So May 21, the day of the Rapture passed us by with only a small volcano eruption in Iceland to show for it. There was off course the more tragic tornado ripping through Joplin, Missouri in the USA a day later, but even the most optimistic Rapture devotee will find that to be a rather abysmal display of the Christian god’s wrath, as predicted by the now infamous Harold Camping.
I think by now most people who predicted that the Rapture would not happen are smugly making fun of Harold Camping and his credulous supporters – and rightly so. They are collectively responsible for spreading an ideology that undoubtedly is going to have severe repercussions for a lot of people; mostly those who fell for it. But it did provide hours of fun for the rest of us and for that we’re awfully thankful.
Considering that it’s not the first time he’s done something like this, it’s no wonder that so many people are not only calling Camping a fraudster and demanding that he reimburse those who donated money to him, but some are actually demanding that he be prosecuted criminally as well.
It must therefore come as something of a shock with Camping now claiming that the world will actually be ending on October 21, 2011. But an even bigger shock is that many of his followers who were naive enough to believe him the first two times, are actually going to believe him yet again. I don’t know whether to despise them even more, or take pity on them.
Perhaps its best to just let them continue thinking that the Rapture did indeed occur on May 21, and that the Christian god, finding nobody who qualified for ascension into his version of Heaven this time, have given them all a reprieve until October 21, when he will return to exact real vengeance and perhaps cause a few more volcanos to erupt, even extinct ones.
Somehow, I expect Camping to still have many delusional followers even after this, even if he’s found criminally liable in the interim.