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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. Chips Handon

    If you truly believe the world is ending on May 21st... then can I have your stuff?

    March 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  2. Ricky

    Harold Camping leader of the family talk radio had predicted the end of the world in 1994. Here he is trying to do it again.

    "Jeremiah 28:9: The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him."

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/end_wrl12.htm

    March 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Harold camping, false prophet.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  3. wimsy

    Sad statistic: 40% of the American people believe that God created the earth less than 10,000 years ago, and literally created mankind with fully-formed Adam and Eve in the garden. Ignorance this profound and extensive makes one cry, but it's easy to understand how a bunch of misfits in an RV could capture America's attention.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • (another) JC

      People this dumb vote Teabag/Republican!

      March 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  4. Pat

    No one knows the day but the Father. I'm wondering how these guys know it's going to be this May 21. Believe me I wish it was even sooner. The sooner, the better.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      It's Harold Camping nonsense. He takes various pieces of scripture and twists them around. With these various pieces of scripture he calculated that date. He uses the idea that even when scripture says we don't know the day or hour, it doesn't say that we can't not know it. I believe we are living in the end times, but there are so many things from Revelations that has not happened yet and I'm pretty sure they won't happen before Oct 21 which is the day this group says the world will be destroyed by Jesus.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  5. stevec

    Dead fish washing ashore .... dead birds falling from the air .... Charlie Sheen fired from "Two and a Half men" ... the world IS coming to an end.

    I would like to get 5 days notice – as I'd like to step all over my credit card before the end.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  6. Michael

    If the world will end on May 21, what will become of all the naysayers of 2012? The Mayans, and all the professors of the date will have a lot of explaining to do if that happens.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Michael

      They would be dead.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Michael

      so in being dead, would they not know sarcasm? Or how everyone wants to pinpoint a time we as humans will die, maybe to try to create fear, or maybe because they own a business and want to sell stuff for us to stockpile for our bunkers? things we'll never use?

      March 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  7. Ryan

    These people are sheer ludacris. They claim that they are acting as activists of God; trying to convert everyone before end time is too late. Yet for as much good as they think they are doing; they apparently are illiterate. If they were to read the Bible; the one thing they are trying to preach to people about is that in there it talk about the end times; however upon closer inspection they would realize that "No Man knoweth the day, time, hour or year, except my father." – as quoted by Jesus himself upon said apocolyptic times. These people make me laugh.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Ryan
      Don't you think its convenient that Jesus did not set a specific date as to when the world would end? If he did specify a date, that date would come and go and he would be wrong! Just as Jesus was wrong when he said he would come back after the last person of his generation died! ("I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." – Matthew 24:34) Guess what, Jesus never came back because he was just a man. plain and simple.
      Ryan, if u were Jesus and had to choose between specifying a date for when the world will end or keep people guessing for an eternity, what would u choose? Seems pretty obvious choice to me!

      March 9, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  8. Bob Dole

    What time zone does God work in? See, I live on the continental U.S.'s west coast, meaning it will be May 21 for the vast majority of humanity before it is for me. Perhaps we should all go to Hawaii to put off Judgment the longest? Or maybe we could hop the date line right when May 20th becomes May 21st, so it will be May 22nd, thus skipping D-Day altogether! I'll rent the yacht. RSVP on this board.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  9. Adam

    Yeah, well my birthday is on 12/22.. so i guess if this ridiculous shindig doesn't go down on 5/21, then I can still have one more birthday before 12/21/2012.. OR i could get back to studying.. becoming educated.. and not wasting my time writing a ridiculous comment discussing asinine claims of the end of the world.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  10. WOBH

    I'm looking at my Blackberry and I'm afraid I can't fit the end of the world into my schedule. I have meetings that day and the whole week after. I can pencil the Four Horsemen into my schedule the third Tuesday from NEVER.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  11. John - NJ

    The world is already in the stages leading to the end of life as we know it. If you voted Tea Bag/Republican, you already know that it is true.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  12. Montello

    Does that mean the end of Washington, D.C. too, or did the government make itself exempt?

    March 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  13. John A

    I think it's crap...my birthday is May 22!!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  14. Paolo

    ...and I feel fine.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Cindi Knox

    Anyone who has seen "The Price Is Right" knows that, when the last bidder thinks the bids are too low, she or he bids the high bid plus one.

    For this round of "The Time Is Right", I'm bidding that the end will come May 22, 2011 or later.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Michael

      lolz. You so dumb.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  16. antic

    I hope it's the end. Nothing sounds more appealing than total oblivion.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Paolo

      You can score total oblivion whenever you want, good sir, all one needs to do is take a long walk off a short pier.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • antic

      not when the lake is frozen...

      March 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  17. Stubbycat

    If the world ends, mortals will simply be pitched into another sphere of mortal existence (evil) until they awake from their dream of beings mortals and come to terms with the immortality that is their truly divine nature as sons and daughters of the Divine. This is what "salvation" really means.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Michael

      You mean this is what salvation really means to you. You're imagination made these facts up 😛

      March 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • (another) JC

      Wow! Can I get me an RV and follow you, 'cuz you know the Truth

      March 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • JuliannaMKH

      Wait....isn't this what happened at the end of Lost?

      March 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  18. Kevin

    Mat 24:36-42 (NIV) "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."

    March 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • (another) JC

      So what??

      March 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • wimsy

      No one on Heaven or earth knows who wrote the book of Matthew– except that it certainly wasn't Matthew, who was long dead.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  19. Pomaray

    The 6 trumpets mentioned in Revelation have taken place during the Bush Era. What is going on now is also mentioned in Revelation that the people who have been mislead, lied to, jipped will revolt against their leaders. It is plain from
    scripture, this earth was Eden. This earth will be Hell to some as it is purified of evil. The saints will be translated or raptured to a sea of glass while this earth is being purified.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Michael

      Babel. Isn't it funny how people will give up their ability to be rational and logical for dividends they think they will collect in the form of an afterlife. The only reason, or at least the main reason, that people believe is because of something promised to them in return. If Jesus claimed to be the son of God, preached wonderful practices of morality, and was an overall inspiring person but said that there is no afterlife, Christianity would have died out a long time ago.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      @Michael...Not neccessarily. The Bible clearly states in various places that one would rather not be born than go to hell. So even if there was not a promise of Heaven, dying would be better than going to hell where there is eternal pain and suffering. This is where people get the phrase, "fear God". If you have fear of God, it is because you know you have sinned and are not worthy of being in his presence in Heaven, which basically means you would be cast into hell. Thankfully Jesus dying on the cross changed all that.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Sean

      Hey um buddism has no afterlife? Why hasn't that died out by your logic

      March 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Oops, I meant dying and having your soul destroyed upon death would be better than having your soul go to hell.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Dave

      If I go to Hell, it won't be that bad. Any place along the equator that I have visited can get pretty hot in the summer months, so I figure I would be acclimated to it in a matter of weeks.....BBQ's, hot chicks......you get the point.
      All of these posts are so entertaining. Live the excitement of today, not in the fear of what tomorrow may bring.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      There was no eden and adam and eve never existed. Its easy to know this given the facts of life.
      1. Scientific FACT: If a brother and sister have a child together, there is a high probability of that child suffering from retardation.
      Based on this fact, why isn't most of the world suffering from retardation if we all came from Adam and Eve?
      2. Scientific FACT: The first early humans were walking this earth 200k-500k years ago, and came out of AFRICA.
      Based on this fact, how does the Adam and Eve story hold up to such a vast error in timescale? God created the world in 7 days, and even if you say that 1 day = 1000 years, the number is still way off!
      3. Scientific FACT: The stars we see in the night sky are just other suns (some larger than our sun, some smaller). They were also formed BEFORE our sun.
      Genesis 1:3 says: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. <– This means that the sun was created.
      Genesis 1:16 says: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
      Why did God make the stars AFTER our sun?? It contradicts FACT.

      With so many obvious flaws and contradictions, I don't understand why believers haven't figured out that adam and eve is just another creation myth. Since the first book is a myth, how does anything else in the bible, like the revelation, hold true to you and not strike you as hogwash??

      March 9, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  20. derp

    I wish these guys would pick one day and stick with it.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • phearis

      hahahaha I was thinking the same thing. This is the 5th or 6th time this group has said the world was going to end and guess what happened on all of those previous days? NOTHING! Now, let's take a wild guess what's going to happen on May 21st.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:40 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.