Well, what a relief. Although I do wonder if the Rapture really did happen and we’ve all been left behind, including prophet Harold Camping who is now saying “oops, I miscalculated and meant October 21”. That he may be on the losing team and be facing the wrath of God has obviously not crossed his mind.
I’m sorry but even his most ardent followers may be wondering if he’s lost his marbles and probably a bit peeved at having put down the family dog and blitzed life savings on a hedonistic break in Vegas.
Living in the Southern US we learned very quickly that slightly weird religions were the norm, often breakaways from the mainstream over a clash of theologies. In general terms these splinter groups just wanted to do their own thing their own way, which is fine so long as you leave everyone else alone.
Now before I go any further, I must make it very clear I have the greatest respect for people with a real faith, whatever their religion, including those with a deep spirituality who have left their church for whatever reason. These are usually quiet, humble, and profound individuals who understand everyone has to find their own path.
I am one of those who believe there are many roads to the same place and we are all responsible for our own spiritual journey. I have no time for organised religions who hide behind theology to gain their own ends; several come to mind. My own journey with a higher being has been a bumpy one; there was a falling out many years ago and a sulky (on my part) distance has been kept since.
The sect of Harold Camping came to my attention about ten years ago.
Browsing in a book store through new releases piled haphazardly on a large table, I discovered a book that tickled the brain cells; verging on the beach book with sci-fi and thriller elements the back cover blurp hooked me in. It was the third in a series and next to the new release were the two earlier books. I was in heaven, a whole trilogy to get my teeth into.
Now they weren’t brilliantly written but the story was good and engaging; something has happened to the world, people have disappeared in an instant – from planes, cars, shopping in the store and the books are about those left to deal with the mess. Obviously sci-fi right? Just a matter of tracking down the aliens responsible, although why anyone would want to abduct the weirdos was anyone’s guess – they seemed to have left all the interesting people behind.
It was book five before I listened to a radio program about religious sects which touched on the Rapture, something I’d never heard of before. Of course it all fell into place and I felt a prize dork and never read another book. I was quite sad though, as up until then I’d been having a rather good time figuring out who the aliens were – although maybe I wasn’t so far off the mark.
What was really interesting was how there was no mention of the books being about religion – I don’t recall the word ‘Rapture’ being in the write up, but then if it had I would have put it down to being a fictional idea. So maybe not wrong about that either.
How Harold Camping has managed to dupe so many supposedly sensible grown-ups with wishy-washy fairy stories is beyond me. That they might still believe he has something valid to say blows my fragile mind. He’s screwed up twice now but perhaps it will be third time lucky. MSN reported today
“. .Camping said that he’s now realized the apocalypse will come five months after May 21, the original date he predicted. He had earlier said Oct. 21 was when the globe would be consumed by a fireball.
Saturday was “an invisible judgment day” in which a spiritual judgment took place, he said. But the timing and the structure is the same as it has always been, he said.
“We’ve always said May 21 was the day, but we didn’t understand altogether the spiritual meaning,” he said. “May 21 is the day that Christ came and put the world under judgment.”
Well I’m glad he’s cleared that up for us.
On the one hand I am stunned with disbelief that people give this man the time of day, on the other I’m saddened so many vulnerable and gullible people have had their lives turned upside down by him. It’s criminal.
Now before you all start to de-cry me as a sadistic person who takes delight in knocking an elderly, man of religion I’d just like to put before you an interesting fact,
“In 2009, the nonprofit Family Radio (Harold Camping) reported in IRS filings that it received $18.3 million in donations, and had assets of more than $104 million, including $34 million in stocks or other publicly traded securities.”
Kind of makes you wonder what kind of man of God Mr. Camping is doesn’t it?