If you’ve been an SEB regular for awhile then you may recall back in January of last year when I wrote about Christian nutcase Harold Camping and his prediction that the rapture would occur on May 21st, 2011. For those of you without calendars, that’s a mere 12 days away. Still plenty of time to run up those credit card bills and tell off those family members who think you’re crazy for listening to a man who has already been wrong in predicting the end of the world once already. Your natural inclination is to think no one would take this nutter seriously, but plenty do making a point of listening to his sermons on FamilyRadio.com and handing out tracts to anyone who will accept them.
While it’s always fun to ridicule folks like Camping, it becomes a little less so when you realize just how much some folks have invested, sometimes literally, in his bullshit:
Haubert says the Bible contains coded “proofs” that reveal the timing. For example, he says, from the time of Noah’s flood to May 21, 2011, is exactly 7,000 years. Revelations like this have changed his life.
“I no longer think about 401(k)s and retirement,” he says. “I’m not stressed about losing my job, which a lot of other people are in this economy. I’m just a lot less stressed, and in a way I’m more carefree.”
He’s tried to warn his friends and family. They think he’s crazy. And that saddens him.
“Oh, it’s very hard,” he says. “I worry about friends and family and loved ones. But I guess more recently, I’m just really looking forward to it.”
My friends and family will be suffering eternal torment and I couldn’t be more stoked!
Yeah, that’s a bit twisted, but this is just sad:
“Knowing the date of the end of the world changes all your future plans,” says 27-year-old Adrienne Martinez.
She thought she’d go to medical school, until she began tuning in to Family Radio. She and her husband, Joel, lived and worked in New York City. But a year ago, they decided they wanted to spend their remaining time on Earth with their infant daughter.
“My mentality was, why are we going to work for more money? It just seemed kind of greedy to me. And unnecessary,” she says.
And so, her husband adds, “God just made it possible — he opened doors. He allowed us to quit our jobs, and we just moved, and here we are.”
Now they are in Orlando, in a rented house, passing out tracts and reading the Bible. Their daughter is 2 years old, and their second child is due in June. Joel says they’re spending the last of their savings. They don’t see a need for one more dollar.
“You know, you think about retirement and stuff like that,” he says. “What’s the point of having some money just sitting there?”
“We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won’t have anything left,” Adrienne adds.
Nothing, except for the fervent hope that all of them will be raptured.
Oh, but there will be some major disappointment come May 22nd. These people have thrown away their livelihoods and any aspirations for the future on a fantasy that isn’t going to happen. Harold Camping is 89-years-old so it doesn’t really matter to him if he’s wrong because he’s already lived his life. His legacy will be the hundreds, if not thousands, of people he managed to delude into believing his nonsense whose lives he will have severely damaged, if not outright ruined. He’s convinced them all to take the ultimate sucker’s bet and he’s gonna have some serious ‘splanin’ to do in less than a fortnight.
I often say that too much faith will make you crazy and it’s hard to find a better example of that than Camping and his fools. Still, they have every right to believe whatever stupid-ass thing they want to. Just feel bad they don’t have a Plan B just in case, and I know the chances are ridiculously slim, that Camping might be wrong a second time.