For months now, all the talk has been about groups believing and proclaiming that at 6 p.m. May 21, 2011, (though the time zone has not been specified), Judgment Day will begin.
So bust out the R.E.M. and read 5 fun facts about how the end is nigh (or un-nigh):
1. The Man: Harold Camping, 89, is a radio evangelist and owner of Family Radio. He is also the man who says he has calculated the date and time Judgment Day will begin.
2. The Myth: According to Camping, the Rapture, when believers will be taken up to heaven, is about to occur. He also believes that "God will destroy this world on October 21, 2011." According to KXLH in Montana, Camping said, "There's going to be a big earthquake that will make the one in Japan seem like a Sunday School picnic."
3. The Legend: This isn't Camping's first go-around with apocalyptic predictions. He made the same forecast years before, believing the world would end on Sept. 21, 1994. When it didn't, Camping said he "overlooked something."
4. Many Christians and church leaders are appalled by Camping and his predictions. According to an article from CNBC, "One might expect that mainstream Christians would either dismiss Camping or ignore him. One would be wrong. From seminaries, pulpits and personal websites, the condemnation of Camping’s prediction is almost universal."
5. If you look into it yourself, you find that the Bible itself contradicts Camping. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus says "concerning that day and hour no one knows," himself included. If Jesus doesn't know, it's likely Camping doesn't have a clue, either.
This column originally appeared in Westport Patch