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Haha, You Dumb Fucking Assholes

2011 May 22

The Good Reverend Harold Camping

Dear idiots,

The world didn’t end, again, and your beliefs are still bullshit. Suck it.

Yours,

JAM

Well, we made it to May 22nd this year, as we have every year since they started keeping track. Normally, arriving at late spring is not widely considered a major accomplishment, but this particular May 22nd is a rather satisfying occasion to crow over the idiocy and misfortune of some really sinister fuckheads who won’t shut up about shit they know not of.

Harold Camping, Christian goon and founder of something called Family Radio, mysteriously was able to convince a lot of people to believe his nonsense claim that a massive quake would strike yesterday (none did), leading to the end of all days, due to arrive in October (it won’t).

Camping, like so many other demagogic shitheaps that make my flesh creep (Pat Robertson, Ted Haggert, Rick Warren…), has gotten filthy fucking rich by exploiting the gullibility on display any time some douchebag drops the magic name (If you’re having trouble identifying the one I mean, know that Biggie, with his customary pronunciation bravado, rhymed the name in question with “thesis” on 112’s “Only You” remix – got it now?).

And with that enormous wealth (either he doesn’t actually believe his own babble or he has been ferociously trying to figure out a way of fitting camels through needle-eyes), Camping funded a massive effort to publicize the upcoming (now bygone) judgment day. Here’s the poster that has been ubiquitous in the New York City subway system of late:

As you might expect, given how little the poster offers by way of evidence, the explanation of the hypothesis is less than glaring. From Jaweed Kaleem’s excellent profile of Camping on The Huffington Post:

Camping’s warnings are drawn from complex Biblical numerology that is part-based on a literal reading of the King James Bible and part-based and obscure interpretation of the book’s many symbols.

He says certain numbers repeat in the Bible along with particular themes. The number five means “atonement.” Ten means “completeness.” Seventeen is “heaven.” Multiply those numbers by each other and multiply the result by itself. It equals 722,500.

“Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.,” he says. “Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that’s 1,978 years.”

If you multiply that number by 365.2422 — the number of days in the solar calendar — it equals 722,449. And if you add 51 (the number of days between April 1 and May 21) to that number, it equals 722,500.

It gets more confusing.

Camping also believes that May 21 is the 7,000 anniversary of Noah’s flood and the end of a 33-year-year period of Tribulation, when he says Satan has ruled over churches. He points to the increasing acceptance of gay clergy, for example, or the rise in charismatic and Pentecostal movements as signs that churches have gone astray. To him, rituals such as baptism and confession are worthless.

He made a similar end-times prediction in in the 1990s based on similar math, but later said he didn’t look close enough at the Book of Jeremiah. This time around, he’s absolutely certain.

Camping is not the first.

In what became known as The Great Disappointment (“Aw, shucks.”), Christ declined to return in 1844, notwithstanding pastor William Miller’s prediction to the contrary. The Disappointment was only so Great because over a million people bought that jive turkey’s jive. Based chiefly on Daniel 8:14 (“Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” a straightforward passage if ever there were one), Miller convinced his followers, cleverly called “Millerites,” to sell their property and even jump off barns as the clocks struck midnight. The upshot: lost property and bodily injuries.

All well and good, except that the twelfth- and thirteenth-largest religious bodies in the world were started by Millerites – Ellen G. White started the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Charles Russell founded the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Together, their worldwide adherents number more than thirty two million, or roughly the population of California in the year 2000.

Latter-day Millers have been no less adamant and correspondingly ridiculous. Edgar C. Whisenant published books that claimed the rapture would happen successively in 1988 (88 Reasons Why The Rapture Could Be In 1988), 1989 (The final shout: Rapture report 1989), 1993 (23 reasons why a pre-tribulation rapture looks like it will occur on Rosh-Hashanah 1993) and 1994 (And now the earth’s destruction by fire, nuclear bomb fire). More attentive readers will recall that the rapture arrived on none of those dates and will notice that Whisenant’s penchant for prediction was rivaled only by his pithy titling skills. His first book sold 4.5 million copies.

If the huge number of people who believe the rapture is nigh are engaged in a hedging exercise, by way of Pascal’s Wager, it is only because the rapture seems so unpleasant.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 holds:

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Yuck. Zombie apocalypse. Descriptions of the end of days elsewhere in the Bible are not nearly so cheerful. (For kicks, check out the horrifying acid trip that is the Book of Revelation sometime; you’re welcome.)

Be not afeared, though, if you, like me, stand no chance of being scooped up – a heavily-visited website called Rapture Ready has many resources for us, including “The Post Rapture Survival Guide,” “Oops, I Guess I Wasn’t Ready!” and, revealingly, “Future Employees of Rapture Ready.”

Dear idiots,

You will never guess right about when the world will end, because the predictive text you’re working from was written by people who had never heard of electricity or germs.

Now shut the fuck up, and stop scaring children on the subway with posters threatening an eternity of sulphur-fumed anguish.

Yours,

JAM

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Selena Martinez permalink
    May 22, 2011

    …….”an eternity of sulpher- fumed anguish” ……….. well said. great article, Lyracus you are brilliant

  2. Haroldtards permalink
    October 29, 2011

    Haroldtards:
    Followers and believers in Harold Camping’s prophecy’s.

  3. Arthus permalink
    June 17, 2012

    Ever heard about a straw-man argument, you anti-intellectual bigot?

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