Harold Camping’s believers sold their belongings and gave millions to the church in preparation for the Rapture.
Camping bought 5,000 billboards and spent millions to inform his fellow man that Jesus would return on May 21, 2011, to claim the righteous and leave the heathen behind to face the wrath, marking the end of the world as we know it.
Christians, who believe in the Rapture, protested Camping’s argument because he set a firm date to it, and explained that the Good Book says that one cannot know the hour of Jesus’ return.
Atheists, who do not believe in the existence of God or believe in the Rapture, challenged Camping as well and hosted a nationwide series of Rapture-themed “After Parties” to celebrate the end that they knew would not come.
Agnostics wanted proof, of course, and further questioned why Harold Camping would be the man to receive the revelation anyway.
So, did anything happen on Saturday, May 21, 2011? Well, maybe. There were freak hail storms throughout the nation’s Midwest region.
There were funnel clouds reported in Wyoming, Texas and Minnesota and tornado sightings in Oklahoma, Kansas and Wisconsin.
(One of the most devastating storms in recent memory occurred on May 23, in Joplin, Mo., killing at least 119 people.)
For his part, Harold Camping says the Rapture happened, in a spiritual way:
“We were convinced that, on May 21, God would return in a very physical way by bringing in an earthquake and ushering the final five months of judgement. When we look at it spiritually, we find that he did come.”
Believers and non-believers alike must agree that Camping’s Rapture prediction has added a boom to the Rapture-fueled economy, with a pet care business that promised owners to care for their pet after the Rapture took place, and, of course, the screen-printed T-shirts with campy slogans: “I Survived the Rapture.”
However, these start-ups pale in comparison to Harold Camping’s Family Radio International portfolio, that, according to Forbes’ Peter Cohan, includes $80 million in contributions received between 2005 and 2009. In 2009, the organization reported $104 million in assets to the IRS.
Harold Camping and Family Radio International have reset his clock to reflect the new rapture deadline: Oct. 21, 2011.
He won’t be spending millions on billboards and advertising this time around.
“We’re not going to pass out any more tracts,” Camping told his believers. “ We’re not going to put up any more billboards — in fact they’re coming down right now. The world has been warned. The world is under judgment. We’re just learning we have to look at all of this more spiritual [sic]. But it won’t be spiritual on October 21.”
Harold Camping’s Rapture is now to occur on Oct. 21, 2011. Do you believe?
Throwback Vid: Tom DeLay says, “I Wish the Rapture Would Happen Tomorrow.” In this little known 2007 video, Tom DeLay says that he hopes “the Rapture will come tomorrow.”