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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. herrsonic

    CNN did a story on us ... yea.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Gryph...

      Entertaining, when do you start selling tickets to the show, will there be other clowns?

      March 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  2. HarshReality

    Didn't you notice?? It already ended, and we are all in Hell. . .

    March 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • NotPC1

      Maybe Purgatory. . .

      March 9, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  3. Gryph...

    My favorite one recently, the pope in his personal infinite wisdom and boundless CSI skills says that the Jews didn't kill Jesus, a miracle I am certain. The thing that brings doubt of his link to omnipotence, to my ignorant flesh is why HE CAN"T SEE HIS WAY CLEAR TO OK BIRTH CONTROL!

    March 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  4. Thankgodi'manatheist

    Don't the majority of these end-of-times cults usually end up as mass-suicides when the "day that isn't supposed to come" decides to come anyway? Maybe CNN should consider that their post-event wrap-up will be a post-mortem coverage.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  5. Pastor

    America is already under God's judgment!!! And it will only continue for all who reject Jesus Christ!!! But for the sons and daughters of the King remember this word "Goshen"!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Gryph...

      Uhh rejecting would mean that there would be some choice. If you are a believer, then you will be a victim of a fate set before you thousands of years ago, per your good book, and if not then you must call a myth a myth and move on to something more pertinent. IF god has devised my fate prior to this miracle that we are about to be presented then, he judged me before my great great ...times 20 or so ancestors were born. I suppose 144000 people when it was written is a lot, now its barley a town. By the way, I'm pretty sure the Hindus and Muslim faiths don't share this narrow view of the end of times, so you have about 2/3s of the world unconvinced at the least, let alone pagans, orthodox Jews, Catholics and pretty much EVERYONE in addition to you your scientific evolutionist, atheist and gnostics. I know I know.. you'll pray for us.. thanks!

      March 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  6. Matthew Millard

    OHHHH MYYYY GOD!!!! How much more stupid can people like them get. I'm a christian but this stuff is complete nonsense!!!! They have no actually prove, excluding the bible, as to prove this mindless piece of bull and as a reader I do recalled that it says in the bible that neither the son of god nor all of the other people who were told to write all the books in the bible were ever told by god the date of Judgement's Day. It's as simple as that no excuses.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  7. Ron Holtz

    The end of the world happens every few seconds.....to someone! 99.6% of all living things that have ever lived on this planet have already seen the end of the world for them and hard long dead and gone. Waiting around and thinking the "real" end of the world is going to happen is meaningless. The idea is to be good all the time, because there is a good chance you won't make it home after that last drink on your way home from work!

    March 8, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  8. Gryph...

    Hey , since were selling prophecies, I got one, a direct message from the big overlord himself! He says, if you send me 1$ each, you will be granted heavenly grace and permitted entry because my faith, strong as it is, will engender the intergalactic universal rule of " as on earth so shall it be in heaven" Please send your dollar to PO box.... did I mention the bridge, hundreds of cubits long, we have to build to get there, complete with toll booths, to fund the new temple we need to build?

    March 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  9. Me

    I guess we should rename the movie "2012" to 2011.

    Next update will be – keep an eye out for Big Foot, Chupacabra, and Elvis.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Patrick

      What? Elvis lives most certainly!

      Let their be rock!

      March 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  10. IronRider

    I have a great idea.....don't worry about tomorrow, let tomorrow worry about itself, for it may never come. Your life is not meant to worry about the end of the world but to seize the day. To help others and spread the good news. Anyone claiming to know th day and hour is a false prophet. What really bothers me today are these groups posing as Christians. As far as I am concerned they are not one with Christ. Churches and organizations like this are paving the way for persecution of the faith. They do not know God.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  11. Jeff S

    Every day is the end of the world as we know it. Actually, its always the end of the world as we know it (and the beginning of a new world.) Whenever people or people's interpretation of scripture speak of the "End of the World", I think it is merely a more drastic change than the "everyday" changes the world goes through. Even the Christian Bible doesn't speak of "The End", but a new Heaven and Earth. The Mayans didn't say, "the calendar starts this day and ends 26,000 years later, on 12/21/2012." Its a calendar, and like most calendars, all you really need to do to measure the next Mayan 26,000-ish year cycle is to start it over.

    Will humanity ever become extinct? Possibly, but that possibility diminishes greatly the moment we colonize another planet.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  12. Courtney

    I just think it will be hilarious when the world DOESN'T come to an end in May and they have to sit there in shame knowing that they were wrong. I cant wait for that day and to see what they say.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Jeff S

      Courtney, these people are living by fairly absolute beliefs. Its basically a guarantee they'll just say they weren't among the "Chosen", and are here to do God's will during the final months. The funny thing to me about their whole deal is their interpretations of biblical timelines don't make sense by any means.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • stormsun

      I have lost track of the number of times some group or other predicted "the end of the world." Somehow, the leaders of these cults always have some explanation for their miscalculation, and all is forgiven in the rush of emotions ("but thank God I was wrong about it this time!"). Want a solution? Tomorrow is Lent. You're supposed to give something up for Lent, according to some traditions. In my case, I picked organized religion. My spiritual life has never been more satisfying since that time.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  13. Clarence

    These prognosticators about May 21 forget something VERY VITAL! THINK ABOUT THIS FACT–DUE TO THE WORLD BEING DIVIDED IN TIME ZONES, IT WILL NEVER BE MAY 21 EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD! So to some people, when May 21 begins, it may still be May 20 to them, then when the time hits exactly midnight on the International Date Line again, some places will already be in May 22. I've already looked at some of their literature on their web site, and it is all based on Bible numbers, and any first grader knows you can do anything you want with numbers to make them prove something. It's sad that after all the failed attempts to establish dates for Christ's return that have come and gone that anyone still falls for some false prophet. Christ Himself said, "When they say, Lo, here is Christ or there is Christ, BELIEVE THEM NOT." Therefore, I am with those who can't wait for May 22 and how these false prophets get out of their predicament of still being here with no "Lord" that has come–unless, of course, it is a false Lord or Christ they make up–and that would play right into hands of the Bible predicting such, too!

    March 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  14. Gryph...

    Ragnarok kids... go Norse or go home. Quoting a 2000 year old religious book is like like quoting a CNN headline with a question mark at the end, it really makes you appear dumber than you probably are. Religious tomes and ancient text predicting the end of "life as we know it" is at best a crap sandwich. Its absolving responsibility always has been, and 2000 years from now, still will be. Religious philosophy, particularly this end of the world crap, trades a non existent currency for your obedience, the sooner you grasp that, the better for all of us.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  15. Matt

    We should only be so lucky as to have all the Christians spontaneously vanish in the rapture. Maybe the rest of us could finally get some peace.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • diego

      dude you make sense

      March 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Joe Peterson

      Well perhaps but what if many of the more annoying "Christians" find themselves waking up right here with everyone else...Just a thought ...... 😉

      March 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Patrick

      "We should only be so lucky as to have all the Christians spontaneously vanish in the rapture. Maybe the rest of us could finally get some peace" "Dude you make sense"

      Yer dang skippy right he makes sense. The world will be so much better if organized religions dissolved... and their members vanished leaving the rest of us to build a paradise without war... fear.. or organized religion.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  16. Smokey Waterz

    Since it's the End, I will happily take any valuable possessions someone has, including cash, that they feel they'd like to go into Judgment Day without. Please don't thank me. I'm just nice that way.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  17. FRAKdotFM

    Christians believe that in the end 144,000 righteous people will go straight to heaven or whatever. I challenge you to find just a 144 righteous people on the entire planet right now. In the biblical stories of Sodom and Gomorrah and Noah's flood, besides their immediate families, Lot couldn't find even one, and neither could Noah, and you won't either. If there's any truth to the belief at all, in my opinion, we're all in big trouble.......... again, it's just my opinion that if you really believe that you're that good of a person that, if there's a heaven, you're going to get to be there in the end, you're probably not and you likely won't.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Patrick

      "Lot couldn't find even one, and neither could Noah, and you won't either. If there's any truth to the belief at all, in my opinion, we're all in big trouble.......... "

      Oh darn... I've sinned and some omnipotent omniscient god is going to know that and cause me to rot in internal hell for partying... lusting after hot (and not hot) women and wanting to drink all kinds of alcohol and smoke weed.

      How tragic... how petty we've become to fear such fiction.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Joe Peterson

      Hi
      I believe only the Jehovah witness espouse such doctrines about the 144,000. A group many in Christianity consider a cult and quite extreme. As to the amount of righteous people in this world, wow how jaded must one be to believe not even 144 exist. But then again one man's righteousness is only merited by another man's truth.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • csp

      Christians do not believe only 144,000. Not sure where you are getting your facts from but they are dead wrong.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  18. C.Y.

    As a 15 year old teen brought up from birth in christianity, it dissapoints me that these christian extremists are contradicting the bible that they are supposed to be following to the point on certain topics. Camping (the mastermind behind this entire scandal) apparently used biblical texts and math to solve the age old dilema of when Jesus is returning, when it clearly says in the book of Matthew that NO ONE KNOWS BUT GOD. How are you going to be hypocritical about the scriptures and try to convince and strike fear in the hearts of many that they are to repent and start maniacally dancing, speaking in tongues and serve the Lord with all your heart or they will spend eternaty in Hell, when thats the complete opposite of what Gods message is; as Christians our purpose on Earth was to spread the word of God and not condemn the people who don't accept it, the Lord gave us free will for a reason, He created us and knows we wouldn't want to live our lives controlled like some marionette. I honestly know now why the entire world things we're a bunch of nut-cases, and for all the "christians" commenting on these articles, on a mission to educate every athiest and non-believer who is set to start a full out war over some psychotic christians, give it a break and grow a brain please, you're obviously not going to get anywhere with a person who is equally as hard-headed as you on such a controversial topic as religion nowadays. Can't we all just sell cookies with a pamphlet describing Jesus, the world would be much less irritable with our antics.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  19. Carla

    Besides all the nonsense about apocalypse and prophesy, it's rather entertaining observing the arrogance of folks who think they are special enough to "merit" an after life or any other non-biological consequence to their existence beyond conception, birth, debility and death with decay. They are no different than any other animal on the earth, yet they pump themselves into a frenzy of egocentric arrogance!

    March 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Joe Peterson

      I think knowing the time and place for the end of the world is a bit crazy. However Carla appears to be just as egocentric in her assumptions about the reality of things.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Patrick

      "However Carla appears to be just as egocentric in her assumptions about the reality of things."

      Carla appears to be far superior mentally to a toad such as yourself.

      Believe what you want.... see you May 22, 2011.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Joe Peterson

      Yep just like some others of similar mindsets, read not and insult your adversary instead of the use of reason. As stated I think naming the day of judgment to be ridiculous. Making no claims as to my belief , I find it short sighted to assume anyone KNOWS the ultimate reality of all things (a bit egocentric if you will) . I guess Patrick cannot read and can only retort in a manner in which his mind grasps best. No proof, no evidence just insults to prove the "faith" of his choosing ( I have heard from better materialists who have far more intelligent responses . So to those who are of similar opinion, understand my problem is not with you but with others like Patrick) . .Kind of similar to the few Christians who claim the sky is falling.. lol
      To those who like to trade insults I respond:
      I fart in you general direction.. Come back and I will taunt you some more......

      March 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  20. Marcos Verli

    Those people are lying, the world is not going to end!

    March 8, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Patrick

      "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. "

      What?? Let them commit suicide and their children too! Survival of the fittest... and since the fittest aren't going to be idiots it is better to rid the planet of those that are.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • diego

      they are not lying. just stupid like all of the religious people

      March 8, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
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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.