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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. Cat

    My birthday is May 21 and I am scheduled to work. Should I call out sick? Atleast I won't have to worry about having to go to a birthday party after work. What a way to celebrate! LOL

    March 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  2. Wowed

    Actually, if you check into what these guys teach, they believe the world will end on I think October 21st. They say there'll be a period of tribulation between judgement day and the destruction of the world. So don't go jumping on them until October 22nd.

    But they do tend to gloss over any of the many passages of the Bible that tell us noone will know when the day of Judgement will come.

    Doesn't the new Pirates of the Carribbean come out May 20th?

    March 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  3. Bazoing

    These people are just bored and while pretending, they are having an adventure. They are also traveling around and seeing a few places. Its more fun than sitting before a computer and it will help them learn to avoid such silliness in the future. As for the Bible, it clearly says that no one except God the Father knows, so do not blame it on the Bible. Blame it on boredom and look around to see you can have some fun too without having to trick yourself.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  4. displeased

    Civilization will end when humans destroy themselves. The world will live on, new species will evolve.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Patrish

      Yup!

      March 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  5. conoclast

    The Mayans' calendar, we all know by now, mysteriously ends on the winter solstice 2012. Trouble with that is that the Maya were pagans; how could self-respecting modern day bible-thumpers accept a pagan calculation? Answer: just move the date up a little and triumphantly announce to the True Believers that it's all in the bible; they'll buy anything you sell 'em. What I'm waiting on now is to hear which sect I'm supposed to send all my worthless post-armagheddon money to!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  6. Patrish

    Wait, I thought it was gong to end on Dec 21, 2012. Did God move it up??? I missed that memo!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  7. MrHanson

    I just wonder if these people are really closet atheists trying to make all Christians look bad. I know CNN likes to. And it is not a christians job to warn that the end of the world is coming. Jeez. The end of the world is when you die which might be right around the corner for some elderly people and those with terminal diseases. Or you could be in an accident.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • helios13

      Please give your persecution complex a break, MrHanson. Christians have never been the victims in this country. They make up the vast majority of the population and a core tenet of their belief system is that they are superior to everyone else. Get over yourself.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  8. SLOOP

    I have a book due back to the library on the 20th. Guess I'll just keep it. 🙂

    March 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  9. Lennie W

    What a bunch of KOOKS, and I use the worrd mildly,wife looked at this at started quoting bible verses to me about this and that...She's almost as ??? whatever they are..

    March 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  10. Ron

    Christians keep waiting impatiently for the 'end' to come for almost 2000 years now. In that time there have been plenty who said the "end" was coming. It came and went and another day followed. I have issues with a faith the joys in the selfish thought that they are going to be saved and the rest of the world and all life will suffer because of their 'god'. Not very god like and contradicts their sayings of god is love. Apparently he's biased and a richard and not worth worshiping.
    I give no credence to their belief and don't condemn them for it as long as they do not harm themselves or others in the process.

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

      A very level headed remark.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  11. rj

    Know one knows WHEN the end is coming. However, the signs of the end are becoming more frequent and more intense.
    Nonetheless, for the believers and nonbelievers alike, let the higher power do what will be done, and we needn't fret over our inevitable demise on this planet as we now know it. Enjoy life to the fullest and be kind to one another.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • salina

      What do you men when you say " Know one knows"??????? Do you mean, 'no one knows?'

      March 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  12. buck the canuck

    I plan on celebrating my big 50 at the end of may....all you nutcases are invited!!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  13. sahajmohit

    In my opinion, the end of world literally doesn't mean END or FULL STOP. i think there will transcend of human awareness and they will enter into new era of Collective consciousness.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Reality

      What else do we know:

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-4 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to whiz by us daily.

      3. One large hit and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-4 billion CE.

      Then there is this:

      Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  14. Franny

    I guess these "christians" missed the part in the Bible that says no one knows when judgement day will be... it will come like a thief in the night.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  15. daryl the canadian

    Climate change? Yeah, so what? The earth goes thru cycles. Ice ages and all that rot. The proof is under our feet. It's just basic science folks.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  16. JulieB

    If it happens it happens but I'm not changing my plans...if I had any.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  17. Shirley

    How ridiculous...what is in the water where they live????

    March 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  18. Mercker

    Self fulfilled prophecy is coming. Instead of figuring out how to live one with the planet(our true creator), we destroy the Earth for its resources, so we can sell it for profit to gain godlike status. This will never change until we realize we are truly a cancer eating the Earth. If we don't get back to our true tribal views of the Earth, Moon and Sun; we are doomed. Well humans are not doomed; but nature is. We will figure out a green slime that gives us substance to continue to survive, multiply and destroy nature. We need a new religion that teaches the truth of how rare in the universe we are and how special Earth truly is. Sorry folks but Earth is heaven... Well it used to be, until religion came and allowed us to falsely rise above nature.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Shirley

      Wow Mercker, could not have said it better. Sad how people want to control others with a fear based religion, sadder still so many buy into it in this modern age when we really ought to know better. Sort of reminds me of bacteria that pollutes it's own environment until they can no longer survive. Wake up people and do what common sense tells us to do!

      March 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  19. Sagebrush Shorty.

    If the world does not end on May 21st, what will be their excuse? They will probably say that it was God's will. So if it ends it was God's will, and if it doesn't it was still God's will. Covers all bases and the stupidity will continue.

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

      I sure hope it doesn't end on the 21st. It's my daughter's 6th birthday and I've already plunked down a huge chunk of change for her party, and I'll be damned if I'm going to live out my final minutes in the company of a underpaid teenager dressed as a dancing rat.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  20. daryl the canadian

    Oh the worlds gonna "end" alright, but I for one will not be around in 5 billion years when our "sun" explodes.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:47 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.