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Rapture!

No, no, not “Raptor”. That’s something else entirely. I’m of course talking about The Rapture, the end of the world, the return of Jesus himself and the gathering of his saints. According to Harold Camping of Family Radio it will all start tomorrow, May 21, and end five months later, on October 21, when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants.

How does Harold know all this? Because he’s been reading the Bible. In fact, he has been a tireless student of the Bible for over five decades. This is not the first time someone has predicted the end of the world, though. You might think of Jehovah’s Witnesses when you think of the apocalypse and they are pretty hard core when it comes to rapture predictions (source). Harold Camping has been around the block once before himself, too, he actually predicted the return of Christ back in 1994.

Wait. What?

Yes, Mr. Camping predicted that the world would end on September 6, 1994. Since we’re still here, it’s pretty safe to say that it never happened. You’d think that this gives Family Radio a credibility problem when it comes to predicting the end of days, but no. According the the Family Radio website, “Mr. Camping highlighted the abundant evidence pointing to 1994 as a probable year of Christ’s return”. In short, he was not entirely sure if the date was correct. But Family Radio has all that covered this time. Harold has had the opportunity to study the Bible quite a lot since 1994 and “the Biblical evidence is too overwhelming and specific to be wrong. […] Today there is no longer any question, May 21, 2011 is the day in which Jesus Christ will return”.

So now we know the date, but what about the time? I might be splitting hairs here, the actual time is not too interesting since it’s the end of the world and all, but it’s still a point I’d like to raise. And I’d love to do it with a quote from one of my all time favorite movies, Strange Days:

Talk radio host: Now, just so the, the rest of us know how much time is left, when is the rapture supposed to hit exactly? Is it midnight New Year’s Eve?
Lori: That’s right.
Talk radio host: Aha. Is that midnight L.A. time or, or Eastern Standard Time, or what? I mean, what timezone is God in anyway?

Yeah, what time zone is God in anyway? As I’m writing this, it’s May 21 in many parts of the world. Has the rapture started there yet? Is India totally fucked as of right now? I’m just throwing that one out there.

Personally, I think that the chance of all this happening tomorrow (or today if you’re in India) is rather slim. I find it interesting that Harold Camping bases his predictions on the Bible, a book that has been rewritten, revised and edited several times. How does he know that the version he is reading is the correct one? Could it be that the parts about the actual rapture was removed decades ago and that Harold is now running the risk of predicting the wrong date yet again? And if the rapture really doesn’t happen, I’m all ears to what kind of excuses Family Radio will come up with. Calculation errors? Dyslexia? Time will show1.

The most interesting thing about all this is I’m not making any of it up, Family Radio has their own page where you can read all about the upcoming rapture. The site might be a bit unstable because of heavy traffic, if you’re having problems with the direct link, try the cached version instead.

And with that I wish you all good night and good luck with tomorrow and the next five months.

Footnotes

  1. And likewise, if it turns out the end of the world actually starts tomorrow, I’m going to feel really stupid for writing all this.

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