Apocalypse on Its Way? Maybe someday

By Lauren Ressler –

Nice call Harold Camping.

Saturday, May 21 came and went without a trace of hellfire. Harold Camping, a radio-broadcaster in Oakland, California, is known for (wrongly) predicting the end of the world. His forecast of ‘Judgement Day’ on the 21st caused quite the stir across America. This false foretelling left many Americans rolling their eyes at the prediction of an end to the world.

“I don’t even really pay attention to them,” said senior Emily Hess about these horoscopes of doom.

Oops, Camping didn’t mean May 21, apparently after his prediction failed to materialize, he meant October 12. Whatever.

The future of mankind? photo courtesy of gomlab.com

“The end of the world is fine by me, but it can’t be predicted,” added librarian Sue Hostetter.

Harold Camping predicted that on May 21st, 2011 the world would be judged by God. More then 200 million people would be swept into heaven while the rest of humanity would be left to suffer for five months until the final end in October.

Apocalypse predictor Harold Camping, photo courtesy of cogwriter.com

Many religions around the world have different beliefs about what an apocalypse will entail.

According to a blog on Beliefnet.com, most Christianity-based religions believe the righteous will be raptured, or swept into heaven where they will watch the damned suffer for 1,000 years.

Judaism teaches that the exiles will be gathered into Israel, the dead will be resurrected, and everyone will live in a redeemed world. Followers of Islam believe that on Judgement Day, non-believers will be distinguished by having more sweat and God will give all a sweet drink to end all thirst.

Camping collected thousands of dollars in donations to warn others about Saturday’s not-end-of-the-world prediction. Courtney Hutchinson and Ryan Creed of ABC News said he used the money to post more than 5,000 posters, flyers and billboards warning others of the upcoming catastrophic events.

Maureen Klingaman, a French teacher at Penn Manor, recalled hearing about a young couple who planned to spend all of their money before Saturday so they could enjoy life before ‘doomsday.’

Joe Newby of The Examiner writes about these ‘Real Victims of Harold Camping’, outlining the disappointment some faced after the world was intact after Saturday.

“It seems that for some entrepreneurs, the anxiety of the end of the world has created a stable market,” wrote Rachel Brown of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Brown shed light on several businesses that are using the concept of the ‘upcoming apocalypse’ to make money. Eternal Earthbound Pets has acquired more than 250 clients who have bought insurance for up to $135 each, believing their beloved furry friends “will be raptured into heaven ahead of the apocalypse.”

Another business, Rapture Wear, sells jewelry inscribed with biblical verses.

Some email companies, according to Brown, are offering to send a ‘final correspondence on their behalf’ for a fee… assuming God will allow internet access after the Rapture.

“Hopefully the messages won’t be, ‘Ha-ha, I told you so; You’re going to Hell,” quoted Mark Heard to Brown.

Also, perhaps to appeal to the younger generation, there is a Rapture Detector app available for $0.99 on the Droid app market. Supposedly this app can alert you thirty minutes before Judgment Day begins.

Numerous websites and blogs have been dedicated to the doomsday predictions. Apocalypsesoon.org opens with a quote from the Bible stating, “The Revelation  of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants the things which must soon take place (Rev 1:1).”

A blog called Strange Days relates everyday occurrences, such as the Wiki leaks, DNA manipulation and the separation of church and state to the ‘foolishness of mankind’ and the end of the world.

“No doubt, the zombie apocalypse is on its way,” said Trevor Troup.

In fact, there are many things that point to an end to society as we know it. 2012apocalypse.net is a website dedicated to the factual details pointing to a possible apocalypse. The Mayan calendar, which was sacred and religious in their culture, suddenly ends on December 21st, 2012. Adrian Gilbert and Maurice Cotterell in the book The Mayan Prophecies explain that an end in sunspot cycles may flip the sun’s magnetic field, causing destructive earthquakes and floods.

The Christian Bible itself has many references to a catastrophic end to Earth. The Book of Revelation describes a rapture complete will hail, fire and flooding. In Revelations 8:10 it says “and there fell from Heaven a great star, burning as a torch”. This may relate to the scientific prediction that the asteroid Eros will pass Earth on January 31st, 2012.

The Prophecy of the Popes of the Catholic church claims this is the second-to-last pope. It says the last pope will be Peter the Roman who will serve until Judgment Day.

When all of these supporting facts are lined up together, it may seem that an end t0 Earth is possible, but the general consensus at Penn Manor is that an end to the world, although possible, cannot be predicted.

“It’s in the Bible (that) no one knows when it will happen,” said Troup.

Some students at Penn Manor had more lighthearted ideas about an apocalypse. Jocelyn Jones thought everyone will turn into Justin Bieber. Another student said she was scared of zombies.

Jokingly, an anonymous staff member said, “It would be fun to pop some zombies.”

Although Camping created a buzz about an upcoming Judgment Day, students are continuing to go on with everyday life and doubt that a prediction will ever be correct.

“I’m a religious person,” said sophomore Savannah Santiago. “When God wants me, He will have me.”