIYIYIYIYI!!!!!!!!
posted by SansPoint at 4:11 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


If I were THAT father, things would be a lot different. If there is a god he's doing a sorry ass job around here.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:14 PM on May 19, 2011


To me, the fact that the rapture is starting in one time zone and progressing through the others suggests that God is actually taking aim at the Earth from a specific direction and picking people up as the world rotates. By taking the location of the first raptured true believers and looking at the corresponding chunk of sky above, we can get a general bead on God's location.

All we have to do is strap Bruce Willis into a shuttle, launch him in that direction, and have him blow up God. Problem solved. World saved.

You're welcome.
posted by brundlefly at 4:14 PM on May 19, 2011 [37 favorites]


Man, 150+ comments and no one has mentioned the fact that Westboro Baptist Church still has protests scheduled after this date?
posted by loquacious at 4:18 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think if the WPC thought the rapture was at hand they would schedule protests they have no intention of following through with, just to be dicks.
posted by brundlefly at 4:21 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


WPC == WBC
posted by brundlefly at 4:22 PM on May 19, 2011


If Camping doesn't hold a press conference on Sunday, all available reporters should be camping on his doorstep demanding one.

No. No they shouldn't.

Maybe instead they should go out into the communities around them and find stories to focus on that pertain to things that actually matter, rather than on the ravings of some sad, deluded fool.
posted by rbellon at 4:23 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


And how are the doctrines this guy espouses any worse than assorted nonsense from any religion anywhere?

Seriously? For one thing, what mermayd just wrote above.


There are zero qualitative differences between them. None. There are differences in detail, but not in kind. All of them are based on a belief in supernatural forces which are not subject to any empirical test. And that somehow or other all this translates into prescriptive action. They only differ in the details as to how the forces are described and the specific action imperatives. Otherwise, it's the same drivel.

These people, thankfully, are not and do not even inhabit the same reality as the religious leaders in mainstream religions with official relations with heads of state and the like. Else, we'd all have been fucked a lot sooner than next Saturday.

Oh certainly, the "mainstream religions" are, as I indicated, far more canny, and as a result, more long-lived. Parasites well adapted. But parasites nonetheless.

I'm really astonished at all the pointing and laughing here - these people are no different, in important ways, fundamental ways, than any religions out there. I hope all the people here making fun of these wackos are atheists, because otherwise it's merely squabbling over doctrinal details - holding your nose and pointing at someone who stepped into it, while you yourself stand waist deep in doo-doo.
posted by VikingSword at 4:23 PM on May 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


Based on my calculations, the number six stands for evil, the number nine sex, and the number 16 youth. When you multiply them together and then square the result, you get 746,496. If you subtract 722,500, you end up with 23,996. If you add four, you get 24,000. The square root of 24,000 (rounded to the nearest whole number) is 155! Harold Camping is 89 years old. If you subtract 89 from 155, you get 66. If you add the single digits of May 21 (5/2/1) together, you get 8. If you add the single digits of 11 (for 2011) together, you get 2. If you subtract 2 from 8, you get 6. Place this 6 next to 66, and you get 666! Harold Camping is the Antichrist!
posted by perhapses at 4:24 PM on May 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


Here's my take on When Prophecy Fails, cognitive dissonance and what it says about pharma paraphernalia and boot camps.
posted by Maias at 4:25 PM on May 19, 2011


From what I understand it's a rolling rapture that will occur in one time zone at a time. No joke
Just to be safe, I hereby unilaterally define my own new time zone, GMT-876600.
posted by Flunkie at 4:25 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was surprised to see that some of the billboards here in San Diego were in Spanish.

I have a plan. You and me, we're gonna hijack one of the "Jesus Christ is Lord not a swear word" trucks and crash it into one of the billboards. You in?
posted by LionIndex at 4:27 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, on Saturday I am gonna drink so much beer!

Like normal!
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:30 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hey, hippybear, all I really remember about The Rapture.. . is the sex--David Duchovny, hmm. Wasn't Tom Cruise married to Mimi Rogers once upon a time? Now it's all coming together. See you all on Sunday . . .
posted by emhutchinson at 4:30 PM on May 19, 2011


How lucky are we that it would happen in our lifetimes? For thousands of years people have been predicting this and waiting for it and we're the age who actually gets to witness or experience it first-hand. How coincidental that it would occur around the waning days of the life of the only man who could discern the real date! But I guess that's the wrong way to view things. God doesn't traffic in coincidence.

It is meant to be that we would be able to pin this down to the minute, now that we're finally in an age when virtually any believer could accurately synchronize their clocks and watches. This is the glory of the Lord, that he stands outside of time, and that even a text written in the age of sundials and competing calendars, he could divinely inspire many different mortal authors from different regions to lay down the clues that would point us to the minute his glorious rapture would arrive, if only we have enough faith and humility to pay attention.

It is meant to be that the heavenly date and hour would receive massive media attention beyond the relative importance of the number of believers. It is not mere happenstance that the day and hour come during a time when political rhetoric has reached a point where nothing short of flat-out eschatalogical screeching will be heard. This is building to something. The number of followers is immaterial, and in fact presents a beautiful symmetry to the story of Christ's life on earth in itself, that few believed in his divinity then, and he was treated as a heretic by the religious leaders of his day.

And let us look at ourselves. Here in this thread mefites have made plans for what they will do in case of rapture, so sure in the fact that they are not of God's children that they are already preparing for looting, and raising the questions of how the dissappearance of one third of Americans would affect the economy. This is the essence of the end times, I tell you truthfully. Those remaining will turn on one another, creating a hell on earth as soon as the absence of the believers sets them "free" to do so. Who needs demons for tribulations when we will surely bring them upon ourselves?

Or maybe people are just tragically desperate for holy validation and the feeling of having some control over their lives and their environments. Maybe there are a good number of people who need any kind of bedrock certainty in their lives, need to feel "in the know."

Maybe there are going to be a lot of ruined lives on Sunday.

And the thing is, I don't know if Camper is malicious or just fervently misguided. I just know there's no way this goes well.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:30 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, we're having a Metafilter Meetup for San Diego/North County on the 21st, so I guess, uh, I'll be bowling during the Rapture.
posted by FritoKAL at 4:32 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


From what I understand it's a rolling rapture that will occur in one time zone at a time.

All aboard the Rapture Express! Experience the rapture up to five times in one day, starting in Auckland!
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:34 PM on May 19, 2011


Hey, hippybear, all I really remember about The Rapture.. . is the sex

Wow, really? All I can think about is [SPOILER] her shooting her daughter in the head and then unable to commit the follow-up suicide.
posted by hippybear at 4:34 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just aghast that this guy isn't in jail for fraud. He's taking these people's money to enrich himself with a bunch of BS cooked up to sound scholarly and important.
posted by humanfont at 4:36 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


We were discussing this in my bar on Monday (the billboards are all over NYC). I put this on the jukebox and got a free shot.
posted by jonmc at 4:41 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Had they really done any research they'd know that Mayan Jesus isn't coming until NEXT year.

Jeez, get it right for once!
posted by snsranch at 4:41 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


And when I wrote "Camper" I of course meant "Camping."
posted by Navelgazer at 4:42 PM on May 19, 2011


If we put Camper in jail for fraud, we'd have to put all the religious leaders in jail for fraud. For instance Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Franklin Graham, etc. Maybe you're on to something
posted by Daddy-O at 4:42 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


The best part is that the image is a man squatting down, silhouetted by a melancholy sunset, looking for all the world like he's taking a dump. Yeah, that's the way I want to ascend to heaven!

I thought exactly the same thing when I saw those billboards. "Whoa, the possibility of rapture has literally scared the shit out of that man!"

Myself, I plan to drive around at midnight with a speaker on my car blasting Carmina Burana at top volume.
posted by benzenedream at 4:43 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Camper, Camping, whatever.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:43 PM on May 19, 2011


I'm just aghast that this guy isn't in jail for fraud. He's taking these people's money to enrich himself with a bunch of BS cooked up to sound scholarly and important.

You mean, like the pope, and any number of other religious leaders? Cult leaders have made money off of their followers since religion began. I'm OK with that. I'm not aghast. I become aghast when they help themselves to the money of those who are not their followers. And they do that in every single country, if not through the tax code then through laws structured in such ways that they get economic advantages vs the rest of society.
posted by VikingSword at 4:44 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just aghast that this guy isn't in jail for fraud. He's taking these people's money to enrich himself with a bunch of BS cooked up to sound scholarly and important.
I frankly don't see how that makes him different than any number of religious leaders, including mainstream religious leaders. Why single him out?

And fraud can't be proven anyway, unless you somehow can magically prove that he doesn't actually believe this. Just like you can't prove it for any mainstream religious leader.
posted by Flunkie at 4:44 PM on May 19, 2011


I've read that there are 2,000 billboards.

Maybe addressed already in thread, but anyone know where they get their money? I have no idea how much a billboard costs, but given all the free publicity they've been getting in the news they sure have good PR. I mean: presumably other end-times groups have "predicted" their own dates yet failed to generate this kind of exposure.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 4:45 PM on May 19, 2011


(also, I know a few born-again types and even they think this is ridiculous)
posted by jonmc at 4:47 PM on May 19, 2011


Papaver somniferum: "Maybe addressed already in thread, but anyone know where they get their money?"

Camping's followers.
posted by brundlefly at 4:49 PM on May 19, 2011


brundlefy: tnanks for the link; sad stuff:

Robert Fitzpatrick, a 60-year-old Staten Island resident, says that the advertising has appeared on 1000 placards on subway carriages and on bus shelters across the Big Apple. This spread cost him $140,000, his life savings.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 4:52 PM on May 19, 2011


There are differences in detail, but not in kind. All of them are based on a belief in supernatural forces which are not subject to any empirical test.

Yeah, hello, Captain Obvious! seriously, put that englightening discovery aside for a second, just think, very matter of fact, for all practical purposes --- since hello, religions have been around for a while and are not going anywhere (well, we'll know on Saturday anyway!) --- are you not a little bit happy that the people like that guy who was at the presidential inauguration, that other guy who married William and Kate, the other guy who goes around the world on tour holding hands with prime ministers, the other guy who's friends with all the celebrities, and the other guy who's really friends with the other guy who has a finger on the button of the nukes, are NOT talking like this guy? You know? I'm channelling another Captain Obvious myself, but really... It's rather silly and ignorant to say all religions are this literal level of crazy apocalyptic when most don't even have a word for the Rapture.

Come on. There are billions of people in the world who nominally follow a religion, and still manage to live a normal life. I don't see the masses of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist etc. families making preparations for leaving the earth through a magical beam in the sky anytime soon.
posted by bitteschoen at 4:56 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was in the bank last week and had this conversation:

David: I'd like to deposit this money.
Bank Teller: Certainly. Can I interest you in applying for a credit card?
David: Thanks, maybe later, not today.
Bank Teller: I could set up an appointment for you.
David: Thanks, but I'm on lunch, and the world will end if I don't get back to work right away.
Bank Teller: Some people think the world will end next week.
David: Then I won't need a credit card, will I?
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:01 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


are you not a little bit happy that the people like that guy who was at the presidential inauguration, that other guy who married William and Kate, the other guy who goes around the world on tour holding hands with prime ministers, the other guy who's friends with all the celebrities, and the other guy who's really friends with the other guy who has a finger on the button of the nukes, are NOT talking like this guy? You know?

I'm as happy as I can be, considering all those who are dead as a direct result of religious irrationality. As for nuclear buttons, for now they are limited in number. That may not always be so. Other countries, where religion is far more directly entwined with governmental power, may one day get access to nuclear weapons. So how happy should I be? How happy about the victims in this conflict: George Bush: 'God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq'.
posted by VikingSword at 5:05 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Should his prediction also come with a proviso of which time zone the rapture will occur on the 21st?

This gives me an excuse to post a link to one of my favourite Roger Ebert reviews, End Of Days:

"Movies like this are particularly vulnerable to logic, and "End of Days'' even has a little fun trying to sort out the reasoning behind the satanic timetable. When Jericho has the Millennium Eve timetable explained to him, including the requirement that the Prince of Darkness do his dirty deed precisely between 11 p.m. and midnight, he asks the very question I was asking myself: "Eastern Standard Time?''
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:05 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Then I won't need a credit card, will I?

Cost of getting on the Rapture list: $5,325.00
Cost of getting your best suit cleaned in time for the Rapture: $15.37
Cost of seeing the look on St. Peter's face when you get in the door at the greatest celestial party ever thrown: priceless

There are some things money can't buy; for everything else, there's RaptureCard
posted by Papaver somniferum at 5:08 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am a Christian, and I'm not buying Mr. Camping's scenario. I know his heart is in the right place...as a Christian he has spent decades trying to lead people to God...but his math and his timing are not. He is actually doing great damage to Christianity, as many people will assume he is just another one of those "nutty Christians" and not take into account that there are many of us who go about anonymously trying to help our fellow men and women in many different ways without asking for money or seeking notice for it. I really hope he will humble himself and apologize come Sunday, as well as dipping into those millions of dollars to help his misguided followers regain their homes and their lives, but I kind of doubt it. He'll probably just say he needs to review his calculations and come up with a new date, which some of his followers will no doubt get behind in spite of his past inaccuracies.

A fool and his money are soon parted, especially by these false religious prophets no matter how sincere they are.
posted by Quasimike at 5:13 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rapture, schmapture. Any good human lives their life like the end of the world is now. You don't need to belong to anything or cough up your hard earned dough. If there's any higher power, it's checking out your totality, not making sure you're on your best behavior because the world is ending. If you believe your actions don't matter to anything, just take the path of least resistance. All the (few and far between) christians I have respect for, their faith is a beautiful thing manifest in how they live every waking moment. They don't need to be prodded into good behavior to get a ride on the cosmic hoover. They have more contempt than even Mefites for these goobers, as no one wants their belief system to be associated with such idiocity. I have relatives who are all wrapped up in this rature/apocalypse shit. At times it's kind of funny, but mostly it's sad. But the worst to me is that they still take the path of least resistance, under the assumption that gord forgives a "true believer" anything. In the unlikely event the rupture does come, it'll be worth it to take the time to go visit them for hours, even days of: "you still here, hypocrite?"
posted by Redhush at 5:17 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's either going to be blazing hot or freezing cold, so be sure to dress in layers
posted by Lukenlogs at 5:21 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


his math and his timing are not
How do you know?

Camping's offering an explanation for his beliefs. What explanation do you have to counter them?
posted by Flunkie at 5:23 PM on May 19, 2011


Jesus Christ, the "mathematics" is based on this: According to Camping, the number five equals "atonement", the number ten equals "completeness", and the number seventeen equals "heaven"?

He really should listen to the Pixies more often; he's got it all mixed up.

Because Man is five and the Devil is six and GOD IS SEVEN!
posted by jokeefe at 5:24 PM on May 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


I could totally get behind a Ninja Jesus. That would be awesome.

Agreed. That is probably the best way to take Him out.
posted by Hylas at 5:28 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are differences in detail, but not in kind.

Particularly in ethics, differences in detail matter. Religious fundamentalism in general is an exclusively American, modern phenomenon and, as an intellectualy non-rigorous and potentially harmful exercise, doesn't differ that much from Constitutional fundamentalism or any other strange American devotions to the idea of an idea. Religion looks a lot different even for many people who go to megachurches, but especially outside them and outside this country. I don't think it's a stretch to say most people who go to church do it because they're looking for both personal inspiration and a sense of community. "The Purpose Driven Life", for its (many) faults, doesn't regard hell much.

If your point here is that people and Americans particularly are easily duped by the rich and powerful, sure. But I've got no reason to think that's all that different different or even more damaging coming from religious leaders than it is from politicians or merchants of cool.
posted by Apropos of Something at 5:28 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, judging by the huge amount of engine oil on the ground, it appears that my oil pan was holier than I thought.
posted by eriko at 5:30 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


He really should listen to the Pixies more often; he's got it all mixed up.

Or Camping Van Beethoven.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:31 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder if Camping factored in the New Chronology.
posted by brundlefly at 5:33 PM on May 19, 2011


evidenceofabsence: I just became the mayor of the Kingdom of Heaven on @foursquare!
posted by evidenceofabsence at 5:42 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any good human lives their life like the end of the world is now.

I get what you're saying, but I'd say that any good human lives their lives like they are the caretakers of an infinite future.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:46 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


The part that most cracked me up in the interview in the NYMag, apart from all the "super" this and that, is that it's going to start at 6pm!!

Now, I wish there were subtitles for this, it's from an Italian classic comedy film from the 60s, Il giudizio universale, Judgement Day. In the video, you get God's voice thundering from the clouds saying "Last Judgement starts at 6pm!". Coincidence? I think not! I will have to watch this film again, on Saturday, at 6pm.

(Then for those interested the video continues with a tv presenter trying to introduce a discussion panel on the event, but no one turns up, and she loses it and gets carried away. And then God again, "We'll start in alphabetical order!", and a really old man shouts, all happy, "My name is Zuzzurro!". There are masses of people assembled in the square in Rome and of course, someone starts selling amulets and good luck charms. God starts going through A, taunting people with surreal questions like "Do you like custard? would you let a Chinese man die for a serving of custard? come on, be honest.. there's so many Chinese, one more one less won't make a difference to you if you can get your custard, admit it...". "You! you're too greedy." "But I gave a million to the poor last Christmas" "A million? why not two?" and the woman makes a gesture like 'ah come on'. Then God gets names wrong and apologises. Then he calls someone in Syria and the guy answers "wait, I'm a Muslim" and God "oh, nevermind". He calls a German and asks, "Did you learn anything from the last war?" and the German guy starts saying that yes, indeed, if only they'd had a different plan of attack, they would have won. God sighs and says "ah please! next!!". Then he calls someone in England and the guy goes a bit annoyed "Sorry, do you speak English?" and God answers, in Italian, a bit ashamed, "no", and the Englishman says "sorry" and walks away...
In the movie, in the end it seems like God basically gets bored and calls it off, it's not really explained, there's just a big rainstorm and then sunshine and everyone goes back to their boring ordinary life, forgetting all the promises of repentance and the resolutions they'd made.)

posted by bitteschoen at 5:51 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Rapture are still around? Dance-punk did herald bad things for my religion....
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:53 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


What if...what if it isn't the end times, but the end Times, as in New York Times? What if the world isn't ending, just print media? You know, like usual.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 5:54 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


anotherbrick: "Usually I'd just trot out Matthew 24:36 and let it stand, but...

May 21st is my goddamned birthday, so all the signs and bullshit take the form of a long, gnarled, finger pointing directly at me, indicating "DOOM, DOOM, DOOM..."

Dang dummy millionaire crackpot keeping me from enjoying my birthday...
"

My birthday's November 22. I feel the same way about Jack Kennedy.
posted by notsnot at 5:59 PM on May 19, 2011


Favorite bumper sticker ever: "When the Rapture comes, can I have your car?"
posted by Graygorey at 6:00 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


It doesn't look like anyone has mentioned the awesome graphic novel Therefore Repent yet. It's available as a download here: http://nomediakings.org/press/sword_of_my_mouth_1_out_soon.html

Absolutely fascinating: the image of 'heaven' is...well, let's just say not quite what these guys had in mind.
posted by jrochest at 6:12 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember when I was a kid, maybe six or seven, walking down the sidewalk in my new Velcro sneakers, praying that The Rapture wouldn't come until I was like, old, because there was so much awesome stuff I hadn't done yet. Like kiss a boy, or go to Disneyland.

It's no surprise I'm an atheist now, is all I'm saying.

Yet when whackadoos like this guy predict the end of days there's always one instant when I just panic. Childhood programming dies hard, is all I'm saying.
posted by sugarfish at 6:29 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am completely infatuated with After the Rapture Pet Care. I honestly kind of hope they *do* mean it. Because if they do, it's lovely. The FAQ is so kind and tolerant! And they're not charging obscene amounts of money for the service they intend to provide, either. Hell, it's incredibly kind and tolerant even if it's a joke, because no one is maliciously slagging anyone else at all on that website. Seriously. I am in love. And if I didn't know full well that most of my reptile-owning brethren are a bunch of blasphemous jerks like myself, I would totally sign up to take care of some snakes for them In The Event Of.

No, I do not believe in the Rapture. Of course I bloody don't. I'm still very seriously considering buying a t-shirt from them.
posted by Because at 6:29 PM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Judgment Day came and all I got was this stupid t-shirt.
posted by pianomover at 6:37 PM on May 19, 2011


I have my birthday party at the horse races at about this time. A few months ago, when I was still contemplating the date, I saw a dude on the subway handing out End of the World pamphlets. I asked him, "Is it going to be early in the day, or late in the day?" He said, "6:00." I was like, "Cool, so maybe we'll miss the last race, but that's all." I didn't invite him though.
posted by etc. at 7:08 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


already sick of everyone joking about this. These sorts of things come around several times a year. We all want our own slice of time to have significance; we all want to live in the End Times.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:16 PM on May 19, 2011


I always think about this little bit from the Life of Brian when whack-a-doo preacher types make oddly detailed predictions about the future.
posted by otolith at 7:23 PM on May 19, 2011


These sorts of things come around several times a year. We all want our own slice of time to have significance; we all want to live in the End Times.

End time prophesies are all over the place, yes. But most of them don't have the sort of media push that this one does. That is what is making this significant - billboard everywhere, even all over Toledo of all places.
posted by charred husk at 7:28 PM on May 19, 2011


All I know is that I'm going to be running around Sunday yelling "DARKSEID IS!" regardless of what happens Saturday.
posted by KingEdRa at 7:29 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Well, we should start seeing rapturing in New Zealand sometime the morning of Friday, 5/20, local USA time.

New Zealand is 17 hours ahead of New York City, so 6 PM NZDT in Wellington, NZ is 1 AM EDT in New York City.
posted by ardgedee at 7:36 PM on May 19, 2011


> Wow, the CDC really does have an article on zombies. That is totally an appropriate use of my tax dollars.

Late to the party, but it could also be a meme-ish way to make some points about basic emergency preparedness.

Which is, you know, what it is.
posted by Decimask at 7:41 PM on May 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Navelgazer writes "How lucky are we that it would happen in our lifetimes? For thousands of years people have been predicting this and waiting for it and we're the age who actually gets to witness or experience it first-hand. How coincidental that it would occur around the waning days of the life of the only man who could discern the real date! But I guess that's the wrong way to view things. God doesn't traffic in coincidence."

Not that I believe the rapture is ever going to come but this is a completely specious arguemanet. If the rapture was indeed to come it would happen during _someones_ life time. In the same way if an event rivalling SN_1006 was to occur this weekend we wouldn't mock it for coincidentally happening during our life time or disbelieve the early warning neutrinos because it happened to occur after a thousand years of people waiting.
posted by Mitheral at 7:59 PM on May 19, 2011


Fred Clark has weighed in:
Witnessing that terror and hopeless fear, seeing the suffering that it brought, I stopped thinking of his “Bible prophecy” obsession as a kooky, but mostly harmless set of beliefs. I began to realize that it was a framework that burdened its followers with the inevitability of disappointment, false hope, denial and an inconsolable fear. Its adherents were its victims. There were other victims, too, but its main damage was wrought in the lives of those who most believed it.
posted by Zozo at 8:02 PM on May 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


New Zealand is 17 hours ahead of New York City, so 6 PM NZDT in Wellington, NZ is 1 AM EDT in New York City.

You'd be an hour out... NZ is currently on NZST, not NZDT.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 8:50 PM on May 19, 2011


I RSVPed to the Post Rapture Looting "event" on Facebook, but sadly, I live in Las Vegas so I don't think we're going to get enough disappearances per-capita here for the local looting prospects to be that great. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 9:18 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


I bet if it were a Muslim group making this prediction and embarking on this massive advertising campaign, we'd be hearing nonstop terror alerts from the media. Just sayin'. I don't think we'll see any violence coming from this escapade, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little creeped out. By them.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:44 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry, but you'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn--and until Quinn the Eskimo gets here, I'll keep waiting. BTW looking forward to whatever happens to that eyesore billboard (redundant) on 880 here in Oakland come Sunday morning.
posted by emhutchinson at 9:58 PM on May 19, 2011


I bet you the billboard stays up and the followers come up with some rationalization about how the battle was fought in Heaven or how the end times have clearly begun because of some weather phenomenon in some corner of the world spotted on page 26 of the newspaper.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:04 PM on May 19, 2011


Emergency Preparedness and Response!

CDC link: Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.

OMG!
posted by clavdivs at 10:05 PM on May 19, 2011


If I'm over being sick by Saturday evening then I think I'm going to go to the thrift store and buy a bunch of cheap outfits and then leave little piles of empty clothes out on the sidewalks outside assorted Christian churches, just to freak people out when they come to church the next morning.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:08 PM on May 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


also, spread some purses and wallets about and fill them with tithes.
posted by clavdivs at 10:14 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


"oh look honey, coupons!"
posted by clavdivs at 10:15 PM on May 19, 2011


Has anyone tried to do what the villain in Spawn did, where he rigged a bomb so that when he died everybody died? Lex Luthor did the same thing. Wondering if anyone has done it in real life.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:35 PM on May 19, 2011


It's gonna be a bitch getting my comcast and Verizon bills prorated tomorrow.
posted by strange chain at 10:38 PM on May 19, 2011


Cool, I'll be in Oakland, CA on the 21st! Where's a good place to go witness this Rapture thing? I want to take photos of people rising to the heavens.
posted by destrius at 11:40 PM on May 19, 2011


Need a better name for it, but came up with idea for new product for those who wish to battle out the end times Kirk Cameron style --

IN A WORLD, waiting for THE WRATH OF GOD, ONE PRODUCT stands in THE WAY...

THE RAPTURE ANCHOR. Sixty pounds of lead, tied to your leg to keep you from getting sucked up into the heavens in the blink of an eye, and let you battle as many locust demons as you can take on. Who's with me on this -- there's no telling how many Christian end-time daydreamers want to stick around to re-enact their Left Behind stories... We just need some really heavy scrap metal to get started.
posted by anotherbrick at 12:09 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I say we all buy blow-up dolls and fill them with helium tomorrow.
posted by Rickalicioso at 12:19 AM on May 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm just here to report a Rapture billboard just outside of Sydney - facing westbound on Parramatta Road. It replaces one advertising treatment for premature ejaculation. There's a joke in there somewhere.
posted by ninazer0 at 12:31 AM on May 20, 2011 [3 favorites]



I'm just here to report a Rapture billboard just outside of Sydney - facing westbound on Parramatta Road. It replaces one advertising treatment for premature ejaculation. There's a joke in there somewhere.


Aw, if that's where I think it is you ruined the surprise of me seeing it on the way home and getting creeped out. Is it near the Annandale? Because that closing pretty much is the end of the world.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:34 AM on May 20, 2011


Nah - it's more towards Burwood - Haberfield I think.
posted by ninazer0 at 12:52 AM on May 20, 2011


ah.
and some of my Facebook friends are using this to make anti-American jokes. What a surprise.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:54 AM on May 20, 2011


Well, judging by the huge amount of engine oil on the ground, it appears that my oil pan was holier than I thought.

eriko

Did it have eight holes? Or more? Because then it would indeed be holier than thou.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 1:34 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


We all want our own slice of time to have significance; we all want to live in the End Times.

I think you need to reexamine your definition of "we all." I know no one who wants that. I have already lived through some significant times, and you can have them.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:56 AM on May 20, 2011


From what I understand it's a rolling rapture that will occur in one time zone at a time.

All aboard the Rapture Express! Experience the rapture up to five times in one day, starting in Auckland!


something something Nature's Harmonious Timecube something
posted by biscotti at 4:06 AM on May 20, 2011


An interesting catholic POV.
Apparently, exploding watermellons in China are a sign as well
posted by Redhush at 4:24 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


We'll all be saved at the zero hour by a Koala-mutant fish bird.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:37 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, how do they know they will be raptured? I don't understand
posted by mumimor at 4:49 AM on May 20, 2011


Religious fundamentalism in general is an exclusively American, modern phenomenon

It seems to be spreading to Australia. The Howard government put a lot of effort into building up a local religious-Right that could be counted on to vote and campaign for the Liberal Party, and while it hasn't reached anywhere near US levels, Christian fundamentalism in parts of Australia is much more prominent than in Europe. There are US-style megachurches (Hillsong being the best known one) and everything.
posted by acb at 4:56 AM on May 20, 2011


Heaven can wait: Prophet's non-profit staff expects to work Monday.

Ouch.
posted by jquinby at 5:12 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Redhush: "An interesting catholic POV."

I would love all the apocalyptic believers out there to read the following passage from your linked article - it exposes the Dead End Timers' beliefs for what they really are.
We might conclude by asking, “What view of the world is encouraged, even legitimized by the Rapture/Left Behind ideology?” It can be fairly described as an extremely pessimistic, “outsider mentality.” It feels “left out” of the world and of society, so it eagerly anticipates leaving all of that behind. In fact, God shares their disgust, and the signs are clear: God is coming soon to put an end to it. The world itself is doomed to destruction, so there is obviously no point in caring for it or protecting it now.

Everyone left behind on the earth at the time of the Rapture will be subject to the sufferings of the Tribulation. The violence envisaged and described (as in the “Left Behind” novels) is almost pornographic in detail.

The spirit of vengeance is much in evidence as those “left behind” are subjected to extreme anguish. The hope that the earth and most of its inhabitants will soon be destroyed is a cause of happiness and rejoicing among those who are eager to be separated from sinners and “raptured” out of the world because then they will be with the Lord.
posted by charred husk at 5:50 AM on May 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


To be fair acb, i'm not sure we can blame it all on the Howard Government, after all, Billy Graham pulled some pretty big crowds back in his day when he visited Australia in the late 50's. The Christian right has been around these parts for a while.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:06 AM on May 20, 2011


Surprisingly enough, the NYT has an interesting article on this -- mainly about a family where the parents believe and the kids do not. Although the kids seem mostly OK about it, it's still fairly sad.
posted by aramaic at 6:26 AM on May 20, 2011


It's a matter of degree. Fierce religion was always big in, say, rural Queensland, and groups such as the Assembly Of God always had a foothold in the suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne. Howard just pumped a lot of taxpayers' money into such groups under the auspice of faith-based welfare/education programmes and helped them expand dramatically. Part of it had to do with the "culture war" between the "punishers and straighteners" who believe that there is one way to be Australian, and it involves Christianity at its core, and the "inner-city latte-sipping small-L-liberal elite" who have a more decadently cosmopolitan outlook.
posted by acb at 6:27 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, if that was the litmus test for legitimacy we'd be living on Planet Crown Royal under Emperor Cash 4 Gold and his Hustler Club Nymphette Army.

I look forward to my upcoming enhanced interrogation by the Hustler Club Nymphette Army.
posted by Mcable at 6:27 AM on May 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


A matter of degree? Definitely, I generally agree with what your saying. My point is rather that religious conservatism has a potentially strong hold on Australian culture, in part because we don't talk about the place of religion all that much here, relatively. As a way of explanation, (and unfortunately anecdata) one of my tutorial groups this semester were pretty united in their argument that religion had little impact on the environment in which they lived until I asked why their gay friends couldn't get married. Its prominence goes up and down for sure, but it tends to be lurking around somewhere for people like Howard to exploit.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 8:00 AM on May 20, 2011


'with what you're saying'

whoops
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 8:10 AM on May 20, 2011


I wish I were going to a Sunday cookout at Fab Five Freddy's this weekend. I'd hang around the grill all day and wait for someone to ask where Freddy went. I'd just shrug my shoulders and slowly look up to the heavens.
posted by MinneapolisMike at 8:32 AM on May 20, 2011


"Oh man, Bob got caught in a tree. Can somebody at least get him some pants until he gets himself unstuck??"
posted by LordSludge at 8:50 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Surely, this is some kind of bizarre marketing ploy. Stay tuned!
posted by mrducts at 9:02 AM on May 20, 2011


Best ARG ever?
posted by Theta States at 9:24 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Saw a guy driving around with a "The rapture is May 21st" banner on his truck today here in Philly suburbs. Come on dude, shouldn't you be at home with your family? And can I have your truck?

Seriously though, how widespread is this? I thought it was more like a Westboro style small group of nuts even if they did raise a lot of money.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:44 AM on May 20, 2011


Cool, I'll be in Oakland, CA on the 21st! Where's a good place to go witness this Rapture thing? I want to take photos of people rising to the heavens.

Beer Revolution. It's the only place in Oakland. It's the only place anywhere, really.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:47 AM on May 20, 2011


Slackermagee's prank #1 is a GREAT IDEA and a few people in Malmö & Stockholm will be doing this tomorrow, tweeting pictures in #rapture hashtag. Do join in!
posted by dabitch at 9:55 AM on May 20, 2011


Religious fundamentalism in general is an exclusively American, modern phenomenon

MAYbe Christian religious fundamentalism. I remember reading Oranges Aren't the Only Fruit and watching Cold Comfort Farm and being surprised that such fundamentalism appeared in Englad. However, if you expand your "religious" parameters beyond Christian, I think everyone will agree it's endemic around the globe.

I was in a class about fundamentalism (not just religious) in grad school in the 1990s, and in it, it was argued that fundamentalism is modern, meaning since the industrial revolution. I'd put a lot of the alternative lifestyle movements from the mid to late 1800s in that category, like the Tolstoyans or the in NY. Oneida community, now of dishware fame. Fundamentalism turns up whenever life shifts faster than the culture can. One example in a book by Partha Chatterjee called A Nation and Its Fragmentsamazon.com link, was that women in India started going back to more "traditional" roles, dress, names, etc when the middle class started feeling overwhelmed by Western influences and business. It was a way of guarding what people felt were important parts of who they were as a group. Chatterjee talked about Nationalism, but to my mind nationalism of this sort and fundamentalism are very similar. They both idealize a past that likely never even existed.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:57 AM on May 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


No joke... this song came on my internet radio, exactly when I was reading this thread.... *shudder*

People listen attentively
I mean about future calamity
I used to think the idea was obsolete
Until I heard the old man stamping his feet

In the afterlife
You could be headed for the serious strife
Now you make the scene all day
But tomorrow there'll be Hell to pay

"Squirrel Nut Zippers...."
posted by Debaser626 at 10:15 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


That some of this trauma is self-inflicted or that, like most victims of con-artists, they are partially complicit in their own undoing doesn’t change the fact that we’re still talking about thousands of people in pain, fear and despair.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:34 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just want to point out that the article shakespeherian just linked to was authored by an ex-grandson-in-law of Camping, and contains a more intimate account than I was expecting when I clicked on it.
posted by Flunkie at 11:09 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel really sorry for the people who believe in this. One of my co-workers said that the guy who does the gardening service for his house (the whole neighborhood in fact) had written letters to all his clients, to let them know that Friday 20th May would be his last day of work. What is he going to do when nothing happens, and he so loudly pronounced it to all his clients? Will he just come back and try to pick up his life, or disappear?

I heard a story on this on NPR recently, and they were interviewing a young couple who had a toddler, and were pregnant with their second baby, due in July IIRC. They had planned all their finances around May 21st, and would be completely and utterly out of money at that point. Adults making those kinds of stupid decisions with their lives are one thing, but when small children are involved, that gets me all kinds of angry and upset.
posted by Joh at 11:18 AM on May 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Surprisingly enough, the NYT has an interesting article on this...
The three teenagers have been struggling to make sense of their shifting world, which started changing nearly two years ago when their mother, Abby Haddad Carson, left her job as a nurse to “sound the trumpet” on mission trips with her husband, Robert, handing out tracts. They stopped working on their house and saving for college.

Last weekend, the family traveled to New York, the parents dragging their reluctant children through a Manhattan street fair in a final effort to spread the word.

“My mom has told me directly that I’m not going to get into heaven,” Grace Haddad, 16, said. “At first it was really upsetting, but it’s what she honestly believes.”

... While Ms. Haddad Carson has quit her job, her husband still works as an engineer for the federal Energy Department. But the children worry that there may not be enough money for college. They also have typical teenage angst — embarrassing parents — only amplified.

“People look at my family and think I’m like that,” said Joseph, their 14-year-old, as his parents walked through the street fair on Ninth Avenue, giving out Bibles. “I keep my friends as far away from them as possible.”

“I don’t really have any motivation to try to figure out what I want to do anymore,” he said, “because my main support line, my parents, don’t care.”

His mother said she accepted that believers “lose friends and you lose family members in the process.”

“I have mixed feelings,” Ms. Haddad Carson said. “I’m very excited about the Lord’s return, but I’m fearful that my children might get left behind. But you have to accept God’s will.”*
Sickenly sad and selfish on the parents' part.
posted by ericb at 11:25 AM on May 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


So, all of the people who are going to come back to life tomorrow - where are they now?

Are they in Heaven / Hell? And get yanked back to Earth briefly?

Or are they "asleep", somehow?

And I'm not specifically talking about in Camping's religion (although I am curious about that) - I'm also curious about it for other Christian religions too, including mainstream ones.
posted by Flunkie at 11:28 AM on May 20, 2011


I think The Rapture is just God's way of saying "Sorry , my bad. Shouldn't have put those guys down there in the first place. Carry on."
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:40 AM on May 20, 2011


I read that article earlier this morning, ericb. Made me want to throw up.
posted by rtha at 11:42 AM on May 20, 2011


In my dreams, the dinner the day after the Carson family's non-Rapture will be really hilarious and awkward, with the eyes-narrowed, arms-crossed, bemusedly-condescending children asking their cowed, bitter parents what their future plans are.

"Well, that was fun, wasn't it? I like fun, too. But, you know, you're not getting any younger. You'll have to get a job again someday. I know, I'll do you a favor. I'll cut out some classifieds for you. Let me know how that goes."

The reality probably won't be at all funny, though.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:51 AM on May 20, 2011



I was surprised to see that some of the billboards here in San Diego were in Spanish.


Here in Texas, the most fanatic religious people are usually hispanic.
posted by Malice at 12:04 PM on May 20, 2011


Religious fundamentalism in general is an exclusively American, modern phenomenon

MAYbe Christian religious fundamentalism.


Christian fundamentalism is a pretty modern thing and has, for the most part, been developed in the US. I'm unsure of its roots (though they probably have something to do with early 20th century revivalism), but, in the 1930s and 40s with the rise of the first widely-popular radio evangelists, the revivalism movement, oftentimes bringing with it faith healing, spread quickly throughout the US and, though the work of missionaries, the world. With continued radio evangelism and rise of televangelism in the 60s, Christian fundamentalism became enmeshed with the faith healing movement and this combination grew a global membership very quickly. For example, Kenneth Hagin's RHEMA Bible Training Centers exist and thrive in a number of countries across Europe, the Americas, and Asia. There are a number of enclaves of Christian fundamentalism throughout Africa and significantly fewer, though still some, in South America.

Much of this information comes from my knowledge of the history and spread of the faith healing movement, however, and I know that there are places where it has become unwed from Christian fundamentalism (even, at times, Christianity as a whole, but that is unsurprising considering its many of its roots are found in the New Thought movement).
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:01 PM on May 20, 2011


I love seeing "Post Rapture Looting" in my "Upcoming Events:" widgit. Warms my cynical little heart.
posted by Big_B at 1:16 PM on May 20, 2011


Why we're enraptured by the Rapture -- "Why has there been so much buzz over Saturday's scheduled Rapture?"
posted by ericb at 1:32 PM on May 20, 2011


"Jerry Jenkins, co-author with Tim LaHaye of the 'Left Behind' series of apocalyptic novels that have sold millions of copies worldwide, has a problem with the prediction.

'As a believer, I'm already a kook compared to most people, so for someone to choose a date and get everyone excited about a certain time, my problem is it makes us look worse,' said Jenkins, 61."*
Ya' think?
posted by ericb at 1:35 PM on May 20, 2011


So if we wake up on the 22nd and everyone's still here, does that mean we're all going to hell?
posted by liminality at 1:38 PM on May 20, 2011


does that mean we're all going to hell?

Don't give Camping any ideas; if he comes out on the 22nd and says "it happened, but none of us were good enough to be saved" I'm gonna be really irked at you...

(not really)
posted by aramaic at 1:42 PM on May 20, 2011


CNN's Jeanne Moos - Waiting For The World To End?
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on May 20, 2011


As people leave work today, I've been telling them "Have a nice life!"
posted by desjardins at 1:47 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


>> Supposedly, New Zealand gets the rapture first

No, that would be Christmas Island at UTC+14
posted by atomicmedia at 2:40 PM on May 20, 2011


During visiting space shuttle missions, the ISS crew will mostly follow the shuttle's Mission Elapsed Time (MET), which is a flexible time zone based on the launch time of the shuttle mission.


So what will happen to the astronauts on the ISS since the shuttle is there?
posted by atomicmedia at 2:48 PM on May 20, 2011


The worst part of this entire thing is that now Vancouver will never win the Stanley Cup.
posted by CCBC at 3:17 PM on May 20, 2011


May 21st here in Japan. No signs of Rapture yet. Is this on Eastern Standard time? Jerusalem time? Does it specify this in the Bible? I've got work today, but if a bunch of the people I work with aren't gonna be there cause they're saved, I might as well stay home and play The Witcher 2.
posted by snwod at 3:32 PM on May 20, 2011


OK, so I think it's fair to spend Sunday pointing and laughing, but after that?

Because once this is all over, we're left with thousands of people who threw away their life savings and their preparations for a future because they got duped by a con man.

What's the compassionate way to help these people and re-integrate them into society?
posted by Jacqueline at 3:33 PM on May 20, 2011


it's 6 p.m. local time
posted by atomicmedia at 3:40 PM on May 20, 2011


Sickenly sad and selfish on the parents' part.

The weird thing is, if you go beyond these kooks to simple, raw, word-of-Jesus Christianity, that's exactly what Christians are supposed to do.

The New Testament isn't the guidebook of family values that the fundies make it out to be. Jesus explicitly tells people to leave their family behind and follow him.
posted by Jimbob at 3:43 PM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The New Testament isn't the guidebook of family values that the fundies make it out to be. Jesus explicitly tells people to leave their family behind and follow him.

Just a nitpick, but it's the mainstream evangelicals and the cafeteria Christians who sanitize the message of the Bible, making it just about peace, love and brotherhood. The actual fundamentalists are all about the fire and brimstone, Jesus the divider, God's Justice equaling God's Love, etc. I actually kind of respect them for that, it seems to me to be a much reasonable reading of the Bible.
posted by skewed at 3:56 PM on May 20, 2011


we're left with thousands of people who threw away their life savings and their preparations for a future because they got duped by a con man.
I'm not so sure he's a con man. Why are you?

I don't mean to imply that I believe he is correct. Rather, I'm not sure why I shouldn't give him the benefit of the doubt that he really does believe what he professes to believe, just like I give to almost all religious people. Especially after reading this.

What evidence do you have that he's a con man?
posted by Flunkie at 4:04 PM on May 20, 2011


"What evidence do you have that he's a con man?"

Because he's done this several times before, making quite a bit of money each time.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:10 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


10 things IT groups need to know about The Rapture.
posted by ericb at 4:11 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will there be group gatherings of the faithful awaiting the Rapture, or is the common tendency to wait in one's home?
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:14 PM on May 20, 2011


Because he's done this several times before, making quite a bit of money each time.
Really? As far as I have previously heard, there was just one other time. Can you cite others? And can you cite your claim that he made quite a bit of money each time? Thanks.
posted by Flunkie at 4:17 PM on May 20, 2011


How does he make money?
posted by small_ruminant at 4:18 PM on May 20, 2011


Rapture Excuse Bingo Card
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:25 PM on May 20, 2011


From Reddit: Harold Camping is my uncle, ask me anything.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:35 PM on May 20, 2011


How God Is Managing the 2011 Rapture
posted by hippybear at 4:37 PM on May 20, 2011


How does he make money?

Donations. Lot of gullible radio listeners out there.

As per above:
"According to their most recent IRS filings, Family Radio is almost entirely funded by donations, and brought in $18 million in contributions in 2009 alone.

According to those financial documents, accountants put the total worth of Family Radio (referred to as Family Stations on its official forms) at $72 million. With those kind of financials -- and controversial beliefs -- it's no wonder skeptics have accused the group of running a scam."
posted by ericb at 4:40 PM on May 20, 2011


As far as I have previously heard, there was just one other time.
Also, I have read in several places that that one other time was not an absolute prediction, as this one is; rather, it was a "maybe", and (I have read) also included 2011 as another maybe.
posted by Flunkie at 4:41 PM on May 20, 2011


Rapture Ready: The Science of Self Delusion -- "Why Harold Camping's flock won't give up the faith, whatever happens on Saturday."
posted by ericb at 4:43 PM on May 20, 2011


"Broadcasting online as well as over local airwaves, Family Radio reaches at least 150 countries in 82 languages.

... The nonprofit had $72 million in assets in 2009 (the most recent year for which financial records are available), and holds several lucrative FCC licenses. A sizable chunk of its funding comes from donations. All this, says [PR Manager Tom] Evans, shows that God has favored them.

... Though Camping has not wavered in the certainty of his message, neither have staff made plans to cease broadcasting. Evans says this simply reflects a desire to be good citizens. 'We'll just let God stop it whenever He's going to,' he says. 'We suspect it will be around 6 p.m. our time.'"*
It's a goddamn con ... just like most evangelical Christian enterprises in the U.S.
posted by ericb at 4:52 PM on May 20, 2011


I don't really see how the fact that they receive donations means that he personally is a con man. And beyond that, unless he's playing a really, really deep con, I don't think that someone who didn't believe it would periodically get desperately maudlin in private with his family begging them not to cremate him when he dies because his research shows that the cremated are not resurrected.
posted by Flunkie at 4:56 PM on May 20, 2011


Too many people ascribe malicious motives to what might actually be genuine craziness.

Not as if he's returning the money either way, of course.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:00 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


May 21st here in Japan. No signs of Rapture yet. Is this on Eastern Standard time? Jerusalem time? Does it specify this in the Bible?

Of course not, unless you know the seekrit code (which Harold Camping does). 6 PM local time, because God has set his celestial timepiece to a scheme worked out for the convenience of British railroad companies in 1847 and expanded worldwide later in the century.

Interestingly, I was chatting with a Canadian friend of mine living in Japan today and he mentioned that he had heard nothing of this. Boy, will those Japanese people be surprised!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:12 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The following note accompanies the Rapture Countdown Clock hosted by the Democratic Party of Franklin County, MO:

Note: The committee meeting planned for May 23 at the Government Center in Union will likely proceed as scheduled. I’m pretty sure we’ll still have enough for a quorum.
posted by Graygorey at 5:28 PM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay, New Zealand. Are you guys in the air?
posted by RakDaddy at 6:06 PM on May 20, 2011


Wait guys how late is the rapture tomorrow because I can't miss Doctor Who...
posted by Windigo at 6:09 PM on May 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Okay, New Zealand. Are you guys in the air?
It's only 1:30 PM in New Zealand. They've still got four and a half hours.
posted by Flunkie at 6:28 PM on May 20, 2011


Oop, sorry, I'm off by a few hours. Will check in at 11pm Pacific.
posted by RakDaddy at 7:01 PM on May 20, 2011


So, its currently 4pm Saturday May 21st in Kiribati. In two hours are they going to go with:

a) An embarrassed admission of error.
b) 'Obviously there were no true Christians in Kiribati'.

I don't suppose there are any news channels planning to offer rolling coverage of different time zones, like they do for New Years Eve?
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 7:04 PM on May 20, 2011


So, its currently 4pm Saturday May 21st in Kiribati. In two hours are they going to go with:

a) An embarrassed admission of error.
b) 'Obviously there were no true Christians in Kiribati'.
c) Nothing.

I doubt they're going to respond so soon.
I don't suppose there are any news channels planning to offer rolling coverage of different time zones, like they do for New Years Eve?
Man, I sure hope not.
posted by Flunkie at 7:08 PM on May 20, 2011


I doubt they're going to respond so soon.

Surely they'll be asked directly? They're out and about in emblazoned cars and trucks spreading the world, and people are gleefully looking forward to telling them 'I told you so'. I think its a reasonable assumption that they'll start getting calls and questions when the first 6pm comes and goes, even if they choose not to respond officially until later.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 7:22 PM on May 20, 2011


My money is on nothing, not even a press release. Just total silence.
posted by The Whelk at 7:32 PM on May 20, 2011


Surely they'll be asked directly?
As soon as 6:00 PM Kiribati time rolls around? I sincerely doubt it.

(1) It will be Friday night at 9:00 PM their time; who is going to be available to be called?

(2) They were all told to stay at their homes and pray; how does the press know where to call?

(3) I don't think many people, press included, knows about the whole "6:00 PM in each time zone" thing;

(4) I suspect that the Venn diagram of "members of the press who care about this" and "members of the press who know that there's such a thing as Kiribati time" is two disjoint circles.
posted by Flunkie at 7:37 PM on May 20, 2011


You know what would be really funny? If Camping were off by a day. That way, everybody would have their, "Told you so!" moment and then the world would end, anyway. On a Sunday.

While everybody's napping.
posted by byanyothername at 8:00 PM on May 20, 2011


5:16 pm in Kiramati. I'm repenting now after my life of sin and wickedness. Sorry y'all and y'all's forgiven for trespassing and such. Yea haw go team Jesus!
posted by humanfont at 8:20 PM on May 20, 2011


I'm drinking bourbon, and I have eaten excellent barbecue. My sweetie is next to me: I'm ready!
posted by rtha at 8:34 PM on May 20, 2011


So are there raptors on Christmas island now?
posted by Windigo at 9:00 PM on May 20, 2011


My kid lost a tooth and I can't find the tooth under her pillow so I just threw the money under there and now I'm really kind of hoping she just gets raptured, she's a pretty good kid and I am in big trouble.
posted by padraigin at 9:05 PM on May 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


6:23 pm in Kiritimati.
posted by gubo at 9:24 PM on May 20, 2011


HOLY SHIT! OH WOW!!! HOLY SHIT!!

My bird just got Raptured! Seriously, one second it was just sitting on it's perch and the next it was floating up through the air to Heaven.




Oh, nevermind. It's sitting on the door.




And it just pooped.
posted by quin at 9:30 PM on May 20, 2011


Raptors on Christmas Island needs to be a movie NOW.
posted by brundlefly at 9:31 PM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Wikipedia article on this sad exercise is COMEDY GOLD:
Failure of predictions

As of 6 pm local time on Christmas Island, May 21 2011, no earthquakes have occurred [46], nor has there been any evidence of rapture activities.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:35 PM on May 20, 2011


Non, je ne regrette rien.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:39 PM on May 20, 2011


Contrapture.
posted by effluvia at 10:43 PM on May 20, 2011


On May 21, from what we hear, a small number of Christians will disappear and God will rock the rest of us with earthquakes, plague, asteroids, and all manner of suffering. On Oct. 21, after five months of torture, the universe will cease to exist. This is obviously disconcerting news, and we thought we'd lend a hand.
Rapture-Relief.org, run by the Seattle Atheists group.
posted by gc at 12:20 AM on May 21, 2011


Oh. Still here (in Australia). I guess I should keep an eye out for locusts and asteroids and earthquakes and whatnot?
posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:03 AM on May 21, 2011


Hello, I was raptured. Yes, there is MetaFilter here in heaven.
posted by telstar at 3:15 AM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh. Still here (in Australia). I guess I should keep an eye out for locusts and asteroids and earthquakes and whatnot?
posted by malibustacey9999 at 6:33 PM


Well, there was a gentle rain in Adelaide. Does that count?
posted by naturesgreatestmiracle at 3:56 AM on May 21, 2011


Maybe this was mentioned upthread somewhere, but I just read (penultimate paragraph) that Camping expected only 200 million people to be saved. Man, fuck that guy.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 4:56 AM on May 21, 2011


Tooling around their website today, I'm getting the same small pit-in-the-stomach feeling I got when the Heaven's Gate people were getting ready to hitch a ride out on Comet Hale-Bopp.
posted by jquinby at 5:39 AM on May 21, 2011


I just saw a billboard about this, in Berlin! I couldn't believe it. Right outside one of the biggest big S-Bahn stations. If it hadn't been for this thread I wouldn't have even paid attention to it, or know wtf it was about, as I had no idea that the Last Judgement called "Jüngsten Gericht" in German. But I saw the giant 21 May 2011 and then something like "pray to God really hard today!" and "Family Radio".

I'm a bit shocked that they got as far as here, obviously they do have LOTS of money. I mean it was right beside an another billboard for Ford! WTF.

(Don't get me started on what they could have done that's USEFUL with that amount of money instead of advertising about crap like this. But I guess they don't really care about being useful and charitable to a world that's going to disappear out of the blue. Ugh.)
posted by bitteschoen at 5:48 AM on May 21, 2011


Unfortunately they think they are doing the best thing for humanity with the money. Last minute getting any possible stragglers. Not helping anyone I know, though...
posted by Redhush at 6:38 AM on May 21, 2011


And of course Twitter is a blast right now.


I think we should all pretend the #rapture is happening so that when Harold Camping gets left behind later today he'll be livid

Marvellous news! #rapture doesn't mean end of world: apparently all the plantet's imbeciles disappear in one go #dreamcometrue

I guess on Sunday when the #Rapture people feel really upset, we can't console them by saying "Cheer up, it's not the end of the world".

Mowing the lawn seems somewhat redundant, what with the #rapture starting in only a couple of hours.

If the #rapture is really gonna happen....hope u all said ur goodbyes to the aussies hahaha.

posted by bitteschoen at 6:51 AM on May 21, 2011


I got Raptured before it was cool.
posted by scalefree at 7:55 AM on May 21, 2011


You know, even my pastor is on Twitter telling rapture jokes.

I am not sure why this time the datesetting has caught the popular imagination so well since there have been so many previous datesetti
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:29 AM on May 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


St. Alia just got raptured! She was right all along!
posted by lauranesson at 8:58 AM on May 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ever since the world ended, I don't go out as much.
People that I once befriended just don't bother to stay in touch.
Things that used to seem so splendid don't really matter today.
It's just as well the world ended; it wasn't working anyway.

posted by hydrophonic at 9:18 AM on May 21, 2011


I have 15 minutes left gang, what should I do?
posted by marienbad at 9:44 AM on May 21, 2011


ROCK US LIKE A HURRICANE!
posted by clavdivs at 9:49 AM on May 21, 2011


1 Thessalonians 4:15-17:

"... and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

So the dead rise first... oh shit:

Ready for a zombie apocalypse? CDC has advice
posted by atomicmedia at 9:55 AM on May 21, 2011


Too late its h...
posted by marienbad at 10:01 AM on May 21, 2011


The map on the Rapture Fail blog is pretty active.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:17 AM on May 21, 2011


re: Repturefail - It is not loading for me. I get a 1 thessolonians 6:2 Domain Error. And I thought I would have gigabit internet up here...
posted by marienbad at 10:31 AM on May 21, 2011


Wonderful evening here - no earthquakes or anything. I don't think we have any fundi-christians, so there's no one to be taken for the rapture.
How are they taking it in Oakland?
posted by mumimor at 10:43 AM on May 21, 2011


Well, I'm taking it fine in Oakland. I'm not sure if that's what you meant though!
posted by brundlefly at 11:13 AM on May 21, 2011


he he - I'd have thought you were relieved to know nothing is happening at all
posted by mumimor at 11:32 AM on May 21, 2011


"My name is Andrew Ryan, and I have a question..."
posted by SPrintF at 11:39 AM on May 21, 2011


I'm near Washington DC (I suspect there's a high percentage of people in this area gonna be un-Raptured) I'm looking forward to watching for sky-floaters in lessee, just over 2-1/2 hours!
posted by easily confused at 12:23 PM on May 21, 2011


oh...

Safari can’t open the page “http://www.familyradio.com/index2.html” because the server where this page is located isn’t responding.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:05 PM on May 21, 2011


Probably the best place to see the rapture is Chick-Fil-A, I'm guessing.
posted by Daddy-O at 2:09 PM on May 21, 2011


While Harold Camping sits safe with his millions…
"... the fear he fosters spreads around the world.

This woman, fearful of the end of the world, took a boxcutter to the throats of her two daughters, and then sliced her own throat. This is what religion encourages: fear based on imaginary terrors.

Here's a man who committed suicide in Nairobi. Here's a family torn by parents who gave away everything to Camping; the mother said a daughter would be left behind…at least she didn't try to cut her throat.

I want to see Harold Camping prosecuted for bilking people out of their money, for destroying lives and families. I want to see his radio empire dismantled and the people who promoted his lies disgraced and ashamed.

It won't happen."
posted by ericb at 2:23 PM on May 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's a family torn by parents who gave away everything to Camping; the mother said a daughter would be left behind…

Not to diminish Camping's despicable behavior; but the Haddad kids seem to be handling their parent's insanity pretty well. How a couple of whack jobs like that managed to raise stable, good-humored children is beyond me; but they did.
posted by steambadger at 2:33 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Failed May 21, 2011 Doomsday prophet Harold Camping gone into hiding?.
posted by ericb at 2:36 PM on May 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Uh-oh: Iceland's most active volcano erupts.
posted by ericb at 2:37 PM on May 21, 2011


it's happening, here is a picture of the first raptured person taken from a plane
posted by lips at 2:41 PM on May 21, 2011


Holy shit ... on the east coast of the U.S. we've got just 5 minutes left. Time for a refill. Hon, another G&T. Thanks.
posted by ericb at 2:55 PM on May 21, 2011


Well I'm still here. Hello? Helloooooooo?????
posted by 8dot3 at 3:00 PM on May 21, 2011


Oh god, Top Gun just started on the channel I was watching. This really is Hell.
posted by 8dot3 at 3:01 PM on May 21, 2011


Hello. Only us heathens are still here. How 'bout your Bible-thumping neighbors? They still around?
posted by ericb at 3:01 PM on May 21, 2011


From twitter
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 3:02 PM on May 21, 2011


[crickets]
posted by brundlefly at 3:04 PM on May 21, 2011


I'm feeling strangely light on my feet.
posted by orthogonality at 3:05 PM on May 21, 2011


Click on HOME PAGE right now.

CLOSED FOR RAPTURE!

Brilliant.
posted by ericb at 3:07 PM on May 21, 2011


Screen grab: MeFi 'Closed For Rapture.'
posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on May 21, 2011


So I'm not the only one seeing the loading wheel for that video.
posted by brundlefly at 3:16 PM on May 21, 2011


I got a little ways into the video.
posted by gc at 3:21 PM on May 21, 2011


Better 'MeFi Rapture' screen grab w/ image and 'Happy Birthday' song.
posted by ericb at 3:23 PM on May 21, 2011


And now Camping is gonna make something of this: Volcano erupts in Iceland, spurs 50 earthquakes.
posted by ericb at 3:25 PM on May 21, 2011


That's hilarious. Well played, MetaFilter.
posted by hippybear at 3:28 PM on May 21, 2011


This has the stink of cortex all over it!

Well played mids, well played.
posted by The Whelk at 3:31 PM on May 21, 2011


And now Camping is gonna make something of this: Volcano erupts in Iceland, spurs 50 earthquakes.
posted by ericb at 3:25 PM on May 21 [+] [!]

Take that, Iceland! Your centuries of peace are over!
posted by gc at 3:31 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


And now Camping is gonna make something of this: Volcano erupts in Iceland, spurs 50 earthquakes.

Oh, wait-a-hold-it. Camping got it all fucking wrong.

It was Thor -- and not Jesus -- that is returning on this day!

After all ... "In Norse mythology, largely recorded in Iceland from traditional material stemming from Scandinavia, numerous tales and information about Thor are provided."*
posted by ericb at 3:32 PM on May 21, 2011


Turns out Norse Gods are the true gods. Sorry about that.
posted by The Whelk at 3:32 PM on May 21, 2011


You know, even my pastor is on Twitter telling rapture jokes.

I am not sure why this time the datesetting has caught the popular imagination so well since there have been so many previous datesetti
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:29 AM on May 21 [7 favorites +] [!]


gotcha!



St. Alia just got raptured! She was right all along!
posted by lauranesson at 8:58 AM on May 21 [3 favorites +] [!]


Well, you're HALF right. ; )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:06 PM on May 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love how all the people who get raptured in mid-typing on MetaFilter have time to hit "Post Comment" as they float up toward the sky.
posted by hippybear at 4:09 PM on May 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Crapture.
posted by contessa at 4:14 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It floats up and hits the ceiling and clean up is a bitch.
posted by The Whelk at 4:15 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love how all the people who get raptured in mid-typing on MetaFilter have time to hit "Post Comment" as they float up toward the sky.

Well, I can't speak for anybody else -- but I've cleverly tilted my chair so that my bridgework will fall out of my mouth and strike the
posted by steambadger at 4:28 PM on May 21, 2011


I'm programmed "post" as a deadman switch. So far I haven't triggered it.
posted by found missing at 4:32 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus hit post. He didn't want my wit to go unseen. He's a real lifesaver.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:00 PM on May 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I SURVIVED THE RAPTURE AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY MEME.
posted by The Whelk at 5:08 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is anybody else disappointed? I was really looking forward to fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic hellscape with an ethnically diverse group of refugees, carefully chosen for their clearly-defined motivations and metaphorically suggestive backstories. I planned my whole week around it.

Now I just have to clean my apartment and go to work. Rats.
posted by steambadger at 5:10 PM on May 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Two minutes untiul the rapture... damn it, where did I put the bong?
posted by ryanrs at 5:58 PM on May 21, 2011


OK, I'm ready!
posted by ryanrs at 5:59 PM on May 21, 2011


...PFFFEWWW...
*cough*
*cough*
*cough*
*cough*
*cough*

posted by ryanrs at 6:01 PM on May 21, 2011


OK, it's 6pm PDT, where's the snark? Am I the only one here joking around, or what?

!!
posted by ryanrs at 6:05 PM on May 21, 2011


Guess I'm the only one left.
posted by ryanrs at 6:11 PM on May 21, 2011


Finally! Time enough at last-
*glasses break*

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
posted by The Whelk at 6:15 PM on May 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


Oh, you're still here. I guess it wasn't the rapture then.

This is your fault, you know. For being insufficiently gay.

My fault, too, I suppose.
posted by ryanrs at 6:18 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Whelk? Insufficiently gay? Really?
posted by desjardins at 6:22 PM on May 21, 2011


Well, how else do you explain this disappointing non-rapture?
posted by ryanrs at 6:24 PM on May 21, 2011


The artschool kids in the big shambling house across the back alley raised a huge cheer and to-do right at 6:00, but nothing much else happened around here. I spent all my immediate pre-Rapture time dealing with mobile phone tech support, which would actually have been a pretty disappointing way to go. Should have planned better.
posted by jokeefe at 6:58 PM on May 21, 2011


Looks like rapture hangover is setting in.
posted by Papaver somniferum at 7:25 PM on May 21, 2011


Did anyone get one of these on their door?
posted by hippybear at 7:34 PM on May 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


No, but I would have paid good money for one.
posted by steambadger at 7:37 PM on May 21, 2011


Video of Robert "Doomsday Code" Fitzpatrick at 6:05 on 5/21/11 being confronted about the non-Rapture and what happens to people who had donated money in the expectation of the Rapture.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:15 PM on May 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


3D animated newscast featuring high-fivin' Jesus and Alien Dopers
posted by benzenedream at 10:54 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It must suck to be a believer and have absolutely nothing ever go your way.

You pray and shit doesn't happen. God lets grandma die. God lets your daughter die. Shit, God kills your grandmother and your daughter, considering how easy it would be for him to keep them alive and happy. No angels appear to you. God doesn't speak to you. People you know are bad to the core live long, happy, healthy, satisfying lives and die grinning.

Then some guy comes along and say, "You know what? Fuck it. It doesn't matter anymore because Jesus is actually coming right fucking now to take you to heaven." And you believe him because this solves all of your problems. You don't have to go to work anymore. You don't have to put up with any of that shit anymore. You're going to heaven in a couple of days and all of the dickheads are going right fucking straight to hell.

But fucking Sunday comes around all the same, and then Monday.
posted by pracowity at 1:34 PM on May 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


It must suck to be a believer and have absolutely nothing ever go your way.

You've just described being a Boston Red Sox fan from 1918 until 2004!
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on May 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


May 21 'Judgment Day' Believers React To Being Alive On May 22.
posted by ericb at 8:54 AM on May 23, 2011


Harold Camping 'flabbergasted'; rapture a no-show.
posted by ericb at 8:55 AM on May 23, 2011


Camping, who told The Huffington Post last week that May 21 was "no laughing matter," had refused to discuss what he would do with donations if the day passed without event. In recent months, followers have given generously to his company, which runs 66 radio stations in the U.S. and is worth at least $120 million.

On Sunday, [Family Radio spokesman Tom Evans] Evans said Family Radio's assets "far outweigh its liabilities," and that it will "certainly do everything it can to take care of people." But he said that there has been no decision on giving money back to donors.*
posted by ericb at 8:59 AM on May 23, 2011


Harold Camping speaks the day after 'the Rapture.'
posted by ericb at 12:34 PM on May 23, 2011


And the justifications begin:
Gunther Von Harringa, who heads a religious organization that produces content for Camping's media enterprise, said he was "very surprised" the Rapture did not happen as predicted, but he and other believers were in good spirits.

"It hasn't shaken my faith, and we're still searching the Scriptures to understand why it did not happen," said Von Harringa, president of EBible Fellowship, which he operates from his home in Delaware, Ohio. "It's just a matter of OK, Lord, where do we go from here?"

Family Radio's special projects coordinator, Michael Garcia, said he believed the delay was God's way of separating true believers from those willing to doubt what he said were clear biblical warnings.

"Maybe this had to happen for there to be a separation between those who have faith and those who don't," he said. "It's highly possible that our Lord is delaying his coming."
posted by ericb at 1:58 PM on May 23, 2011


The Best UC Berkeley eccentric is a Family Radio adherent. He's got a little chalkboard on which he's been counting down the days.

Didn't see him in any of his usual spots on campus today.
posted by Zed at 3:07 PM on May 23, 2011


From the "flabbergasted" link:

The middle-aged Oakland resident said he'd been listening to Camping since 1993, when he said the world would end in 1994.

That was strike one, the man said. And this is strike two. Even so, he said, that doesn't mean the message is wrong.

"I just know he's biblically sound," the man said. "I've never been one of these guys who think everything he says is true.

"I don't think I am going to stop listening to him," the man added, heaving a deep sigh before continuing: "I don't know, I gotta listen to him on Monday, see what he says on the radio."


The man (might as well have) continued, "I figure, stopped clock's right occasionally too? Right? So despite making clear assertions, twice, and being unquestionably and demonstrably wrong, twice, I'm going to give him another chance to not strike out..."

"flabbergasted" is the word I'd use as well.
posted by quin at 3:44 PM on May 23, 2011


The goal posts have been moved.
Radio host now says Judgment Day coming in October
posted by ericb at 7:26 PM on May 23, 2011


Saturday was "an invisible judgment day" in which a spiritual judgment took place, he said. But the timing and the structure is the same as it has always been, he said.

INVISIBLE JUDGEMENT DAY
posted by brundlefly at 8:10 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is the best news I've had all week. I was so bummed that I didn't have it in me to host a Rapture Party last weekend. I suspect my boyfriend is going to rue the day he jokingly said, "Don't worry we'll have a party NEXT rapture."
posted by jph at 8:22 PM on May 23, 2011


Family Radio's special projects coordinator, Michael Garcia, said he believed the delay was God's way of separating true believers from those willing to doubt what he said were clear biblical warnings.


Cuz, y'know, in spite of all that infinite wisdom, it's so hard to tell without some more tests. It's not like he knows what's in your heart or anything
posted by Redhush at 8:54 PM on May 23, 2011


East Bay Doomsayer Harold Camping suffers stroke.
posted by ericb at 11:06 AM on June 13, 2011


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