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So guys, are you ready for Judgement Day, tomorrow? Will it be at midnight or later in the day? Should I start driving west?

 

Jonathan Kay: For the insecure and the rootless, tomorrow, the world ends

 

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Jonathan Kay May 20, 2011 – 12:47 PM ET

 

For the last 17 years, the world has been living on borrowed time. The day of Rapture — when the virtuous fly up to heaven, and the rest of us are marked for annihilation — was supposed to come on September 6, 1994. But then Harold Camping, the popular California-based Christian radio broadcaster who’d made the prediction, realized he’d gotten his numbers wrong.

 

“I had not gone through the book of Jeremiah, which is a big book in the Bible that has a whole lot to say about the whole matter of the end of the world,” he recently told an interviewer. Thanks to Jeremiah, he now is quite certain that the Rapture will come tomorrow, May 21, 2011 (the date, Camping, calculates, corresponds to the 7,000th anniversary of Noah’s flood). We’ll be victimized by a monstrous earthquake that starts on the Pacific rim and moves east systematically, hour by hour, through the time zones, at exactly 6pm.

 

Like his many followers, Camping is quite certain that he will be in Heaven by next week — and regards it as an offence against God to even consider the possibility of seeing the dawn break on May 22: “It is going to happen. There is no plan B.”

 

There are all sorts of doomsday cultists out there. But Camping, 89, has an unusually strong appeal thanks to his Family Radio network, which has more than 150 U.S. outlets. This month, National Public Radio interviewed some of his followers, and I was struck by their conviction. “I no longer think about 401(k)s and retirement,” Palmyra, N.J. actuary Brian Haubert recently told NPR religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty. “I’m not stressed about losing my job, which a lot of other people are in this economy … In a way, I’m more carefree.”

 

Hagerty also spoke to one 27-year-old New Yorker, Adrienne Martinez, who gave up her plans to go to medical school after hearing Camping on the radio. Instead, she and her husband moved to Orlando, where they spend their last (as they see it) days passing out end-is-nigh leaflets. Martinez has a two-year-old daughter, and is eight months pregnant with a second child — but of course believes she will never give birth to this earthly child. She has no use for money, either. “My mentality was, why are we going to work for more money? … We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won’t have anything left.” (Cyrus sez: Can you spell B-A-N-K-R-U-P-T-C-Y?)

 

Smug atheists will say that all these people have been brainwashed by Christian doctrine. But the notion that humanity is headed for an apocalyptic division between Heaven and Hell predates Christianity by many centuries, and seems hard-wired into human consciousness. In Zoroastrian myth, whose origins date to the 2nd millennium BC, a god of light (Ahura Mazda [323]) battles for supremacy against a “fiendish spirit” known as Ahriman [Ahmedinijad]— a battle involving a Christ-like savior figure (Saoshyant) that culminates in an eschatological climax of the sort that Harold Camping would easily recognize.

 

The idea of God destroying our planet and raining death upon 97% of humanity (that is the figure used by Camping, who imagines himself in the lucky 3%) seems horrifying. Yet true believers actually find such visions soothing — for they give purpose to human suffering.

 

In his definitive 1957 study of medieval millenarian cults, The Pursuit of the Millennium, Norman Cohn emphasized how the Bible’s earliest apocalyptic fantasies — the dream sequences contained in the book of Daniel — emerged during the upheavals of the Maccabean revolt. These visions allowed Jews to believe that their agonies were not in vain: The plagues rained down upon the virtuous were merely building up to a climactic cosmic counterreaction, with the Saints of God rising up at the last possible moment to defeat Satan and establish a timeless earthly utopia.

 

Centuries later, the same theme would be picked up by Christians — in far more lurid fashion — in Revelation, which some scholars interpret as an allegorical commentary on the Roman persecution of Christians dating from the first century AD. Eventually, it would also find its way into the eschatology of Islamists, who imagine that jihad and martyrdom will propel the world toward a one-state paradise, cleansed of conspiring infidels, under the reign of shariah.

 

In all cases, the script is the same: Once our earthly tears and blood fill up some cosmic chalice, the scales of history will tip, and New Jerusalem will open its gates.

 

And who are the first to rush in? Not so much the stupid — but rather the rootless and the insecure.

 

In the conclusion to The Pursuit of the Millennium, Cohn argues that apocalyptic cults always flourish “against a background of disaster” such as plagues, famines, crusades and wars (a list I would modernize to include financial crashes and terrorist attacks). More particularly, men such as Camping “found their following [among] an unorganized, atomized population, rural or urban or both … peasants without land or with too little land even for subsistence; journeymen and unskilled workers living under the continuous threat of unemployment … These people lacked the material and emotional support afforded by traditional social groups; their kinship-groups had disintegrated and they were not effectively organized in village communities or in guilds; for them there existed no regular, institutionalized methods of voicing their grievances or pressing their claims. Instead, they waited for a propheta to bind them together in a group of their own.”

 

Modern America is, of course, nothing like the Medieval Europe that Cohn describes — with starving armies of beggars roaming from one town to the next. But it is a society whose traditional bonding agents — the nuclear family, a paid-off home in a stable neighbourhood, lifetime employment, a shared sense of optimism and national purpose — have been crushed both by long-term socio-economic trends and short-term recession. Foreclosure, medical bankruptcies, crystal meth and broken families all have contributed to produce the sense of social “disintegration” Cohn discussed.

 

The rest of us can sneer all we want. But to Camping’s followers, the gates of New Jerusalem must look very inviting indeed.

 

National Post

[email protected]

Edited by Cyrus
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I read somewhere else, like in this article, that Camping calculated it would be on the 21st at 6PM!!

 

 

I don't believe these type of "information" but I'm kinda scared for those who do believe. How will they react?

If Jesus "leaves them behind", what will they do, go crazy or just go back to "normal" life?

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I read somewhere else, like in this article, that Camping calculated it would be on the 21st at 6PM!!

 

 

I don't believe these type of "information" but I'm kinda scared for those who do believe. How will they react?

If Jesus "leaves them behind", what will they do, go crazy or just go back to "normal" life?

 

They'll just throw a dart at a calendar and say the world will end where the hole is :rotfl:

 

But where at 6 PM, how does it work with time zones and etc? God is all powerful so He could do it all at once, no? Maybe I should watch Australian TV news stations on the Internet to get "early warning" :rotfl:

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Now do you guys understand why religion and the concept of God are for fools and the gullible?!?!?!

 

I think that just over the past century, the rapture was supposed to come at least a dozen times...oh...wait for it....that's it! Nothing, natta, a big zilch!!!

 

This Jonathan Kay journalist just provided us with a clear example of how he doesn't understand the concept of Atheism.

 

Smug atheists will say that all these people have been brainwashed by Christian doctrine. But the notion that humanity is headed for an apocalyptic division between Heaven and Hell predates Christianity by many centuries, and seems hard-wired into human consciousness. In Zoroastrian myth, whose origins date to the 2nd millennium BC, a god of light (Ahura Mazda [323]) battles for supremacy against a “fiendish spirit” known as Ahriman [Ahmedinijad]— a battle involving a Christ-like savior figure (Saoshyant) that culminates in an eschatological climax of the sort that Harold Camping would easily recognize.

 

Atheism is not the "unbelief" in the Judeo-Christian God, It is the "unbelief" of ALL gods. Actually, the true definition of Atheism is: the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.

 

The fact that some Zoroastrian myth has stated that some kind of rapture will occur doesn't change the fact that all religions are a full of shit! And it certaily doesn't help in any way to proving that this "rapture" will occur.

 

Why do we even bother giving these lunatics airtime? What a waste of our precious time!! I've got better things to do with my life than waste it praying to an imaginary friend or listening to a bunch of pedophiles.

 

There will be NO rapture tomorrow. I will be playing Golf tomorrow morning and I'll be in some bar tomorrow night with some buddies, watching the Pascal/Hopkins fight.

Edited by Habsfan
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Now do you guys understand why religion and the concept of God are for fools and the gullible?!?!?!

 

Ha your going to look pretty foolish tomorrow when you get left behind

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ah le syndrome de la fin du monde.

 

Les gens sont tellement égocentrique qu'il ne peuvent concevoir que la fin du monde n'arrivera peux être pas de leur vivant. J'avoue que si c'est comme 2012 ça doit être intéressant à voir! mais à quoi bon le vivre si on peux le voir au cinéma! coute ben moin cher...

 

 

Sinon, c'est un peu comme ceux qui pense que l'Antéchrist est le président des états unis. Chaque président était l'antéchrist. d'après mon hypothèse le diable est un âme volatile qui est transmit lors de l'assermentation du président, assermentation qui est en réalité un gros rite satanique.

 

lol !

 

Mais les américain sont tellement sur d'être le centre de l'univers que l'antéchrist doit impérativement venir de leur pays. Et un peu du fait qu'il ne peuvent concevoir que l'antéchrist ne viendra pas sur terre de leur vivant

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Dates the world was supposed to end but didn't:

 

 

Dec 31, 1999

Jan 1, 2000

Jan 11, 2000

May 5, 2000

May 31, 2000

Sep 21, 2000

Jan 1, 2001

Jan 31, 2001

Spring 2004

Fall 2004

May 2005

Sometime in 2007

April 17, 2008

April 21, 2008

May 31, 2008

Summer 2010

 

And that's just this past decade...

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Dates the world was supposed to end but didn't:

 

 

Dec 31, 1999

Jan 1, 2000

Jan 11, 2000

May 5, 2000

May 31, 2000

Sep 21, 2000

Jan 1, 2001

Jan 31, 2001

Spring 2004

Fall 2004

May 2005

Sometime in 2007

April 17, 2008

April 21, 2008

May 31, 2008

Summer 2010

 

And that's just this past decade...

 

 

"sometime in 2007". Could they be more vague??!

I love your response!! I can "feel" the sarcasm in your response...even though you didn't put any emoticons!!!

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