Oh they make you laugh, don’t they?
What does Tris, I hear you ask....
Well American evangelical preachers of course, silly...
I mean take this one. This dude called Harold Camping, who is 89 years old, is predicting that the world will end on May 21st. 2% of us will be “raptured” to heaven, and the rest of us will be going to hell. (Can you imagine what the crush will be like down there?)
Mr Camping isn’t just telling his congregation from the pulpit that this is going to be their fate. Oh no, and this is the bit that actually makes me laugh. Mr Camping is a radio evangelical preacher who speaks to his “parishioners” through the Family Radio Network, funded entirely by donations from listeners. There must be quite a few of them because the assets of the radio station are around $120m and the network now owns 66 stations in the US.
Mr Camping, who makes programmes in 48 languages (well not him personally, but his network), has tens of thousands of followers across the world. He also owns stations in South Africa, Russia and Turkey.
Camping, a baptist, started his Family Radio around 60 years ago. He does not believe in evolution and is against all abortion, not unusual beliefs in the Sarah Palinesque world of America's religious right.
He has convinced some disciples of the veracity of his predictions enough for them to give up their jobs and travel around America warning people of the fate that awaits. One of these men a 32 year old good ole boy from Kansas called Adam Larsen, said that this was an important task. He went on to say that his favorite pastime was hunting raccoons... but that this was more important. Tells you all you need to know. I wonder if they’ll give Adam his job back...
Of course the obscenely rich Mr Camping is belting and bracing and so has also paid for a massive billboard advertising campaign. I’m not entirely sure what advertising it will do. I mean you can’t really be “out of town” for the big event. I guess he may be thinking that if a few spend more of the time left to them praying and atoning, there will be a little less of a crush down there.
Oh well, by the sounds of it there’s a money making racket at the back of it somewhere... or maybe Mr Camping is getting mixed up between the end of THE world and the end of HIS world... Well, he doesn’t look too good, despite the money, does he?