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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. LBJ

    If this "end of the world" doesn't pan out, there's another one coming in December 2012 when the Maya calendar ends.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Tom

      The world will end on 13/13/13....duh.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • numbnut

      I'm wondering why the earth didn't implode on 06/06/06.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  2. empTe

    End of the world people are ridiculous, no matter what faith it comes from. Belief in the world ending relatively soon produces a very destructive mindset, and makes for a worse world. These people are thinking in terms of things ending rather than producing a better future for themselves and their children. This type of thinking needs to stop.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  3. hmmmmm

    Is this EST? Need to get timezone down so I can get my May 20 evite out

    March 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  4. Road Trip

    Guys, seriously I cant die. Something tells me the people of earth are going to need me!!

    March 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  5. JOHN IN AZ

    I've been on Mother Earth for quite a number of years and have seen religious nuts like these before. I've lived through quite a number of "ends of the worlds." Later on, there may be other mis-guided souls with the same kind of unsubstantiated predictions.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  6. Truth

    Praise you Lord Jesus on that day, that only our Heavenly Father knows, where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that you are the "Lord of Lords" and the "King of Kings"!! Hallelujah!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Tom

      god loves it when we get on our knees for him; especially when girls do it.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Todd

      Jesus might have to wait for me to put my bong down, is that ok? Unless he could be so kind to provide a time that he is going to show up. I mean, even the cable company gives a 4 hour window for when they will show up. Can't Jesus, in all his glory and power, do the same??? I dont think that's to much to ask.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Pastor WJ Rennick

      I wouldn't just get on my knees, I'd get on my hands and knees if Jesus asked me to.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Tom

      hey pastor – if jesus wanted you to nibble on his ear, would you do it?

      March 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Reb

      This whole string of comments has provided me with much needed entertainment while I'm sitting at work. Thank you everyone.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Unknown

      same here, Reb. Same here.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • numbnut

      Dear God, please forgive me as I have peed my pantaloons while reading Tom and Todd's comments. Have a nice day.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  7. Jenn

    I hope that someone has pointed out that, Harold Camping, the perpetrator of this idea that the world is coming to an end on May 21, 2011 has innaccurately predicted the world was going to end before. Only after September 6, 1994 had come an gone and Camping and his followers exited a gym in their tin foil hats did Camping go back to his "math" and discover he made a mathematical error in his prediction. I hope someone has also pointed out that Harold Camping, up until about 4 years ago, preached on Family Bible radio that "no man can know the day nor the hour" when Jesus would return (quoting from the Bible). Maybe that wasn't doing much for ratings for the President of Family Bible Radio (i.e. Harold Camping), hence the new prediction. Apparently Camping feels no need to take responsibility for what he preaches.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  8. MashaSobaka

    If the end of the world really will be like some people say it will be – you know, all the ‘faithful’ get scooped up and all us dirty infidels have to stay behind – then I’m all for it happening May 21st. Actually, how about March 21st? My birthday is soon after that and I’d really like to spend it on a planet free of religious bigots. That’d be the best birthday present ever. C’mon, God, speeding up your plans just a smidge wouldn’t hurt anyone….

    March 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  9. Tom

    The world will not end tomorrow. My friend lives in China, which is 12 hours ahead of me. If the world will be coming to an end he said he will call me and give me a twelve hour advance warning. So far, so good.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Coach

      Oh Gosh I Love it! This made my day. Im pretty sure my neice in South Korea would also call if the end was near there to give heads up.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Wally Balloo

      LOL – once again, the Chinese come out ahead!

      March 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  10. Truth

    (Matthew 24:35-36)

    March 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Tom

      Gaga 3: 1-5

      March 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  11. D

    I cannot judge them or anyone for believing x,y or z that is their choice...but...

    These people who are quiting their jobs, giving up their pets, spending all their money, selling their belongings, etc...what happens if they are wrong? May 22nd is gonna be a rough one.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  12. donHo

    Whenever any significant event that brings disaster happens, everyone else will die except rich people. They can escape any natural disasters or apocalypse so if your a commoner just relax and wait your turn to die. In effect, power and money rule over god wrath.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  13. EarthBrother

    Why do people keep setting dates? The Bible clearly states NO ONE knows the day or hour. This is quite clear. Some people fall for these date setters every time. Christians, and those seeking, must read their Bible and know the word of God!

    March 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      That's right.
      Until you see a grasshopper with long blonde hair, a man's face and a tiny crown, you can rest assured the End of Days are yet to come.

      March 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Tom

      The world will end when we are hit by a lethal dose of gamma rays or when the sun explodes. not because your adult fiction books has a secret code in it. Grow up.

      March 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Adam PT

      The only indications it seemed to give on dates is that it was soon, within the writer's lifetimes soon. That is partly why Paul and others at the time thought people should avoid the distraction of children and focus on the nearing Armageddon.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  14. Arlon

    It's the end of the world as we know it
    It's the end of the world as we know it
    It's the end of the world as we know it
    And I feel fine.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  15. JayKay

    There's plenty of time and room in this world for things to get MUCH worse than they are. Every era has had it's groups claiming the end is near. This will be no different 100 years from now.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  16. IRS

    Can you please make the end of the world April 17th so I won't have to bother doing my taxes?

    March 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  17. Gbird

    May 21'st; my X's birthday. I always knew she'd have something to do with the end of the world.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • DuchessFeathers

      That's wonderful! I love it! I myself am heading to the Outer Banks on May 21st so this is going to have to wait.

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

      LoL love it. 😉

      March 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  18. Rich

    Religious people are delusional. That is why they are so easily targeted for exploitation by con artists.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • leo

      Not just con-artists, struggling professionals play the religion card for buisness all the time in shameless ways. Personally, if you play the card and are highly religious that isnt the same but I've seen people go very far on this.

      And you'd have to be a nut to believe the end is coming on this date. But people believe weirder things for sure.

      March 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Your so close Rich

      Rich,

      It is people who are inherently honest who so frequently are taken by con artists. Honest people assume all are honest. Remember the crow study? or maybe it was magpies, the point is look at me, I never get taken by con artists and I'm as crooked as they come, I'm down right shady, but I put on a good front. Religion just takes in more trusting and honest people than it does crooks and pedophiles that's why your statement is so close to the truth. Religious folks trust more, but aren't by definition delusional.

      You, I'm sure, are like me. We'd get along fine.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  19. Charlie

    I cannot die! I am a winner!

    March 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Justwanttolaugh

      LOL! 🙂

      March 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Wally Balloo

      I think that's a typo – shouldn't it be "weiner"?

      March 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Marie-Chantal

      LOL

      March 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    The world will end from human overpopulation, and resultant destruction of the environment.

    God won't have anything to do with it, and we have at least 40 more years before we reach that point of no return, to save the planet.

    Trouble is......no one will even admit there is a problem, much less actually do something about it, so we may indeed have numbered days.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Rick McDaniel
      Yea, verily AlGoreMageddon is nigh!
      We must all ti.the 10% of our income to purchase Carbon Credits (aka environmental indulgences) lest we incur the wrath of He Who Designed The Internet

      March 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • runswithbeer

      We don't need to save Planet Earth. Earth will be here a Billion years from now. It's people who are doomed. One way or the other BANG, we're outta here. Me I've got 10 maybe 20 years left at best. Then it a well deserved dirt nap.

      March 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • sue

      I agree 100%!!! All because it has become such a political issue that we can't possibly agree on whether or not there even IS a problem much less what to do about it. WHY is this a political issue? Can someone explain that to me? One side says we are destroying the planet so the other side HAS to take an opposing view? It's insanity!

      March 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • runswithbeer

      Doc......,, Weird thing is I never heard of you.... Al Gore I've heard of and voted for. You....not so much. Oh and Yeah... if it wasn't for Al Gore we'd all still be dialing up message boards. yep good old Al, he's the Congressman who lead the fight to open up the net to the public. NOW, I ask you, what did DOC ever do.

      March 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Jason Anders

      Not quacks, just misled. Bible prophecy is real, and it is occurring in our lifetime. Read the bible, BUT understand it was well.
      These people are being misled, and so is anyone else who listens to them. Their leader has a history of making "mistakes" with previous prophecy. The bible CLEARLY states that if what you say comes from God does not occur, you are to be discounted and not believed. Jesus Christ of Nazerath Himself stated in Matthew 24:36
      "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no,
      not the angels of heaven, but my Father only"
      So their leader is wrong. Do not ever believe anyone who ever sets a date for the end of the world. We can look at bible prophecy and world events and see that it is coming to a head very soon, but no one knows the hour, day, week or even year.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:06 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.