Judgment Day? 5 days and counting…

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that an evangelist named Harold Camping was predicting — no, stating — that Judgment Day will be May 21, 2011.

At a time, I didn’t know if anyone would really notice Camping’s big news, as he is somewhat of a fringe TV preacher.

But everyone loves a good End-of-the-World guarantee, so Camping is getting quite a lot of media attention. Plus, his Family Radio Network has billboards up all over the country — I saw one the other day on the Garden State Parkway — warning of the Big Day.

Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer, also has a small army of followers driving around the country and letting people know not to bother planning anything for Memorial Day.

One volunteer told NPR: “I no longer think about 401(k)s and retirement. I’m not stressed about losing my job, which a lot of other people are in this economy. I’m just a lot less stressed, and in a way I’m more carefree.”

The UK Independent’s most popular on-line story at the moment is: “US preacher warns end of the world is nigh”

Camping, who is based in Oakland, is not predicting an immediate global apocalypse. He is saying, based on his reading of the Bible, that Jesus will return on May 21 and that saved Christians — he says about 2 percent of the world’s population — will be raptured to heaven. Everyone else will face God’s judgment. The world will be destroyed 153 days later, he says.

You can read all about it at WeCanKnow.com. The website was, until recently, taking orders for We Can Know materials. But they’ve stopped: “With our Lord’s Return such a short time away, we are no longer offering free printed materials since there is not enough time remaining for us to effectively produce and distribute them.”

Makes sense, I guess.

Most media accounts point out that Camping previously predicted that most of us would be goners on Sept. 6, 1994. When that didn’t happen, he chalked it up to a mathematical error.

Well, May 21 is Saturday. Come Sunday, if Camping is wrong, I’m sure he’ll get quite a few interview requests.

I get the feeling that a lot of people are gearing up to make fun of him, which would be kind of sad.

AP Photo

Will Fido be ‘left behind?’

Say you’re a Christian who believes that when it’s time for the Second Coming, you will be raptured away to a better place.

When the time comes, who will take care of Spot and Rocky?

A retired businessman in New Hampshire has come up with a business that will — are you ready for this? — arrange for atheists to care for pets when their Christian owners disappear.

You can read about it on the website of Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA.

At first, I thought it was a joke for sure. But the tone is serious (I think) and there is a mechanism for people to pay $110 for the care of their pet (as long as the Rapture takes place within 10 years).

A Bloomberg article in February said that the business had over 100 clients.

Over 100!

The Bloomberg articles notes that: “(Founder Bart) Centre must reassure the Rapture crowd that his pet rescuers are wicked enough to be left behind but good enough to take proper care of the abandoned pets.”

It also quotes a fella with a biblical prophesy website: “A lot of persons are concerned about their pets, but I don’t know if they should necessarily trust atheists to take care of them.”

EEBP says it has a network of atheist animal lovers in 22 states who are prepared to care for pets when the Rapture happens.

Of course, at that point they’ll know that they’re disbelief was a mistake and will be scrambling to become Christians and/or find a shortcut to salvation. So will they really have the time and will to take care of pets?

But, for now, they’ll take you money in preparation for an event they are sure will never come.

It’s worth reading the Terms & Conditions, which include this:

*****

If  subscriber loses his/her faith and/or the Rapture occurs and subscriber is not Raptured (aka  is “left behind”) EE-BP disclaims any liability; no refund will be tendered.

*****

Hey, this has got to be a joke, right?

Thanks to Religion News Service for alerting me to this extreme example of entrepreneurial spirit.