All aboard the Jeebers train. Again.
End-of-the-world-is-nigher Harold Camping now says May 21 was the ‘invisible Judgement Day’, and that the Earth will in fact be obliterated in October. Here, Rachel Corbett talks us through the comedown.
According to the false prophet Harold Camping, we were all supposed to be stepping over fire and brimstone on our way to work this week, but instead we’ve been left oscillating somewhere between confusion and disappointment.
To be honest, when I didn’t wake on Sunday morning to discover my backyard engulfed in the flames of hell, I was mildly upset. I’d really been looking forward to catching a ride to work with one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse but instead I had to go back to killing the planet slowly with my mindless consumption of fossil fuels, and take the car. How boring.
Despite my obvious distress, there were other individuals at a greater loss than I, care of Harold’s second round of incorrect predictions. I was only left with a slight feeling of disappointment because I didn’t get to ride sidesaddle with Death, but what about those poor people who actually believed their ticket on the Jeebers train was booked and confirmed for 6pm Saturday night?
Somebody should have warned them that ‘Harold Camping’s Train to Salvation’ has a worse reliability record than CityRail.
Miscalculating the end of the world is obviously slightly more substantial than incorrectly predicting the arrival of the Inner West Line, but at no point, post non-existent Apocalypse, did anyone stand behind a lectern and take responsibility for this timetabling error.
Instead Harold comes out after two days in hiding, to tell us all that, oopsy daisy, he’d interpreted the Bible incorrectly and what he meant to say was that the end of the world is actually locked in for October 21. Thanks for the heads up Harold, but if it’s all the same to you I might still plan my costume for Halloween.
This guy has been shouting his message from the rooftops for years and happily taking his supporters hard-earned cash in the process. Yet, instead of practicing what he preaches and doing a bit of old fashion repenting, Harold just dished out a liberal serving of spin and carried on with his life as if nothing had happened.
Not only that, but when journalists had the audacity to ask him to explain himself further he said: “We don’t need to talk about it anymore. The world has been warned”. Well isn’t that convenient? I guess talking about it would just delay your trip to the airport so you can go and spend the rest of your follower’s money in relative peace.
Come Sunday when all of his ranting and raving had amounted to nothing, the only explanation that was given from the offices of his radio station was ‘we’re not quite sure what went wrong’ and now it’s ‘oops I forgot to carry the 1’? You’d get a more apologetic “mea culpa” from a waiter who’d forgotten your complimentary bread sticks.
No doubt this complete absence of explanation is more than adequate comfort for those devoted followers who used the money they’d saved for their children’s education to spread his slightly inaccurate word.
Hundreds packed up and sold their possessions in anticipation of what was to come, and while Harold is Camping in name only, a large proportion of his followers will be doing it literally, after they disposed of their properties, thinking they’d be decorating their new clouds by now.
Of course, it could be soundly argued that if you’re stupid enough to jump on a bandwagon as un-roadworthy as this one, you deserve to end up in the breakdown lane. However, it does seem a bit rich that the man driving this lemon doesn’t have to offer any greater explanation than ‘Sorry! I was never very good at reading comprehension’.
I will say that despite holding onto the hope that a bloke like this isn’t due for an eternity on the good side of the Pearly Gates, I was actually disappointed that his disappearance over the last few days wasn’t the result of a quiet trip to heaven. I wondered whether Jeebers had quietly caught the lift down and whisked his followers away while we had all been busy sinning, without his usual pomp and ceremony.
Perhaps the Son of God had mellowed a bit in his old age, and realised that he doesn’t always have to be so ‘showbiz’ about his achievements. I’d always thought that the loaves and fishes business was a bit over the top, to be honest. You wouldn’t win any friends on Masterchef with a move like that.
Despite this, the reality is that Harold Camping did indeed get it wrong….again, and despite abdicating all responsibility up to this point we can only hope that he eventually comes out to meet the masses with his cheque book in hand and one Almighty apology at the ready. It’s what Jeebers would have wanted.
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