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. JimmyCrackCorn

    This world will be here long after all of us are dead and our childrens, childrens, childrens, childrens will be subject to such rediculousness as these ignorant people are portraying. Seriously though, these kids lives will never be normal, its just impossible to be normal when your whole existence is based on a day in which your parents teach you and instill in you that you and the world will end. NO ONE KNOWS, when christ will return and NO ONE WILL KNOW until he actually does. Those that say otherwise are foolish.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |

    Although I wish it was true these people are nuts

    March 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  3. Sylvester

    The world will undoubtedly end someday. Like all physical things it atrophies and in time – millions or billions of years – the planet will die in some manner. It may make it to the end of the sun's life and be swallowed up by expanding sun. Or it may be taken out by another celestial body (comet, asteroid, etc). But it will in time end. Mankind, with all of its conceits, will probably have died out long, long before that, or will have evolved into another being of some sort. We are not likely to witness the end when it comes to the planet nor our species, unless we are unlucky enough to be around for some world-ending disaster, man-made or natural.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  4. RPK

    It's about time....if some of us make it out alive, then we can stop being Tea Partiers and Americans and Muslims and farmers and Dems and Repubs and CEOs and celebrities and start being Human Beings.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  5. Wally Balloo

    Mother Earth doesn't own a calender, and God's too busy to keep an eye on every petri dish in the universe.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  6. cecilia

    I hope it is not the same world as we know it – I hope all Republicans come to their senses – I hope the Gov of WI finds a heart – i hope Sarah Palin finds a brain – oh this is just wishful thinking – it will be the same old same old

    March 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Wally Balloo

      Oh the thoughts I'd be thinkin', I could be another Lincoln......

      March 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Red

      ...and you hope Obama finds "da noive"

      March 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm |

    No man knows neither the day nor the hour. These people are presumtuous to say the least. And for those that are scaring the crap out of their kids, I say they may need their kids taken away until they're evaluated. Not because they're religious but because they may harm themselves or their kids in order to make their "prophecy" come true.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  8. Seriously

    Okay the fact is the bible was writing by man. Man who has always changed things and read things to suit their own purpose in life. No big hand of God came down to stamp his/her seal of approval on it. Also you were not allowed to write about Jesus till 40 years after his death so really try rememebr details and not fabricating info after all that time. I think come May 21 when we are all still here I hope they get help for their disappointment before they hurt themselves!

    March 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  9. ANGIE1

    Poor folks. I don't know where they get this date from and didn't they miss once already?! Forgoodness sakes.
    Well, Bless them for spreading the Word, only it's not correct......so all I can say is, I hope they aren't around any guns on May 22nd.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  10. Tdogg

    Mr. Harold Camping has done this I believe on two prior occasions. He swore that God told him Jesus was coming on specific dates. Sadly, for him, his predictions never came true. He has now come out of the woodwork once again with the 5/21/11 date. Time will tell. If I enjoyed gambling, my money would definitely not be on Camping. Third strike he's out???

    March 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  11. Red

    There have to be so many frustrated ancient Mayans right now...I bet they're blowin' up Twitter.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Kevin

      If the Mayans were so smart... where are they now?

      March 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Red

      We'd better check Foursquare...

      March 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  12. Geets Romo

    You want to know what's happening? Too much information. There's nothing new here that hasn't happened before it's just that we now can see it all in real time. It's a global event in seconds. Look at your history and you'll see if it's condensed to a matter of seconds there's nothing new. But you see, the digital media has to pay it bills. Pay for the loud mouths who's job it is to keep us stirred up and afraid of our neighbors. I will say this, that a society that feeds upon it's self is doomed for extinction.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  13. bob

    I'm 67 and retired and also bored. The end of the world would be a great way to go!
    It's sock it to me time!


    March 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Observer

      Don't be bored. The Internet is the greatest window to knowledge and entertainment ever. Search for any topic you find interesting. Be curious and then you will not have the time to be bored.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Something


      Ooooh, yes, the internet is never boring. Years ago, when asked what I'd like to do during my retirement, I would say, "read encyclopedias." This is a thousand times better than I could have dreamed! I get tired and sleepy, sure, but not bored. I sometimes wish I could be six places at the same time... so much going on!

      I used to tell my kids if they ever said that they were bored, "Saying that you are bored is like saying that you are stupid... and unimaginative." Sure, some things are more interesting and exciting than others; but while you still have a working brain, let it guide you to good things.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Observer


      You are right. There aren't enough hours in the day when you have interests and hobbies and the Internet is great for helping you go to sources you've never dreamt about.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  14. James the Just

    When people set a date for the coming of Yeshua in the clouds to retrieve his people they ARE WITHOUT A DOUBT A FALSE PROPHET. It’s a fundamental fact that Yeshua clearly stated that no man, not even himself, knew the date of his return. So how can anyone claim to know? Are they above Yeshua the Christ? No they are not. Christ warned us about these clowns and its our job to listen to his warning. Unfortunately 95% of the evangelical community could care less what Christ said or taught. http://www.yahwehyeshua.com

    March 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  15. BubbaBeliever

    Eternal Life = oxymoron

    March 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  16. Dave

    Live the excitement of today, not in the fear of what tomorrow may bring..............Dave 3:8:11

    March 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Kevin

      Just hold off until Sturgis ends – Book of Harley 8.14.11

      March 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  17. Smokey

    "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes." Matthew 25:13

    March 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • vtwinr

      In the parable of the ten virgins found in Matthew 25, five were accepted and five rejected when the "bridegroom" finally did arrrive A 50/50 % ratio of accepted to rejected is not a very comfortable one, and inspires fear as much as it does hope.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  18. Machos

    Leonard Bernstein!

    March 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  19. mm

    Maybe these people are planning to commit suicide! Another James Town right here at home.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Kevin

      uhhh... you mean Jonestown, right? Jamestown was the first successful English settlement on the mainland of North America.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  20. BoilingFrogs

    I don't know if there's a God or not, but May 22 I'll have a hangover 'cause Jimmy Buffett's in town the 21st!

    March 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • BubbaBeliever

      You'll be wasted away in margarita ville when the end comes. Cool!

      March 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Kevin

      May 21st... the last day of the college term... Why couldn't the end come 'before' finals?

      March 8, 2011 at 4:22 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.