“If my calculations are correct, when the clock strikes
5/21/11 10/21/11 we’re gonna see some serious shit.” Whoops.
According to Harold Camping, everyone’s favorite Bible-enthusiast and inaccurate doomsday prophet, the world should be over by now. Last time I checked everyone is still bitching about work, breathing in polluted air and overpaying for Starbucks coffee — so either we all went to hell or absolutely nothing happened.
When you’re in the business of making end-of-the-world predictions, it’s pretty awkward when you’re off the mark. This past spring, Harold Camping predicted that the world would end on May, 21, 2011 at 6 p.m. He cited mathematical evidence from the Bible’s Old Testament, dating back to the days of Noah’s ark. Camping somehow determined that the ark was built in 4990 BC and according to the Bible it took Noah seven days to load the ark. However in 2 Peter it states that one day with God is the equivalent of a thousand years — meaning it took Noah 7,000 years to load his ark. Add 7,000 to 4990, plus one more for zero and you have 2011.
Camping’s prediction somehow gained a lot of support, throughout New York City and across the country people preached the imminent second coming of Christ. It was a bizarre scene, and quite honestly was a tad eerie. “Save the Date” billboards telling us to be prepared for the May 21st rapture started popping up everywhere — alongside the highway, in cities and train stations. In fact, Camping’s organization Family Radio reportedly spent $100 million in donations on publicity for the event. People donated their entire life savings to Family Radio. My girlfriend saw rapture supporters saying goodbye to each other on May 20th. Not an “I’ll see you later” kind of goodbye, rather the “we’re gonna die tomorrow” variety.
Of course nothing happened on May 21st, except for the fact that people quit their jobs and drained their life savings. The 90-year-old quickly issued a mea culpa and stated that his original prediction was incorrect, but he was only off by a five months. Now, rapture would occur on October, 21, 2011 — that date came and went with little to no fanfare. Dating back to 1992 Camping has incorrectly predicted the return of Christ three times. Now, even Camping himself is finally ready to admit he has absolutely no idea when we should expect doomsday to occur.
Camping stated in an audio message on Family Radio:
When it comes to trying to recognize the truth of prophecy, we’re finding that it is very, very difficult. Why didn’t Christ return on Oct. 21? It seems embarrassing for Family Radio, but God was in charge of everything. We came to that conclusion after quite a careful study of the Bible.
Camping has been baffled by the inaccuracy of his highly scientific predictions. He even suffered a stroke in between he most recent two predictions. He admits that this whole situation has been embarrassing, however I’m not sure he fully grasps the hysteria that he provoked, and the lives he helped ruin.
Being embarrassed is for when you accidentally fart in public, incorrectly predicting the end of the world three times should be downright devastating. Especially when you incite a cultish delusion that spreads like wildfire throughout the country.