And just like that, Harold Camping, sort of like the John Madden of rapture prognostication, has announced a new date for world’s end. It’s a do-over, sort of. The sequel- which is actually the third episode if you count his 1994 that came oh-so-close – now opens in newspaper headlines worldwide on October 21. Yes, it gives TGIF whole new meaning.
“We’ve always said May 21 was the day, but we didn’t understand altogether the spiritual meaning,” he is reported as saying. “The fact is there is only one kind of people who will ascend into heaven … if God has saved them they’re going to be caught up.”
Kudos to camping for once again lubricating the well-oiled machine media machine, particularly here in America where regular news (former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s scandal, the LinkedIn IPO, Gadhafi and the Libyan mission, Lady Gaga’s new album, etc.) just doesn’t seem to hold much attention among Jack and Jills. There’s nothing a healthy dose of Christianity once again run amok to keep us all centered.
Family Radio, of course, comes out ahead. Camping knows publicity, and, repeatedly prophesying doom has earned his ministry (aka – a highly profitable business) a massive amount of exposure. In 2008 the business generated $15M in revenue (source: Charity Navigator), not a penny of which is allocated to their web site design. But there’s the matter of being wrong. But that doesn’t matter. To quote, “those are just facts.” Try, try again. Confess. Wash your hands, then start over. Still, there could be some brand damage. It’s hard to know for certain.
“If people want me to apologize, I can apologize.” he said today on his show. “I’m not a genius. I pray all the time for wisdom. When I make an error. I say I was wrong… the world is still under judgment. Spiritually there is a big difference in the world, we can’t detect it with our days, but we can know from the bible.”
According to their web site, “God has enabled the ministry to build a number of powerful AM and FM stations throughout the United States and around the world, a shortwave facility, and several smaller educational facilities and translators.” If only AT&T were so lucky.
What will you do with the extra five months here on earth?
Camping is not related to the outdoor recreational pursuit, or to the bubble boy.