A Sad Ad

by VorJack

You might have already heard that Harold Camping, host of the conservative Christian radio show Family Radio, is predicting Christ’s return on May 21, 2011, and the end of the world a few months thereafter. Camping has a history of such predictions, and the fact that he hasn’t been right yet doesn’t seem to diminish his following.

The stories of some of those followers are painful to read. Consider this article from Colorado Springs, which mentions Marie Exley. Exley is unemployed, yet she spent $1,200 on a bench ad that advertises Camping’s prediction. This is bad enough, but people giving money they can’t afford to religious hucksters is nothing new. But this moved the story towards pathos:

Exley has bittersweet feelings about Camping’s prediction.

“There are things I felt I always wanted to do — get married, have a kid, travel more,” she said. “But it’s not about what I want out of life. It’s about what God wants.”

No, Exley, this is not about what God wants. It’s about what Camping is capable of getting you to swallow.

My strategy for these sorts of predictions has always been the same: on May 22, 2011, I intend to be smug and still here. But stories like this one pain me. I just don’t understand the thought process that allows people to buy into this, even while it causes them pain and harm.

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  • Tabbie

    There are sheep and suckers born every minute. I get a little discouraged when I think of how rich I could be today if only I possessed no morals and could spend my life taking advantage of the willfully ignorant. On the other hand, I’d gladly dart Mr. Camping with heavy sedatives on a daily basis if I could get away with it.

  • http://ronmurp.blogspot.com ronmurp

    How about a Left Behind Party on May 22. Is there room on the next bench along for an ad? don’t forget to invite Camping along.

    An for all our friends in the US, we in the UK get to 21 May a few hours before you do, so if you want to leave your numbers, I can give you a heads up if you like. I’ll call you when He turns up here.

    • nazani14

      Skype. It would be fun to have an internet meet-up, giving atheists around the world a change to exchange celebratory greetings.

    • Yoav

      You forgot that Jesus is a red blooded, gun loving American. Therefore the rapture will start on may 21st American time not your commie European time.
      And I’m definitely on for the party on the 22nd (whatever time)

      • http://ronmurp.blogspot.com ronmurp

        There was me thinking he was Mexican.

  • http://www.Rapture-Orphan-Rescue.com/ Japanther

    Unbelievable… That’s why I started my website about rescuing the orphans that will by definition be left behind. I charge a million dollars for the service (fake paypal button that pisses off a lot of people, and brings up a page that tries to talk them out of wasting their time and money on Rapture bullshit).

    click my name if interested, I just started the thing a week ago. I’m trying not to spam at all my favorite blogs, but this is just TOO related.

  • nazani14

    I wonder how many people who believe in the rapture bother to vote. I mean, if you vote for someone “unholy” by your bizarre standards, aren’t you thwarting God’s will? Sort of like killing Judas or Pilate before they could act out their roles.

  • Cletus

    Willful ignorance (as is made evident by their acceptance of and adherence to an obvious lie), coupled with the need to be grouped with those who will “win” in the afterlife (’cause they sure ain’t winning in this one), if they suffer enough now, makes martyrs of many.

    Never trust anyone who believes in god(s).

    • http://davidanaxagoras.com David Anaxagoras

      I was raised by “born again” relatives and for years as a child and until my early teens suffered terrible stomach aches from the stress of believing that if I made even the smallest mistake, everyone I loved on earth would disappear and I would be left behind and tortured by Satan worshipers. In fact, I was convinced that the stomach aches were God’s punishment for my “sins”, which led to more stress, which in turn led to more stomach aches.

      Fear is a huge factor. And I think there’s room for some compassion for those who are already trapped in a hell of their own making.

      I escaped hell, by the way, for two main reasons. One, I was finally separated from the constant influence of my born-again relatives which, two, gave the small seeds of reason that others had tried to plant in me time and space to grow.

      • http://luckyatheist.blogspot.com Michael Caton

        David, I’m going to be doing a survey to try to figure out what helps people get themselves away from it. So here’s the question – do you think that other people raised the same way you were, but then separated to the same later environmental influences (get away from born-again relatives, had seeds of reason planted) would also move away from fundamentalism? Or might there be other factors?

      • Lora

        I know this is an older comment, and no one is probably checking replies here anymore, but it’s nice to hear that I wasn’t the only one who had this problem. I still suffer from “apocalypse/rapture anxiety” and it’s hell and I have the Church of the Nazarene and a “Revelation/End of Times” Bible Study unit in my junior high Sunday School class to thank for that one. And yes, I had a nervous stomach as well. Still do sometimes. And I also suffered from the, “If I make one little mistake, I’m going to hell/will be left behind.” So I prayed CONSTANTLY. Ugh.

        • http://luckyatheist.blogspot.com Michael Caton

          Lora, people do keep track. So why do you think you got away from this way of thinking? (So I can make sure this option is included in my survey.)

  • Kodie

    One big clue that this will not happen is not how many people are sure it’s going to happen, but how sure they are that the Rapture will take them instead of other people. I enlarged the picture and see the url, which I mistakenly read as ediblefellowship.com, and that gave me a laugh for my morning.

  • Nox

    Not sure if this is poe or not. Not sure if I want to know. But the concept is, you register your pet, and then when the rapture happens they will make sure your kitty ends up with a nice atheist or jewish family.


    • http://www.Rapture-Orphan-Rescue.com/ Japanther

      Like I was saying. http://www.Rapture-Orphan-Rescue.com/ is the site I started. We don’t rescue pets, we rescue the orphans of Christians that were too young to be ‘saved’. Babies, infants, toddlers, etc. I am getting a lot of flack from crazies.

      I got one e-mail that said “I hope the rapture really does happen soon so Jesus will send you to hell for the scam.” I was like ‘Wait a minute, if the rapture happens then my business is not a scam…facepalm”

      And as for that link, it’s a knockoff of the one that started it all, Eternal-Earthbound Pets

      • Tabbie

        Your site mentions intervening by force if necessary to prevent someone’s child from receiving the mark of the beast. Does this mean you’ll have a guillotine on hand?

        • http://www.Rapture-Orphan-Rescue.com/ Japanther

          Yes, I deal with that somewhat on the website. But the fact of the matter is that both the rapture and ‘age of accountability’ are not even in the bible at all. But, think about it, what happens if rapture happens the day after the kid hits the magic age, but the parent was out of town? What if the process of convincing a kid to accept jesus as lord and savior doesn’t play out quickly enough? What if the parent is wrong about the age of accountability (which varies arbitrarily by religion, region and denomination)? etc…

        • http://www.Rapture-Orphan-Rescue.com/ Japanther

          ooops, that was meant for wintermute.

          I think it means opting out of it on paper for the child that is in state custody. and if need be, crowbar + night before marking (or some other earlier time).

      • wintermute

        Don’t most of these people believe in an Age of Accountability, such that all pre-pubescent children (regardless of faith) will automatically be raptured?

  • Nelly

    I wonder if Comfort will have the balls to do his radio show on May 22

    there really is a sucker born every minute

  • Susi

    I went to their website and still can’t stop shaking my head. My guess is, they will have taken all the money from their sheep and be flying to the Cayman Islands right before 11:59 May 20. For everyone reading this comment, you should go to their website, too and order all the free stuff they are giving away to promote this stupid shit. Let’s keep this off the streets! We have enough sheep in this world!

  • http://luckyatheist.blogspot.com Michael Caton

    Time to offer that deal: $1000 bucks to be repaid May 22, 500% interest (I won’t even adjust for inflation). If they’re right, it’s free money to them. Of course if they don’t really believe their own BS and it’s all hot air, they’ll find reasons to spurn the offer. But I’m dead serious about this and here is an opportunity for atheists to make money directly from theists with particularly nutty beliefs. There is a penalty for having irrational beliefs, and an advantage to having rational ones. In this case, a 500% advantage.

    • http://www.Rapture-Orphan-Rescue.com/ Japanther

      Not a bad deal at all. Clever (:

  • Oakland Radio

    Yes Harold has predicted another date again! May 21, 2011 he says it is, and he is 100% sure of it. The irony is that his program department plans to produce programs for May 22, May 23, etc – and Harold is in favor of that too. No consistency at all. He is a very confused man who no longer is to be consider Christian. When he asserted that Satan is in all the churches and that anyone remaining in them is bound for hell, that should have been enough… now this. In private he has admitted that his latest date may not really be true. When June rolls around, we all know that he will have a new story with another date. He always does it this way. He is very inventive, but not Biblical.

    • Ty

      Because the bible isn’t full of crap too?

    • Sunny Day

      “He is a very confused man who no longer is to be consider Christian. ”

      Got it. I just put him on the list. While you are at it, can you tell me what makes someone a Real Christian?

      • JK

        You forgot the (TM) after “Real Christian” ;-)

    • http://luckyatheist.blogspot.com Michael Caton

      I think we’re assuming Oakland Radio is Christian based in his/her comment, but let’s be welcoming. @O.R. – in your knowledge, is there a basis for an end date like this in the Bible? The way atheists are going to react to this is that anything you take out of the Bible either way won’t be considered good evidence by itself, but I know I’m personally curious about how a Christian would figure out stuff like this, especially since people seem to continuously get conflicting answers.

  • MarkisB62

    @Oakland Radio

    I’ve been noticing yourself and a com-rad or two of yours going around to different blogs on the internet that Camping is planning programming for beyond May 21. I’ve seen this claims and others made quite frankly, as though you have an ‘inside track’ on these things. Here you add thar Mr. Camping admits privately that this may not happen on May 21, 2011.

    Fact is, you DO NOT have an ‘insiders’ scoop, you are merely attempting to APPEAR that you do. Your claims of knowing ‘facts’ are actually lies, and you know this. Would you be kind enough to offer proof Mr. Camping is planning programming past May 21? And perhaps you could tell us how you came to know Mr. Camping now says (behind the scenes of course) that May 21 may not happen after all? Did you HEAR him say this? Of course you did not, nor did any alleged ‘inside sources’.

    Please stick to FACTS, and if you make claims like these, SHOW THE PROOF.

    May the Lord richly bless you.

    • Nelly

      no sir, the proof is up to you

      good luck

    • JK

      I don’t know about the programming for the time after the 21st – but just provide some proof for the world going down that day first. If you believed that crap why bother posting at all?
      You should be worried about ppl like that [censored by the author] stealing ppls money. What does he need money for anyway? Can you buy beverages in heaven or hell? What currencies are accepted?

    • CoffeeJedi

      Ooooooh, God-bot fight?