Press-Republican

Columns

May 29, 2011

This doomsayer offers kinder, gentler Judgement Day

For those who may not have noticed, the world did NOT end last Saturday at 6 p.m. — nor at any time since.

The raving predictions of the Rapture by 89-year-old radio minister Harold Camping fell completely flat, leaving behind much amusement among non-believers.

What, however, of the thousands of believers?

Many of these people gave up their jobs, their savings — Camping's ministries receive $18 million a year in donations — their homes, their families and their reputations because they thought that Sunday would never come.

How did they justify their actions the next day? How do they move forward in a world with no discernible end? If they apply for work, how do they answer the question "So, Mr. Smith, why did you leave your last job?"

Some will have sense shaken into them. Some will think this failure is merely another test from God. Some will return to Camping for guidance. Some will look to others for a different sign, a different prophecy.

Camping, who incorrectly predicted doom in 1994 as well, has already grabbed his slide-rule and Bible and come up with another date: Oct. 21.

He's been proven foolish and fraudulent, however (otherwise I wouldn't be able to write this). Why would anyone believe him now? A small segment of the population, however, needs an impending Apocalypse to get them through the day.

If not Camping, someone else will give them that date, and the cycle will begin again. There's never a shortage of doomsayers in the world. Already the Mayans have staked their claim to 2012.

The doomsayers don't worry about the confused and mishandled children of the true believers. That is why I, too, have become a doomsayer, and from this point on will charismatically begin organizing my followers.

Mine will be a kinder and gentler Judgment Day.

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