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Old 05-19-2011, 08:11 PM  
mohel
 
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Words of Warning: Time?s Up

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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/us/20bcjames.html?_r=1
From Oakland to the World, Words of Warning: Time?s Up
By SCOTT JAMES
Published: May 19, 2011


Quote:
Inside the sprawling, threadbare Oakland headquarters of Family Radio Worldwide the staff has prepared for the end of the world this weekend ? and it appears they mean it.
?There?s so little time left,? a smiling elderly woman said, hugging a colleague.

On Monday, the last day outsiders were welcome inside the gated compound, recording studios sat empty. Current programming for the independent Christian broadcast ministry was produced weeks ago. No more shows are needed.

This Saturday, May 21, is the apocalypse, according to the ministry?s charismatic leader, ?brother? Harold Camping.

?I?m so glad that God?s in charge,? Mr. Camping, 89, said, looking gleeful.

Mr. Camping, a 1942 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, who started out in Christian broadcasting in 1958 with one San Francisco AM radio station that eventually became a broadcast empire, proclaimed the doomsday date in 2008.

Since then, the ministry has unleashed a giant effort to spread the word. The message has gone out over the ministry?s 216 AM, FM and low-power radio stations, plus two TV channels in the United States. And, there?s been an international effort with shortwave radio, satellite broadcasts, a Web site, 5,500 billboards (400 in India; 2,200 across the United States, including many around the Bay Area), and 100 million pamphlets in 61 languages, according to the ministry.

Mr. Camping oversees about 100 staff members and volunteers, a mix of ages and races, at the ministry?s unkempt Oakland headquarters, situated between a custom auto shop and a psychic near the Oakland airport.

The ministry?s finances, however, are anything but downscale: an annual budget of $36.7 million in 2009, according to the organization?s most recent IRS financial disclosure filings. As a nonprofit, commercial-free broadcasting operation, the ministry is supported by listener donations ? $18.3 million in 2009 alone.

The IRS records revealed $34 million in investments, $56 million in assets and $29 million in mortgages. Mr. Camping received no salary in 2009 ? in fact, he loaned the ministry $175,516 that year. On Monday he said he was draining ministry reserves to pay for the May 21 campaign.

Tom Evans, a ministry spokesman, wouldn?t make the budget available, but said it was in the ?tens of millions? of dollars.

Mr. Camping previously prophesied the apocalypse for September 1994 ? a calculation he now admits was flawed.

Then and now, his predictions have received both worldwide attention and ridicule. Christian scholars, almost uniformly, say the Bible forbids such prophecies. Richard Dawkins, the atheist writer, has labeled the millions spent a ?con? and Mr. Camping a ?raving loon.?

At Family Radio headquarters, however, Mr. Camping?s followers expressed sincere devotion. People spoke of spending their final days with loved ones, or trying to maintain their normal routines until Saturday.

?I?m just doing, you know, everything exactly the way I always do it,? Robert Boyd, a radio producer, said.

?Let God end it,? Mr. Evans said.

Mr. Camping, whose ministry is fundamentalist Christian but not affiliated with mainstream churches, described Saturday as the beginning of five months of hell on earth: the Rapture. Beginning by time zone until the world is encompassed, the relative few saved by God will ascend to heaven, while seven billion will be left to suffer and die.

Devastating earthquakes will strike, he said, unearthing corpses of previously dead sinners to be ?desecrated and shamed,? followed by a series of calamities until Oct. 21, when the planet will be obliterated.

Mr. Camping said that Saturday is the 7,000th anniversary of Noah?s flood. Once again, he said, God has been angered by mankind?s sins, like the growing acceptance of homosexuality.

Jay Johnson, a professor at Berkeley?s Graduate Theological Union who has studied doomsday religious sects, said such beliefs tend to coincide with times of strife or change and ?sometimes have troubling consequences.?

A similar end-of-days movement, Millerism, in the 19th century ? a tumultuous time due to immigration, abolitionism and women?s rights ? eventually spawned the murderous Branch Davidian cult, Mr. Johnson said.

?This is not a laughing matter when people engage wholesale in one interpretation of biblical text,? Mr. Johnson said.

Working-class people have reportedly liquidated bank accounts to support Family Radio?s campaign. On Monday, during a ministry call-in talk show, a man said he intended to go to work this week and proselytize colleagues about May 21, knowing he would probably be fired.

Such deeds have ramifications ? should Sunday come. While Mr. Camping refuses to consider that possibility, others close to the ministry do.

Zeke Piestrup, an outside documentary maker working with the ministry, said, ?I?m a little nervous for these people.?

Amen.

Scott James is an Emmy-winning television journalist and novelist who lives in San Francisco.
sjames@baycitizen.org
Words of Warning: Time?s Up-rapture.jpg 

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Old 05-19-2011, 08:13 PM  
mohel
 
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The way Seattle atheist Paul Case sees it, holding a "Rapture party" on Saturday, the date a Christian radio broadcaster who's getting national attention says the Rapture is supposed to happen, is a can't-lose proposition.

If the Rapture indeed occurs, and Christians worldwide are transported to heaven, "we know as atheists, we're not going," said Case, one of several people organizing the Saturday party in Tacoma. It's one of several such gatherings being organized by atheist groups nationwide.

"If it occurs, it's a good thing for us," he said. "We get the real estate and cheap cars, and we won't have to worry about separation of church and state."

On the other hand, if the Rapture doesn't happen, "it's another egg in the face of those who say the end times will come. So it's a win-win for us," Case said.

The prediction prompting the parties comes from Harold Camping, an 89-year-old civil engineer by training. Camping heads Family Radio, also known as Family Stations, an Oakland, Calif.-based network of about 66 Christian radio stations, including those in Kirkland and Longview. Family Radio, which does not have any denominational ties, also broadcasts internationally.

Looking at biblical passages, and using mathematical calculations, Camping says he's pinpointed the date of the Rapture to May 21. Those left on Earth will then go through five months of "horror and chaos beyond description" before the world ends on Oct. 21, according to Family Radio's website.

Thomas Holt, a volunteer with Family Radio, calls those who poke fun at Camping's predictions "scoffers," referring to 2 Peter 3:3-4, which says: "you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, 'Where is this 'coming' he promised?' "

But Camping's prediction is not widely accepted, despite his beliefs being featured on billboards in various cities and in media stories nationwide.

For many Christians, end-of-the-world scenarios aren't something they give much attention to.

And of the many who do, there have been concerns raised that Camping's prediction contradicts Scripture.

"There are a long line of brilliant people who, through intricate calculations, have made predictions about the end of the world," said Pastor Joseph Fuiten with Cedar Park Assembly of God Church in Bothell. "Unfortunately they have overlooked the obvious words of Jesus: 'You do not know the day or the hour' of such events."

But it's atheists, in particular, who appear to be poking the most fun.

In Tacoma, producers of the weekly radio show "Ask an Atheist" are sponsoring the local Rapture party. Their slogan: "Countdown to Backpedaling: The End is Nah!"

While Seattle Atheists aren't hosting a party that night, they are collecting money for humanitarian relief should the Rapture occur.

The end of the world "is obviously disconcerting news, and we thought we'd lend a hand," the group says on its "Rapture Relief" website. "While the rest of the world is tortured in this terrible Apocalypse, ... elite squads of godless heathens will ... help bring people out of the rubble and rebuild their lives."

(If the end times don't happen as predicted, Seattle Atheists says the money raised will go to Camp Quest, which teaches children critical thinking skills.)

Holt, of Family Radio, for one, has no doubt that the Rapture will occur Saturday: "The Bible clearly predicts it will."
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:55 AM  
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well at least they said these disasters will be separated by time zones

The apocalypse is meant to be a vague term to scare people into believing the religion, it's been just about to happen for around 2000 years.....
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Old 05-20-2011, 02:34 PM  
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Make My Bed? But You Say the World?s Ending

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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/us/20rapture.html
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The Haddad children of Middletown, Md., have a lot on their minds: school projects, SATs, weekend parties. And parents who believe the earth will begin to self-destruct on Saturday.

The three teenagers have been struggling to make sense of their shifting world, which started changing nearly two years ago when their mother, Abby Haddad Carson, left her job as a nurse to ?sound the trumpet? on mission trips with her husband, Robert, handing out tracts. They stopped working on their house and saving for college.

Last weekend, the family traveled to New York, the parents dragging their reluctant children through a Manhattan street fair in a final effort to spread the word.

?My mom has told me directly that I?m not going to get into heaven,? Grace Haddad, 16, said. ?At first it was really upsetting, but it?s what she honestly believes.?

Thousands of people around the country have spent the last few days taking to the streets and saying final goodbyes before Saturday, Judgment Day, when they expect to be absorbed into heaven in a process known as the rapture. Nonbelievers, they hold, will be left behind to perish along with the world over the next five months.

With their doomsday T-shirts, placards and leaflets, followers ? often clutching Bibles ? are typically viewed as harmless proselytizers from outside mainstream religion. But their convictions have frequently created the most tension within their own families, particularly with relatives whose main concern about the weekend is whether it will rain.

Kino Douglas, 31, a self-described agnostic, said it was hard to be with his sister Stacey, 33, who ?doesn?t want to talk about anything else.?

?I?ll say, ?Oh, what are we going to do this summer?? She?s going to say, ?The world is going to end on May 21, so I don?t know why you?re planning for summer,? and then everyone goes, ?Oh, boy,? ? he said.

The Douglas siblings live near each other in Brooklyn, and Mr. Douglas said he could not wait until Sunday ? ?I?m going to show up at her house so we can have that conversation that?s been years in coming.?

Ms. Douglas, who has a 7-year-old, said that while her family did not see the future the way she did, her mother did allow her to put a Judgment Day sign up on her house. ?I never thought I?d be doing this,? said Ms. Douglas, who took vacation from her nanny job this week but did not quit. ?I was in an abusive relationship. One day, my son was playing with the remote and Mr. Camping was on TV. I thought, This guy is crazy. But I kept thinking about it and something told me to go back.?

Ms. Douglas and other believers subscribe to the prophecy of Harold Camping, a civil engineer turned self-taught biblical scholar whose doomsday scenario ? broadcast on his Family Radio network ? predicts a May 21, 2011, Judgment Day. On that day, arrived at through a series of Bible-based calculations that assume the world will end exactly 7,000 years after Noah?s flood, believers are to be transported up to heaven as a worldwide earthquake strikes. Nonbelievers will endure five months of plagues, quakes, wars, famine and general torment before the planet?s total destruction in October. In 1992 Mr. Camping said the rapture would probably be in 1994, but he now says newer evidence makes the prophecy for this year certain.

Kevin Brown, a Family Radio representative, said conflict with other family members was part of the test of whether a person truly believed. ?They?re going through the fiery trial each day,? he said.

Gary Daniels, 27, said he planned to spend Saturday like other believers, ?glued to our TV sets, waiting for the Resurrection and earthquake from nation to nation.? But he acknowledged that his family was not entirely behind him.

?At first there was a bit of anger and tension, not really listening to one another and just shouting out ideas,? Mr. Daniels said.

But his family has come around to respect ? if not endorse ? his views, and he drove from his home in Newark, Del., on Monday night in a van covered in Judgment Day messages to say goodbye to relatives in Brooklyn. ?I know I?m not going to see them again, but they are very certain they are going to see me, and that?s where I feel so sad,? he said. ?I weep to know that they don?t have any idea that this overwhelming thing is coming right at them, pummeling toward them like a meteor.?

?I have mixed feelings,? Ms. Haddad Carson said. ?I?m very excited about the Lord?s return, but I?m fearful that my children might get left behind. But you have to accept God?s will.?

The children, however, have found something to giggle over. ?She?ll say, ?You need to clean up your room,? ? Grace said. ?And I?ll say, ?Mom, it doesn?t matter, if the world?s going to end!? ?

She and her twin, Faith, have a friend?s birthday party Saturday night, around the time their parents believe the rapture will occur.

?So if the world doesn?t end, I?d really like to attend,? Grace said before adding, ?Though I don?t know how emotionally able my family will be at that time.?
Words of Warning: Time?s Up-rapture-articlelarge.jpg 

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Old 05-20-2011, 04:19 PM  
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So much copy-paste-post! Blucher, are you ever going to give us your opinion on something?!

Wait, unless you're a robot. Yup, you're a robot sitting in front of a computer, starting threads based on random news stories. I've figured you out.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:28 PM  
mohel
 
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judgment day imminent

The Rapture: judgment day imminent ? if US engineer has calculated right
Thousands say goodbye to family and friends ahead of 6pm Saturday deadline, after which 'saved' will rise up


HTML Code:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/20/the-rapture-judgment-day-us
Quote:
It's a complicated business calculating the precise date of the end of the world.There's the Great Flood to consider, which may have happened around 4990BC, depending on who's estimating. And the timing of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Then there's a bit of maths that involves equating one day to 1,000 years.

Do all that and it turns out that Armageddon will begin at 6pm on Saturday. That is, if Harold Camping has got his calculations and his reading of the Book of Ezekiel right.

The 89-year-old doomsday prophet, a former engineer who perhaps inevitably comes from California, has prompted a tide of expectation, elation and derision after persuading listeners to his Family Radio Worldwide across the US and as far away as the Philippines to sell up everything and prepare for the beginning of the end of the world with the second coming of Jesus.

If all goes according to plan, those who have been "saved" by Jesus will rise into the air in the Rapture and look down as God smites billions of nonbelievers with a great earthquake rolling from city to city across the planet, and a bit of fire to boot.

"Everyone will be weeping and wailing because they'll know in a few hours it'll come to their city," Camping told the TYT Now online news show. "It's going to be a horror story of tremendous proportion."

Judgment day will begin at 6pm wherever you are. The mayhem will move west over the planet, wiping out cities, towns and villages.

In the US, some believers have given up their jobs and donated money they think they will no longer need to pay for more than 2,000 billboards across the country proclaiming "Judgment Day: May 21, 2011 ? Cry mightily unto God. THE BIBLE GUARANTEES IT!"

Thousands of people, some wearing T-shirts proclaiming that doomsday is at hand, have said goodbye to family and friends. It is not always welcome. Abby Haddad Carson up her job as a nurse two years ago to spread the message. Her three children do not believe it. "My mom has told me directly that I'm not going to get into heaven," Grace Haddad, 26, told the New York Times. "At first it was really upsetting but it's what she honestly believes."

Callers to Christian radio stations have debated what to do about nonbelieving friends and neighbours who will be left behind to endure the wrath of God.

One caller in Oregon wanted to know if he should arm himself to protect his family from the doomed in his street who might be jealous that those who have "found Jesus" were about to go to heaven.

The show's host assured him that nonbelievers would be too busy being tortured by fire to worry about seeking vengeance on him. Even some nonbelievers are getting in on the act. Atheists are throwing "after Rapture" parties to celebrate the departure of the religious ? or at least Christians ? from their midst.

The Washington DC transportation department put out a tweet saying that the coming apocalypse would have an impact on road maintenance: "Sorry, we will no longer be able to fill your potholes after Saturday." An enterprising New York business is offering to take care of the cats and dogs of those who believe that their Lord will take them to heaven without their pets.

Camping has been here before, having previously predicted that the end of the world would be in 1994. He blames that on an error in the maths but says this time he has definitely got it right. "There is no possibility that it will not happen because all of our information comes from the Bible," he told the Philadelphia Daily News.

Besides his mathematical formula, Camping has conjured up more "evidence" that doomsday looms. He has pointed to the re-establishment of Israel ? which some Christians believe is a prerequisite for the second coming of Jesus and the Rapture ? as a sign from God "that the world is getting near its end". He has said that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan was a divinely organised foretaste of what awaits most of humanity.

Camping has also said that "gay pride" and same-sex marriage are "a sign from God that judgment day is very near". "No sign is as dramatic and clear as the phenomenal worldwide success of the Gay Pride movement. In the Bible God describes His involvement with this dramatic movement ? We will learn that the Gay Pride movement would successfully develop as a sign to the world that Judgement Day was about to occur," he writes.

Camping isn't planning anything special for the big day. He intends to stay at home and watch the mayhem roll across the globe. Not so most of his eight children. Only one believes their father's claim that judgment day is at hand.
Words of Warning: Time?s Up-hieronymus-bosch-007.jpg 

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Old 05-20-2011, 04:38 PM  
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Originally Posted by Jake7 View Post
Wait, unless you're a robot. Yup, you're a robot sitting in front of a computer, starting threads based on random news stories. I've figured you out.
I guess if this was a blog I'd offer an opinion but by not doing so I tend to learn more.

I will note that before the 24/7 news cycle neither Rev. Muttonchops or this goof would have been more than a few lines in one days newspapers.
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:07 PM  
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the Rewards of the Rapture

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http://abcnews.go.com/Business/judgment-day-21-2011-businesses-hoping-reap-rewards/story?id=13647237
Quote:
"Judgment Day" is just 24 hours away and many are turning to the almighty dollar for salvation.

While some evangelical Christians are preparing to be taken away to heavenly realms, the less devout have been trying to profit off the prophecy.

Family Radio, a non-profit, listener-supported religious organization based in Oakland, Calif., has declared that May 21 will mark the end of the world, when Jesus Christ arrives for his second coming and the "rapture" of his believers.

Gunther von Harringa, spokesman for Family Radio and president of Bible Ministries International, said it is "ludicrous" to think that businesses will be able to function after Judgment Day. However, that's not stopping people from trying to make money for a tomorrow some think will never come.


Five Businesses Hoping to Reap the Rewards of the Rapture:

1. External Earthbound Pets

Eternal Earthbound Pets offers a service to rescue and take care of pets once their owners are no longer earthbound.

Bart Centre of New Hampshire, co-owner of the pet business, launched it in June 2009. He has zero belief in Judgment Day, but began to see an increase in sales inquiries in December, which, he believes, is related to Family Radio's heavy marketing campaign around the May 21 date.


Doomsday: May 21, 2011? Watch Video

A 'View' of May 21st Doomsday Watch Video

New Judgment Day: May 21, 2011? Watch Video

Sales increased during the first quarter of this year by 27 percent compared with the first quarter of last year, which Centre attributes to the May 21 campaign. Centre increased his rates in January. It now costs $135 to rescue one pet and $20 for an additional pet at the same address, which he collects up front. That's up from $110 for the first pet and $10 for an additional pet.

2. Post-Rapture Post

Post-Rapture Post is a message delivery service to those left behind after the apocalypse. Joshua Witter started the website in 2004 after a casual conversation with his friends about what believers might want after they leave their non-believing loved ones behind.

Witter, an atheist, charges $4.99 to $799.99 to deliver a pre-written letter to those loved ones. Ritter said he suspects the postal service and email services will not be available.

Witter, the postmaster general of the Post-Rapture Post, said he has only sold his simplest letter product at $1.99, although he does offer more elaborate options. For $800, a calligrapher (a friend of his) will handwrite your letter on "medieval parchment style paper."

Witter, who has another day job, said there has not been renewed interest as a result of the May 21 campaign.

3. Northwest Shelter Systems

Kevin Thompson, co-owner of Northwest Shelter Systems, based in Idaho, said concerns about a nuclear disaster -- not Judgment Day -- have driven recent sales of his hidden rooms and bomb shelters.

"We're not a doom-and-gloom company by any means," he said. "People are still purchasing shelters from us for a number of other reasons."

Sales have increased 60 to 70 percent since the start of this year, he said. He attributes the growth mostly to the tsunami and earthquake in Japan in March, and especially the resulting concerns about radiation emitting from the Fukushima plant, north of Tokyo.

4. End of the World Parties

Bars and clubs across the country are hosting parties to commemorate the occasion. Fittingly, the Tavern at the End of the World, in Boston, is hosting an End of the World Party tomorrow evening. Manager Raymond O'Neill says he has been fielding lots of calls for the event and expects it will be good for business.
"I'm going to have to close our tabs at 11:30 p.m. tomorrow night just in case people start disappearing," O'Neill joked. "I guess only the good ones are going. All my friends will still be here."

In Atlanta, the Via Restaurant is hosting The End of the World Party tonight and operating partner Derrick Silvera says he too anticipates an increase in business.


Doomsday: May 21, 2011? Watch Video

A 'View' of May 21st Doomsday Watch Video

New Judgment Day: May 21, 2011? Watch Video

"It's a good excuse to throw a party," Silvera said. "We've been telling people to park wherever you want because your car won't be there when the party is over."

5. "Left Behind" Book Series

Jerry Jenkins, the writer behind the Left Behind series of books about the apocalypse, said he has a growing number of media requests regarding the May 21 campaign, although he is not aware of a respective increase in sales.

Jenkins worked with the pastor, Tim LaHaye, for the series' 16 books, which have sold more than 63 million copies, the first published in 1995. Jenkins said the books have been re-released this year with new covers and updated words related to technology in the series. He said the re-release was planned last year and related to the series' 15th anniversary, not the May 21 campaign.
Words of Warning: Time?s Up-judgment_day_ll_110520_wg.jpg 

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Old 05-20-2011, 07:08 PM  
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then why give them more publicity? Clearly they caught your attention.
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Old 05-20-2011, 11:32 PM  
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then why give them more publicity? Clearly they caught your attention.
I see little difference between this fruitcake fundy nut and an equally nutso fundy sandman underwear bomber. I think nuts of all flavors should pinned by the spotlight of mirth at their expense.
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