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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. abczyx42

    When people hear what these people are preaching, it sounds completely outrageous, so they automatically jump to the cult conclusion. However, that's unmerited here. There's nothing cult-like about these people. They do not claim any person/leader on earth to be divine or have divine visions etc..., they do not claim that any other book is sacred but the Bible (in fact they actively teach that only the Bible is true), they are not being forcibly geographically isolated or otherwise mistreated by anyone, they are not being forced to give up their assets, they are not trying to "save" anyone because they are acutely aware of the fact that they do not have the power to change anyone's mind, and they teach that to find truth, you have to let the Bible interpret itself (comparing verses) because it is not subject to the private interpretation of anyone. So, not only are they not forcing their beliefs on anyone or proclaiming a private interpretation as truth, they are actually going around telling people NOT to listen to them, but to go the Bible and investigate for themselves. A cult would be telling people the exact opposite of that. Whether you believe there's any merit to what they're saying or not, they still aren't a cult. If anything, they're the opposite of a cult.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Gryph...

      Yeah these guys are totally sane, clearly! David Koresh/Branch Dravidian, and Applewhite/ Heaven's Gate, now they were cults! The people are harmless seekers of the truth beyond the facts! So are Native Americans on Peoti and Hippies on ACID!

      March 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • A Gal in Idaho

      Then explain how anyone else can come to know God and Christ if there is the complete withdrawal of the Holy Spirit? It's wrong... plain wrong. They are saying that people cannot be saved, this doctrination is falsehoods and it goes backwards on itself. Read all of the site. They contradict themselves... I should remove "they" and insert the name "Harold Camping" because that IS who the followers are following. When you put any other thing before God, you are in fact part of an idolatrous cult. (People who are not of Christian faith... I'm stating what I know to be in the Bible, I understand you may not agree and that is fine, I am trying to make a point to my seemingly Christian brother/sister). Methinks you doth protest too much, brother/sister. Open your own eyes and read what it is that Harold Camping is saying. If you can't pick up the subtle nuance of what he has cherry picked for his purposes, I suggest talking with some level headed, solid and growing Christ followers.
      I akin Mr. Camping's teachings to that of the Aryan Nations and the KKK, who also have very "convincing" things to say about the bible and do cherry pick what truths they think the understand, look at how they are "convinced" that their Aryan race being the DIRECT line of Abraham and Christ. Don't believe me... Google : origin of genesis, jacob, esau, pillow, ireland, princess you get something like this garbage AND IF that they had a radio listenership and 117 million dollars in net worth like Family Radio, you might be saying something ELSE about a cults and the like. http://cog21.org/davidthrone.html Yeah that right there is all rooted in the KKK, otherwise known as Aryan Nations or America's Promise for New Israel. Purely anit-semitic and racist in every way. They have twisted the word of God just as badly as others out there. Be careful of what you choose to defend. It's a slippery slope.....

      March 9, 2011 at 3:45 am |
  2. Converted

    These comments remind me of the picture of the little mouse giving the approaching eagle the finger... like it would really stop the inevitable.

    No one knows the day or hour but it will come and you will be held accountable... even if you are giving God the finger.

    God Bless!!

    March 8, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Gryph...

      "Absentee landlord.. serve that... NEVER!" comes to mind, if there is a god, he's got a ton of sh!t to answer for. Nice choice of visuals! But the same could be said for asteroid or comet strikes, biological warfare, flu virus, nukes.. the list goes on and on... all of which way more likely than the return of a guy who's been dead (presuming initial existence to begin with) for 2000 + years. Frankly I'm more concerned that a FORD will be the death of me, all hail the might FORD!

      March 8, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  3. James

    There are a number of now very successful christian sect founded founded on events like this; they predicted a date, waited, nothing happened. How did they respond? They "rationalized" it, and went on believing, proselytizing, and generally only became a bigger deal ... So those waiting with smug reproach ... don't bother. These are the same people that think the Earth is only thousands of years old. They read the Bible with much less intelligence than our ancestors centuries ago, when bright people still bothered to. What we have now are mainly the dregs of the needy and psychologically unbalanced ...

    March 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  4. Eco Eric Talaska

    Another false prophet. Major fallacy #1: If it came from the Holy Bible, why do they call it "news"? It isn't news and it's not from the Bible either.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  5. Gryph...

    But guys they have already explained away that if it doesn't happen, its because they haven't solved the riddle or they weren't worthy, it like saying partly cloudy...they have aligned an excuse for their prediction, and if it don't happen blame high pressure. Thats the kind of faith we get, we might be right this time, but if not, heres why.. excuses excuses.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  6. Phill

    This group promotes Pure Hate and Evil.... The Website that CNN Links to this group states that the blame for the End is on the Gay's ??? ... CNN is Promoting Hate speech, for what ? ... some small group of crazie's ??? ... Oh yea, they also belive Jews are evil.... LoL

    March 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  7. weng jia bao

    i think those people r just insane,they really should find something to do.the world will probably end at 2012,if u want to leave your house,car or other possetions.give me that cauz i need it!

    March 8, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  8. csp

    I find it ironic that the very people who teach tolerance and peace have such hate towards religion. You think without religion there will be peace? Evolution teaches survival of the fittest. Which means even without religion we would still have wars and violence. Lenin and Stalin despised religion. In fact Lenin did everything he could to rid Russia of any form of religion...how many deaths are they responsible for? I love how the left cry out free speech yet you want to silence religion. Not all Christians, Muslims and Jews are extremist. In fact the majority are not but you you do not hear about them. All you get to hear about are the nut jobs, like the ones in this story. And for that many of you are basing your opinion on all who believe. Oh and how many of you non Christians who say we are teaching our kids to believe in fairy tales teach your kids to believe in Santa, the tooth fairy and/or the Easter bunny?

    March 8, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • For Real?

      So when they are 10 years old, do you also tell them that god doesn't exist?

      March 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  9. Charlie the clown

    I kicked these littering loonies off my property in Scotts Valley CA due to heavy complaints and litter from their cult caravan. I am so for a organized ban on religion, it would do this world good. I hope that on 5/22 these idiots all cult-suicide their way to greatness..

    March 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  10. Gryph...

    If I am a sinner then I sin for the facts, If you are a saint for your beliefs, you are blissfully ignorant for you blindness. The opening parable of the bible is like the first rule of fight club, you should keep you hands off the apple or you will gain knowledge, and be disowned... you do not talk about fight club..

    March 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  11. john

    We won't die on may 21 its just some big mumbo jumbo though our planet will be anihilated in a few billion years by the sun dying but its just some crazy religous thing that somebody made up but the earth will not die until the sun basicley eats it when it expands and dies. I still say it is somebody religous happy and the world will not end untila few billion years.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  12. Tyhouston

    I see it like this.
    On the 22 of May those "chosen" will just disappear.

    The cult leader will magicly have all their money, and possessions and then...

    At a undisclosed time those who just disappeared will all be found in a MASS GRAVE.

    This is why religion is a bad idea for the weak minded.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  13. Shaan Phillips

    you have the right to believe whatever you want to believe in, however, it doesn't mean that your belief is true.you are one of millions of people if not billions who will never humble themself and cry to god. I hope that God could change you by his mercy. I really hope that you could be forgiven as veryone else.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  14. Gryph...

    If Jesus is comming back, why not do it at Christmas, why May 21... 5 2 1... that 8... 5 2 1 2 0 1 1, thats 12... 5 2 2 1 0 1 1 , nope its not phone numbers, though Honolulu Boat dealers uses that number... hmm... do share please, Why may 21... I'd love to see the Math.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  15. Jason Dowdle

    All religions and all their apocalyptic visions have one thing in common. They arrogantly place man at the center of the universe. How arrogant is it to think that some god will destroy the whole universe, killing everything in it, just because we didn't kowtow properly? There is no god, and religion is poisonous mythology. If the end of OUR world comes it will be because we inflicted it upon ourselves, and will most likely be precipitated by delusional believers, convinced they are working the will of a kind and loving god by inflicting untold pain and suffering. The sooner we are rid of the believers and their beliefs, the sooner we can get on with making a better world right here. Jesus, come get your followers. Please.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  16. Jack

    Six o'clock – TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign towers.Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn...........and I feel fine.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  17. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    There are no gods or goddesses, demons or devils, ghosts or goblins. Religion was invented by man to control the masses.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  18. Sosa

    No one knows the day or time of the end. Not even the angles in heaven, Pretty sad that these preachers/pastors don't know this. Times are bad and are getting worse. Read Mathew 24.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Shaan Phillips

      no one knows from themself we all don't know when the time comes until God reveales the time. remember the bible says that God will do nothing without revealing to his prophet. and rember in Daniels book God said that the truth about the end will be revealed in the last day.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  19. norman

    Destroy jerusalem (old holy city) with people flee is a key of end of our earth.. better do it now
    i know Jesus Christ still wait for jerusalem to be destroy .. we face food shortage and toomuch polluations DOWN jews Amen

    March 8, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  20. A Gal in Idaho

    No. I do not believe the teaching of Harold Camping. Do your research to learn this man has duped more than just himself over and over. He has just found another year. Do I believe in a God, Supreme Being? Yes. Do I believe in Jesus as the Christ/Messiah? Yes. Do I believe that the bible states that ONLY the Father knows the hour and day of Judgement Day? Yes and last time I checked Harold Camping is not God. I choose to believe that my Father knows better than Harold Camping and in God I WILL trust. I can't make you see my way of thinking, I'm not telling anyone to have faith in what I have, and from what I have experienced with God is so far from this form of teaching that I heartily have faith in God's ways not Harold Camping and Family Radio.

    Yes this is going to have backlash, this May 21st may turn out very badly for those who are becoming over zealous and having the wool pulled over their eyes. I pray for everyone involving themselves so heartily, this is sad and it is going to cause hurt. I hope that Harold Camping will take to heart what Biblical scripture talks about of TEACHING...there are consequences to those to teach and preach incorrectly, that can cause further heartache and doubt between any person and God. I keep this verse in my mind when I teach my children, in Sunday school and in discussion with those who are learning of God's relationship with them.... Matthew 18:3 – 6 (This is Jesus saying) 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. 6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

    These are verses that are repeated in Mark and Luke as well.
    Believe what you may – those who take the time to read what I say. No amount of caustic remarks will make me turn my faith for another's. I know that God wants us to proclaim Christ as the way, but he also says to walk on when someone doesn't turn to faith in that, to not war with another man for the sake of God. God, in my understanding, gives man many opportunities to excercise free will, so I'm not asking anyone to bend to mine.

    So I ask that those who do not believe as I do to understand that not all Christ followers believe as Mr. Camping does, that we are not all raging Pat Robertson's, or hate others of other religions. I am not a soldier of Christ. I will not kill in God's name as he would not ask me to do so. I am simply pointing out that the God that I know (not the one you don't believe in or the one Mr. Camping says is telling him something) wouldn't seek to have me FORCE my relationship with him on YOU. Thank you and Cheers!

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

      RIGHT ON!!!

      March 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Gryph...

      Careful those more faithful than you will soon picket your house and excommunicate you as a fence rider. That kind doubt in your fellow faithful can lead to dissent in the ranks. I applaud your need to balance faith with sense, and if you are true to it you are one of the very very few.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:07 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.