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The gods don't care about Harold Camping's math

<p>You&rsquo;d think Harold Camping would know when to shut up, already.</p>

You’d think Harold Camping would know when to shut up, already.



Harold is the 89-year-old evangelist from Oakland, California who managed to convince a lot of gullible people that the world was coming to end Saturday (and it would have spoiled a long weekend, too).



Then as Saturday dawned on Business as Usual, Harold compounded his cuckoo quotient by claiming it was a mathematical error and the real end of the world is still coming on Oct. 21.



Those people who sold all their worldly possessions to prepare for Apocalypse Now are stuck and will have to make it until October with just the clothes on their backs until they are saved or taken up or whatever.



Harold tried this trick before in 1994 and it didn’t work then either. Same problem -- mathematical error. Harold may be one heck of a preacher, but he should consider remedial math.



Still, it’s hard to blame Harold. He’s a fire and brimstone evangelist who predicts the end of the world. It comes with the job description. When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you’re a doomsayer; everything looks like doom.



And we in the media are complicit, promoting Harold’s Grand Delusion with unseemly glee, lending credence to an old man’s lunatic ravings.



As a story, it’s been just too much fun to pass up. And I’m sure I wasn’t alone as I opened my eyes Saturday morning, and looked around with just a touch of smug relief.



Still here.



Cautionary note: Just because it’s a bunch of baloney doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. Stars explode every day; asteroids plow into planets. And come Oct. 21, we could be the victims of a cataclysmic coincidence, and there’s Harold going “I told you so” as he gets taken up. “Next time, you’ll listen. Oops, my bad. There is no next time.”



The truth is (and I can’t believe I need to say this) whatever does or does not happen to the world on Oct. 21 will have nothing to do with some old guy from Oakland. There are 170 billion galaxies in the known universe and each galaxy has between 200 and 400 billion stars. It’s more than a little difficult to believe that God will point a big old finger at the tiny third planet circling around one of those 400 billion stars, and say “That’s it, folks. Rapture time!” She’s simply too busy to correct Harold Camping’s bad math.



Hallelujah, I say.

 
 
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