Harold Camping has grown a televangelist radio empire from $22 million in assets in 2002 to more than $117 million today by collecting donations from the gullible who have been taken in by his false claims that he’s somehow a prophet, er, is that a profit? Yesterday, the latest claim of the end of the world didn’t happen, as expected. Today, Harold Camping is mum and is nowhere to be found. But, then again, who in their right mind would follow some wacky radio preacher who looks like he’s descended from a rat? The only thing that Harold Camping did for many was to reassert some belief that maybe evolution is a correct theory after all.
Camping spent $1 million on a billboard campaign to proclaim his alarmist end of the world message. Not only didn’t the rapture not happen, but he brought a wave of fresh ridicule on the Christian faith which is too often publicly characterized by kooks and nuts like Camping who proclaim absurd things or stubbornly promote bizarre views on politics, claiming God’s support for their actions. The ultimate in religious extremism was also characterized by Osama bin Laden and his followers who used God to justify terrorism and murder. By comparison, Harold Camping is much more benign, although he has fleeced his listeners out of millions of dollars.
Part of the problem with Harold Camping’s views is that the “rapture” isn’t even mentioned anywhere in the Bible. It’s totally a made-up concept that some modern self-styled Christians have invented. Further, in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, the coming of a Messiah was meant to rescue Jerusalem from a certain fall to enemies. The fact of the matter is that the Old Testament and especially the book of Ezekiel are the history of Israel and it’s people. Christians hijacked this religion in the first century and the centuries beyond, not wanting to wait until Jerusalem fell again in modern times, wanting a Messiah now, looking to Jesus, creating many unusual new beliefs far beyond what was actually written in the New Testament including a belief in a “rapture” in which 144,000 of the most faithful are taken up to Heaven before the Earth is destroyed. However, the scientific reality is that the Sun that heats the Earth should last for about 3-4 billion more years before this star collapses and destroys the Earth and all of the planets in this solar system. If humans don’t find a way off this solar system by then, meaning that life on this Earth is doomed. But that’s a long long time from now. Urgency isn’t an issue here.
The real end of the Earth is most likely billions of years into the future when the Sun finally dies like so many other stars that have died. That’s a long time after Harold Camping and all of his followers will have passed away. But for today, Harold Camping has made himself a millionaire by proclaiming false prophecy. Today, a lot of people are laughing at Harold Camping, probably including God as well.