The only world that came to an end on Saturday was Harold Camping's, the notorious evangelical Oakland preacher who riled up the religious community with his awesome premonition that the world would end on May 21, 2011.
But that day came and went, with not even so much as a rumble of the Earth (not that I felt anyway). It left Camping with all the natural feelings you should have when the world doesn't end as expected -- denial, fear, rage, and definitely guilt. And while we were all just -- ahem -- praying that Camping would move on with his life so we could, too, the 89-year-old preacher came out Monday night to tell us that the world is still coming to an end -- he was just off by five months.
At this juncture, the only thing we can conclude is that Camping seriously sucks at math.
Need we remind you that this is the man's third go at predicting the apocalypse? On Sept. 6, 1994, Camping told his followers of Family Radio that Jesus would rescue them from the fire-burning Earth and bring them to heaven -- he even wrote a book about it, titled 1994. They gathered around the Alameda Veterans Memorial building dressed in their Sunday best, holding Bibles toward the sky. And they waited. And waited.
But when that Rapture turned out to be a massive failure, Camping immediately blamed it on his faulty calculations.
It's worth mentioning now that Camping received a civil engineering degree from UC Berkeley. But that degree apparently hasn't done jack for the Bible thumper's career in predicting Raptures. Camping has been studying the Book of Genesis for more than 70 years and he claims he's developed a mathematical system that has helped him interpret prophecies within it, namely when the world will end.
Here is how he arrived at his most recent Rapture crackup: "If we substitute 1,000 years for each of the seven days, 2011 is exactly 7,000 years from the Flood," Camping told SF Weekly earlier this month. He then decided that the number 17 represents heaven, the number five represents atonement, and 10 is completeness. After a little number crunching that had theologists confused, he arrived at May 21, 2011, as Judgment Day.
He meant October 21, 2011.
So keep the impending-doom party going, people. God only knows how many more Rapture rounds we have to go.
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