Apocalypse Now – Or Not

January 4th, 2011

By Tom Carter

According to news reports and lots of blogospheric blather, the apocalypse is predicted to begin on May 21, 2011.  This comes from Harold Camping, 89, who is the leader of Family Radio Worldwide, an independent Christian ministry.  Camping last predicted that the end of the world would come in September 1994.  Despite his less than stellar record for predictions, there are apparently a lot of people willing to stick with him — who knows, maybe he’ll be right someday.

It goes without saying that Camping is a strange old guy, but there must be something that motivates people to take him seriously.  Maybe it’s the deep voice, the molasses-slow cadence of his delivery, or his cadaverous appearance.  Who knows; make your own judgment from the audio and video available at Family Radio Worldwide.  Just don’t blame me if you come back bug-eyed and drooling, ready to meet your maker in a few months.

You could be forgiven, I suppose, for dismissing Camping as just another religious nutcase.  But not so quick!  Read his thinking behind the prediction here.  He even offers some mathematics, so how wrong could he be?  After all, as he points out, 4990 + 2011 – 1 = 7,000.  That means May 21, 2011 is exactly 7,000 years after God destroyed the world with the Flood (remember Noah, with two of every thing alive on earth crammed into what must have been one humongous — and smelly — ark?), so it’s time to wipe us all out again.  That should be obvious to anyone, considering that “…the correct understanding that the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years….”

On top of that, the state of Israel was established in 1948, we have global warming, the earth and space are massively militarized, terrorism reigns, the world is overpopulated, a young farmer just spotted four weird-looking guys on horses on a wooded hill in upstate New York, and thousands of birds have been falling from the sky in Arkansas, to mention just a few portentous events.  I mean, how much more do you want?

As I understand it, Camping’s prediction is that the rapture will be on May 21, and the final day will be in October.  On May 21, all the people (dead and living) in good standing with The Man will join Him up in the air somewhere (presumably creating one hell of an air traffic control problem).  Everyone else will have to wait until October, when they will get their assigned places in an environment of hellfire and brimstone.

I find this rapture part pretty interesting.  As I understand it, the good guys will just suddenly disappear.  Everybody else will stand around in shock.  I can see a business meeting in progress when it happens.  Suddenly there’s dead silence, everyone staring at piles of clothing in two of the chairs at the table.  “Where’s Frank?” one of them asks.  “Elvira’s gone,” another guy observes, wondering what she looks like without all those clothes.

And what if you’re flying on an airliner, and both the pilots are among the chosen?  Two piles of empty uniforms and underwear in the pilots’ seats?  Then a frantic announcement asking if there are any pilots on board?  (In my experience with pilots, I’m sure most of us would still be around.)  If I were on the plane, I’d go forward and take a crack at landing the thing, but not before somebody else moved that underwear off the seat.

It’s easy enough to make fun of something as comical as this, but what’s actually happened in the past ought to give us pause.  These kinds of extremist religious beliefs often spin off weird cults, and they have sometimes resulted in lost futures, severe abuse, suicides, and murders.  So we should all keep an eye on each other as May 21 approaches.  If some of our friends suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke or whatever, leaving empty suits behind, then we know that the rest of us are in trouble.  Real trouble.  But if they start buying tickets for Jonestown or Waco, lock them in their rooms.

Finally, don’t forget — the Antichrist is supposed to be out and about, acting as Satan’s agent as the big day approaches.  Know anyone who’s trying to create a world government through promises of peace and wants to gain control of the world economy?  Just asking….

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6 Responses to “Apocalypse Now – Or Not”

  1. Clarissa |

    What a hilarious post! I laughed until my stomach muscles started hurting. :-))))))))

  2. Dan Miller |

    Colonel Carter, I am grossly disappointed by your ignorance and apostasy.

    First, Noah neglected to follow the command to take two of all animals; the magnificent unicorns were sadly left ashore and therefore there are none on Mother Earth today.

    Second, St. Al the Gored has reliably predicted a different end of days date and you should be familiar with it. It will come when the average carbon dioxide and dihydrogen monoxide concentrations increase by one percent. I can reliably advise you that that will not happen until after 1503 GMT on 25 January 2012.
    That date can easily and inexpensively be postponed by buying carbon credits.

    Third, as Slartibartfast of the ancient planet Magrathea, who had a big hand in creating the Earth for the mice will tell you eventually should you only pay attention, the Earth was destroyed by the Vogons to make way for an hyperspace bypass in 1979 and then recreated so that the work of the mice in discovering the question to which “forty-two” was the answer might be completed. You must have missed that.

    All of these things clearly suggest that the 21 May date is specious and that the end of days will occur between 25 January 2012 and my birthday in June of 3011.

    For shame, Sir, for Shame. Please go and say forty-two Hail Obama’s and sin no more.

    Bishop Dan
    Grand Poobah
    Church of Global Smarming

  3. Tom Carter |

    Well, harrumph, Dan and Clarissa. This is a serious matter, and here you guys are laughing at it!

    Dan, everything you say makes perfect sense, particularly in the context of this kind of discussion. However, your apostasy may not be that serious, since Harold Camping may be a Vogon, in fact, and his shriveled appearance may be from a lack in his bodily fluids of that same dihydrogen monoxide that you so fear.

    To be serious for a moment, I really am concerned about certain aspects of this rapture business. Think about the numbers. There are about 2.1 billion nominal Christians in the world, about one of every three people. They’re the only ones eligible for rapturing. If we exclude children who are Christian solely because they were born to Christian parents, heavy-duty backsliders, offshoot religions with theologically unsupportable claims to Christianity, Catholic pedophiles, and politicians who are Christians-of-convenience, what are we left with? Maybe a billion rapturees? OK, probably a lot less, but that’s a nice round number.

    So we’re going to have a billion naked people suddenly floating around in the sky, but the spatial distribution won’t be even. There won’t be many at all in the Middle East, and those few will be shot down by Arab anti-aircraft artillery, assuming they can find someone with enough brains to aim the guns. However, the concentration of raptured Christians over the American bible belt will presumably be very dense. Like any good military planner knows, logistics is the key to any successful plan. Has He thought about that? For example, what will all those rapturees eat and drink? Maybe they’ll contract with a nice Jewish caterer to provide a buffet, complete with a pay-as-you-go bar for the Catholics. In any case, something will have to be done. And then what about toilet facilities? Will there be celestial porta-potties, or will all us non-chosens have to suffer through something far worse than acid rain?

    These are serious questions that you, me, and five or six billion other people should be thinking about. If nothing else, we should stock up on umbrellas and waders. It’s going to get pretty crappy out there.

  4. Lisa |

    Does this mean I do not have to file a tax return??? What would the Antichrist think of that?

  5. Tom Carter |

    Well, since the rapture is on May 21 and then the non-chosen get dealt with in October, it would seem that 2011 taxes are moot. But, you’d have to file your 2010 return by April 15, so I guess you can’t get out of it legally, but then who cares, given what’s down the road?

    I think the Antichrist would be very upset if we didn’t all pay our taxes right up to the very last minute. I mean after all, the tax code is his proudest creation….

  6. Are You Ready for the Rapture? | Geo436 |

    […] I already said what I have to say about this silliness a while back, so here it is again:  Apocalypse Now — or Not? […]

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