Harold Camping's Days Are Numbered: A Quick and Dirty Guide to The Rapture
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:38:19 AM EST
To paraphrase from "The Sound of Music," "The world is alive with the sound of Harold Camping ticking off the hours until the End Times erupts tomorrow evening at 6 P.M."

By setting the date for the End Times, Oakland, California's own Harold Camping, the owner of Family Stations, Inc. has achieved more than even he might have imagined. Headlines, hits on Google and Bing, face time on television; not bad for a guy rapidly approaching 90 years on the planet.

Hits, headlines, and television face time

As of early this morning, a Google search for "Harold Camping" yielded about 1,800,000 results. Bing had him holding strong at over 29,000,000.

Amongst the headlines are "Harold Camping Crazies Should Apologize to Family When the World Doesn't End Saturday," "End Of The World May 21st, Harold Camping, Dominate Search," "Another Judgment Day, Another 122 Million Dollars?"

After 6 P.M. tomorrow he will go down in history as the P.T. Barnum of End Times Prophesy. Unlike Barnum, however, Camping's organization has amassed anywhere from $75 to 125 million in assets, depending on who is doing the counting.  

And until 6 P.M. Saturday, May 21st, Camping is swallowing up all the oxygen in Armageddion-ville.  

It's anybody's guess as to what Camping will say after his predicted End Times time comes and goes and we're all still here. It's anybody's guess what his followers will say after Camping's second go-round at Rapture predicting falls through.

Barbara R. Rossing, author of The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation, told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell last night that she thought they'll be very little apologizing, and most of Camping's followers will be more disappointed than disgusted.

There is no guessing game about Camping from other Armageddonists: they, almost universally, believe he has sullied the whole End Times industry.

An End of Times Four Pack while waiting for the End Times

Tim LaHaye: The King of the Apocalyp$e Returns, Enjoying the Rapture all the Way to the Bank -- http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/bill-berkowitz/36156/tim-lahaye-t he-king-of-the-apocalyp-e-returns-enjoying-the-rapture-all-the-wa y-to-the-bank

In light of tumultuous times Tyndall House Publishers has repackaged Tim LaHaye's 'Left Behind' series of best-selling apocalyptic novels. And LaHaye himself is pressing forward with plans for 'The Resurrection' a movie depicting 'ten post-resurrection appearances of Christ.'


Disarray in the Religious Right's Armageddon-ville -- http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/12276

Best selling author, lecturer, and prominent Christian Zionist, Joel Rosenberg, suggests that by setting the date for Judgment Day, Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping is being "unbiblical, wrong and misleading," and "invit[ing] ridicule, scorn and discredit upon followers of Jesus Christ who study the Bible seriously and teach the Word of God -- including prophecy -- carefully and soberly."

Rehearsals for the Rapture
 -- http://dissidentvoice.org/Apr05/Berkowitz0412.htm

Will Christian Zionists and radical right wing Jewish groups head to 
Israel to disrupt the dismantling of Gaza settlements?

"The Rapture Racket" -- http://www.zcommunications.org/the-rapture-racket-by-bill-berkowi tz

The rapture is a racket," writes Barbara R. Rossing in the first sentence of her recently published book The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation (Westview Press, 2004). Rossing, a New Testament scholar and an associate professor at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, maintains that the Rapture is a fraud of monumental proportions, as well as a disturbing way to instill fear in people.

"Whether prescribing a violent script for Israel or survivalism in the United States, this theology distorts God's vision for the world," Rossing writes. "In place of healing, the Rapture proclaims escape. In place of Jesus's blessing of peacemaking, the Rapture voyeuristically glorifies violence and war.... This theology is not biblical. We are not Raptured off the earth, nor is God. "

I'm worried where that group will go.  It's been my observation that "end times" groups almost worship death and suffering - when I was Assemblies of God there was a huge emphasis on this stuff and I swear the preachers almost went orgiastic over the suffering and death that they said was coming.

Their description of the rapture sounded more like death to me as well.  "Taken into Heaven", and their description of heaven was almost terrifying too  - sitting around "worshiping" continuously was a common description (how BORING!!!).  Their "end times" had no hope in it whatsoever.

I once asked my preacher (while I was Assemblies about 29-30 years ago) what Christians had in store, because he had NEVER ONCE said anything except we'd be taken up into heaven.  He said he would preach a sermon about what Christians could expect that Sunday.

He started talking, but after the first few sentences (which didn't say much of anything), he started into the same old death, doom, and destruction.  Half a minute at most about Christians, and over 45 minutes of hell on earth.  He didn't even say we'd escape that.

They once showed a series of "Last Days" movies and then preached incredibly horrible and bloody sermons... and I was so full of terror that I couldn't sleep for nightmares, and waking was no relief.  I asked for help in dealing with it, but only got more "death, doom, and destruction".  I think I was close to catatonia at one point.  Because of this and other things, terror would be a good description of my emotional state for much of the time I was in that cult.  It drove me to be a real pest - trying to "bear fruit" so I wouldn't be 'trimmed from the vine and burned" for instance.  I know I turned a lot of people off, and tried to shove Jesus down the throat of anyone I could.  (I'm now ashamed of my actions from that time.)

I've been Christian for all of my life, and I have yet to hear anything substantiative about "last days" beyond the death, doom, and destruction - even in the Episcopal and Methodist churches I've attended at different points of my life (which DID preach last days a few times).  I am glad to be going to a church now that does NOT buy "Last Days" and abhors suffering for innocents, which is what Last Days is really about.

I also think the followers of that cult need to be watched - they remind me of Jim Jones' followers in some way.

by ArchaeoBob on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:40:59 AM EST

So for Dominionists this is just a way to fleece the fools then convert them to the Christian Reconstructionist way of thinking. An ugly religious off shoot in the same spirit as Ayn Rand, the Crusaders and the Inquisition in their psychology and methodology. Not good people to be around. They exult violence as a sacrament and take the idea of plundering and killing to be within their religious mandate.

by Nightgaunt on Sun May 22, 2011 at 03:54:57 PM EST

Camping now has blood on his hands.  This tragic scenario could so easily have been worse than it was, and it was entirely predictable.  Not who would do something like this, but that someone would.


by Raksha on Sun May 22, 2011 at 04:38:09 PM EST

I know that there will still be people that will wish for their deity of choice to help them escape their lives and wisk them away to an otherworldly utopia. However, this might be the crest of the millennialist wave America has been swept up in since the new millennium started. (Remember Y2K?). The GOP & evangelical right, like Camping, have profited from this zeitgeist, and it might now start to abate.
Now, we just have to get to the Mayan calendar nonsense, and hopefully millennialism and the frauds who use it, will crawl back under the rocks they slither out from under.

by Da Rat Bastid on Sun May 22, 2011 at 07:30:43 PM EST
This stuff has been going on for a couple of hundred years.  I don't think it will end that easily, although like you, I will be glad when the Mayan Calendar stuff is done.  I believe Feder's "Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries" has a section on it that blows the whole "Mayan predictions of the end of the world!!!" out of the water.

I know we taught about it in the "Fantastic  Archaeology" class I helped to teach.

(The Mayan people I've chatted with said that when the calendar rolled over - all that would happen is a new cycle would start.  They were sick of the nonsense some 'teachers' were prattling!)

Anyway, I'm sure some new "prophesy fulfilled" thing will come along that will set off the last days crowd again after that.  I remember how frantic they were back in the late 70's, and when the Soviet Union broke up, and when other things happened.

I think we'll always have them around.   Hopefully, we can get the ideology into remission and learn to live with the remnants.

by ArchaeoBob on Sun May 22, 2011 at 09:34:17 PM EST

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