Your Take: Is it the end of the world as we know it?
Some Christians believe Judgment Day is just around the corner. Their job is to warn the people.
March 8th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Your Take: Is it the end of the world as we know it?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Note to self: When writing about the End, expect no end of comments.

On Sunday we published “Road trip to the end of the world,” about a group that’s traveling by RV to spread a May 21 doomsday warning. You’ve posted about 10,000 comments on the story. And that doesn’t touch your responses to a sidebar, in which we took you on a historical journey called “Doomsdays throughout time.”

There’s no way to condense the opinions of all of you who expressed them, but here are some of the themes that seemed to emerge.

Doom and gloom has never been so fun

Plenty of you responded with humor, grateful for the news that will let you max out credit cards, avoid summer lawn mowing and forget about studying for final exams.

Some bemoaned the fact that plans you'd looked forward to would be canceled, like JohnDoee who said:

I just booked a vacation to Mexico starting May 21st. Wonder if my trip insurance covers end of the world.

Others invoked a certain headline-grabbing celeb, saying you’d put his antics to shame. Said GQPulbic:

If I knew with absolute certainly the world was ending in three months I would make Charlie Sheen look like a choir boy. Nothing would be off limits.

Still others decided to use the space as a virtual Craigslist of sorts, a venue to snag belongings that have been left behind. Wrote PL90210:

My wife and I are looking for a swingset for our daughter. If any of you have a swingset and feel your family has more important things to do between now and May 21st and wouldn't mind us having it, could you reply back and we can set something up?

No laughing matter

What you read also worried you. You expressed concerns about potential violence and mass suicide, and some even worried that these faithful RV travelers might be “terrorists.” Said Buddesatva:

These folks are mentally unbalanced. The kindest thing that we can do for them is get all of them into a program and I would stongly advise taking the children away. This thing smacks of a suicide cult. Whenever people start talking in superlatives and absolutes, you know that you have a psychosis in the works. The state needs to intervene now before people, specifically children end up getting hurt.

More than anything, those expressing such concern pointed to children who are not only being exposed to these teachings but are actually out there spreading the word, too. We introduced you to one young girl, Arianna, and learning about her got SpaceyG, who quoted part of the story, going:

Not harming innocent people in this, eh? 'It scares me a little bit because some people are going to die, and I think I'm one of them,' she adds. 'I'm trying to do good things, but I'm afraid I'm doing something bad.' Arianna is 7, after all, and being good all the time cannot be easy. Her father stands next to her, nodding his approval. Bless her frightened little heart. I hope she finds a good lawyer on May 22 to sue for punitive emotional damages.

To believe or not to believe

The story drew in many believers, though your beliefs differ, as well as those of you who dismiss religion altogether.

Summing up his (or her) anger was the aptly named AngryAtheist:

All religions are a disease. There's no way we can advance as a people when we all believe in gods that do absolutely nothing to prove an existence. You're taught from an early age when your parents forced you to go to church to learn fairy tales. Open your sheep minds… That fairy tale book called the bible was written by those in power to keep the power, to control the masses, and to gain wealth. There isn't a god, nor was there ever one.

But these sort of responses had plenty of faithful readers fighting back. Some voiced that you, too, believe the end is near, but unlike this group of travelers you refuse to nail down a date. Hundreds threw out scripture, reminding us that “No man will know the day or hour,” and that Jesus will return “like a thief in the night.” Said SBack89: 

Jesus actually states in the Bible, 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. But about the day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.' (Matthew 24:35-36). So as Christ says, He has not even been told by His Father in heaven as to when exactly the world will end. So this group of people are going directly against the Bible, the true word of God.

What’s next?

Countless readers wondered what these doomsday travelers will do when they wake up on May 22 and nothing has changed.

Chilcat: "I Reeeeealy hope CNN will do a story on the poor deluded folks on May 22nd." In a quick response, we heard from Wzrd1: "One can wish. But, given CNN's attention span, or lack thereof, they won't. : ( "

Oh, Wzrd1, ye of little faith ...

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • Bible

soundoff (1,121 Responses)
  1. Gavin Ford

    It's okay....Zeus will take care if it. My god can kick your god's ass any day.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  2. Goodbye and Amen

    I Always love the interviews with the doomies (Elizabeth Claire Prophet, etc) the day AFTER doomsday. They say stuff like, "Well, ah, the calendar has some errors" or simply "go into seclusion." We all know the earth is not going to die with a bang, but with a whimper.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Bubba

      I bet they blame daylight savings time for adding extra hours to the calendar year.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  3. hyde

    What if they are right? How much more has to go wrong before we get a clue that not all is right in the land of illusion. Remember, once the honey bees go...so do we.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  4. Keith Shaw, Chandler, AZ

    With the amount of change taking place in all facets of life, every day is the end of the world as we know it.

    So, when you wake up in the morning, don't bemoan what was yesterday, embrace the new world of today, and strive to make a better world for tomorrow.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Bubba

      Hey, that's it; they'll say "The world DID end. The OLD WORLD ended and the NEW WORLD of righteousness has begun bla bla bla give me money."

      March 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  5. xmxm

    Is there a place I can bet against these people and make some money?

    March 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Barleyman

      Vegas line is now at Rapture +10.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Carla

      I'll take the under

      March 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  6. bwydeman

    There is a movement of loosely connected Christians organized by “radio broadcasts and websites, independent of churches and convinced by their reading of the Bible that the end of the world will begin on May 21, 2011.”

    “To get the word out, they’re using billboards and bus stop benches, traveling caravans of RVs and volunteers passing out pamphlets on street corners. Cities from Bridgeport, Conn., to Little Rock, Ark., now have billboards with the ominous message, and mission groups are traveling in countries from Latin America to Africa to spread the news outside the U.S.”

    The movement arose from the Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio Worldwide, the independent Christian ministry whose leader, Harold Camping, has calculated the May 21 date based on his reading of the Bible.

    Jesus predicted that many false prophets will arise in the last days. “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:11.

    Satan can use false prophets predicting specific dates for the end of the world, to distract from the real message of the soon coming of Jesus. The more these kinds of predictions are made, the more jaded people will become, and the more likely they will disbelieve the true message of the soon coming of Jesus.

    But in the same biblical chapter, Jesus plainly stated that no man would know the day nor the hour. “But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Matthew 24:36.

    Harold Camping is a false prophet because his message is in conflict with some of the plainest statements of scripture.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Carla

      Does using archaic English legitimize your gibberish?

      March 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  7. Red

    For the religious zealots trying to denounce the atheists: quoting a book that your audience finds to be fiction is the worst thing you can do. That doesn't make a lick of sense...you've gotta see this.
    For the atheist zealots trying to denounce the theists: The last thing you want is pity, and from someone who believes in an infinitely good God, that's all you're gonna get. If you believe that they'll all see the truth upon their own death, you'd better let them be...you've gotta see this.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  8. lb

    i will pray for you. may you find salvation before your time is near.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  9. Fluff

    If CNN and other media would stop giving these idiots attention, maybe they would stop proclaiming their bulls*it. Ever thought of that media world?

    March 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Bubba

      One of my friends got like this and started handing out fliers saying he could cure AIDS but the Earthquake was coming and we had to hide in the belly of the whale. Later he killed himself. It's not about publicity.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Barleyman

      This guy owns a radio Network... doesn't need help spreading the word. I feel sorry for the people who fell for this.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Al

      Don't blame the media. People have been predicting the end for centuries.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  10. Mainer

    The name Miller rings a bell...... and he wasn't even mentioned.... sigh.... There is a basic psychological need to believe the end is near and that we are in a sense living in the most important time in our world's history. These people have obviously taken that base desire to an extreme. Wait, what am I saying? Of course this is going to happen. To all the true believers out there, I am willing to provide an invaluable service. I will come to you by May 21 to collect your material possessions and "store" them for you. Let me know your contact info.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "The name Miller rings a bell." Blows a trumpet, I would have said. It's exactly the same, right down to the secret Bible message.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Mainer

      Yeah... maybe these guys will "recalculate" once they look foolish in a few months and really cap off the historical parallel.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  11. calvin

    God's word says no man knows the day nor the hour that He shal make His great appearing. These people need to stop making false accusations against the One true Living God!! God help them and open their eyes to spirtual truth!! In Jesus Name

    March 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  12. christjones

    Wzrd 1 is right

    March 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  13. Junior

    I thought the end of the world was in Dec. 2012?..and I thought it had something to do with the end of the Mayan calendar?.. So they have changed it now?.. I'd really like to know whats going on so I can make plans. LOL

    March 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Ottawa

      Hey Junior,
      Let's hope it's December 2012 so we have a little more time to party.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  14. matt

    Well I don't know about you people but Im going to get a mortgage I really can't afford, buy things I really don't need, put everything on a line of credit and live paycheck to paycheck until the end.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      Wait...that sounds like 2007...

      March 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  15. David

    All you Christians who are spreading this nonsense – Aren't you supposed to believe in God's words, i.e. the Bible? The Bible clearly said that no one knows this except our heavenly Father.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Spockanator


      March 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  16. cpc65

    All these cults should have to pay royalties to REM every time they claim the end of the world is comming.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      Only if "they feel fine." I don't think they do.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  17. Paul

    What would explain Charlie Sheen's behavior!

    March 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm |

    I believe that EVERYDAY we should live like its our last... and I do believe that Brother Camping and the folks at family radio are correct...

    The only thing that worries me is that Brother Camping has been wrong about Judgment Day once before, but he accounts for it as an error... Yet the scripture say in Deuteronomy 18:21 that if a prophet is wrong once, he should be disregarded.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

      March 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Mainer

      I am so sick of this tired cliche. It is absolutely impossible to live "every day like it's your last." If you told me I was going to die at midnight, I would furiously spend every penny and every last ounce of energy. It isn't logical, possible or desirable to do that EVERY day.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Joeshmoe

      Actually, I_Believe_It, the Bible says that these false prophets should be put to death, not disregarded. It says that in Deut 18:20, not 21.

      In any event, March 21st is my mom's birthday and we are grilling out, so yeah, thats not going to work for us then.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  19. Max Walker

    No one knows the hour or day christ will return not even the angeles in heaven but only the FATHER! May 21 is going to come and go like any other day. NOTHING is going to happen on may 21. They say that the bible is absoulutly true on everything which I belive in but it dosent say that the bible is absoulutly true on May 21st. This is just a hoax. Those doomsday people need to read the bible carefully on the day or hour unknown. It would be a different story if it was actually in the bible; none of us would want to be hear right know. So if you have plans on May 21 do it anyway, nothing is gonna happen! This guy needs to be locked up in prison inseted of scareing people to death.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Taylor

      My thoughts exactly. For all we know it could be tonight, May 22, or in three hundred years. Point is we have no idea. I do believe in God and the Bible, and I believe it when he said He is the only one who knows when He will come back. The people in this group annoy me with the fear tactics instead of showing our true benevolent God.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Al

      If you believe that everything in the Bible is true then:

      a) you haven't read it


      b) you are one sick individual.

      The Bible is not the place to go for morals.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Eddie

      "No one knows the hour or day christ will return not even the angeles in heaven but only the FATHER! May 21 is going to come and go like any other day. NOTHING is going to happen on may 21." Based on your first sentence, how do you know for sure nothing will happen on May 21st?? Are you passing yourself off as the FATHER, since only he knows?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  20. melane

    Fundamentals Christians are funny, funny people. 🙂

    March 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Steve, the real one

      These folks are anything but fundamental. If they were, they would know better than to set a date!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Rachel

      Don't paint all Christians or Fundamentalists with the same brush.Harold Camping has been spouting this nonsense for YEARS.He had predictions in 1994 ,1988 and others.Not all christians believe this guy

      March 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Bubba

      Refer to the article about 'hating God,' please. There's a form of that in which true believers decide to FORCE God to act or reveal Himself to bolster their faith. These are trying to make Him tell them that their theory is a crock of crap, or else to actually come and get them physically. Failing that, I bet they all take poison. GET THE KIDS AWAY FROM THEM!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
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About this blog

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.