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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. indydave

    Seems like believing the end of the world is coming is more correctly *hoping* the end of the world is coming, and is a sign of many people – for whatever reason – being overwhelmed and having a hard time dealing with the increasing complexity of reality. I could make (pretty reasonable, and also very non-complimentary) assumptions about exactly what contributes to any given person feeling that way, but it's more relevant to say, many people who really, sincerely believe this end of the world BS would be more likely to be convinced otherwise a priori, if they merely felt more secure in themselves, more in control of their lives, and weren't so eager for the 'easy out' of being swept up away from it all.
    Then, in my more cynical moments, I almost look forward to, on May 22nd, or October 22nd, or whichever date would be the end of the so-called tribulation, being able to ask a true believer what the heck they really were thinking.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  2. ricky

    ye what happen to the sun flares another big joke .

    March 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  3. Mare

    Eskimo: Father, if I did not know of God and sin, would I go to hell?

    Priest: No, not if you did not know.

    Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?

    March 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  4. JerrynColorado

    Ready each day I awake .. no need to know the hour .. not so fun for the anti-christs

    March 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  5. TheDandyMan

    The date is December 21, 2012 idiots. If you're gonna scare us with the end of the world, at least get the date correctly. lol

    March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  6. ricky

    roflol!!!!!! how crazy can people get

    March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  7. Bellic

    May 21st? That's the day school gets out for us.......

    March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Only God knows when the Judgment Day will be. Anyone who thinks he knows better than God is a fool.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Aja

      EXACTLY.....YOU SAID IT>>>NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO PLAY GOD>>> So people stop trying to predict things unless you have a actual video recording of GOD HIM SELF Telling you this>> Then I suggest you live your life and life it right.

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

      Aja said: "So people stop trying to predict things unless you have a actual video recording of GOD HIM SELF Telling you this."

      Actually, this is the kind of proof that athiests and agnostics are looking for, although video can be edited to make it appear however you want. Better make it in person instead of on video.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  9. Steven

    My take is that anything seen in this world has it's cause in the unseen world. Science is fast approaching an understanding of this.( Quantum physics,the movie "What the Bleep Do we Know") To me this unseen force in the universe is God.Through out history a few men and women have discovered this as actual consciousness and have felt compelled to show mankind and people flocked to them, sensing something greater than themselves hence religion. Problem is when the originator moves on so does true understanding of the teaching and we are left in the dark for the most part with a teaching that in the most important ways is lost,corrupted and abused. Like how many people have been killed in the name of religion??? Oh sure we are more sophisticated now but I believe the true mysteries of say Christianity have been lost. I mean this is the guy who said the kingdom of God is within you and that we would do greater works that him. Anyway as far as the world ending I say don't be too quick to judge. There is a lot to research out there thanks to the internet and I believe that if you keep an open mind while putting your attention on all the changes taking place globally: volcano statistics,earthquake statistics,weather changes and the records being broken, study history(the Kolbrin bible, the Hopi), Look at Nasa web sites showing what is happening to the magnetic field of the earth and the fact that all the planets in the Solar system are being effected. Use your heart and intuition as a guide. Good Luck.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  10. FSM believer

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" – Epicurus

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out, you religious nutjobs.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  11. JoeyJoeJoe

    So, let's get this straight: God creates imperfect people, and then blames US for his mistakes. He threatens us with fire and damnation if we don't worship him, but claims that we have "free will" to choose between the two.

    Is anyone else really taking this seriously? Isn't the hand of man apparent in all of these writings?

    March 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  12. Shaking my head

    It's the end of the world as we know it every night when we go to sleep...

    March 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  13. Frank

    Since the world is ending on May 22nd where all the single married and divorced ladies at!!! Its time to party like Charlie Sheen!!!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  14. Angela

    Every day is the end of the world as we know it. Imagine how my late grandmother saw her world ending as she knew it – JUST ABOUT EVERY YEAR – from her birth in 1906 to her death in 2002!

    March 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  15. Warhammer

    I guess I'll be seeing everybody on May 22nd.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  16. Will E.

    This death-cult should be mocked mercilessly and publicly on May 22nd. History is littered with the nonsense of prophecies of doom and yet we see that when the world doesn't end, it only makes these idiots hold more tightly to their ludicrous beliefs.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  17. Brent

    The Judeo-Christian god is no more real than any other deity in human history. And so is this foolish claim that the world will end in May.

    Everyone is an atheist. Even Christians. Christians are atheists about Apollo, Jupiter, and Buddha, right?

    I just take it one god further.

    One could say to a believer: "When you understand why you dismiss other gods, you'll understand why I dismiss yours."

    March 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Will E.

      You're exactly right. Christians of all stripes demand atheists read endless theological treatises by folks like Origen, St Augustine, St Anselm, CS Lewis, Wm Lane Craig, etc., etc., or else we have no idea of the "brilliance" or "reason" of Christian belief. But have all these Christian believers read al-Ghazali and disproven his ideas? I daresay it's a resounding NO.

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

      Brent i am speechless! I have searched for a way to explain my beliefs and now i have found it! So well put and ohhhh so true!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Unbeliever

      Completely agree Brent!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  18. sanjosemike

    I think everyone should have at least one copy of both the old and the new testament at home (and don't forget the Quran). When I run out of TP I always find these books an excellent source, and it saves me time of having to drive to C***co. sanjosemike

    March 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  19. Pete H

    The end of the world comes for each of us eventually, be it May 21 or a moment from now. Live each day as if it's your last. The Bible spells that out pretty clearly.

    As for Angry/Atheist; if denying God is the route to happiness, then why are you so angry? Just what exactly does someone like you do for hope?...

    March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • devil choker

      The hope is that one day, people will stop bearing witness on each other. It is not about God or Jesus or Allah. It is about two social control devices made in God's name, run by liars, hypocrites, and criminals, lashing at each other, and consuming intelligent thought patterns like high octane gas in a luxury SUV. How do you end the game? You shoot both messiahs and move forward. Messiahs are cults. That's the problem. Keep your beliefs to yourself. Does separation of church and state exist? No. Should it? Yes. Whatever you believe is fine, cupcake... just keep taking your prozac.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  20. Kris

    Damn, that's 3 days before my trip to Europe. Sucks to be me!

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

      Europe? Cool! Can I come with?

      March 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • SoundGuy

      I don't think it is the end of the world, but I do believe that we are going to go through some rough times, as we learn how to adapt to a new paradigm of life on this planet. An era of corruption, hatred, egoism, violence and profiteering is giving way to one of love, compassion, harmony with nature and other human beings. There is a lot of psychological garbage we have to let go, and that will be painful. We should prepare by meditating a lot. I recommend meditating twice a day. At the beginning it's hard to stay focused, but you get better with time. Many sites offer help in this regard. I like the resources in sound therapy offered by TranscendentalTones.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:11 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.