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Entries in Judgment Day (5)

Tuesday
May242011

Preacher Says Rapture Prediction Was Wrong but It's Still Coming

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Harold Camping, the radio evangelist who predicted the apocalypse would begin Saturday, May 21, said on Monday that his understanding of God's plan was just a little off.

Speaking to reporters outside his Family Radio International office near the Oakland, California airport, Camping said his prediction that the Biblical Rapture would occur Saturday might have been wrong, but he stands by his prophecy that the world will come to an end as forecast on Oct. 21.

God did "bring judgment on the world" on Saturday, Camping said, but there will not be any terrible buildup to the end.  When it comes, it will happen quickly, he said.

"We have to be looking at all of this a little bit more spiritual, but it won't be spiritual on Oct. 21," he said.  "Because the Bible clearly teaches that then the world is going to be destroyed altogether."

His radio station will no longer preach about the end of the world, he said, because God's judgment has already come.

The 89-year-old retired civil engineer had pinpointed May 21 at 5:59 p.m. as the exact time the Rapture would occur, when those chosen by God would ascend to Heaven, while sinners suffered through five months of disasters until the Earth was consumed in a fireball on the End of Days, according to the Christian Bible.

On Sunday, after the Rapture failed to occur Saturday as he had predicted, Camping was "mystified" and "a little bewildered," an associate of the California preacher told ABC News.

Tom Evans, a board member of Family Radio International, said on Sunday that Camping's wife told him her husband was at their home and had no intention to speak or issue any statement for at least two days.

However, the evangelist did speak on Monday, saying he had been disappointed by the apparent failure of his prophecy, so he and his wife had gone to a hotel room so that he could sort out what had happened without distraction.

"When May 21 came and went, it was a very difficult time for me, a very difficult time," he said.  "I really, really was praying and praying and praying, 'Oh Lord, what happened?'"

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May232011

Harold Camping, Doomsday Preacher, Ready to Explain Failed Rapture Prediction

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(ALAMEDA, Calif.) -- Harold Camping, the radio evangelist who predicted the Apocalypse would begin Saturday, May 21, 2011, said Monday he is ready to make a statement about his failed prediction.

Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer, is the head of a media empire that includes radio stations, TV channels and a website.

On Sunday, after the Rapture failed to occur Saturday as he had predicted, Camping was "mystified" and "a little bewildered," an associate of the California preacher told ABC News.

Tom Evans, a board member of Family Radio International, said Camping's wife told him her husband was at their home and had no intention to speak or issue any statement Monday.

Camping's wife described him as being "somewhat bewildered" and "mystified" that events did not unfold on May 21 as Camping had predicted, Evans said.

Evans said his personal position is that the public is owed an apology and he wanted the board -- and Camping -- to meet to figure out what to say and do next.

Camping had pinpointed May 21, at 5:59 p.m. as the exact time the Rapture would occur, when those chosen by God would ascend to heaven while cataclysmic earthquakes would begin to rock Earth. He spread the word on billboards, posters, fliers and digital bus displays across the country.

"I am utterly absolutely, absolutely convinced it's going to happen," Camping said earlier in the week.

Robert Fitzpatrick of New York had put his money where his faith is: The 60-year-old retiree spent $140,000 -- almost everything he had -- on hundreds of billboards proclaiming the Armagedon that Camping predicted.

When it didn't come, he was standing in New York's Times Square, surrounded by jeering tourists in a drizzling rain.

"I can't tell you what I feel right now," he said. "Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here."

While Camping has his followers, his preaching also drew criticism from many Christians who pointed out that the Bible says no person can know when the end will come.

This is not the first time Camping was mistaken about the end of the world. He once predicted the End of Days to be Sept. 6, 1994, but later said that date was a result of a mathematical error.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May232011

Doomsday Prophet 'Bewildered' by Failure of Rapture

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Harold Camping is "mystified" and "a little bewildered" that the Rapture did not go as he predicted, an associate of the California preacher told ABC News.

Tom Evans, a board member of Camping's Family Radio International, said that Camping's wife told him her husband is at their home in Oakland and has no intention to speak or issue any statement on Sunday or Monday.

Camping's wife described him as being "somewhat bewildered" and "mystified" that events did not unfold on May 21 as Camping had predicted, Evans said.

Evans said his personal position is that the public is owed an apology and he wants the board -- and Camping -- to meet on Tuesday to figure out what to say and do next.

Camping, 89, had pinpointed May 21, at 5:59 p.m. as the exact time the Rapture would occur, when those chosen by God would ascend to heaven while cataclysmic earthquakes would begin to rock earth.  He spread the word on billboards, posters, fliers and digital bus displays across the country.

Robert Fitzpatrick of New York had put his money where his faith is: The 60-year-old retiree spent $140,000 -- almost everything he had -- on hundreds of billboards proclaiming the Armagedon that Camping predicted.

When it didn't come, he was standing in New York's Times Square, surrounded by jeering tourists in a drizzling rain.

"I can't tell you what I feel right now," he said.  "Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May202011

As May 21 Doomsday Looms, What's Behind Armageddon Appeal?

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- This Saturday in Times Square, amidst bewildered tourists and hot dog vendors, Robert Fitzpatrick will be waiting for the world to end.

The 60-year-old MTA retiree from Staten Island joins the hordes who follow the Biblical calculation of Family Radio preacher Harold Camping.  Camping predicts that the end of days is near -- in fact, it's May 21, at about 5:59 p.m. ET.

"Judgment day will begin very shortly before midnight Jerusalem standard time.  I think it's going to be instantaneous.  Everything will be destroyed and God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth," says Fitzpatrick, who spent his $140,000 life savings to have 3,000 posters put up in New York City's subway and bus system, warning of this impending End of Days.

Though many are chalking up this May 21 hysteria to religious zeal, leaders among mainstream Christian denominations have largely condemned date-setting, citing Bible verses that say no man can know the time of The Rapture.

Why are Fitzpatrick and those on Family Radio's recent proselytizing tour convinced that the end is upon us, despite centuries of failed predictions?

That's hard to answer, but psychologists and religious scholars say it derives from a number of very human urges: from the fear of death to the desire for justice to the fatalistic despair that this world is too broken to ever be fixed.

Although there's no way to gauge how many people actually think the world will end with a bang (or a whimper) on Saturday, doomsday is big in the U.S.

"Thirty to forty percent of Americans report believing that the end times are coming eventually, so while most reject the teachings of Camping, there is a strong strain of this kind of thinking in this country," says Christian Lane, author of The Age of Doubt: Tracing the Roots of Our Religious Uncertainty.

So for some, anxiety spurred by the recent natural and economic disasters makes apocalyptic thinking more appealing, he says.

"It becomes easier to convince people that things are getting worse and that the answer will come through divine dispensation, rather than have them face the fact that humanity must fix its own problems."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May192011

CDC Prepares for Zombie Apocalypse...Kind Of

Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- a government agency -- hasn't outright predicted a zombie apocalypse, but rest assured, if one should occur, the CDC says it's prepared.

In a post that caught the attention of geeks and politicos alike, the CDC this week posted a guide, called "Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse," to ensure public safety in the event of a zombie uprising.

"The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen," the CDC says in a blog post. "In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way.  The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder 'How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?'"

As you may have guessed, the post isn't all that serious (Editor’s note: We are not denying the possibility of a zombie apocalypse); it's merely intended to prepare the public for more practical emergencies, like hurricanes or wide-spread illness.

The page was developed to remind people to assemble emergency supply kits with items like water, food, and both prescription and non-prescription medication. This, they say, will "get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp," or, perhaps more realistically "in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored."

The agency also suggests that families map out an emergency plan. "This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step." But of course, "You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency."

[READ THE FULL POST ON THE CDC WEBSITE]

And don't worry. If zombies do take over, the CDC says it "would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak."

No word on what they've got planned for Judgment Day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio