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Apocalypse No: Doomsday Believers React to Rapture Fail

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Posted on May 23, 2011
huffingtonpost.com

Here we have a very interesting object lesson on the psychological phenomenon known as rationalization. Followers of Family Radio’s self-styled prognosticator Harold Camping, who encountered some problems with his theory that the world would end last Saturday—specifically, in that it didn’t end last Saturday—had to come to terms with the empirical evidence that they were, in fact, not taken up into the heavens May 21. So, what now?  —KA

AP via Huffington Post:

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By gerard, May 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Re: The End of the World, in case anybody wants to know:  This myth has occurred over and over again, among people treasuring their long past histories and stories from pre-rational times—usually linked to religious dogma.  For example:  Aztec, Mayan, Christian, Egyptian, Hindu, Judaism, Norse, Zoroasterian, and Native American. (Buddhists are lucky!  They never assumed the world was permanent in the first place, but treated it as mere illusion and impermanence. They seem to have been much more interested in “right living.”  Hurrah for them!)

Students of mythology suggest that perhaps myths of the end started with fear of fire, and/or fear of natural disasters.  It has thrived best in societies that contain a high degree of insecurity when the masses of people have to struggle to stay alive.  It appeals because it offers an end to earthly suffering, and replaces it with rewards for good behavior (compliance) and punishments for bad behavior (revolt).  Very useful to “leaders” holding onto power by intimidation.

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By GW=MCHammered, May 25, 2011 at 9:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A great opportunity to learn about themselves dodged again. The anxiety is just too much to bear. So they project it onto their imaginary parental figures.

Better anxiety relievers…

“When I’m sampling from your bosom
Sometimes I suffer from distractions like
Why does God cause things like tornadoes and train wrecks?

When I’m swimming in
When I’m swimming in your ocean
Floating aloft on creams
And scented lotions
Well, I can get pretty side-tracked
I hope you’ll understand

When I kneel before you bounty
Sometimes I wonder if there could be really
UFO’s that come from other planets
And when you let me taste your fingers
I take them like fruit and as I linger I
Wonder if my seed will find purchase in your soil…”

Crash Test Dummies
God Shuffled His Feet

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By Gary Mont, May 24, 2011 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

purplewolf:And as for the Rapture, perhaps the name of Raptor fits better as these predators of the weak minded and gullible sheeple.

Have to admit, I have absolutely no idea how anyone can actually turn off enough of their brain to believe the story presented in the Christian Bible is an accurate, unadulterated, complete account of actual events in human history.

At the very best I can only see it as possibly a Reader’s Digest version of a huge timeline, missing 99.99% of its historic content and written for a people who had lost all semblance of civilization, language, learning and logic, by another people who hated them pasionately.

But then, I really can’t stand followers of any sort.

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By Gary Mont, May 24, 2011 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael:So, you guys give some well earned jibes and i will take some ribbing over it, because I listened to his radio stations a long time ago, and didnt guess he would come to this end.

No jibes, no ribbing, just a possible avenue for investigation if you really want to understand the man’s motives.

Check into whether or not he was getting donations in order to spread the word around the world.

One of the articles I read last week noted that somehow Camping had managed to spread the word massively, globally, in extremely little time, but they did not know how apparently.

Perhaps he used social networking, but my guess is simply that he was broke, or close to it and needed an influx of new cash - especially if a lot of his early adherants reacted as you did and he was losing his regular flock as well.

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By Gary Mont, May 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

gerard:The “Rapture” refers to the end of the world as described in the Book of Ecclesiastes and purports to be the vision of St. John.

You da man. I used to like digging through the old texts for nuggets, but my patience has diminshed as I aged.

My thanks.

I was starting to think someone just made it all up one day and it caught on. That particular Book doesn’t have a nasty history of being added later and re-written thirty times does it??

Never mind, I’ll go do my own research now. Thanks again for the starter though.

And no - not suprised at all.

And don’t get me wrong here. While I’ve run into way more Christians than any other sort of religious type (so they’re the first that comes to mind always), all religions make equally nauseous.

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By purplewolf, May 24, 2011 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

Surfnow: Michelle Bachmann thinks the earth is only 6,000 years old.

Gary Mont: Well the fundie family next door to me is still here, so I must assume that this Rapture thing did not happen. And as for the Rapture, perhaps the name of Raptor fits better as these predators of the weak minded and gullible sheeple.

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By OzarkMichael, May 24, 2011 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

I heard about this story on Truthdig. So I expected the preacher to be an unknown nobody and Truthdig was just making something out of nothing, but no, Harold Camping was(is?) a big name in Christian broadcasting.

I remember his name. I listened sometimes, this was 20 or 30 years years ago. I recall he was too culturally narrow for my taste, everything from music to social involvement was very narrow and i disagreed with that so i didnt like his show much but other shows on his station were good.

Harold Camping was against Christians discussing politics on his show so he prohibited any mention of social issues, politics, and political questions from his own radio program. i didnt like that. But he did a Bible study I think and his stations had Bible reading often so i listened to that. i remember his name and i would recognize his voice if i heard it.

And then he took a bold step and booted off his radio stations any shows that dealt with any issues except pure religion. Thats when i stopped listening because i disagree vehemently with that.  It was a long time ago, and I havent listened to his stations since. i didnt think he was bad, just too much of a Pietist. Thats not crazy, I just thought he was wrong.

Thats why this rapture announcement is a shock. What the heck? he seemed so strict(too strict) about everything i cant imagine how he got into this. I will try to figure out what happened to the guy.

So, you guys give some well earned jibes and i will take some ribbing over it, because I listened to his radio stations a long time ago, and didnt guess he would come to this end.

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By gerard, May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont:  The “Rapture” refers to the end of the world as described in the Book of Ecclesiastes and purports to be the vision of St. John.  Read it and weep. And I hope you now that these scenarios have appeared time and time again throughout human history in all kinds of cultures, among people of all skin colors, almost without exception—especially those cultures who enjoy concentrating on “sin.”  They particularly take hold in times that are tough for the common and uneducated people—apparently because they furnish a picture of a better world for those who obey dictates and a worse world for those who do not.  Are you surprised yet?

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By Tim, May 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Have these people ever heard of Charlie Brown and the football?

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By aaron, May 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think KA’s introduction completely misses on the ACTUAL content of the video. In the video, only one individual seemed to be perplexed about the rapture fail. Everyone else seemed far more amused than upset. While I imagine that somewhere there were distraught followers, the AP certainly didn’t catch them on this video.

This was not, as KA describes, “a very interesting object lesson on the psychological phenomenon known as rationalization.” Rather, these folks were mocking the rapture, cheering: “We’re still here, we’re still here!”

We can try to bend stories into whatever narrative we want, but I have come to expect at least a modicum of reliability from TruthDig—and that appears to be absent here.

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By Gary Mont, May 24, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Are ya’all certain it didn’t happen!

Did anyone do a head count of Christian wackjobs lately. Are any of ‘em missing??

Would anybody notice??

Common folks. Lets face it. If the rapture happened, the rest of us would be so much better off. I for one am rooting for a rapture ASAP.

Question:
Where in the Bible is the Rapture described??
I can’t find it.

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By AmishEcsasty, May 24, 2011 at 11:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course the Good and Righteous Rev.Camping is a mathematical genusis.
Not only did he figure out when the world will end, he figured out how to
run a big ” non profit” i.e. tax free media empire. Trust me folks, he is
laughing all the way to the bank. Just like Jim and Tammy Fay Baker and
Jerry Falwell and Joel Osteen and Billy Graham and about a dozen other
millionaire men of the cloth. Maybe the real end of times would come if
our Government would change the tax laws that protect zealots like him. Of
course most of them are big contributors to the political party that
promotes the virtues of “family values”.

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By The Real Deal True Prophet, May 24, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The REAL end day is May 28th…! PREPARE YOURSELVES EARTHLINGS!

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By SarcastiCanuck, May 24, 2011 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who is the bigger fool????The fool,or those that listen to him?

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By reynolds, May 24, 2011 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

from all the carrying on about it you’d think the world
not ending was the end of the world.

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By Simran, May 24, 2011 at 6:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it means we are all “left behind”, here till the end of ‘our’ days, either make it your hell or make it your heaven, your choice!

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By surfnow, May 24, 2011 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

Well it did happen 65 million years ago.But then again Harold Camping and his followers aren’t buying that- since the world is really only 13,000 years old.

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By Octopodian, May 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

The problem with belief is you can believe damn near anything.

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By berniem, May 23, 2011 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

“In Heaven There Is No Beer”, “Heaven Is A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens”, “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven But Nobody Wants To Die”, Heaven-Home Of The 72 Virgins! Reality has never cured insanity!

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By Ibett, May 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Orrrr it’s a crock of poop!

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By natsel, May 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Still here, which means either I wasn’t picked or I’m wasting my time in heaven
posting on Truthdig.

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By gerard, May 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Other curious forms of rationalizaton:

1.  Because it didn’t happen this time, it will happen next time.
2.  Because it didn’t happen this time, it will not happen next time.
3.  Because it has been proposed before and has never happened, the next time somebody proposes it, according to the laws of chance, it may happen.  Or not—whichever comes first.
4.  According to the Bible there are true prophets and false prophets. The people who wrote the Bible are all dead, and the true prophets, because they lived in Bible days, are also dead.  That means that people who prophesy today are all false prophets.
5.  Etc. etc.

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