Opinion: Business as usualPOSTED: 10/25/11 2:26 PM
We follow the rants of Harold Camping, a 90-year-old preacher from Oakland, California, with bewildered amusement. The man keeps predicting the end of the world, and every time the calendar turns to his day of judgment, those same worlds flips him the bird and keeps doing what it has been doing for hundreds of years. Business as usual.
Earlier this year, camping’s disciples’ event descended on St. Maarten to warn us that the world would end on May 21. That didn’t happen either, as we all know, and soon after he announced that he had made a calculation error.
The Christian radio station Family Radio Broadcast a message from Camping, saying that humanity had reached its day of judgment on May 21.
Now listen to the next line of the message, because it is truly original: “That day lasts 5 months, or 153 days, until October 21, 2011.”
Mixed with biblical diatribes and historical turning points, Camping aimed to convince his followers that the world would close down for good last Friday. “We can be certain that the whole world will be obliterated on October 21,” camping even said in a statement on his web site.
Where does he get these baloney ideas?
We know one group that is really happy with Camping’s stubborn predictions: the atheist movement Eternal Earthbound Pets. When camping predicted May 21 as the end of the world, the group offered to look after the pets of Christians who believed they would go to heaven on Judgment Day. At $135 a pop, the atheists managed to sell 259 contracts before May 21, collecting close to $35,000. The organization has not released information about additional sales since May 21, but chances are that more Christian pet-owners have flocked to Eternal Earthbound Pets in the meantime.
The good thing is that the contracts are valid for ten years. The bad thing is that Harold Camping won’t live long enough to make end of the world predictions until he gets it right.