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End times for doomsday-linked radio network?
Harold Camping, now 91, is the force behind Family Radio -- and a couple failed prophecies.
May 16th, 2013
07:00 AM ET

End times for doomsday-linked radio network?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Dealing with a struggling radio business – this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. By all his calculations, Harold Camping expected to be nearly two years into his Rapture revelry, hanging in heaven with God and the select others who’d been saved.

But when his predicted and vastly promoted May 21, 2011, Day of Rapture came and went, and the end of the world on October 21, 2011, didn’t pan out either, Camping lost his doomsday mojo. It didn’t help that he had another knock against him, having made a similar failed prophecy back in 1994.

By March 2012, the degreed engineer who’s spent more than a half-century studying the Bible admitted mistakes. He vowed to back off from the prediction business.

Now it seems Family Radio, the nonprofit Christian radio broadcasting network Camping started in 1959, may be foundering, according to an investigative story recently published in the Contra Costa Times.

Financial documents show that Family Radio's assets dropped by more than $105 million in less than five years, despite an influx of $85 million in donations over that time, the California newspaper reported. This, of course, was during the big push to spread the news about the end that wasn’t. The paper also said donations have tumbled nearly 70%  since May 21, 2011, spawning layoffs of longtime employees. And saddled with loans, a dwindling cash flow and alleged mismanagement, the network was reportedly forced to sell off its three biggest stations.

“You eliminate those three (FM stations) and, ultimately, the rest of it dies,” former employee Matt Tuter told the Contra Costa Times. “I believe they are killing it off.”

All of these financial struggles, however, come as the network grapples with losing the voice of its biggest star - Camping himself. He suffered a stroke in June 2011. And though he remains involved and still serves as the network's president, the flagship show he hosted, "Open Forum," is only running previously recorded programs.

It was through Family Radio – and its multitude of U.S. stations, satellite feeds, shortwave radio use, Internet reach and translation machine – that Camping’s teachings and 2011 predictions spread across the globe. His doomsday message was bolstered by a massive billboard campaign at a reported price tag of $5 million. There were also initiatives like Project Caravan, which dispatched teams of volunteers in RVs to warn the people.

CNN hopped on board one caravan and traveled with faithful ambassadors who’d given up everything for this cause.

The coordinator for Project Caravan, Ted Kim, left Family Radio soon after May 21, 2011. Once his ambassadors - still around and not raptured - had a place to go, he told CNN, his work was done.

Even though he doesn't work there anymore, that doesn’t mean he’s lost faith in the mission. He still believes spiritual judgment occurred in 2011 and that the world’s physical destruction is near.

Photos: Doomsdays throughout time

Kim, who is now home schooling his children and caring for his mother, suspects the supporters who fell away had erroneously put more stock in Camping than they’d put in the Bible or God himself.

But Tuter, the former employee who served at Camping’s side for years before he was fired in 2012, suggested to the Contra Costa Times that a demise of Family Radio may be deliberate. He said Camping made it clear to him in 1996 that he wanted the network to die when he did.

"He was very specific he did not want it to continue," Tuter told the newspaper. He said Camping confided in him a week before going into heart surgery: "God raised up Family Radio just as a platform for me!"

Tom Evans, who has taken over the network’s day-to-day reins since Camping suffered that stroke, could not be reached by CNN for comment. But he offered the newspaper a very different perspective than Tuter's. Evans said he hopes that Family Radio can move forward, leaving this end-of-the-world banter behind it.

“We want to be a comfort and reminder of God’s strength and mercy,” he said. “In the end, our founding mission is to proclaim the word of God.”

That mission, coupled with the network’s recent history, may not make them boom like they once did. But to Evans and those who are keeping the faith, neither should it portend doom.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: End times • Media • Radio

soundoff (1,487 Responses)
  1. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I personally think Camping was genuine in his belief. Unfortunately, he was so adamant about his end of time prophecies that people figured they didn't need to support his station anymore. And once his predictions of the Rapture and the end of the world proved to be false, he was treated like any other fallen idol – ignored by the very people who once followed him religiously. Don't get me wrong – I have no sympathy for the people who sold everything and gave away everything in anticipation of not one, but two different events that came to pass. That was their foolishness, not Camping's fault. Then again, these same people have an absolute need for someone to tell them what to do, as they are seemingly incapable of independent thought.

    May 16, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Genuine in his belief – what does that mean? That he was truly mentally ill? Are you suggesting he should have been less specific so that the funds continued to flow? He led many people astray, causing them real economic, and probably physical and mental, hardship. Fuck him and all his fellow shamans and charlatans!

      May 16, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • faith

      camping was an idiot

      May 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      What distinguishes a true believer from an idiot?

      May 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Colin

      I actually have a deep sympathy for those who gave up everything to follow this guy. The obviously lack the mental wherewithall to see through the nonsense of religion, as does Camping himself.

      That is the problem with basing actions on faith, rather than evidence. Once you drop the requirement that a person support what they are claiming, you lose the ability to distinguish reality from falsehoods.

      May 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  2. meifumado

    Just another quack.

    Bury him and his kind.

    May 16, 2013 at 11:03 am |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    Dear Mr. Camping

    As an Atheist who likes to convert people, I want to thank you for all your help.

    Sincerely

    Dyslexic doG

    May 16, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .... (pause to wipe the tears from my eyes and catch my breath) ... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ....

    what a joke you religious folk are!

    May 16, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • lol??

      Save some of your strength to keep mama dog happy. You don't want some of the pups musclin' in.

      May 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  5. Vic

    Religiosity is definitely in decline; however, Faith in God is on the rise!!!

    Religion and Faith are two different things anymore! The old generation of Christians adherent to the Mosaic Law is fading way while the new generation of Faith-based/Spiritual Christians is fading in!!!

    A lot of Christians started, naturally, realizing and coming to terms with that the Mosaic Law is NOT viable, nor any religious law for that matter! That is leading to the proper understanding of the End of the Law and the Commencement of the Dispensation of Grace through our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ!!!

    The new wave of Christians (Faith-based/Spiritual,) that is on the rise, is modern in nature. It could be your traditional churchgoer, movie star, rock star, pole dancer, doctor, engineer, scientist, rich, poor, co-worker of any sort, everyday person, etc.

    When you believe, you are NOT bound by Church walls or rules!

    Most people in the United States are believers in God, and the majority are Christians.

    John 3:16,17
    "16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

    Ephesians 2:8,9
    "8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

    [Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible (NASB)]
    http://www.biblegateway.com

    May 16, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • .

      "Religiosity is definitely in decline; however, Faith in God is on the rise!!!"

      You must have missed the article on CNN that shows they are more likely to have mental illness.

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/09/the-spiritual-but-not-religious-likely-to-face-mental-health-issues-drug-use-study-says/

      May 16, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Vic

      Correction:

      fading away

      May 16, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Pete

      "Most people in the United States are believers in God, and the majority are Christians."

      Actually atheism is now on the rise around the world because the truth about Christianity is a cult based on myth is getting out because of social media. Christianity only flourish in third world countries where they don't get an education.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I recognize the letters and words, but the message escapes me. Do I have to been specific drugs or is there a secret decoder ring I must earn from a shaman, or?

      May 16, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Bob

      Vic, since you persist in dumping select quotes on us from your Christian book of nasty, let's take a look at some of the other fine stuff that's in there too. And pay careful attention to what I have to say about "context" and "interpretation" afterward; it might help to cure you of your delusion.

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      May 16, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • sam stone

      christianity IS religion, vic

      May 16, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Bob. Stellar work as always.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Madtown

      Religiosity is definitely in decline
      ----
      This would be a great thing. The only "true religion" should be something along the lines of humanism, where we are all seen as equal and not divided into sub-groups with each group proclaiming that it is the correct group.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      You can't have your cake and eat it too. If scripture is still held as "divinely inspired" then you can't separate faith from the crazy therein.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "christianity IS religion"

      You'd have thought they might have clued in to this fact by now. It's kind of like the love and marriage deal (just replace the words to the theme song from Married With Children to christianity and religion)...you don't get one without the other.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Science

      Hey Vic .......where is your back -up.....................chadie ?

      POKE

      May 16, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Saraswati

      Vic, where are you getting your numbers for the claim of a rise in belief in god? Among those under thirty, belief in god has, according to pew data, dropped 15 percent in just the last 5 years in the US. Data is similar in other age groups and countries. I've seen nothing at all to support what you're claiming.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Roman Catholic Church

      Church membership in 2007 was 1.147 billion people,[5] (17% of the global population at the time) increasing from the 1950 figure of 437 million[6] (17% of the global population at the time) and the 1970 figure of 654 million.[7] On 31 December 2008, membership was 1.166 billion, an increase of 11.54% over the same date in 2000, only slightly greater than the rate of increase of the world population (10.77%). The increase was 33.02% in Africa, but only 1.17% in Europe. It was 15.91% in Asia, 11.39% in Oceania, and 10.93% in Americas. As a result, Catholics were 17.77% of the total population in Africa, 63.10% in Americas, 3.05% in Asia, 39.97% in Europe, 26.21% in Oceania, and 17.40% of the world population. Of the world's Catholics, the proportion living in Africa grew from 12.44% in 2000 to 14.84% in 2008, while those living in Europe fell from 26.81% to 24.31%.[8] Membership of the Catholic Church is attained through baptism.[9] If someone formally leaves the Church, that fact is noted in the register of the person's baptism.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Science

      And there is where the numbers are really screwed up Bill....................most that leave do not formally register it with the

      church so they are still on the BOOKS !!!

      May 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Yup

      " Membership of the Catholic Church is attained through baptism.[9] If someone formally leaves the Church, that fact is noted in the register of the person's baptism."

      Which is why the Catholic Church fits the definition of a cult.

      May 16, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      @BillDeacon

      This is untrue: "If someone formally leaves the Church, that fact is noted in the register of the person's baptism."

      They stopped letting you leave, stopped registering people leaving the church. Go ahead, find it for me – according to them, I'm still counted as a Catholic – and no, there is no place for me to renounce it and get my name taken off their list.

      May 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  6. ME II

    They need to take a lesson from Jehovah Witnesses

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watch_Tower_Society_unfulfilled_predictions

    May 16, 2013 at 10:26 am |
  7. Fear

    That's your issue right there, people are scared...the end of the world, mortality and so on. They aren't "tards" or just trying to be difficult they are probably all just scared out of their minds. What else would make that many people obsessed with religion?

    May 16, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Ken

      Fear always springs from ignorance.
      Ralph Waldo Emerson

      May 16, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Fear

      Ignorance is just a lack of knowledge and that can be fixed. I think most people lack knowledge about the process of death and things that we have no control over like an asteroid hitting the earth.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • sam stone

      ignorance is a lack of knowledge. and, you will always find others ready to take advantage of it. preachers are high on the list of vultures

      May 16, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Ken

      The ignorance wasn't fixed back when the Bible was written. Too many Christians forget that it's been fixed since then.

      May 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  8. palintwit

    I was glad to hear that the IRS is keeping an eye on the teabillies. These baggers are by far the most subversive group in the country today and someone has to keep their eye on them.

    May 16, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  9. derp

    This just to show you how stupid christians are. This guy had to wrong three times before the idiots would stop listening to him.

    May 16, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Ken

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and it may be a shame, but I'm just a Fool.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Fear

      I've met Christian doctors..they aren't stupid they are scared. Fear and stupidity are not the same thing.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • derp

      "I've met Christian doctors..they aren't stupid they are scared. Fear and stupidity are not the same thing"

      If you fear an imaginary being, then you are stupid.

      May 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Ken

      Fear
      I've known and continue to know doctors who smoke, are terribly obese, and who haven't exercised in years, so never underestimate their capacity to do stupid things just because it feels good.

      May 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  10. Reality

    Camping is insane as was JC. JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    May 16, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Saraswati

      In those days there wasn't much in the way of welfare checks to live on if you didn't have the skills or work ethic to make it in a productive field. I think for some people being a preacher or prophet is a pretty reasonable career choice if you want to eat.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Ken

      And Jesus apparently ate a lot, and drank a lot too.

      The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is proved right by her deeds." Matt. 11:19

      Remember also that, not only was Jesus' first miracle turning water into wine, it was making more wine for a bunch of wedding revellers who had already drunk all all the wine for the celebration. Clearly what this miracle teaches us is that Jesus favored drinking to excess.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Reality

      Matt 11:19 has been thoroughly analyzed for historic reliability by many contemporary NT scholars.

      Professor JD Crossan gives it a thumbs down. See http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb144.html whereas Professor Gerd Ludemann pp. 171-173, Jesus After 2000 Years, gives it a thumbs up for the passage being from the historical Jesus.

      Both professors give John 2: 1-11 (water to wine "miracle) a thumbs-down as to being historic. One major problem is that if not found in any other scriptural reference. Professor John P. Meier of Notre Dame (http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb349.html) also gives it a thumbs-down. Meier discusses this episode at some length [Marginal Jew II,934-50], before concluding:

      "In sum, when one adds these historical difficulties to the massive amount of Johannine literary and theological traits permeating the whole story, it is difficult to identify any "historical kernel" or "core event" that might have a claim to go back to the historical Jesus. Put another way: if we subtract from the eleven verses of the first Cana miracle every element that is likely to have come from the creative mind of John or his Johannine "school" and every element that raises historical problems, the entire pericope vanishes before our eyes. Many critics would assign the origin of the story to the Johannine "school" or "circle" lying behind the Gospel. I prefer the view that the story is a creation of the Evangelist
      himself, using a number of traditional themes. (p. 949)

      Professor Gerd Lundemann's conclusion (in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 433-435,), " The narrative is unhistorical."

      May 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • pfr1nk

      We only care because some morons still believe in this crap.

      /I have no problem with Lokis followers passing stupid laws in my country.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  11. Doc Vestibule

    The End is nigh!
    DOOM! DOOM! Everywhere!
    God shall unleash plagues, pestilence, war, famine, and fiery death! 7 headed dragons that spew torrents of water will roam the forests, hunting pregnant women to eat! Swarms of locusts wearing armor and tiny crowns, each with the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the mouth of a lion and the tail of a scorpion will sweep the land, bringing excruciating, paralyzing, venomous death to all they encounter!

    But smile! God loves you.

    May 16, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Bob

      :-). Good morning, Doc. Good one.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • fintastic

      Sounds like a real party Doc!.... good one

      May 16, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      For bad acid trip monsters, nothing beats The Book of Revelation.
      I'd buy a ticket to see Godzilla fight those armored locusts...

      May 16, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Science

      Doc................what about King Kong ?................lmao

      May 16, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Ken

      I can't wait to see King Jesus lead his army of horseback swordsmen against modern armies with tanks and fighter jets. Nobody's seen anything like that since Poland's army faced the Nazi Blitzkrieg.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  12. Bob

    End times for religions too, I hope. Or at least a major decline; I suppose we might never entirely rid ourselves of the pesky memes (and there might never be a shortage of gullible folk), but at present they are far too prevalent and influential.

    May 16, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Saraswati

      If you get into the literature on religiosity and genetics you'll find a pretty good case that with more reigious people having a higher fertility we shouldn't expect to see a drop in the genetic component any time soon. However, the rapid drop in recent years certainly shows a good portion isn't genetic, though the other irrational beliefs that often replace religiosity make the drop a bit more difficult to meansure.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      I think it has more to do with the ubiquitous access to information. Religious leaders could at one time not so long ago severly limit access to information. Books were banned and church members were warned not to view certain types of media.
      Now almost every kid has a smart phone or internet access and the veil of secrecy is lifted. The largest demographic by far of non believers is under 30 and growing every year. The old farts can't put the genie back in the bottle.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Science

      Is Chadie one too ?

      May 16, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Saraswati

      AtheistSteve, I think that's got to be the case for some religions, like Mormonism and Scientology, that relied on secrecy. For the others I'm not as sure as it seems to cut both ways. Some people are looking fairly objectively for truth and board information online. But it's also what offers up highly skewed information to people who want easy answers, like the Boston bombers, and sucks them into yet more iffy ideas.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Well OK. Sure the internet has lots of bad info too. But garbage in garbage out. If a person isn't applying critical thinking skills then they're likely to make bad decisions no matter what tools you provide..

      May 16, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Bob

      I agree with you, Steve. I've thought of that re modern communications a lot. The environment for the memes that support religion has changed dramatically, and fortunately in a way that is not favorable to them since the nonsense that they represent can be exposed so widely and effectively, and quickly.

      However, the religious marketers are pretty slick at their game, so they will also be using the internet to prop up their scams, (as I'm sure you've seen) and we can also expect to see new variants of the religious flu emerge. The adherents also have a vested interest in not being exposed as fools and so on – you can see the effects of that on this blog frequently. Overall, though, I think religions will decline.

      Saraswati, I don't line up religious memes congruently with human genes, but I'm aware of research that indicates that aspects of belief, and especially supporting tendencies such as rapid jumping to conclusions, have genetic origin and can have evolutionary advantages (once in a while, near-random investment in a stock yields huge rewards). Interesting subject area; a lot of research going on there. Same research also keeps making gods smaller and smaller -you probably know what I mean.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  13. Saraswati

    I knew someone who taught ESL to a group of Korean immigrants back in the 1990s. About half of them belonged to the same fundamentalist Christian group based in Korea. When the end days were declared the whole group sold off their belongings, shut down their homes, jobs and businesses and moved back to Korea for their final days. End result – they were just plain scr.ewed.

    Religion when taken as a supplement to life and when treated with moderation and flexibility offers enrichment to some people who might not be capable of happiness or self-regulation without it. But tolerating willful ignorance has a high probablity of leading to destruction of lives either within or outside the group.

    May 16, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Ken

      Most things should be taken in moderation, wouldn't you say? Everything can be done in excess, even healthy things like exercising can cause injury if taken too far. If religion can be taken too far then so can atheism. If you spend an excessive amount of time on boards like this attacking religious beliefs then the accusation that it has become your "religion" seems valid, right?

      May 16, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Pete

      " If you spend an excessive amount of time on boards like this attacking religious beliefs then the accusation that it has become your "religion" seems valid, right?"

      Naw, it's just an excuse xtians use when they can't back up any of their bogus claims with actual facts.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken, It depends on what you mean by "religion" and what a person is attacking. I personally have no idea whether or no there are gods, and I do not criticize all religions. I have many times here said that some people may be better off with religion and that historically there have been both pluses and minuses from various religions. When I do criticize here it is things that I feel are damaging to society, such as opposition to birth control or to gay rights.

      I don't actually expect to change many, if any, minds here (my own motivations don't include changing the world in this forum). But some do hope to, and that is just a difference in belief about the power of discussion boards. If someone believes this to be a valid means for change, is it "religious" to spend their spare time working for a cause such as civil rights? Certainly in one sense of the term it is, the same sense in which a student might be "religious" about his or her studies. But that really isn't the definition of the term we are using in a forum like this.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Fear

      I know a few otherwise reasonable people with a few unreasonable beleifs.death is undeniable, the world will ultimately end one day and that is why people get how they get about all of it.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • sam stone

      fear is a powerful driving force

      May 16, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Ken

      I'm just saying that anything can be taken to excess, even one's atheism if you are so "radical" that you spend way too much time fighting religious beliefs. In lots of fundamentalist circles it seems that they encourage their members to think about God 24/7/365.25. They only want you to do business with "Christian" firms. The only entertainment you should have is Christian entertainment, and so on. This is taking things to an excess that we don't want to mirror, correct?

      May 16, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • lol??

      Don't be promotin' no stinkin' mirrors to no stinkin' atheists. They'll fall in LUV and get Athena and the educratists to offer degrees in arrogance.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  14. Honey Badger Don't Care!

    Camping is an F tard and noone will miss those whackjobs anyway.

    May 16, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  15. JMEF

    Harold and the Family Radio look like they are toast, anybody want to make a prophecy when they will shut down?
    Even happier news department. RCC Brooklyn Archdiocese is closing 24 schools, Archdiocese of New York closing 32 schools, numerous churches and parishes shutting down due to lack of attendance, wonder why people do not want to continue to associate with the church. The appointment of Francis and the PR attempt to make jesus look hip is bound to fail because the initial brainwashing will not be in place. Maybe not in our lifetime but the RCC will dwindle to a minor cult at least in the developed world. Figures from 2010, probably more by now.

    May 16, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • JMEF

      Harold may get one more kick at the can. NASA has reported that Comet Ison will be visible in late November and may be as bright as the full moon, place your bets on how many religious nuts will come out of the woodwork with end of days prophecies or the return of the messiah, got to love this stuff.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Science

      JMEF..............can the list be add to the last chance..............along with chadie ?

      May 16, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Science

      oops ...............forgot the .....ed.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Saraswati

      Catholicism, tellingly, has dropped in Brazil from 90% in 1970 to just 65% now – with increases in both the secular and protestant populations. The only thing that keeps them afloat at all is their growth in poor non-western countries and a somewhat higher fertility in the less educated areas. Between the birth control idiocy and the outdated celibacy rules and their anti-gay atti'tudes they are tossing people either to the evangelicals or out of chuch altogether. In many places the anglican related churches pick up the folks who liked the rituals and eastern religions get the people who were more spiritually inclined. But they must see the writing on the wall.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  16. HotAirAce

    My personal favorite End Times Prediction Dummy is Marilyn Agee – http://prophecycorner.theforeverfamily.com.

    I've lost track of how many times she has been wrong, but she will get it right yet – or die trying.

    May 16, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • sam stone

      can she have been as wrong as "helmet head" jack van impe?

      May 16, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • HotAirAce

      You decided- http://transmitters_revenge.tripod.com/doomsday_list.html

      May 16, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      I think the Jehovah's Witnesses (or was it the LDS...hard to keep up with the various whacko cults) that has made numerous End Times predictions. After getting it consistently wrong they now just say that the End Times are "imminent". And by that they do still mean it will occur in our generation...or certainly this century. So what happens to their credibility when the year 2100 rolls by with no result? Will they carry on with this crazy End Times belief with a completely open ended time scale? Doesn't seem very predicted to me in that case.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @AtheistSteve
      Don't forget the 7th Day Adventists.
      Their doomsayer was proven a fraud more than 150 years ago, but somehow they're still around...

      May 16, 2013 at 9:30 am |
  17. Doris

    Look at this dude and then look at a box turtle. Then try and tell me there is no such thing as evolution.

    May 16, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • sam stone

      i was thinking yoda

      May 16, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Ken

      Yoda was wise, and ... this guy ... So, not Yoda!

      May 16, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • sam stone

      i was just speaking of the look

      May 16, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • fintastic

      I was thinking more like a prune with eyes...

      May 16, 2013 at 9:23 am |
  18. Laurence Charles Ringo

    Oh,well...I suppose it would be easy to mock and ridicule Camping and those of his ilk;indeed,in a certain sense such derision may well be justified.But when all is said and done,perhaps a little compassion would be in order instead.Certainly as a Christian of nearly 40 years standing I am terribly saddened at how incredibly naïve and foolish my fellow believers seem to be far too often;they seem to be easy prey to every pseudo-"christian"scam artist,pulpit pimp,religious racketeer,and snake-oil huckster spouting the name"Jesus"that comes down the pike!! Given how very clear Our Savior was about..."no man knowing the day nor the hour"...,Camping and his people were certainly guilty of rank disbelief and defiant disobedience;even so,I feel sorry for him because he WAS punished for his effrontery and silenced for his presumption,so...beware,Church!! Let Proverbs 3:5-6 be your guide,and you will NEVER go wrong in situations like this!-Peace & Love IN CHRIST!

    May 16, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      I call No True Scotsman Fallacy. How do you know for certain he is not portraying the face of true christianity? Have you personally had your imaginary friend tell you this? Christianity is a scam from day 1...a way to bilk millions of their hard earned dollar, a way to make fools believe in something that can't ever be shown to exist outside of the buybull, a way to make one live in fear.

      May 16, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • Colin

      Well, Laurence, you're overlooking s little something aren't you: “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”; Jesus in MAtthew

      Similarly, in Mark, “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Mark 13:30-31);

      Your dead JEwish carpenter was the HArold Camping of his day and got it wrong, too.

      May 16, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I have to admit that there is a kind of pull to this sort of advertising scheme. When I learned that production of pink plastic flamingos was to be discontinued at some unnamed date I felt an almost overwhelming urge to buy some. Now, I was able to resist that, so I know you can resist the call of the Rapture, 2nd Coming etc.

      May 16, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • PaulB

      I have the same compassion for him and his ilk that I have for the countless mentally ill who went untreated before drug therapy could bring them back to reality, except these people aren't crazy, just crazed.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Bob

      Ringo, you're a joke, right? I can't quite believe you can seriously say "how incredibly naïve and foolish my fellow believers seem to be" without comprehending that the same description applies to you.

      Christianity is a ponzi scheme. Nothing more. And Truth Prevails is right on re No True Scotsmen in your case, if your post is really not a joke.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • lol??

      Not ILK again. That's gettin' as popular as Bigot and the BI Gotchas. Everybody's doin' a brand old dance. NNNnnnoooooowww

      May 16, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Just the facts mam

      The irony of Laurence's statement is killing me

      May 16, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • lol??

      Irony is popular, too.

      "Dan 2:33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay."

      May 16, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      @Tom,Tom

      I had the same experience with Chuck Taylor All-Stars. I heard that Converse was shutting down all US manufacturing of this classic shoe (the only "tenny" I will wear) – and I freaked. I went out and bought what I thought would be a lifetime supply (20 pair). I am now down to one last pair – a classic Stars and Bars pair with the red sole and the "Made in the USA" printed on the back. I may have been a little naive (they still make my Chuckies in China), but now I own a VERY collectible pair of shoes.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  19. AtheistSteve

    oops...2000 years and counting

    May 16, 2013 at 7:35 am |
  20. Colin

    What amazes me is how the Christians ignore the fact that Jesus himself believed the end of the World would occur during the lives of his apostles and was flat wrong. Would not one expect a little more from a god?

    May 16, 2013 at 7:24 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Strange isn't it. This Camping idiot made predictions that didn't pan out. No surprise there and even Christians will say that he COULDN"T know. But even stranger still is that most STILL believe the end is coming as predicted in the Bible and their Jesus will come wisk them away. 200 years and waitng...just how many more hundreds of years need to pass before they realize it ain't gonna happen.

      May 16, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • Lisa

      I want to see what all this end of the world hype is about, and what has got the atheists so upset...so now I guess I'll have to go read the bible and the thought makes me sad. I think I'd rather sit down and eat a cardboard box.

      May 16, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      There isn't much to research Lisa. The gospels tell stories about Jesus claiming that the end of the world would happen. As Colin points out it was supposed to occur during his apostles generation. The Book of Revelation goes into all sorts of gory detail about what signs to look for. All complete hogwash of course.
      Make no mistake...this world will be destroyed. For certain by the tme our sun swells into a red giant but perhaps even sooner by asteroid strike or some other natural or manmade disaster. Just not in the way depicted in the Bible. No 4 horses of the apocalypse...no returning avenging angels or return of zombie Jesus.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Ken

      Jesus also said that you couldn't predict when he would return, so it amazes me that people who supposedly believe in the guy readily follow someone making a prediction.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • lol??

      Let's see the verses you have mangled with yer colon bwain.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Ken: It seems to be a matter of things not being understood that makes them cling to anything the clergy says. The blind leading the blind.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • jim

      I do not follow any clergy but even I know Jesus was talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and it did happen as he prophesied in 70 c.e., check your history books.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      jim: That is a self-fulfilling prophesy, nothing more. There is no evidence that jesus actually stated anything considering everything written about jesus was done so upwards of 40 years after his supposed death and everyone knows that after that many years stories are bound to change.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • lol??

      TP has no evidence that Jesus was mute, makin' her point moot. Don't matter, though. Spirit words can't make it into a dawg's bwain, unless of course they are from the spirits of darkness.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      Well lolly, loath as I am to say it, I do respect that you can tell "mute" from "moot". That may be the single thing you've gotten right in all your posts.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      I stand corrected...after discussing this with AtheistSteve I realize it was not self-fulfilling but instead written during a time when the event was actually happening, so in the end it wasn't a prophesy at all.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Ken

      Truth Prevails 🙂
      I always like to point out that, if a guy like Camping can stir up a whole bunch of people nowadays into selling off their possessions and following a teaching that is so far removed from what their faith traditionally teaches, how much simpler would it have been for a guy like Jesus to lead some people away from orthodox Judaism?

      May 16, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Jim

      Jesus didn't write that prophesy. Some unknown author did and decades after Jesus died. In 70ce. the canonical gospels were still incomplete and wouldn"t be collected together to make the New Testament until the council of Nicea. In fact right around the time Jerusalem was destroyed fits nicely. So basically you have some guy talking about someting that was occuring or imminent at the time. That wasn't prophesy so much as a news report. Spinning it to make it seem like Jesus predicted it makes perfect sense if you're trying to elevate your messiah and gather ignorant followers..

      May 16, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      lolly-pop: Your use of the word 'dawg' makes you sound like some punk ass little kid, trying to sound cool when you're really not.
      Here is the definition of that word for future reference:
      dawg

      1. Slang for "my close acquaintance of an African-American ethnic background"

      2. Word to be used in place of a name, or other personal noun or pronoun to be used in place of a name.

      3. Another meaningless piece of that hideous massacre of the English language they call ebonics.

      btw: Where is your peer-reviewed evidence to support that your jesus said anything?

      May 16, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Actually it wasn't until the Second Council of Trullan of 692 where it was officially recognized but the majority of the books of the New Testament were generally accepted by 300ce.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      One of my favorite scams related to the rapture is one for us atheists. Sell all of your fundie neighbors a rapture insurance policy for their pets. For a one-time fee, we agree to pick up and adopt your pets after you are raptured away.

      Fleecing the flock is not just for the clergy!

      May 16, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @TruthPrevails
      Ah ebonics – the only language that is predicated on the improper use of another language.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • jim

      just sharing a little history. take it easy I did not say he wrote it but was said to have said it. you are not going to change anyone's beliefs here.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • lol??

      Truth Prevails 🙂 sayz,
      "lolly-pop: Your use of the word 'dawg' makes you sound like some punk ass little kid, trying to sound cool .......
      Well TP, whether in Branson or on the belief blogs, I try to remember who I be talkin' to and where they got educated.

      "Mar 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."

      May 16, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • jim

      steve, it looks like you are saying Jesus died in 70ce and like so many other comments here punctuation and spelling will get you nothing but persecuted.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      lolly-gag: Quoting scripture from that ancient book shows that you lack some education.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • jim

      the most educated people in history have read and quoted that "Book" so you would be in good company if you did a little research yourself. History, poetry, wars, love stories, science, prophecy and so much more. Great literature and it claims to be "inspired of God" I would think everyone would check it out. can't wait for the responses to that.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Jim: Don't assume that I haven't read it. I had it shoved down my throat like many others have. The fact that bad within it and the lack of evidence to support it, far outweighs the good or any facts is enough to make me stay away from it. It is far from great literature. Most Atheists were believers at one point and most understand how crazy and unrealistic the stories within the belief are.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Look again jim. There is a period after the words jesus died.
      In 70ce the gospels were still being written...or at least the earliest versions we know about date back to then and are anonymous.
      Anyone one who says "Jesus said" should realize they are quoting someone else who said "Jesus said" at least once removed and not likely an eye witness. Further the gospels are religious propaganda intended to win converts. They are writings with a bias for self promotion. Even if we knew for certain that Jesus said that Jerusalem would fall it still wouldn't be prophesy in a land that repeatedly visited by warfare.
      Example.
      I predict that the current dictatorship in North Korea will fall and become a democratic nation.
      Now if that happens anytime in the next century I will have prophesized just as accurately as the one you mentioned from the Bible. But to really make a parallel we would have to wait 70 years or so for someone else to say I made that prediction (whether I did or not) while the regime in North Korea was ungoing change.

      May 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Jim

      I agree that the book is well worth checking out, and I quote it quite a bit myself, but it certainly is a book of collected and revised myths that does not put forth a coherent concept or deity. It's "god" is too inconsistant and ridiculous to be considered for possible belief.

      May 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Jim, While religion has had a big influence on society and art, that was mainly because the superstitions were the only show in town until scientific knowledge, accelerating over the last 500 years, has shown that we have natural explanations for many events and absolutely no evidence of a god. We don't need no superstitions.

      May 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      AtheistSteve, your post also has a period after 70ce, instead of the comma I assume you intended. That could be read as a qualification of when some dude named jesus died.

      May 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • jim

      steve and friends, you make my point when I commented on when, where, etc. so many errors here in typing that all need to calm down and enjoy the discussion but to debate punctuation and spelling and the Bible here would be madness since I see so many have been misled by religions and sadly so that if there is A God who is watching and waiting then I would fear for the churches of today. they have much to fear themselves or they can not believe the faith they preach. that said I will believe there is a God who created life and before you all jump on me I can just tell you that I was teaching evolution before I came to that conclusion in the late 60s and have had many discussions and debates since. I hope you all keep your minds open and think seriously about what I said about religion and God and the difference. there is a big one.

      May 16, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yeah...typos are a common thing for me. Like where I typed "ungoing" instead of undergoing. If that's the best counter argument folks like jim can come back with I'm not phased.

      May 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      jim: Isn't it something to the effect of "I like your god but not his followers"?

      May 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • jim

      steve, it was not meant to be a counter but a comment to separate the discussion from the errors but I see that so many are not interested in a sincere discussion but more in making smart remarks that show others up. I will look back later to see if anyone is serious or not and sorry if I gave the wrong impression with my comments. peace, j

      May 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Jim

      The only thing I did was call you out for claiming that Jesus predicted the fall of Jerusalem.
      And here is why.
      You can't be sure Jesus said it. Only that a gospel writer did and much closer in time to the actual event than when Jesus lived.
      The same applies to any supposed prophesy in the Bible. Especially ones in the Old testament that are depicted as occuring in the New Testament. An event in a book claiming to have been predicted by earlier texts in that same book. Like Matthew referring to Isaiah prophesizing Jesus' birth. Isaiah was talking about a contemporary young maiden(not virgin) who lived when he did, not one 600 years later, who would bear a son to depose a king of that earlier time. The author of Matthew was crafting a legendary status for his messiah Jesus with the virgin bit. A popular meme for gods at the time and getting the added bonus of making it look like prophesy.

      May 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'History, poetry, wars, love stories, science, prophecy and so much more. Great literature and it claims to be "inspired of God"'

      And before christianity they claimed there were inspired by the Muses. They just switched one myth for another.

      May 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • jim

      wow! I missed a lot after I left but if any come back I just want to say that I really believe you have been as misled as you think I have been. a lot of propaganda out there and if any want to continue a serious discussion let me know and I will share with you some answers to your Bible questions or should I say your misunderstandings as taught by mainstream religion which as I said before has a lot to answer for. anyway thanks for the spirited discussion and hope to read you again in the future,peace, j

      May 17, 2013 at 9:41 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.