Well, I must have been hiding under a rock because supposedly this has been in the news for awhile now, or I just don't watch the right news channels. However, it's all over the TV and internet news today.
According to U.S. evangelist Harold Camping at 6pm tomorrow, less than 24 hours from now where I live, the Rapture is going to happen as he predicted by decoding passages of the Bible. Approximately three million believers will be saved and the rest of us, as well as millions of other believers I imagine, will suffer unimaginable torment until some date in October this year. Three million out of the current world population is a small number, but I'm not bothered enough to find out what the criteria is for being saved according to Camping. It's probably too late anyway.
The trouble with his scenario is he's predicted the end of the world three times previously and it never happened. An interviewer on TV tonight asked him if he could have a followup interview on Sunday if it doesn't happen, to which he replied he wouldn't be here, so it wouldn't be possible. He's an old man of 89 years, so it's quite possible he won't be for other reasons than his predictions.
Correction: Seems I was wrong about how many times he's already predicted the end. I don't know where I read it was three times, but it seems it was only once.
Notice at the above link (and others) a lot of people are making money out of people's beliefs and fears. No surprise really. That site is selling mugs and T-shirts and it's supposedly a serious site and not a parody.
I'm not a religious person in any shape or form, but I think this is fear mongering and profiteering of the worst kind by misguided individuals targeting vulnerable people and even causing panic in some cases. As far as I'm concerned people should be free to believe what they like, but when it hurts others and takes advantage of their faith it should be a criminal offense.
Of course if it happens a lot of others besides myself are in for a torrid five months before the End of Times, starting on Sunday. The weather bureau has forecast very heavy rain and wind here at least for the next few days so who knows. Then again, it is the beginning of winter.
Just to note...
It's not my intention to ridicule anyone's religious beliefs, but these doomsayers and TV evangelists have a lot of power, (and money), invested in what they do. I hope they have a conscience and pay taxes, which they probably don't being a religious organization. Not to mention they'll need a good reason why it didn't happen...again. But I can pretty much guess what that will be.
People should keep an open mind, stick with what they believe and gain comfort from, and seek guidance from their normal spiritual sources instead of listening to nutters predicting doom and gloom as they have since the dawn of time. Unfortunately, the vulnerable living in countries without full access to differing opinions and freedom of faith are the ones who will suffer through this kind of misinformation and fear mongering.
UPDATE: Sunday May 22nd at 1:30pm...
Well, it seems the Apocalypse was averted, as expected, and Harold Camping is unavailable for comment. Who could have predicted that would happen?