defending the First Amendment against the Christian right ...

Jews On First!

... because if Jews don't speak out, they'll think we don't mind


  Skip Navigation Links

Return to the page you were reading


May 21, 2011. The end of the world passes uneventfully

This topic can be found on the News and analysis about the organizations and people of the Christian Right page. Please click here.

Doomsday Q & A

A JewsOnFirst Discussion of The Dynamics of Doomsday Events with Prof. John Hubers

JewsOnFirst..org, May 22, 2011

When the "Rapture" or "Doomsday" predicted for May 21st by fundamentalist preacher Harold Camping became national headline news, we thought it would be useful to explore the underlying dynamics of such events. We turned to John Hubers, a professor of Religion at Northwestern College in Orange, Iowa, who observed that "doomsday soothsayers" offer structure and certainty to followers whose ranks swell in times of uncertainty. Hubers also noted the effect on many Christians of end-times novels and discussed the difference between Camping's predictions and the end times beliefs of Christian Zionist. Continue.

Top of Page

Doomsday ministry scrubs end of world predictions from website

Dan Merica, CNN, October 28, 2011

(CNN) - The Christian radio broadcasting network that touted Harold Camping's failed doomsday predictions may be getting out of the prophecy business, adopting what appears to be a vaguer vision of the end times.

"We are to live so that we are ready for the return of Christ, and even pray for it," according to a Family Radio statement obtained by The Christian Post. "But we also rejoice in every new day, that we've been given another day to occupy and serve our Lord." Continue.

Top of Page

Radio host says Rapture actually coming in October

Garance Burke, Associated Press, May 24, 2011

OAKLAND, Calif. – A California preacher who foretold of the world's end only to see the appointed day pass with no extraordinarily cataclysmic event has revised his apocalyptic prophecy, saying he was off by five months and the Earth actually will be obliterated on Oct. 21.

Harold Camping, who predicted that 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven Saturday before catastrophe struck the planet, apologized Monday evening for not having the dates "worked out as accurately as I could have."

He spoke to the media at the Oakland headquarters of his Family Radio International, which spent millions of dollars_ some of it from donations made by followers — on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the Judgment Day message. Continue.

Top of Page

Apocalypse not now _ and how we saw it

Ted Anthony, Associated Press, Forbes, May 22, 2011

NEW YORK -- Where were you on the day the world didn't end?

Did you, like many thousands of others, turn to a social network and confess to the world something you had kept hidden? Did you laugh it off and make jokes about not having to go to work Monday? Did you pick your favorite end-times pop song and blast it on the car stereo?

Did you maybe scoff a little while wondering - just a teensy bit, in a tiny place in the very back of your head - what you might do if Saturday were indeed your final day on the planet? Continue.

Top of Page

Will the rapture, like everything else, get here late?

Lauren Bishop, Cincinnatti Enquier, May 20, 2011

If Judgment Day is indeed Saturday, as some believe, perhaps there's no better place to be than Cincinnati.

That's what 31-year-old Jonathan Goolsby of Clifton figures, citing the quote often attributed to Mark Twain, but never verified: "When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always 20 years behind the times."

"If the rapture does happen (Saturday), will it actually happen here in Cincinnati, or will we get a 20-year grace period while everyone else is dying?" Goolsby wondered. "I guess we'll have to call Indianapolis or Columbus and see if they pick up." Continue.

Top of Page

Harold Camping: The Man Behind 'Judgment Day,' May 21, 2011

Jaweed Kaleem, Huffington Post.com., May 19, 2011

Behind thousands of “Judgment Day” billboards on rural highways and city skylines, responsible for a small army of volunteers traipsing across the country to warn that the world will end on May 21, is a frail, 89-year-old California multimillionaire who runs one of the largest Christian radio networks in the world.

Each day, Harold Camping’s slow and sonorous Bible readings and his Open Forum call-in show broadcast for hours from the Oakland, Calif. headquarters of Family Radio, where Christian gospel and shows with titles such as “Beyond Intelligent Design” and “Creation Moments” punctuate his words. Continue

Top of Page

In the end, rapture believers weren't going anywhere
To many who put stock in Harold Camping's prophecy about the end of the world, disillusionment was profound. It ended up being apocalypse … not

Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times, May 22, 2011

Sue Espinoza was planted before the television, awaiting news of her father's now infamous prediction: cataclysmic earthquakes auguring the end of humanity.

God's wrath was supposed to begin in New Zealand and then race across the globe, leaving millions of bodies wherever the clock struck 6 p.m. But the hours ticked by, and New Zealand survived. Time zone by time zone, the apocalypse failed to materialize. Continue.

Top of Page

Harold Camping is at the heart of a mediapocalypse
Doomsday predictor Harold Camping is less than rapturous over the focus on him as a result of his prediction that the world will end Saturday.

Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times, May 21, 2011

Reporting from Oakland -- Harold Camping's promised final show Thursday night was much like his others. For an hour and a half, before a backdrop of wood paneling and fake plants in an Oakland studio, the self-styled scriptural scholar fielded calls from the devout, the derisive and the curious. He is 89 and bone-thin, making the leather-bound Bible on his lap seem enormous, and his voice was slow and unflappable.

Near the show's end, Camping cut short a caller to announce that this would be his last appearance on the "Open Forum" TV and radio show he's hosted for decades. After all, he explained with a warm smile, the world would be ending Saturday night. Continue.

Top of Page

At Apocalypse Central, Preparing for What Happens, or Doesn’t

Jesse McKinley, New York Times, May 20, 2011

OAKLAND, Calif. — If Harold Camping and his followers are correct, Gertrude Stein’s famous comment about Oakland — that there is no there there — may finally be true. If not, some local churchgoers say they will set up encampments outside the headquarters of Mr. Camping, the self-proclaimed biblical soothsayer who has prophesied the end of the world on Saturday, with an eye toward consoling the disappointed. Continue.

Top of Page

The End is Near? The False Teaching of Harold Camping
The church is not to be arrogantly setting dates, but instead to be eagerly waiting for him. Of that we can be truly certain.

Albert Mohler, Albert Mohler.com,, May 16, 2011

Harold Camping is now warning the world that the Day of Judgment will begin at about 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2011. The 89-year-old founder of Family Radio has made such pronouncements before, most recently in 1994. He now says that he simply miscalculated then, but he is absolutely certain that he has the right calculation now. You have been warned.

Actually, millions of people in America have been warned through Camping’s radio program and by means of the more than 1,200 billboards his ministry has put up across the nation. According to press reports, Family Radio has put up 2,000 billboards in other nations, as well. Continue.

Top of Page

Divining Doomsday: An Old Practice With New Tricks

Barbara Bradley Hagerty, National Public Radio, May 12, 2011

Margaret Pease stands on a corner in downtown Pittsburgh, handing out doomsday pamphlets.

"JUDGMENT DAY FOLKS!" she yells with a volume that would make a drill sergeant proud. "May 21, 2011!"

For the past seven months, Pease has been crisscrossing the country in a caravan with eight others, warning anyone who will listen that God's wrath is near. Continue.

Top of Page

 By JewsOnFirst.org:
 Our most recent reports and conversations

There's Still Christianity in the Public Schools?. Jewish students down South face aggressive proselytizing by their evangelical classmates and scant protection from their schools, reports Jan Jaben-Eilon. Some Jewish youth who lack a strong Jewish foundation have fallen prey to efforts to convert them. Go.

Cincinnati Jews and Christians "Stand Together" in Support of Israel. Cincinnati Jews and Christians sponsored an event to bring together Christians and Jewish supporters of Israel. The focus was on why the Jewish community should welcome Christian support. Go.

Messianic Jewish Groups Claim Rapid Growth. Most American Jewish organizations shun these quasi-Christians, although they embrace Christian Zionist organizations. However, the messianic groups are increasingly finding acceptance in Israel, where the lines are blurring between them and Christian Zionist groups. Go.

Christian Zionist's Night to Honor Israel in Albuquerque. The Jewish Federation of New Mexico partnered Christians United for Israel in a public event in Albuquerque featuring CUFI leader John Hagee and his high profile friend and supporter in the Jewish community, talk show host Dennis Prager. Go.

Victory in Delaware School District Case. The Supreme Court's refusal January 19th to hear a case about religion in public schools that JewsOnFirst has followed for years was a resounding victory for the Jewish "Doe" family in Delaware who brought the case, and for countless families across the country. Go.

Deconstructing the Bush Administration's Faith-based Initiatives. In an interview with JewsOnFirst.org that will be of particular interest to congregations, Prof. Robert Wineburg discusses how Bush officials re-directed $2.5 billion in social welfare funds from mainline religious agencies to local religious congregations and inexperienced faith-based agencies. Go.

Kentucky’s Ark Encounter. Avi Milgrom gives us a detailed look at the Ark Encounter, a planned $170 million, 800-acre creationism theme park, subsidized by state and local government funds. The nearby Creation Museum, a partner in the Ark Encounter project, hires only Christians. Go.

Denver Jews Force Federation to Withdraw Invitation to Rev. John Hagee. We talk with three local Jewish leaders about the Denver Allied Jewish Federation's "disinviting" Pastor John Hagee, who was to have keynoted a November dinner, and replacing him with David Brog (pictured), the CEO of Hagee's Christians United for Israel. Go.

Christian Zionist Leader Hagee and Rabbi Speak at Colorado Event. Rev. John Hagee and Orthodox Rabbi Selwyn Franklin spoke at a Colorado church's Night to Honor Israel on October 16th. A share of the collection plate was destined for the Ariel settlement on the West Bank. Go.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Terms Palestinian State Victory for "Jihadism". We have exclusive coverage of Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon's speech at a Christian Zionist program at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. The program was sponsored by the Jewish Federation, right-wing pro-Israel groups and Christian organizations. Go.

JewsOnFirst Reports on The Response. Blatant and repeated calls for Jews to accept Jesus punctuated Texas Governor Rick Perry’s August 6th Response revival meeting. There were also calls to redeem the United States for Jesus. Our eyewitness report has details. Go.

Inside CUFI's 2010 Washington "Summit". As in past years, JewsOnFirst has posted a report from inside the Washington DC conference of Christians United for Israel, the leading Christian Zionist organization. Go.

Inside CUFI's 2011 Washington "Summit". As in past years, JewsOnFirst is posting a report from inside the Washington DC conference of Christians United for Israel, the leading Christian Zionist organization. Big eyebrow-lifters this year were Glenn Beck's keynote speech and a CUFI board member's wife saying that dividing Jerusalem will delay the return of Jesus. Go.

A Muslim Community Center? Why Not?. We analyze the arguments, pro and con, in the fierce debate over Park51, the proposed Muslim community center near Ground Zero in the context of longstanding national conversations about the meaning of religious freedom and what sort of country we are and want to be. Go.

Doomsday Q & A. When the "Rapture" or "Doomsday" predicted for May 21st by fundamentalist preacher Harold Camping became national headline news, we thought it would be useful to explore the underlying dynamics of such events. We turned to John Hubers, a professor of Religion at Northwestern College in Orange, Iowa, who observed that "doomsday soothsayers" offer structure and certainty to followers whose ranks swell in times of uncertainty. Go.

Judge rules National Day of Prayer Unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb ruled in a case against President Obama and the National Day of Prayer Task Force that the law is unconstitutional because it "...endorses prayer." We have posted case documents, including the deposition of Shirley Dobson of Focus on the Family (pictured), who leads the Task Force. Go.

You can see all JewsOnFirst.org reports and conversations here.



 
 
Portrait Photographer
Videos by JewsOnFirst.org
image loading Martha Schaerr, Stealth School Board Candidate in Montogomery County, Maryland. Schaerr is not telling voters she was a leader in the Christian right's fight to block the school district's new sex education curriculum -- primarily because it teaches acceptance of homosexuality. Go.

image loading Video in the Radio Talk Show Studio - Part Two of our on-the-air interview with Dan Gaffney, morning talk show host on WGMD-FM on Delaware's Eastern Shore. Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak of JewsOnFirst debates concepts including "absolute truth" and the relevance of Jesus with Gaffney and his callers. Go.

image loading Video in the Radio Talk Show Studio - Part One of our interview with Dan Gaffney, morning talk show host on WGMD-FM on Delaware's Eastern Shore. JewsOnFirst went to Delaware's Eastern Shore to report on the settlement of two Jewish families' lawsuit against the school district for sponsoring religion. Go.

image loading The Christian Zionist's Bible: A Jewish Perspective. Our new educational video on a challenging topic -- how some on the Christian right read "the Jews" into the New Testament -- features Dr. Michael J. Cook of Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati in conversation with Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak of JewsOnFirst.org. Go.

image loading An Enduring Passion: Sharon Raphael and Mina Meyer. On their 37th anniversary, Meyer and Raphael married in California. The political activism that has been a constant of their life together dates back to the founding of the gay liberation movement and it continues in their opposition to Proposition 8. Go.

Pastor John Hagee's Fixation on Iran: A Self-fulfilling Prophecy? We examine how the Christian Zionist leader's belief in the end times drives his hard-line political position on Iran, and ask: Is Hagee's Iran policy about Jewish safety? Or Christian Apocalypse? Go.

Pastor John Hagee's Preoccupation with the Jews. With narration by Ed Asner, our video shows a number of instances in which Christian Zionist leader Hagee's understanding of Jews and Judaism should give Jewish organizations that support him cause for concern. Go.

Campus Jewish group sponsors trailblazing forum on Christian Zionism. The complete recording of Christians, America, and the Holy Land -- Examining Christian Support for Israel, sponsored by the Chicago Friends of Israel at the University of Chicago. Go.

Iran and the End Times at Pastor John Hagee's 2008 Washington Summit. When John Hagee's organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) held its July 2008 summit at the Washington DC Convention Center, JewsOnFirst.org reporters were inside and outside. This video shows some of what we saw and heard, despite CUFI's extraordinary efforts to shield the meeting from public scrutiny. Go.
Buy Rabbi Michael Cook's book, featured in our video The Christian Zionist's Bible, from Jewish Lights Publishing. Click here.