By Brent Thompson |Staff Writer|
You may have noticed that the California preacher Harold Camping’s prediction that the world would come to an end on May 21 passed without incident.
Camping now claims that his May 21 prediction was “an invisible judgment day” in which a spiritual judgment took place by God. He now proclaims that Oct. 21 will be the day that Earth will be consumed by a fireball.
“We’ve always said May 21 was the day, but we didn’t understand altogether the spiritual meaning,” explained Camping.“ May 21 is the day that Christ came and put the world under judgment.”
This isn’t the first time Camping has had to backtrack and explain the reasons why his predictions of the Rapture didn’t come to pass. The independent Christian radio host also made such predictions in 1994, but later explained his inaccuracy was based on mathematical miscalculation.
For the buildup of his May 21 prediction Camping’s nonprofit Family Radio bought advertisements on 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs, all of which came from donations, proclaiming his Rapture message.
The nonprofit organization reported in its IRS filing in 2009 of having received $18.3 million in donations with total assets of more then $204 million, with $34 million tied up in stocks and publicly traded securities. You would think that with all that money the last thing that Camping would want is the end of the world.
The funny thing about Americans is that we love far fetched tales of conspiracy theories, Y-2K mayhem and end of the world predictions. This isn’t the first, nor the last time that some individual will come out of the wood work and proclaim that judgment day is at hand.
“I think our society likes conspiracy theories and predictions about the world ending. Things like that seem to be in our nature for some reason,” expressed student Samantha Westerfeild. “
Since the beginning of the 20 century there have been hundreds of such predictions, and many more before that. But why is our society so prone to giving a date to the end of the world?
Some have suggested that Christianity and other monotheistic religions anticipate the end of time and search through ancient information, the Mayan 2012 calendar for example, for a date to make a prediction as to when the world will end.
“Buddhists don’t believe in such predictions,” explained Yunho Kim a foreign student from Seoul Korea.
“We all are a part of nature and tied to everything and we should always be peaceful and wish for peace on Earth in the future, not looking for the end of it.”
Kim’s friend, Jaewon Hong a Christian from Seoul Korea, had a different take. “It will happen one day. We can’t predict the day but we have to get ready for it. On that day I will be praying for all the non-Christians and their souls.”
Yet, someday the world will end. Scientists tell us that in five billion years the Sun will become unstable and end all life on Earth. So far the closest Earth has come to such an experience occurred during the Mesozoic Era, in which a mass extinction event wiped out the dinosaurs and over 80 percent of living organisms.
So let’s imagine that an asteroid, a mega quake, or divine being was about to make the world as we know it come to an end. What would some of our fellow students do? What yearning desires, life long ambitions, or fantasies would they partake in before the end?
“The biggest thing that I would want to do would be to play guitar on stage with Slash. I have to do that before the world ends,” said student John Quill.
“I probably would marry my boyfriend. Literally till death do us part” said student Darissa Barto.
“I would go bungee jumping, skydiving, travel to London and get that tattoo I always wanted,” said student Kimberly Heideman.
“I’d probably go to the beach. I love the ocean and would want to see it one last time,” said student Taylor Holetich.
“If the world was going to end I would just want to be around the people I love. There’s no need to go out and do anything crazy,” said Glen Wild who works on campus and provided the most common response by those who were asked.
“ I’d get married. I don’t have a boyfriend but I would find some hot guy that I would have never had the nerve to walking up to before and ask him to marry me. It would be sad to die alone,” said student Breonna Gentry.
Walking around campus and inquiring about what my fellow students would do if the world was to end made me ponder about what I would do. There’s only one answer. I would hang out with Elvis and leprechauns in Atlantis while we mathematically predict the true date the world will end.