Somebody just preponed death!

Apparently, the end is nigh for most of us humans. The eBible Fellowship is just one among many claimants (Family Radio being the other major claimant) of the fact that judgement day is May the 21st; and five months later, on October 21st, we shall witness the end of the world.

Now I do not know if this is a race to declare an ‘end of the world’ date, but these fellows seem to believe that the Mayan prediction of December the 21st 2012 is not the end of the world, rather it is October this year!

Before I wish you luck, let me examine a few details.

The wonderful person who came up with these dates (and who had the remarkable ability of quoting the Bible extensively–for the Bible is the last word–) was Mr Harold Camping. But this is not the first time Camping has predicted the end of the world. He declared, with equal conviction, that 1994 was the end and he managed to live through it to give us another prediction. On their website, Family Radio gets defensive saying, “important subsequent Biblical information was not yet known.” We understand.

Camping has an innovative hobby of misunderstanding religious texts but he crosses the line when he pushes others to actually believe what he conjectures.

Camping bought Family Radio back in 1958 to proclaim the Gospel of Christ and he ended up concocting dates he wished the world would end in. That the world will not end when Harold Camping wants it to is clear to everybody but Camping himself, in spite of the fact that not many people believe him (he has already shouted ‘wolf!’ remember?) And if Camping really wanted all this attention, a good marketing strategy would have been to proclaim the end of the world before the Mayan prediction came to the fore. But the man was perhaps then still recovering from the shock that he survived his last predicted doomsday–as did the rest of mankind.

A banner displayed at the Eaton Centre in Toronto predicts that Judgment Day will occur on May 21, 2011. (Courtesy Brian Cameron/Flickr.com)
A banner displayed at the Eaton Centre in Toronto predicts that Judgment Day will occur on May 21, 2011. (Courtesy Brian Cameron/Flickr.com)

And yet Family Radio has not been all unsuccessful. Its 56 stations in the US have assured them some believers in the impossible. The fact that they are not asking for money or hinting at monetary benefits makes them appear all the more genuine. And then they are backed by Camping!

So people are giving up their jobs and occasionally their lives, the former only to rejoin the unemployment line as of May the 22nd when nobody comes to judge them.

“It’s not the way these Biblical texts were meant to be read, even by their original writers.” Richard Ascough

‘The Bible,’ says the Family Radio website, ‘guarantees it’ (with an exclamation mark at the end making it appear more like satire.) And then they quote the book of Ezekiel saying ‘low the trumpet… warn the people.’

And if you are either a Jew or a Hindu or a Muslim or a Buddhist or an atheist or an agnostic or any of the other billions of people who make up a more than half the world’s population, know that you will be judged (and tortured for five months, until October 21st 2011, when the world will anyway end, while the true believers in Christianity will survive according to some website I just came across.)

And then, apparently, they mocked this on The Simpsons so it has definitely taken hold, as Richard Ascough, a professor in the School of Religion at Queen’s University in Kingston, rightly put it.

And, to satisfy your curiosity, there will be no water this time (we have a shortage of that anyway) so god has allegedly decided to end the Earth in a fire.

While I suppose this will provide you with sufficient laughs till the very end of May, I will be writing more satire between now and then. And I will officially mock Family Radio on May the 22nd.

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