The world is going to end next Saturday, May 21, 2011 according to Harold Camping.
My natural first reaction is to write some sarcastic criticism of religious extremists. However, I won’t. Religion is important to a lot of people, so I try to avoid making light of it, no matter how absurdly it may contradict the world of rational ideas.
About 2-3 months ago, I was driving from the airport, tired, flipping through radio stations. I came across a soothing voice and left it there, half zoned out. The voice was that of Harold Camping, a religious scholar, who hosts a radio show that answers call-in question about the Bible. I remember listening to him several times in the past. For someone I disagree with intellectually on almost everything, I like the guy. He doesn’t, from what I heard, spew hatred and intolerance. In either case, I like listening to people I disagree with (or don’t understand at all) every once in a while.
On that particular show, as I tuned in, he was talking about a new firm prediction of his that the world will end on Saturday, May 21, 2011. He was citing a bunch of “evidence” for this from the Bible. He’s made this prediction once before, but according to him, this time he was really sure and staking his reputation on it. This, to me, meant that he really believes it, fully, on the intellectual and emotional level. That, to me, was and is fascinating!
The best part of the show that I caught was when a lady called in asking if Mr. Camping knew whether the world will end in the afternoon or evening of May 21 and what time. The reason she wanted to know is because she wanted to have a special dinner with her family prior to the world’s ending. A last supper, if you will.