Doomsday prophet Harold Camping tells The Atlantic what to expect when the end of the world begins
LOS ANGELES — In his relentless study of the Bible, 89-year-old Oakland-based Harold Camping has seen the signs. You may have also seen them recently.
They read, “Judgment Day: May 21, 2011 — Cry mightly onto God,” followed by a bright yellow stamp that proclaims, “THE BIBLE GUARANTEES IT!”
The end is near … very near, according to the billboards and Camping. Indeed, it’s this weekend.
The end of the world will be at exactly 6 p.m. on May 21, 2011, says Camping, who along with his organization, Family Radio, are behind those billboards across the country forecasting the Rapture this Saturday. The Rapture, the Last Days, Armageddon and the Final Days of Judgment are all interchangeable. It’s when God will destroy the Earth to show his love for humanity.
Is that Eastern Standard or Pacific Standard Time?
Neither, says Camping, whom I interviewed recently for my online news show TYT Now. The Rapture is at 6 p.m. on May 21, 2011, where ever it’s 6 p.m. first, with the “fantastically big” world-ending event taking place on a time zone by time zone basis.
Of course, Brother Camping, as his supporters call him — a 1942 U.C. Berkeley grad originally from Boulder, Colo., with a civil engineer degree — bucks traditional fundamentalist doctrine. It makes you lean in just a little closer to hear what he has to say. If you ask him, this belief that the world is 6,000 years old is just malarkey. To him, it’s simply ridiculous if you look at the evidence. Which he, of course, has.
The Bible, he says, is his university. Take that Berkeley.
This self-professed Christian man of science — and current syndicated world wide call-in radio host — has studied the Earth’s age in depth. He took five years out of his life to just research it. He says he looked at tree rings and such and finally came upon the truth: Much to his surprise, 1988 was the 13,000 birthday of the world. Anyone who says any different is mistaken.
Glad modern biblical science has finally moved beyond the old “the Earth is 6000 years old” nonsense, and brought us a number more in line with modern secular scientific thinking. Yes, 13,000 years is still a ways off from the approximately 4.5 billion years that “scientists” would tell you, but hey, it’s more than twice as close to being accurate the old number, right ? Progress!
Well, until the world ends. We just lost eastern Europe, and central Europe gets hit in about 55 minutes. Buckle up!