Harold Camping, absolutely nailing
the "Porter Wagoner look"
Yes, it is true that Harold the herald once insisted that the Rapture would occur in 1994. "Mathematical error," he explained. No doubt. The math is indeed...um, byzantine.
Naturally, Camping believes God dictated the Bible1, and in doing so, inserted layered meanings in words and numbers thereby stashing a secret numerology code within. Thus, the number 5 means "atonement," 10 means "completeness," 17 means "heaven."
Camping thinks these three words are God's secret code for the Rapture.
Evidently, one must multiply (why? who knows?) the word's numerical values [atonement (5) x completeness (10) x heaven (17)] = 850. Then — for reasons that are similarly unclear, but maybe just because all equations look more authoritative with the occasional superscript — square that sum, arriving at the number 722,500. This is the Rapture's magic number.
Camping decided that Jesus was crucified on April 1, 332 1,978 years before April 1 of this year. So multiply 1,978 x 365.2425 (the mean number of days in a solar year) = 722,449.665 days, which is 50.335 days short of the magic number 722,500. Camping inexplicably rounds that number up, then counts 51 days forward from April 1 and TA-DA! he reckons this is "infallible proof" that the Rapture will happen Saturday, May 21, 2011.
"I just about fell off my chair when I realized that," Camping said.
Yes, I'm sure.
Personally, I think it's very thoughtful of Jesus to schedule his Second Coming to fall on the weekend so we'll all be at home.
When the Rapture inevitably occurs tomorrow, Camping says Jesus will arrive, judge us, then sweep up around 200 million of the righteous faithful to heaven with him, leaving behind the rest of us to the fate of corporal and spiritual annihilation when God obliterates us along with the entire universe on October 21 of this year.
Here's the thing: if you simply count the actual number of days that have elapsed from April 1, 33 up to and including April 1, 2010 (compensating for the Julian to Gregorian calendar conversion) it isn't 722,449.665 days.
It's 722,452 days — 48 (not 51) short of Camping's magic number 722,500.
That means Camping's Rapture happened last Wednesday.
Since Harold Camping continues to plague the Earth, that means he's either a fraud or Jesus won't have him. Either way, sensible people would do well to ignore Camping, although if they were sensible, they probably wouldn't be listening to this perfidious old fart in the first place.
If Camping was just some fringe cult guru leading a handful of wide-eyed and narrow-minded kooks, I wouldn't particularly give a damn. But this creep owns Family Radio Worldwide, an enormous network with 163 outlets around the country where he broadcasts this nonsense as fact, thereby capitalizing on his fraud by using our public airwaves to financially exploit simple, gullible people by scaring them shitless.
That pisses me off.
A fraud is a fraud is a fraud. Merely because the fraud has a religious component shouldn't place it outside the law. Criminal immunity not the sort of thing the First Amendment's Establishment Clause was intended to guarantee, but since America has become a quasi-theocracy, it has come to function in precisely that way.
1. Various books within the Bible are written in various literary styles and use the personal pronoun "I" to refer to their human authors while referring to God in the third-person, which scarcely indicates the heavenly dictation of a single entity. Moreover, the Bible is factually inconsistent, first contradicting itself on page 2, where the two Genesis accounts are internally contradictory. The Gospels are not only internally contradictory, they are inconsistent with each other to the point they cannot be resolved into a single consistent account of Jesus' life and death. For many specific examples of Biblical inconsistencies, go here.
2. The year of Jesus' execution is utterly uncertain and unascertainable because the Gospels are inconsistent. Even assuming Jesus was crucified on the Friday after Passover during Pilate's reign, the years 27, 30, 33 or 36 are all equally possible.