A few days ago, I happened across this story in the “Weird News” section of the Daily Express, a UK newspaper. The story centers around a group of militant Christians from the conspiracy website Signs Of The End Times, claiming that this year, 2017, the apocalypse, the final reckoning, the end of days, call it what you will, is once again upon us. As I read the article, one thought persistently popped up in my mind: what a load of bollocks!
Now, I’m not calling into questions anybody’s faith here, but the idea that apparently rational, reasonable, logical adults could actually believe this mumbo-jumbo, hoodoo, balderdash and piffle, witchypoo, claptrap is beyond me!
Then again, what if they’re right? What if the world really is going to end? Well, I’d be cancelling my gym membership for a start, and eating the three-person serving of Sticky Toffee Pudding that I have in the fridge, all to myself! (I now have Homer Simpson’s voice, playing on a loop in my head, saying “Eat the pudding, eat the pudding, eat the pudding”)
Upon reading the story, I was reminded too of a brief news article I had written back in 2011, about the Doomsday preacher, Harold Camping. Camping had claimed that the world would end on October 21, 2011. My article was both written and published on October 22. I distinctly remember that the whole charade was so absurd, I was practically giggling as I was writing. Here, should you be interested, is that article.
Third Time Unlucky For Preacher
The American Doomsday preacher, Harold Camping, has seen his latest prophecy once again come to naught. The nonagenarian Camping came to prominence five months ago, when he predicted the world would end on May 21, 2011. When that prophecy failed to become a reality, he claimed that he had made a miscalculation, and that May 21 was, in fact, merely Doomsday. It would, he claimed, take a further 153 days from that date, for the world to end in destruction.
Camping made a lengthy speech in which he quoted numerous historical and biblical turning points. He had, he said, “seriously studied the Bible at length for five months” and that he had discovered that “God will not save sinners”. “His blessed work is finished” said Camping.
So precisely which date do we arrive at if we count 153 days from May 21, 2011? Answer: October 21, 2011. Yesterday. In his prediction, Camping said, “We can be sure that the world will be swept away on October 21, 2011” before going on to tell of the horrendous fate that awaited sinners with no hope of salvation.
For the third (unlucky for some) time of asking, Harold Camping has again failed to correctly predict the end of the world. And that is perhaps just as well, for if the world had ended yesterday, the two people who shared last night’s EuroMillions jackpot would have been seriously ticked off!
Eleanor Parks, 2011.
There is always a chance, no matter how remote, that one day, one of these Doomsday preachers will get it spot on. It’s the Law of Averages. Therefore, just in case we are on the brink of the apocalypse, if you’ll excuse me, I believe I have a gym membership I need to cancel, and a three-person Sticky Toffee Pudding in the fridge with my name on it.