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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. Tony

    The world as I know it ends every day, and it has nothing at all to do with God and/or the bible.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  2. devil choker

    Bible versus Mayan calendar? .... http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/mayan-calendars-2012-doomsday-prophecy-wrong/story?id=11926347

    I.Q. points for me. Two messiah regimes devastating the world over materialistic gain. That is your apocalypse. I pit Dallas versus Tehran. ....WILL....YOU.....PLAY.....A.....GAME?.....

    March 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  3. Darkangel

    huh last time i check we don't know when it comes if people can read the bible

    March 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  4. pa66

    The claim that judgement day occurs on May 21 2011 is false.

    High Kohen

    March 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  5. Adam

    If the world is ending in their eyes then why are they worried about having hand sanitizer in the RV? (View the video, hand sanitizer is in the cup holder)

    March 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Believer

      Well I guess the greatness of our country is we can think and feel what we want. You can believe or not believe.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  6. Sybaris

    We can only hope that some religious whacko doesn't develop a Savior complex and kill us all by creating their own doomsday self-fulfulling prophecy.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  7. Curious

    Which time zone are we talking here??

    March 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • navhav

      lol.. this is an awesome question, which time zone exactly .. LOL ..

      March 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Bob

      Harold has been asked that question. He doesn't know. The leading speculation is noon in Israel. Not to worry though the event kicks off with a world wide earth quake and Jesus in the sky for all to see.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  8. ubidoob

    Since it's out of our control- why even think about it?

    But- as a person who grew up in an ultra-conservative church setting, I can say that the other two people who've commented on Matthew 24 are spot on. Since no one knows but the Father, it's unlikely he'd code it into the Bible. I thought there was also text in the bible about avoiding people who say they know when the end of the world is as they will only lead you astray or convincing you to do stupid crap... Like into buying RV's with big-ass signs on the sides........

    March 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  9. ThomasPaine

    So What I'd like to know is if this dooms day thinking is purely a U.S. fanatisim? What does the rest of the world think of the Mayan count? How come we don't see any stories on what the Mayan people are doing to prepare for this end(What's left of them)? Since this is supposedly the end of the world coming what's the Vatican's position on this supposed date? I doubt these questions will be answered by someone with some actual backing or will simply be brushed under the big dooms day carpet. Just some real questions for a change.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  10. GaryM

    Sad, really. If these Christians believe in what Jesus says, then he says most clearly that no one will know when the end will come. End of story. Yet, they persist in trying to "decode" what they assume must be hidden secrets in Scripture. If God really is so smart, He would know that humans were/are too stupid to even understand correctly and live by the OBVIOUS messages, let alone secret hidden meanings. If were were smart enough to understand correctly and live by the obvious messages, we wouldn't need to find any more insight from alleged secret codes. God is God, not Dan Brown.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  11. shocker

    I can't believe just how far CNN has sunk. Journalism-wise, it's getting to be like Fox, only without über-wacko Beck. A tiny redemption, but inadequate to justify the middle N.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  12. Cindy

    May 11, 2011 eh? How very specific.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  13. Richard Allen

    i bet the devil is saying "I don't even have to try anymore. these morons will just end up killing themselves with all their 'End of the World' crap."

    March 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Dave N.

      You're correct Richard! People are just being blinded as the Bible predicted.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @RIchard and Dave

      The devil is an imaginary made up character to explain away the bad things in this world. and what a BAD explanation at that, infact, the worst I've heard.
      How come believers don't apply any logic and reason when they supposedly 'think'? it always amazes me!

      March 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  14. JenevaKay

    Oh! Goodie! I'm filing for an extention on my taxes!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  15. StudentOfReligion

    I've attempted to contacted this group several times asking to allow me to do research on their church memebers' reactions after May 2nd gets here. I want to give an honest evaluation of how overwelhing evidence contrary to one's established faith effects that faith. They have yet to respond.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Jake

      You'll be waiting a long time for that response.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  16. Believer

    I believe in God and the after life but I also believe the Bible was somewhat a book of stories with some truth to them. I believe God created everything from the beginning of time. I also believe that there is no perfect and he himself chances with time, but what he is ,,,is what we should all strive for. No matter what you believe, when it's over it's over so live your lives the best you can with good values, religious or otherwise. Much of what I do is based on right and wrong, not so much religion.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  17. concerned citizen

    ...ending again?....I wish these experts would get it right. They've been getting this wrong for so long, I think their credibility may begin to suffer.....In the meantime, eat drink in be merry, for on May 21st we die (again..)

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

      Concerned Citizen, first, I agree! Please let us either stop speculating or nail down a date on this frickin end of the world stuff. They are worse than most meteoroligists predicting the weather. Second, I LOVE.. LOVE.. LOVE your Dave Matthews Band reference. Ya know what I think about the end of the world? Eh.. got central heating and I'm all right! But seriously I'd rather be sittin on top of the world with my legs hanging free!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  18. pinhi

    I wish it would come sooner

    March 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  19. mightyfudge

    Go in the Rapture in May or wait for the iPhone 5 in June? Tough call.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  20. joseph

    jesus christ himself said no one knows the hour not even the angels in his kingdom .
    if people read the bible and understand what's in it , god prevented us from knowing this hour and he warn us from even trying. you have to be ready for his coming and not worry when he will come , be ready

    March 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Dave N.

      ABSOLUTELY CORRECT JOE! If all these folks would actually take the word of God seriously, they'd know it's not a laughing matter! Of course, it doesn't help when 'groups' of people claim to know what the Lord expressly stated we WON'T know. Thanks Joe for boldly proclaiming Jesus' saving and true gospel just as I am!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • PMC

      Took the words right out of my mouth!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      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 12:17 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.