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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. Shalom

    "1Th 5:4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief."
    The Lord fulfilled the Spring Feasts to the day and to the hour. Study the Fall Feasts because He will fulfill them too. Note that the Feasts of Trumpets is historically known as the Feast that "no one knows the day or hour" it would begin.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  2. Unbeliever

    Believing in fairy tales will not make the end of your life any different from mine. Open YOUR eyes, believers, and see the reality of the world. There is no imaginary man in the sky. It's just us here, folks!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      I like the research you've done on this. Oh and guess where you took the line "open your eyes"? Pretty sure that's one from the Bible.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Unbeliever

      You have no idea what research I have done. Show me your research to prove that something happens after you die. And I believe the line, "Open your eyes" has been used once or twice outside of the bible too.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @TheTruth72

      If the bible is true, clear up these contradictions in the adam and eve creation myth for me:
      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.

      Please......I'm waiting on your answers. If you can't answer then the bible is wrong and was not divinely inspired. it was just written my men at that time to try to explain what little knowledge they had of the world.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  3. Randomquips

    I believe in God, but man, I turn 21 on May 31st, and I'll be mighty ticked off ifin God takes that away from me. He'll never hear the end of it!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Lanfear

      My bday is Dec 21 and i'll be damned if God ruins my "End of the World" themed birthday party in 2012!

      March 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Randomquips

      I'll drink to you at 12:01 AM, December 22nd.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Seems like you love this world more than God. You know what the Bible calls that? Pretty sure that's breaking the first 2 commandments.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  4. Yovanis

    I should stop renovaiting my home is costing me a million .

    March 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  5. Valerie

    If you are indeed a true Christian, you know that only God alone knows the day and the hour of the second coming of Jesus. Jesus himself said he does not know, only His Father in Heaven knows.

    Are there signs? Yes, I do think we are seeing signs of the end times. Does that really matter though? How about the scope of our own lives? Any one of us could die this very weekend, and we know it not. So how will you live today? What will you say to those you love TODAY? Will you help someone less fortunate than yourself? Will you ask for forgiveness from one you have hurt in the past? Will you forgive someone that has hurt you? These questions are what are TRULY important, TODAY. Our Lord and Savior Jesus tells us, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matt 6:34)

    March 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  6. Donaldbain

    The end times? What is this, the middle ages? How does this justify as any kind of news? There have been doomsday cults and "the end is near" types for a long time, and they all have one thing in common. They were/are all wrong. "It's in the bible", is an automatic drop in credibility for any argument you would care to make. See you in June.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  7. lacsd

    For the people who do not belive in what these people have come up with may 21 2011, they be wrong completely on that day, but have you seen the world news lately! Its getting worst than ever, and I feel the time near and everyone else knows this in their hearts but people of scared to admit it!!!! So instead of putting these people down, instead get in good bible preaching church and start reading your bible and get your life correct with God!!! When it does happien, you know you will be ready and have a chance for an enteral life! Amen!!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      do you realize that people decades/centuries ago thought the same thing that u r now? when world war 1 happened, people would say, "look, the bible has prophesied this would happen and the world will end soon". then nothing happened... World war 2 came about, same old thing. Fires/earthquakes/tsunamis/hurricanes happen all over the world and u say 'bible was right, end times are near!'.
      ANY bad event that happens, whether natural or caused by humans, you connect it to the book of revelation. When will you see the err of your ways and think logically to realize that revelation is myth, just like the book of genesis??

      March 9, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  8. Geert is Great

    Does that mean I don't have to pay my taxes this year?

    March 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  9. terry Moore

    Religion and Prediction : How to be and sound like a moron..

    March 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  10. Dina

    Christ *

    March 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  11. Lanfear

    Up here in Canada, this isn't even newsworthy lol. No one is talking about it. I am embarassed to tell my co-workers that this is happeneing. People really are THAT dumb, huh. Poor brainwashed kid even doesn't feel "right" about what she's doing. If anything good comes of this maybe those children will learn that the bible is a bunch of crap anyways.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  12. Dina

    Lord Jesus Chriast makes his return !

    March 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  13. Dina

    God will come at his own time and date !! Every knee will bow when our Lo

    March 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  14. Jim M

    Since about 56,000,000 people die each year or approximately 153,425 per day, this prediction will be right for that specific group. My question for these people is this. When they don't die or be drawn up in this rapture concept, will they commit suicide en mass so that they can complain to God directly and call him out for non performance? Or, do they just say "Oops"? My bet is that they will just find another thing to worry about and pick another date.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  15. Unbeliever

    I find it funny that people are saying that the ones making the predictions that the end of the world is May 21, 2011 are foolish. But in the next breath they say, "Read your bible." Talk about foolish!!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • LC

      Reread the comment. "Read your bible" refers to the lines contained therein, "No man knoweth the hour". In other words, no one can predict the end of time.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Unbeliever

      @LC – understood. However, my point is that the bible is not a good reference in either argument. The cult that believes May 21st is the end of days is just as foolish as someone using the bible to discredit that notion.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  16. Mike

    Harold Camping does not preach Biblical Christian theology. I hope people realize that just because he has a radio station doesn't make him legit. He's predicted the end of the world some years back and was wrong before and he will be wrong again and that because he's ignoring clear Bible passages. Here's a clear one from Mark 13:32 and onwards:

    “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

    March 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Jesuslover

      Amen! Come Lord Jesus. But seriously, I like it that you used the Bible to back you up. God Bless.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Carla

      What's the difference? It's all myth and symbolism, regardless of the false heuristics.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Mike and Jesuslover

      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.
      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 11:52 am |
  17. Yovanis

    I will always belive in science . Religions are a romantic disease for all fanatic, lunatic and peaple full of fear not dearin to over come the truh. What a bunch of inocent people arund the world that still fall for religion. JAJAJAJAJAJAJA SILLIES.

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

    It's not the end of the world. Please, just stop this nonsense. This constant state of the world imminently ending is doing nothing but harm. This is nothing new in our history, if you look back there was never a time that the world wasn't about to end. Enough is enough already. Once 2012 passes and nothing happens, promise me you'll just stop. For the good of humanity, juts stop.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • ScienceFictionWriter

      I say keep the trend going. We need this to pay our bills.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  19. CharlySheen

    Will there be party on the D-Day? I like party and cheap females.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • carl

      we will rocking roll

      March 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • carl

      we will rockin roll

      March 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  20. Lindsay

    I guess it's a battle between the Mayans who say 2012, and God who says nope, it's 5/21/11.

    May the best deity win! Is Vegas taking bets?

    March 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Carla

      The Mayans were craftsmen devising a necessary tool for daily living. They didn't pretend to be gods. God doesn't use a calendar – He is timeless.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:52 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.