The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Opinion

May 25, 2011

VALLEY: Apocalypse tonight, details tomorrow

MEDINA —  

Wow! Is my face red? I’m so embarrassed. I really hadn’t planned on submitting a column this week. I didn’t think I’d have to — with the end of the world scheduled for last Saturday and all. Now, here I sit pounding the keyboard. Working on something, anything — just to meet deadline.

I’m referring to Harold Camping’s apocalyptic prediction that things as we know it would cease to exist.

Camping, an 89-year-old retired engineer and founder of Family Radio International, has been preaching that a doomsday event was in our immediate future. (I’d hazard a guess and say that if someone wanted to take issue with Camping for using the word “family” in his outlet’s name, they’d have a legitimate argument. Anyone who goes around preaching and scaring the “by Jesus” out of (or into) people — by claiming that the end of the world was at hand — would have a hard time getting an invitation to any family function that I was organizing.)

According to him, a cataclysmic event was to occur at 6 p.m. May 21, resulting in no more countries, no more cities and, unbelievably, no more Geico commercials.

If you haven’t noticed, it didn’t happen.

Predictions about Armageddon can get messy.

Keith Bauer, a Maryland truck driver and follower of Camping’s, didn’t bother going to work last week. He loaded his family into a minivan and drove the 3,000 miles to Oakland, Calif. — headquarters for Family Radio International — to await the upheaval. Apparently, he, too, thought that “California is the place you oughta be, so he loaded up his truck and ….” well ... you know the rest.

He rationalized his actions by saying, “I wouldn’t have gotten paid (for last week’s work) anyway, if the Rapture did happen.” He then added, realizing his folly, “It’s God who leads you, not Harold Camping.”

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