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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. BLT

    In the Bible Jesus said" I and the Father are one. If you have seen me, you have seen the Father". How could The Lord Jesus Christ himself not know when the catching up of the true believers will be. Easy, He does know. In the scripture of Mathew, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" The Son here is not Jesus. It is the Son of perdition. If you look at the original writings in the Greek, It is not presented the same way it is in every other part of the Bible where it talks about Jesus. So it's not Jesus. Jesus never ceased to be God. So this is not a good reference to make when saying no one can know the Day of judgment. Read Thessalonians 1:5 verse 4 where it states:But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5But Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. The watchers will know. The non watcher will not know.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • wkingitout

      This was actually the perfect reference. Only the Father know [you can't twist your way out of this one – it is simple and straight forward, uncomplicated, no need to go back to any original scrolls for clarification so please stop]

      March 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Megen

      Thank you wkingitout! 🙂

      March 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  2. Jackson

    Steven, maybe u should learn how to spell "artical" properly, before worrying about how to end an essay!!

    March 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  3. Red

    I didn't even think Skynet existed yet, let alone it was on the brink of becoming self-aware.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  4. Megen

    Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him (Matthew 24:42-44).

    PLEASE i would like to hear this "group" of people to please explain this verse they seemed to skip over! and perhaps this one....

    For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
    the meek wil inherit the earth!

    March 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  5. conradshull

    In the event of Rapture, can I have your car?

    March 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  6. conradshull

    What? No articles on CNN about bat boy?

    March 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  7. mmarion

    End of the world May 22, Does that mean that people will no longer need to beg the Banks to modify their rediculos loans, that i no longer will have to pay tax,that all corporate greed will come to an end,that i no longer have to worry about health care. Can the end come sooner?

    March 8, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  8. Peteccc

    What really defines the “End of the World” some would say the world ended in December 1941, or November 1963, or even September 2001, but, it didn’t. the Mayan calendar is used as the corner stone stating that the world will end, maybe the Mayans reached a logical stopping point and got bored with counting any further. Or maybe the way we think of the world will end in May. I would bet that if you asked a German, if they thought the world ended when Hitler took over, you would get the answer that “yes it did end”

    March 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • comicsanserif

      That's just it. If we've learned anything, it's that "everything" is cyclical. The Mayan calendar is not a foretelling of an ending world but rather a representation of the end of a cycle. But what baffles me is why we even care? There have been many calendars in the history of humankind. We just "choose" to pay attention to a few.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  9. Billy

    This is one of the many reasons that I no longer consider myself a believer. So much of what the so called faithful spout is based on fear. Fear of hell.....Fear of rejection.....Fear of death.
    I got tired of constantly being afraid of everything and never measuring up to some ideal version of life that was preached to me by people who, suprisingly, seem more likely to commit the very sins that they railed against sunday after sunday after sunday.
    And it's a fear that still messes with me to this day.....Years of indoctrination has done it's job.
    Christopher Hitchens has likened beleif to feeling as if one is ruled by a celestrial dictatorship. It makes sense...Dictators often rule by fear....Whether it's the end of the world or the "satanic panic" that was spouted through the eighties and nineties or the fires of hell, it's a fear that I got tired of being controlled by....And it's a fear that we would all do well to get past in order to move forward as species.

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

      Well said

      March 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • wkingitout

      Billy – I understand your feelings, but I disagree. This is the very reason you have to work out your own salvation – not based on teaching of others or the actions or failures of others – but through your own personal relationship with Christ. God bless you and keep you. He is very real.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Believer

      Billy, if you have been taught the fear of God, then you were taught wrong. As i have said I believe much of the Bible is story telling. I don't fear God anymore then my parents. I don't want to disappoint Him. I tend to stay true more to what I tell him them probably to people I exist with or even myself. I think that's because I have a greater respect for Him then myself or the others. He has given us free will to do what we want and live as we see fit while on earth. I don't understand why it's so hard for some people. Believe or not, why aren't people able to be considerate and descent to each other? I truely don't get it.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  10. Lavon

    Darn, 10 days before I retire.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  11. John

    All those believers who are convinced the world will end should sell all they have and give to the poor, and go and follow Jesus. As for me and my house, I'm planning on waking up May 22, 2011 and December 22, 2012 the same way I did today. CNN will not interview these people on May 22 just like on January 1, 2000, they never went back and interviewed the Y2K doomdayers and stockpilers. "Last week you were convinced this was the end and dug out this bomb shelter. Here we are. Tell the world, do you feel stupid?"

    March 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  12. Steven

    LOL, this was an excellent write up on such a crazy thing going on. As a student now, I struggle to find a good way to end an essay. I have definitly learned a thing or two from this artical. great job.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  13. InEarnest

    I'm still wondering what I am going to do on December 22, 2012.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  14. The Obvious Guy

    Oh yeah, I have seen this story already on billboards, on-line like CNN, and one place in particular – topix. com's Honolulu forum, where I engaged one of these doomsday nutjobs. Since this particular one claimed to be near Omaha (which coincidentally is the Tahitian word for urinate) I proposed a party at 11 am Omaha time on May 22nd at Levi Carter Park, 4405 Carter Lake Dr, Omaha NE
    I invited all these doomsdayers to come to the party too, mainly just so that we can all point and laugh at them. Come one, come all!

    March 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  15. Patrick F

    Just follow the dollar trail... As long as churches can make money we'll have to live with quackery. Hornets are yellow and black to signal 'stay away from me', religious zealots are nut jobs whose beliefs and actions say 'I'm a bit wacked, you might want to keep your distance'. As for the end of the world as we know it... Even the smallest slice of time ends the world continuously and we see everything completely different – for the next smallest slice of time.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • comicsanserif

      Masterfully stated. I just wish I understood why so many "choose" to believe in lies.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  16. abdi

    god only knows when the world will end not us human so i kinda take this as a joke

    March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  17. CrustyOldGuy

    After the Rapture, could I have your TV and your pickup? You know I've always admired your shoes. Could I have that old dining room table? And there's a couple of chairs I could use.

    Thank you Austin Lounge Lizards, for foreseeing such a disaster as this.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • comicsanserif

      What's really sad is the more people they get to follow them, the more likely the event is destined to happen. Right now it's just an idea, but the more people they get to believe in it, the greater the panic that ensues the closer we get to that particular date.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  18. Brie

    Damn..thats my birthday..Guess Im leaving the world the same day I came into it.. nice!

    March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  19. db1216

    Uh oh, overflow, population, common food, but it'll do.
    Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed dummy with the rapture and the revered and the right – right.
    You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty psyched

    March 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  20. notsoserious

    Why don't we all just be ok with who we are and leave everyone else alone? If your destin to go to heaven then work on going. If you are destin to go chill with aliens or become a new person or even just die and that's it then whatever.

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

      Because people won't shut up about it. People are insanely in love with the idea of the intangible. They love spreading literature and talks about things that either do not matter or cannot be proven. Why don't people just shut up and focus on what matters? Live healthier, build better homes, brush your teeth so they don't rot, smile more, have fun with your loved ones, enjoy the rain when it falls, etc. God apparently created all of this beauty in life and all people do is talk about how it's going to be destroyed. It's pathetic.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:21 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.