Inspired by Working for the End Times:
The world will end on 21 May 2011 at 6:00 PM [PST]. I am not certain about the time zone, but the prediction came from a man who lives in California and I imagine that the Almighty would account for this while providing the revelation. The charlatan in question is Harold Camping, a preacher from Oakland, CA. Camping is the originator of the latest End Times craze and the founder of the ubiquitous Family Radio Network. This network owns 66 stations and is responsible for the rash of billboards across the US.
Camping reveals the secret to his calculations in an article in The Independent.
He says the world will end on 21 May, because that will be 722,500 days from 1 April AD33, which he believes was the day of the Crucifixion. The figure of 722,500 is important because you get it by multiplying three holy numbers (five, 10 and 17) together twice. "When I found this out, I tell you, it blew my mind," he said.
This blows my mind too, but for different reasons. First of all, there are a lot of holy numbers: 3, 7, 12, 40, 666 (well, its in the Bible right?). And he multiplied the numbers by 2. Is 2 a holy number? WELL IS IT? Second, (assuming that Jesus was a real person). How do we know that April 1st AD33 is the actual day of his death? The Calender of Jesus (first find on a google search) says:
Jesus was crucified at 9 AM on the Passover, 14 Nisan 3791 [Mark 15:25], which was Wednesday, April 25, 31 AD; suffering pain-unimaginable, Jesus died shortly after 3 PM that dark afternoon [ref. Mat 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46].
I am not pointing this out to discredit Camping's calculations. There is no point to doing that. I didn't even verify his math. I just want to call attention to the very high probability of Camping coming to any other date.
Third, is the money. The ridiculous number of followers who are giving their last cent to this man and his delusional campaign with literally no concern for their future. Does anyone think these people are starting college funds for their children? Or having mammograms? Are they making mortgage payments on their homes? In a struggling economy, can America afford this brand of madness? Mark my words: within 7 days of May 21st, someone is going to kill their child, or themselves, or both. It will be either in preparation for the Rapture, or in the aftermath when they realize that they are now homeless or poverty stricken.
Obviously this is batshit. That is not up for debate. Even the vast majority of Christians agree because most reasonable people know crazy when they hear it. The media attention is about on par with Balloon Boy (another hoax). This is an example of theology gone off the rails. Very few people are taking it seriously but it's still dangerous. There are real world consequences. Do I think he should be silenced? Of course not. I think there should be a criminal investigation if Mr. Camping profits financially from this charade. I don't expect one, because my belief system is based on evidence and precedence. This is not extremism. Its fundamentalism. It should not be exempt from, or immune to --ridicule. Check back with us on May 22.