Rapture a No-Show: Camping’s Followers Still Stupid
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
“It has been a really tough weekend,” said Harold Camping, the 89-year-old fundamentalist radio preacher who convinced hundreds of his followers that the rapture would occur on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Massive earthquakes would strike, he said. Believers would ascend to heaven and the rest would be left to wander a godforsaken planet until Oct. 21, when Camping promised a fiery end to the world.
But on Sunday, almost 18 hours after he thought he’d be in heaven, there was Camping, “flabbergasted” in Alameda, wearing tan slacks, a tucked-in polo shirt and a light jacket….
“I’m looking for answers,” Camping said, adding that meant frequent prayer and consultations with friends.
“But now I have nothing else to say,” he said, closing the door to his home. “I’ll be back to work Monday and will say more then.”
Here’s the kicker. Have you wondered during this entire process just how gullible, naive, superstitious, and credulous a person has to be to first, listen to Family Radio; second, somehow understand Camping’s ramblings to be in any way logical; and third, and by far most depressing, send the man money!?!
Well, the SFC also interviewed a Camping follower after the non-event:
The middle-aged Oakland resident said he’d been listening to Camping since 1993, when he said the world would end in 1994.
That was strike one, the man said. And this is strike two. Even so, he said, that doesn’t mean the message is wrong.
“I just know he’s biblically sound,” the man said. “I’ve never been one of these guys who think everything he says is true.
“I don’t think I am going to stop listening to him,” the man added, heaving a deep sigh before continuing: “I don’t know, I gotta listen to him on Monday, see what he says on the radio.”
My friends, I’m not prone to vulgarity on this blog, but this does seem like a good time to ask just what *&%$#@* Bible this guy is referring to that in some manner makes Camping ‘biblically sound’.
Is it the Bible that says:
“ You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deut. 18:21-22)
“But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true” (Jer. 28:9)
“When all this comes true – and it surely will – then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ezek. 33:33)
Or how about:
But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. (Deut 18:20)
While these shenanigans were happening I felt bad for the people whom Camping was duping out of their money. I mean really, for the most part we aren’t talking about the sharpest knives in the drawer, or people who have a good set of categories by which to interpret the phenomena around them. From an epistemological level, mainly we are talking about people who are willfully ignorant, and who have been socialized and inculcated with faulty lenses for understanding reality.
No more pity and empathy. If after this epic debacle they continue listening to this fraud and giving him money, I–and hopefully everyone else–will only heap scorn and mockery, until these persons experience enough cognitive dissonance in their lives to challenge their ‘beliefs’ and ‘ideas’ and acquire a little bit of knowledge.