Rapture predictions a bust

Saturday was allegedly going to be the day.  All the believer would be taken to Heaven while things got real interesting down here on Earth.  Harold Camping claimed he had done all the calculations and knew what was what.  He knew that this time he would be right (he had previous claimed the Rapture was going to be in September 1994).  Now, some people are rather upset.

For example:

But even if he actually did believe his own prediction (who knows — but I doubt it), he couldn’t have been clueless about the fact that he was running a profitable business based on a cockamamie work of fiction.

He raked in tons of dough from Family Radio followers between 2005-2009. Sure, you could argue that it’s his followers own fault for falling for Camping’s BS. I definitely agree with that to some extent. Some of his followers blew their money on luxury cars and vacations. Kinda dumb!

But on the other hand, it pains me to hear that some of his followers were so blinded by Camping’s message that they gave everything they had to the man. New York local news reported that one men spent all of his savings to buy an ad campaign for the May 21 doomsday message. One teenager admitted that his parents stopped saving for his college education. Some of his followers even budgeted their money so they’d be left penniless today. All of this is shameful and at the very least, cringe-worthy.

Personally, I can’t bring myself to feel to bad for folks like this.  Camping, who has made zero off of his radio network – not even salary apparently – seems like he actually believed it was time.  So far as I know, he never advocated spending it all or stopping normal planning either.  They did that, based on a man with a sandwich board with “The End is Nigh” scribbled on it with digital ink.  They did that.

I am a believer.  A lot of us are.  And a lot of us thought people buying into this were fools.  Not because they believed in God, Jesus and the idea of Judgment Day, but because they forgot the key biblical teachings that we will never know when it will happen.

Some people are referring to Camping as a “false prophet”.  That’s certainly fair.  There are people who feel bad about those who gave up everything with the belief that this was it.  That’s fair too.  However, let’s also keep in mind that we can and possibly should feel pity towards those who were taken, but we must hold them accountable for their own actions.  From the Stir linked above:

Granted, the government kind of has bigger fish to fry, but instead of re-writing Camping’s Wikipedia page to reflect what a scam artist he appears to be, I say someone who feels deceived by the Christian radio broadcaster-turned-false prophet should take the fearmonger to court!

I’m usually a pretty big fan of using the civil system as the tool to deal with things over criminal courts.  However, in this case I have to disagree.  Oh, sure, people may sue, but I feel like they should lose.  The courts aren’t there to cover your own silliness and regrettable decisions.  If that was the case, I should probably contact them about purging my memories of a 6′ redhead who though “fidelity” was a bank and nothing more.

Those who donated so much to Camping did so of their own free will.  They chose to spend it all, or chose to stop saving for their kid’s college.  They made that decision.  Yes, they made their decision based on what Camping said…and they’re idiots for doing that.  The court system isn’t there for you to absolve yourself of your own stupidity.  They will have to live with the repercussions of their actions.

For the record, I’ve not heard any mention that anyone does plan on suing Camping.  It’s usually folks on the outside that start this stuff anyways.

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