Posted at 12:59 PM ET, 05/24/2011

Harold Camping should keep on rescheduling the Rapture


Scott Noble, a member of Camping's congregation, stands in the empty sanctuary May 22. It wasn't the first time Camping's prophesies let him down. Noble had also believed the religious leader's 1994 Rapture prediction. (By Brandon Tauszik/Sprinkle Lab)

Despite the predictions of great earthquakes rumbling across the planet, Saturday came and passed with little fanfare.

“I’m in shock, I’m totally bewildered. ... I have no answers,” Harold Camping, originator of all that doomsday buildup, told Good Magazine reporter Brandon Tauszik on Sunday morning. (See his full photo essay here.)

By Monday, Camping seems to have figured out a few answers: The Rapture came. It was invisible, and Oct. 21, 2011, will really be the end of the world.

Camping’s predictions, despite being roundly disabused by jokesters on Twitter and religious leaders, did have a positive side. Unlike other past “end of the world” movements, there were no deaths. There was a small amount of fear people had to cope with, and it did leave some followers in dire financial situations. But on the whole, people seemed to embrace the news as a chance to savor life a little bit more.

Facebook and Twitter filled up with “if this is the Rapture, I must be in heaven,” riffs as people reported their final-day plans, which seemed to include more cocktails than not. On Vimeo and YouTube, videos popped up titled “After Rapture Ride” and “Rapture Cruise.” People filmed themselves enjoying a typical Saturday afternoon, but with the added knowledge that it might be their last.

In a way, Camping gave us an excuse to savor life a little bit more. Even the cynics got to indulge in the “what if the world is ending” game. It also made people pause and ponder some of the bigger questions that can easily get lost on your average non-Rapture sort of day.

The Rapture, it turns out, wasn’t such a scary thing after all. Here’s to enjoying the days before Oct. 21.

By  |  12:59 PM ET, 05/24/2011

 
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