March 10, 2012

Harold Camping Thinks His Botched Predictions Were Beneficial

harold campingRemember radio preacher, Harold Camping? He predicted the rapture would happen on May 21, 2011, and that the world would end on October 21 of the same year. Many of his followers trusted him and gave away their possessions, quit their jobs, and the like. When May 21 passed without incident, Camping went back on the air and insisted that the end of the world was coming on October 21. He simply omitted the first half of his prediction (i.e., when the rapture would begin) and doubled down on the second. When October 21 also passed without incident, Camping simply disappeared. But he's back now and finally ready to admit that he was wrong - sort of.

In his letter of apology, Camping blames himself for predicting specific dates but refuses to question his god. He acknowledges that he was wrong but only about the timing. And he gives himself quite a bit of credit for informing people about the end of the world he still thinks is coming at an undetermined time. He appears to see his failed predictions as beneficial in that they informed people about the rapture, Jesus, and other elements of Camping's odd faith.

In many ways, Camping delivered a classic non-apology apology of the sort that would have made U.S. politicians proud. I thought it was quite shameful that he's simultaneously trying to take credit for teaching people about his faith. But at least he's not just revising his predictions, at least not yet.

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