Saturday, May 21, 2011

Atheists 1 - Rapturists 0

No Rapture, no rupture...skies don't open...earthquakes fail to shake

May 21 2011 07:32PM CST

(AP Photo/Dino Vournas)

The pastor of the Calvary Bible Church of Milpitas, CA, is shown above with members of his congregation he brought to the closed Family Radio station offices of Harold Camping in Oakland, CA. Camping is the 89 year-old radio evangelist who created worldwide publicity with his prediction of a rapture on May 21 that would lift all the planet's Christian faithful to heaven, leaving the remaining world population to suffer its fate as rolling earthquakes devastated the earth.

The rapture failed to materialize leaving some believers confused, while others reassured each other of their faith. Camping was unavailable to comment.

"I had some skepticism but I was trying to push the skepticism away because I believe in God," said Keith Bauer _ who hopped in his minivan in Maryland and drove his family 3,000 miles to California for the Rapture.

"I was hoping for it because I think heaven would be a lot better than this earth."

Bauer, a tractor-trailer driver, began the voyage west last week, figuring that if he "worked last week, I wouldn't have gotten paid anyway, if the Rapture did happen." After seeing the nonprofit ministry's base of operations, Bauer planned to take a day trip to the Pacific Ocean, and then start the cross-country drive back home Sunday with his wife, young son and another family relative.

The May 21 doomsday message was sent far and wide via broadcasts and websites by Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer who has built a multi-million-dollar Christian media empire that publicizes his apocalyptic prediction. According to Camping, the destruction was likely to have begun its worldwide march as it became 6 p.m. in the various time zones, although some believers said Saturday the exact timing was never written in stone. Invisible ink maybe?

In New York's Times Square, Robert Fitzpatrick, of Staten Island, said he was surprised when 6 p.m. simply came and went. He had spent his own money to erect signs advertising the end of the world.

"I can't tell you what I feel right now," he said, surrounded by tourists. "I don't understand it. I don't know. I don't understand what happened.

"Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here," he said. The surrounding tourists agreed.

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