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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. Sean

    Im planning a trip for May 22. Roads will be emtpy. I'll also go down to the DMV and renew my registration. NO LINES!! This is gonna be great.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  2. Razcarmor1

    Churchgirl

    Yes, the desciples will experience the tribulation.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  3. Ms. J

    According to the King James scripture, we are in the last days. No man knows the day nor the hour in which our Lord shall return.
    But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

    42Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh

    March 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  4. Greg s

    You can look at today's news and see the world is messed up, Its more messed up today then it was yesterday,. Starvation is on the rise, Food shortages are the root cause to these uprising's in Egypt and the other ME countries, The world has surpassed peak Oil now its down hill for Oil, This once great country is going broke, China's on the Rise, Islam is on the rise and folks once you have gotten rid of Christianity, Its Islam that's going to replace it and its going change everything, Want to be a atheist, Guess what they don't allow that in Islam, Better learn to fake it. Its all for Allah or you die. The future's not to bright we don't have to wear Shades anymore so Its not hard to see why folks could be disillusioned into believing a pre set date for the return of Christ. How many of you really think the future looks real good for your children. Really do any of you really think your Kids are going to have it better then You do right now with what we are seeing ahead of us. Im not seeing it.Allah Akabar folks learn it cause eventually you wont have us Christians to kick around anymore. May 21st isnt the date, but there is a day out there and its coming.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  5. *Special*

    lalalalaa

    March 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  6. MikeNY

    I think Bender is finally getting his wish about destroying all humans.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  7. Benjamin

    "Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment." II Peter 3:3-14.

    There will always be scoffers. In a very real sense, God's word predicted almost 2000 years ago what many would be saying on CNN comments about this very subject. Friends, beforing saying one more word in comment, just take a minute and contemplate the question, "What if...I'm wrong?" Thank you Lord Jesus for forgiving me of my sin.

    11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

    14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Carla

      Do Protestants actually read Peter II?

      March 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Benjamin
      Wow, it always surprises me what people believe and the extent of their belief. Some people will believe anything.
      No, the world was not created a few 1000s of years ago. The adam and eve account of creation is false, its a myth.

      March 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  8. daryl the canadian

    ahhh "special" another nutcase. What make "christianity" right, and all the other religions "wrong'? You are all mentally ill my friend....

    March 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  9. itscool

    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine. Plus, it's time I had some alone time.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  10. Red

    Now...if you honestly believe in God, wouldn't it be a fair assumption that God plans this kind of convolution? I mean...if God created our human reason, he wouldn't take that for granted. God knows we think about this stuff and he knows we're smart, so why would he make life so simple? We're not simple people...

    March 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Religious folks are simple people.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Red

      Boom! Where's Krabz?

      March 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      Right on!

      March 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  11. Billy

    There is no such thing as Death to The Children of God.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  12. GeneralMusings

    Besides... Everyone knows that the end of the world is December 21, 2012. :-p~~~~~ pvvvffftttttt!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  13. daryl the canadian

    And yes, for sure get the kids away from those nutcases, and on May 22 round them all up and bring them to the funny farm.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  14. Richard

    The Christian doomsayers are trying to be God–for the Bible says nobody knows the time except the Father in heaven. In other words, live each day with the love of Christ and you will always be prepared. Remember the media hype with the year 2000, when the headlines and many churches scared their audiences with the assumption that all the computers would grind to a halt (for they weren't set up to change the internal date) and it would be mass chaos–and there we sat, some disappointed, when business continued as usual. Now with the complete silliness of the end in 2012 will give everyone with a messiah complex to again predict the end–of course, if that civilization could accurately predict these supernatural incidents why did they not predict their own demise! The decision we all have to make is whether or not to max out all our credit cards, take loans to pay for exotic trips, have non-obligatory whoopee, stop paying taxes, and tell the boss what we actually think of them; if you can do all of this then I guess you're ready for the end (at least the end of your freedom). So let's all be insane and actually live in peace with one another for the short time we have.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • john

      day when world end no boty know acept GOD.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  15. GeneralMusings

    Can I have your stuff?

    March 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  16. Lyn

    A quick look at Harold Camping's website shows that he appears to be anti-gay and anti-semite. He says that the push for gay marriages is a sign that the world is soon coming to an end and he also says that jews getting Isreal in 1948 is another sign the world is coming to an end.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  17. fredly2

    I expect the Lord that is comming , not by observation and at a time when you think not, is the full realization that self is a limited view and that reality is limitred only by the imaginnation on the verge of eminent domaine. Life just is.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  18. Jasen

    One question and one question only....where in the bible does it give that date?

    March 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  19. *Special*

    to darly the canadian: umm read the bible mabey then you would know 😉

    March 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Which bible? KJV? Gnostic? Mormon? Pre or post Council of Nicaea? The "bible" has been through 7 translations from 4 languages. Which one is the "one true word of god?"

      March 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Krabz

      Mormon? They use the KJV.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  20. Dave

    The stupidity of some believers is just incredible. How do billions of people in the 21st century get so fooled by myths written by Bronze Age and Stone Age people sitting in their tents or caves, using their limited understanding of the universe is just beyond me to explain.

    I wonder if there is any bigger scam in human history than religion. Enough said.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • veggiedude

      Religion is a curse on mankind.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • CSnord

      It is not the "stupidity of some believers", it is the "stupidity of ALL believers". Religion is a plague that is holding mankind down in the mud.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • MAXX

      I am a christian and I am ready to meet God. Can you stand there and take a chance that there is no God? I would rather be a christian and be wrong than to be a non-christian and be wrong. Hell is a real place just as heaven is a real place. You ask...If there is a God how can he allow people to go to hell? He dosen't...he gives us all a chance to turn to him and believe that Jesus came to this earth to save us. It's our choice. One day you will stand before him and he will ask you...why did you not accept my free gift of salvation and eternal life. Not me, I know my destiny. Please don't leave this earth without him. Let "him" prove the Bible right!!!

      March 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Dave

      MAXX

      I can see how passionate and SURE you are bout your belief. The believers who flew themselves into the WTC, killing thousands of innocent people were also very sure about their god. As I said earlier, this is what gives me a hard time explaining how somebody can be so fooled by Stone Age and Bronze Age people. I don't need to be saved from anything because I did nothing wrong to anyone. I am just living my life and minding my own business. Oh, don't give me the crap of Adam and Eve ate apple (or whatever fruit) thing.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Harry Manback

      I am an agnostic, I assume you are at least one as well, if not an athiest; yet, even I know that some of the smartest minds from throughout history were "fooled" by religion. It is not 100% bad, and to think so and say such things is just as close-minded as many of the religious people you put down, probably for being close-minded. Faith and spirituality inspire some, and are an opiate or security blanket to others. Same as nearly anything else in this world, it will depend on the person in question. I do agree that many religions have sought to either slow down or totally stop the advances of science and knowledge, which is indeed one of the worst things they could do to us as a species; but, again, it has also inspired many thinking minds and great scientists to make a big discovery, or think about something in a new way. Even though I may not believe in a god, I see that science and math are incredible and beautiful, and work almost TOO perfectly; as a scientist, I know that everything we (think we) know is based on the information we have to this point in time, and that new information will become available and we must be willing to rethink our stance on anything... even our "laws" of physics are described as "theories" for just this reason: true scientists realize that all we know, is that we know nothing.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • FRAKdotFM

      I agree.
      Personally, I believe that people really buy into the whole end of the world thing because life sucks so bad for most that it's probably subconsciously comforting to think that in one fell swoop, it'll all be over one day.
      And, just like always, after the predicted date passes, there will be another, then another, then another.............
      I think they're already priming us with another one for when 2012 doesn't pan out... Issac Newton predicted 2060, I think?

      March 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Westy

      "Can you stand there and take a chance that there is no God? I would rather be a christian and be wrong than to be a non-christian and be wrong. Hell is a real place just as heaven is a real place"

      And that one statement there is the single hook that keeps the weak minded hooked into religion. Rather than ask reasonable questions about the statement they take it as fact and through fear become sheeple.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Maxx
      "Can you stand there and take a chance that there is no God? I would rather be a christian and be wrong than to be a non-christian and be wrong."
      Yes I can! Your statement ASSUMES that Christianity is the correct religion. What if Allah is the right god? what if Hinduism is correct? what if the juju of the sea is the right god? what if Zeus is the one? etc.........Throughout humanity, men have invented 1000s of gods to explain the unexplainable. so the chance of you being right when you die is 1 in 1000s!
      but what if you are right? then i will go to hell......again according to your god. But what IF there is a god who only wants men to find the truth, the real truth; and not just waste their lives praying to him all day. in the middle ages the church thought the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth. all the church goers (blind sheep/believers) used to go to church and agree with this view. alas, along comes Galileo to give them the TRUE answer to our solar system! the church also believed in the middle ages that people got sick because of demons. Priests used to go over to sick peoples homes to pray for the demons to leave them. unfortunately, as u may guess, they died. Along comes science with germ theory (back then no one knew about microbes) with the TRUE answer as to why people get sick, not because of demons!
      You see, maybe god likes people who try to figure out the true answers and not waste time praying and believing religious dogma by turning their rational brain off. Maybe god likes people who want to do good for the sake of helping others, and not because they have been threatened with eternal punishment. Given that god might appreciate people like that, you and me have the same chance when we meet god after we die (IF there is a god, hypothetical).

      March 11, 2011 at 3:17 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.