May 21, 2011

The world did not end. That's not the big news.

The big news is that big news covered the nonnews. We were supposed to find it amusing. Amusing to snicker at marginal people who believe religious things. They're so dumb. We're so smart. No, you're not. You are part of the system of dumbness you purport to report.

64 comments:

Bill said...

Well I wasn't snickering at marginal people who believe religious things, I was snickering at people who look like they're promoting faulty theology via numerology in order to make some money for their church.

Besides, you just posted a link making fun of someone for posting a simple recipe for English peas. Are they so dumb and you so smart? (It was really funny by the way. 30 pages and counting of awesomely funny comments.)

Doug Wright said...

Must now be past 6PM somewhere in the world! Has anyone heard anything from folks in what used to be that part of the world?

Well? We're waiting!

Cheers, just in case AA is correct.

EDH said...

What pisses me off is that "big news" failed to connect this nonevent with the "Apocalypse Tax" and "Apocalypse and Trade" polices that averted the calamity.

Fred4Pres said...

Agreed. But the public likes doom day announcements. So I can't blame the media too much.

They have been doing this since the year 1000 (and certainly before that).

MarkG said...

"Vicky Hyde, spokesman for the New Zealand Skeptic Society said she was confident the Rapture was not imminent."

Now that we have it on good authority.

I think there are always end-of-the-world dates on the calendar. My nephew got into that stuff and he would hop from one to the next.

Ricardo said...

Wasn't this just supposed to be "the beginning of the end", with the real end five months from now on October 21? Unless you like the Mayan calendar, which would give you an additional 14 months?

MisterBuddwing said...

This non-event comes not long after Professor Stephen Hawking offered his view that there is no God, no afterlife. And from the way some people reacted, you'd think that Hawking, as a world-renowned physicist, had presented some gold standard of proof for atheism.

Of course, if a scientist with a reputation equal to Hawking's had espoused an opposite view and expressed a belief in God, we would all - believers and non-believers alike - see it for what it was: A personal opinion. Which is what Hawking was expressing, nothing more, nothing less.

WV: pavennes.

AJ Lynch said...

Too bad because the New York Times was ready to report minorities, women & children had suffered the most. [this is an old joke I know]

chuck b. said...

The main guy calling for the Rapture is from Oakland, California. Can we snicker now?

rhhardin said...

You can watch the countdown clock from the family radio website, as preserved on video, here.

Family radio in the audio is playing their most boring stuff. Camping has given his last open forum (the longest running call-in show on radio, by the way; with no call screener) on I guess Wednesday. He wanted to spend the rapture with his family.

Whether he'll be back next week, I don't know.

The last rapture prediction he sat through live on the air; he was sure of his sources but said he'd have to go over the calculations again to see what he missed, then.

rhhardin said...

The world still has time to end. They weren't very clear on the time; though they seem to have gone with a new year's style rolling rapture across time zones.

Whatever it was going to be, it was going to be on standard time; there's no daylight savings time heresy in this church.

MarkG said...

Crap, it was a screw-up in the arithmetic. The real date isn't until the year 3409.

edutcher said...

Thank you, Ann, for putting it that way.

The Smart People wanted everyone to think The Christians all bought into this.

Did any of the Smart People have the intellectual curiosity (which they accused a rather prominent Evangelical Protestant of not having) to try to find out how many of The Christians actually believed this?

Of course not.

So who's dumb?

Padre said...

I am still chuckling at the system of dumbness comment. I am however thankful that the rapture did not occur. One question, did the minister or the church try to make any money off of this? And if so, doesn’t that seem to indicate their lack of sincerity? Or is the dollar an eternal standard of currency?

Bob said...

Althouse: "So, the final day has come, and we're all still here."

Prophet: "Aye, it has come. But not yet gone."

rhhardin said...

What's missing today is something to replace Southwest Radio Church's "Bible in the News," wherein daily news events were found profesied in the Bible.

"The savings and loan industry, once a leading economic indicator, now lies in ruins."

There's a current segment with that name but it is a shallow nonbeliever's version.

EDH said...

Bill Maher actually had a good joke that the guy in this poster is shown shitting his pants.

MaryW said...

Only the Father knows........

AllenS said...

Well, I sure feel like a fool. I spent all of yesterday trying to drink all of my beer. I thought, why let it go to waste, if nobody will be around to drink it? Silly me.

Renee said...

Because of my own religious beliefs, I respect others so I refrained from the jokes to some extent. It make me did reflect though how we take tomorrow for granted. We all will pass away, it's nature and we don't know when.

Coketown said...

But only other folks' doomsday prophecies are amusing. Their doomsday prophecy--global warming--is to be taken deadly serious.

Quaestor said...

Atheism rules by default. Drop all that Bronze age superstition, your spirit will fly higher without all that ballast.

Coketown said...

I also find the idea of a Skeptic Society amusing. An auditorium full of stuffy fusspots, discussing strictly how dubious they find so many silly things. I can imagine happy hour:

"Try a peach martini. They're divine."
"Oh I seriously doubt that."

Joanna said...

One question, did the minister or the church try to make any money off of this??

According to this article, "Tax returns indicate that the radio ministry raised a staggering $100 million dollars over the past seven years. The ministry also owns 66 radio stations worldwide valued at $72 million in 2009."

Jason (the commenter) said...

They're so dumb. We're so smart.

These people were full of themselves. Full of sacriligious pride. And everyone realized that the end of the world is just plain ridiculous.

Look at our politicians right now and think about the antichrist. He's laughable in comparison.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Every politician I know pushes the end of the world every election: global warming, debt, gay marriage...

We're immune, we've built up resistance.

Freeman Hunt said...

According to this article, "Tax returns indicate that the radio ministry raised a staggering $100 million dollars over the past seven years. The ministry also owns 66 radio stations worldwide valued at $72 million in 2009."

I find that extremely hard to believe. American Family Radio, a different and larger organization, only has assets of $32 million.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: I find that extremely hard to believe. American Family Radio, a different and larger organization, only has assets of $32 million.

But its listeners don't BELIEVE the world is going to end on the 21st. They aren't likely to donate every last thing they own.

Still, the numbers do sound high.

Indigo Red said...

Today was not supposed to be doomsday; it's only the rapture when a small minority of souls, saved souls, arise from the grave ascending bodily into heaven. Doomsday doesn't occur for another 150 days.

Brian O'Connell said...

Perfect, Ann. (And that's why I keep coming back here.)

Of course these people are some combination of deluded, ignorant, and desperate. That doesn't include the leader- who's got a profitable angle that works for him. Yet there's something a bit unseemly about the outsized reaction. Top three stories on Memeorandum are on this, from UK Telegraph, Guardian, and NYT.

If this was some African-American superstitious nonsense, we wouldn't be seeing this giddy reaction. But it's white, presumably right-wing, Americans, so, you know, full treatment from the libs.

Righty media has its version though, when they make a big deal about the latest absurd global warming or peak oil predictions- and there's more where that came from. The perfect example might be that woman who no longer had to worry about paying her gas bill or mortgage once Obama was elected. That worked out.

Freeman Hunt said...

According to this, the article is right. Still seems bizarre though. You can scroll to the bottom to see their income in 2006 compared to other similar organizations. It doesn't make sense. Five times as much as the American Family Association?

Jason (the commenter) said...

They thought we'd have a rapture, but instead we had a world without end.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: Five times as much as the American Family Association?

Their listeners give their retirement savings, college funds, sell their homes and cars. They believe. That would add up.

Quaestor said...

Jason wrote: Still, the numbers do sound high.

About $50 MB of the $72 MB is the current market value of the FCC broadcast licences for all those stations they operate. The rest is mainly real estate. In other words Family Radio would have to go off the air the to realize the cash.

Freeman Hunt said...

Yeah, but the American Family Association is huge. It has more stations and syndicates a lot of programming. It has listeners who also believe.

But now that I think about it, the times that I've listened to the local AFA affiliated station (admittedly that's only a handful of times,) they haven't made any intense money pitches. Maybe intense money pitches are the specialty of Family Stations Inc. (people behind Family Radio Worldwide).

Has anyone ever listened to anything on a Family Radio Worldwide station? What is the fundraising like?

Quaestor said...

Of course those figures are from last year's declarations. I'll bet the donations have been rolling in tsunami-like portions over the past few weeks.

It would be fun to take Camping and his Family Radio, Inc. to court over this. It would likely fail, of course. People have being trying to recover lost income from "investment advisors" since Roman times without much success. However, Camping's own media graphics proclaimed within the classic "gold seal," which has come to mean a bond of surety, "The Bible Guarantees It!" Much more than implied warranty I'd say... Yeah lawsuits are coming...

traditionalguy said...

This old man is by definition a false prophet, since his prophecy never comes true. The strangest thing is that failure is not going to stop his cult followers from believing him the next time. Incidentally in scripture the "World" that ends when the Messiah comes/comes again is not the planet. It is man's combined system of religion, government and commerce (a/k/a The World Order). Now that is showing signs of ending, or at least transforming into an Empire. Will the Messiah identified in Psalm 110 arrive? Stay tuned.

Quaestor said...

Oh, please... No dogma. Isn't bad enough the credulity of the American public has been demonstrated so shamefully to the world once again? I've never felt so pessimistic about the future of the Republic since November 2008.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Shit. Now this means I have to cut the lawn tomorrow.

Quayle said...

I always wonder how the bible experts that predict this sort of thing miss the plain language of Christ, that no one but the Father knows the day of His coming, not even the angels in heaven.

(I know, I know. This is a tough one believers in the trinity because they deem the Father and Christ to be the same core being. But to a Mormon who doesn't believe in the trinity as defined by the counsel of Nicea, this makes perfect sense - the Father knows, the Son doesn't know. The Son comes when the Father says 'go'.)

mariner said...

"Day ain't over yet." Curly

Beldar said...

My problem with this is the lack of context that would cured by even the most cursory attempt to estimate the number of Christians, even evangelical or fundamentalist Christians, who expected the world to end today.

Therein is the dishonesty, and I regret to see it extend to many who should know better.

Erik said...

For some reason some were trying to make it sound like all Christians (or a rather significant number) believed this dude. I found that a bit interesting. But then professional skeptics can be smart about a lot of things, they tend to miss some of the finer points of theology that are obvious to most religious people. Sometimes it makes the skeptics say silly things. No real Christian would ever make a prediction about the "rapture" (on top of not all Christians even believing in it), for the obvious reason that the Bible tells them not to do so. Most Christians tend to know that when people do make such predictions, money is usually involved.

I feel bad for those taken in by this sort of thing. They should know better. It mystified me that this was any kind of major story. The treatment was often insulting. I'd rather people respond with compassion when--as is clearly inevitable--they have to come to terms with being wrong.

Big Mike said...

No, no, no. It was 6:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. Still 7 minutes to go by my watch.

ethan said...

I celebrate the humiliation of Althouse's commenters' intellectual cohort.

Big Mike said...

Well, it's been an hour. I guess I must be among the damned.

Walt said...

It was amusing at first, but the charm wore off quite a while ago. But, hey. Laugh it up if you need to.

Synova said...

Can't stand Campy... whatever his name is. But it still wasn't any fun to hear the jokes.

Al said...

It's not crowded up here at all, how's things back there?

rhhardin said...

This series by a friendly skeptic documenting the countdown at family radio, is interesting.

Clyde said...

The only thing that got Raptured was my car's damn air conditioning. It was working fine on Friday when I went out for lunch with my Dad, but when I went out today at noon to go to lunch and a movie, sonofabitch if it wasn't dead and gone to heaven. Needless to say, I was not amused. I guess I know what I'll be doing first thing on Monday morning.

Peano said...

Bill said ... Besides, you just posted a link making fun of someone for posting a simple recipe for English peas. Are they so dumb and you so smart?

Bill, Bill, Bill. Now listen carefully: You're dealing with an unregenerate hippie and a blonde (bottled or otherwise, doesn't matter). Once you understand these underlying facts, and what they imply, all these little displays fall into place.

The law professor is merely a rational facade that pays the bills. The blonde hippie inside is blonde to the bone and hippie to the bottom of her Obama-voting soul.

roesch-voltaire said...

This is nothing to snicker about at this guy has made millions duping the believing sheep who are the many that listen to his radio program. It is sad to think of how much attention this get compared to the National Science Olympics, which were held on the UW campus this year and drew over six thousand folks and some of the best and brightest young minds in our country. Not even Althouse made notice of this huge event on her own campus.

Quayle said...

This is nothing to snicker about at this guy has made millions duping the believing sheep

Yeah, kinda like Al Gore.

Same basic story too.

Lockestep said...

William Miller did the same calculations back in 1819, with similar results. A whole lot of folks believed his charts, and thought the world would end in 1843. Like the current version, when things kept rolling along there were second attempts, but the bloom was off the rose.
Estimates range as high as 3% of the US population who were Millerites. His legacy is the 7th Day Adventists, who are directly descendants of the Millerites.

Browndog said...

The Althouse summary nailed it.

Or, does that go without saying...on Althouse.us?

Tully said...

Shame. I was quite looking forward to the looting.

Trooper York said...

"Not even Althouse made notice of this huge event on her own campus."

Well you needed drums and puppets and hairy protester chicks roachy if you wanted Meade to show up. Just sayn'

Skippy said...

In my little city, a guy standing on the busiest intersection in town, bare-chested, holding up a sign: "Worse rapture ever."

Jane said...

I read so many similar comments at the LA Times - mostly along the lines of, "I'm an atheist, and I'm smart and logical, therefore I laugh at Christians and all their silly make-believe ..."

But of course, they don't think that logically, if no one can predict Christ's return, then what Jesus said was true. This particular "end of the world" prediction bust surprised few Christians, who take Jesus' words seriously.

The atheists have proved nothing by their chortling today, except that Jesus spoke the truth.

Chef Mojo said...

@Jane:

except that Jesus spoke the truth.

Prove it, Jane. Seriously. Prove it. Evidence, please. Evidence that a radical rabbi crucified by Romans zombified after three days and shot up into heaven after a few more. Prove that he even existed at all. Jesus, Thor, Hercules. It's all the same. Mythology.

Brian said...

@ chef Mojo

Dude calm down, don't poorly attempt to rip apart someones beliefs with the same old "PROVE IT!!!!!!!" and then continue to mock the very thing she seems to believe in.

I know she offended you as an atheist first but thats only because she felt attacked from "others" associating her with this cult of money squandering scoundrels.

however if you want to rip apart someone for believing there is a God and that Jesus died for the sins of all who love him or just to talk shoot me an email at brian.c312@yahoo.com

The Crack Emcee said...

The funniest result of all this:

Watching believers tell us why Camping's people are crazy but their own spiritual/religious beliefs aren't.

It's such a perfect example of the problem - and one which few are even remotely equipped to grapple with - it's almost thought-stopping all by itself. I've hardly spoken to anyone about it because this episode proves how pointless it is:

"Is that what I look like?" is NOT a question the average Christian cares to seriously investigate.

If they did, they'd see themselves in Camping's crowd, burka-wearing women, suicide bombers, those talking to the dead and attending channeling sessions, as well as audiences for Oprah and Obama speeches.

Pointing at another loony and saying "I'm not like that" doesn't address what you are.

Conserve Liberty said...

What really disappoints me about this whole thing is that Soros and Pelosi and Reid and Obama are still here, too.