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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. tbol

    every generation thinks that it's the last

    March 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • pegger

      Funny how that happens. And they said too that Rock N Roll would die!

      March 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  2. pothead

    And for those that believe in your jesuz and god, why is Glen Beck getting fired this year! Beck is your hero! I sure don't hear anyone complaining about losing him. He is typical of the RV crowd. He is totally nuts. I bet he started this idea!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • slipheart

      I heard Beck didn't start this. I heard it was Lou Dobbs! But maybe it was that other guy over there having his coffee and laughing at what he reads on CNN.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  3. Julie

    *heaves a huge, tired, sigh*
    So what day ISN'T the end of the world as I knew it?
    I must've missed the article about the May 21sters. All I can say is that I really, truly, wish I knew a bunch of them. 'Cos then I could shame them, by questioning their faith, to hand over to me all their Earthly possessions, and their filthy, godless cash. Which I would then put towards the purchase of a nice Den Of Iniquity in a doorman building.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • mantaec

      I'm with you J. And I wanna $1,000 ice cream from Serendipity in NYC. Did you hear the one about the guy, he said to the other guy, "if we name him Dog everyone would have one...god..

      March 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  4. Stephen O'Connor

    WHO KNOWS WHEN THE WORLD WILL END? JUST BE A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN, LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST, AND MEAN IT WHEN YOU PRAISE GOD!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • pothead

      OMG! I praise my iPod and my iPad, what am I doing wrong? I believe in Steve Jobs...and the apple between Mary's legs.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  5. Bethel

    Anyone who is observant at all is noticing global change. We can choose how we interpret it and I suggest that we envision justice for all........harmlessness in all our actions(after examining what these two special concepts mean) and stop fighting each other! I prefer John Lenon's IMAGINE over this quarrel about the end of the world. Just look at what our brothers and sisters are doing to earn justice and freedom......Bless them!
    Bethel

    March 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  6. Residentstone

    These people are seriously retarded. At least the article made me roll with with laughter at their sheer ignorance and stupidity. Yeah, the worlds totally gonna end, but not this May or 2012 either. And if I knew it was for sure, I certainly wouldnt be driving around the country with a bunch of retards in RV's. Hilarious!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  7. steve

    I saw jesus on a tortilla, plank of wood, on a cloth and even once on a dollar bill. When science proves there is a god, I will believe in something...maybe! People are dying because they don't believe in their neighbor's religion...is that the way of jesus and his crazy god? Is it right to kill our neighbor because he doesn't go to your church? Religion is fear based... We just have do pick out the one that has the most money and go with it. Maybe we will get lucky and the Jewish guys will let us by stock in their banks at a discount if we attend services with them. Try it!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  8. daryl the canadian

    Yep, all mentally ill. If I ran around as an "adult" eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa on dec 25 I could quite possibly be admitted to the insane asylm. And there is exactly the same amount of evidence proving the existance of "santa" with the existance of "Jesus, jehovah, god, mohhammed, allah, bhudda, the easter bunny...well i think rational folks get what I mean.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  9. Ross

    I'm getting married on May 21st. I was reading some info about the up-coming end-of-the-world. Apparently there are going to be dead bodies everywhere and it's going to really suck for five months. That kind of makes me think we should hold off on the honeymoon. I mean, I can't imagine it's going to be real relaxing anywhere we go if there are dead bodies all over the place.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Colin

      Getting married hey? At least their prediction will come true for one of us.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  10. Matt

    I want them to stop by my town on May 22nd, so I can point and laugh!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  11. Daniel

    What will they do when they wake up on 5/22/11 and realize that they gave away their earthly possessions?

    March 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  12. Prot

    I'm from K-Pax. time to catch that lightbeam home again. You people are nuts

    March 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  13. GawdofThunder

    ... sigh ... See everyone on May 22nd 🙂

    March 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  14. Charles W. Gill II S.F.O.

    If we all take care of each other, as human beings made in the image of God, the Kingdom of God is here, now.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • RecoveringExChjrstian

      "If we all take care of each other, as human beings made in the image of God, the Kingdom of God is here, now."

      Have you ever heard of Carl Sagan? Charles Darwin? Richard Dawkins? These are far better people and more evidenced people than your fairy tale.

      If this is the kingdom of a man-created monster (your God), he did a horrible job at it...why would any creature who is all good and powerful wish to create such chaos throughout his universe?? Sounds like a rather vindictive person.
      When exactly are Christian's going to grow up and do their research? maybe if you learned to read an actual book not based on fiction and the ramblings of some 400 mean over too many generations, or learned to open your eyes to the reality of this world, we'd live in a better world. Unfortunately we can't change the delusional not without forcing them to get psych help.

      Carl Sagan said "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Prove this creature exists with physical evidence of his existence (ie; first hand accounts of people who knew him in person) before spewing from the greatest book of fiction ever written. I understand why people fall for it...we all enjoy a good fairy tale now and then.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  15. true-messenger

    Jesus said plainly, "Look I am coming as a THIEF"! DOES A THIEF TELL THE HOUSEHOLDER EXACTLY WHEN HE IS COMING TO BREAK IN AND STEAL? NO! That is why he said, "YES I AM COMING QUICKLY" THIS ENCOURAGES CONSTANT ALERTNESS!
    THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT TRUE MESSENGERS!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Colin

      citing superst-itous clap trap to refurte other superst-itous clap trap.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  16. Andulamb

    On May 22nd, this group will proclaim that their efforts to get the word out caused God to change His mind. Always happens. They never admit to being wrong.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  17. Colin

    You think these guys are weird. I know a cult that gathers together every Sunday and believes they consume the actual flesh and blood of a dead prophet from the Middle East 2,000 years ago because a priest performs some hocus-pocus over bread and wine.

    They are called Catholics and I swear, they believe this krap in the 21st century. Not just the children, grown adults!!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • shades123

      and what have we done to you exactly that you would ridicule us?

      fear is not only unecessary but telling.
      what exactly are you afraid of?

      March 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Anita

      And that has no scriptural backing. Jesus said "This MEANS my body" etc. Not "This IS my body". They take parts that are figurative and claim they are literal and then take the literal and claim it is figurative. Such as the Kingdom of the Heavens. It is a literal Government ruled by God's son, Christ Jesus. Not a "good feeling in your heart" or when you die and go to heaven. When the end does come there will be a group of people (represented by sheep...yes..sheep (which is a good thing, not a bad thing)that are figuratively seperated and placed on his right) that will survive into a paradise earth. Just because some choose not to believe it doesn't mean it won't happen. Just because some choose to believe that God is a fairy tale doesn't mean he is. Get over yourselves.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
  18. Charles W. Gill II S.F.O.

    Mark 1: 14-15 After John had been arrested, 8 Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at at your fingertips. It is all around you. All you have to do is look with your heart. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

    Matthew 25:31-46 When Ben Adam comes in his importance, and all the messengers (Melech) with him, he will sit upon his important throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    Then the king (Melech) will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'

    The charitable will answer him Kyrie, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' The king will reply, 'whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

    Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' They will answer and say, 'Kyrie, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'

    He will answer them,what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' These will go off to eternal punishment, but the charitable to eternal life." Then Jesus finished all these words,told his disciples, "You know that in two days' time it will be Passover, and Ben Adam will be handed over to be crucified."

    Matthew 27:1 Jesus in prison

    Matthew 27: 35 Jesus naked

    John 19:28 Jesus thirsts while on the cross.

    As we do to the least of our brothers, we participate in the crucifixion. As we do to the least of these our brothers, we do to God, who is in each of our brothers.

    Do that, and who cares when the second coming is?

    March 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Colin

      Citing Cindarella to prove snow white has a w-h-ore.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Prot

      I love it when people start quoting a book written by man, for man, and call it God's work. When ye can't think for ye's self, ye quotes things written by other ye's. Ye get it? oooops....there's the lightbeam....gotta go (what's the difference between me and your 'saviour' nuttin', honey. you can only save yourself. good luck.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Carla

      Do that and you will belie your intelligence and education

      March 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  19. daryl the canadian

    People, get a grip! Humans are the only critters, (as far as we know) who know they are going to die. Yep, that definitly sucks, but really what can you do? Just accept it and live your life to its fullest, and treat other people the way you want to be treated. Love your family and friends and be good! IF there is an afterlife, we shall all find out someday, but stop worrying about death (which is what religion is all about) and enjoy life!!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Colin

      Wh owas it who said "I've been dead for the last 15 billion years and it didn't cause me the least discomfort"? GB Shaw?

      March 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  20. ed

    DUH...Winning

    March 8, 2011 at 5:30 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.