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AI: It’s the End of the World (Again)

This is it you guys! THE RAPTURE IS ON SATURDAY! Time to quit your jobs, buy some lead shoes or at the very least go to a rockin’ rapture party!

Now, if I have the story straight, all the good people are going to get sucked up into the sky and all the bad people are going to get left here on earth. And all this sky sucking is going to go down (or up) this Saturday.

Personally, I would much rather stick around with all the educated heathens here on good-ol’ planet earth then spend anything close to an eternity with a group of people who have nothing better to do than stand on the corner of Hollywood Blvd all day long holding signs.

One thing I will say about this end of times, not to be confused with next years 2012 end of times, is that the atheists and skeptics are being pretty gosh-darn good sports about it. Instead of spending too much time making fun of the ridiculousness of the May 21st claim or complaining about the silly billboards, it seems like almost everyone is throwing a party!

American Atheists alone are sponsoring events in four states. Rebecca and I will be at the West Coast Rapture event.

Groups are using what would just be another empty end of the world threat to try to have a little fun while simultaneously spreading ideals of critical thinking and skeptical activism.

Do you think it is better to set an example by having fun and publicizing skeptical events that coincide with end of the world predictions or should we quietly ignore them since a similar prophecy will inevitably come up again? Are we fueling the fire by adding to the rapture media attention or are we helping point out to others that this is just another day that you need not fear?

What are you doing this Saturday?

Amy Roth

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics She is the fearless leader of Mad Art Lab and cohost of Makers' Hustle Podcast Support her on Patreon. Follow her on twitter: @SurlyAmy or on Google+.

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  1. May 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm —

    The media attention was unfortunately a given once Family Radio was able to put together a massive ad campaign budget. So, why not have fun with it? I intend to go out drinking somewhere anyway…and I have a table-top role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic world on Sunday. If May 21st turns out to be true, we’ll just make it a LARP.

  2. May 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm —

    No excuse for a party is too feeble. Party On Dudes!

  3. May 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm —

    You know I’m not looking forward to next week at work. This may be a blessing. Unless I win the lottery on Wednesday, the fucking rapture happens on saturday, by which time I’ll be a rich man, then I’ll have to squeeze myself through the eye of a needle. Watch it happen….

  4. May 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm —

    My (now husband as of Friday the 13th) wanted to get married on that day, but no judge was available on a Saturday (there really isn’t any other way to have a secular marriage in these parts), so instead we are going to have a party to celebrate our wedding AND the Rapture with our new local friends-we just moved to WV-before we have the actual “ceremony” in our home state on the 28th. I say any excuse to throw a party is a good one!

  5. May 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm —

    We only have one life, why not party for whatever reason takes our fancy?

    The West Coast Rapture event sounds fun. Unfortunately, it clashes with another event that I am an invited speaker for so will have to miss this one. Enjoy!

  6. May 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm —

    Shouldn’t that read It’s the End of the World (Again/ Again/ Again/ Again/ Again)?

    • May 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm —

      Its the end of the world as we know it
      Its the end of the world as we know it
      Its the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

  7. May 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm —

    I’ll be attending a non-rapture related event (except the rapture of the dancers as they perform their recitals), but maybe afterwards we’ll lift a glass for our hopefully departed associates.

    I’m very very disappointed at the lack of faith many of these people have. Not a one has been willing to sign over all their worldly possessions effective 5/22, laying bare the fact that they don’t truly believe.

    • May 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm —

      Me too. I’ve been trying like mad to get a couple of believers I’m acquainted with to bet me $1,000 that they’re right. No takers though.

  8. May 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm —

    Check out my new blog Fundie Sock Draw. We go live this Sunday where I will be photographing those hidden secrets of the raptured. Just because they were good enough for heaven doesn’t mean they didn’t have a dark side.

  9. May 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm —

    I know this is very STFUParents of me, but we’re having a party because it’s Bug’s 1st birthday on Saturday.

    And I’m eating delicious food and cake.

    I’m also accepting Jesus into my heart on Friday night just in case.

    • May 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm —

      Or rather, it’s her birthday Friday. We’re eating cake and getting drunk on Saturday.

      • May 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm —

        How much do you think it will take to get Bug drunk? I’m thinking she’s a lightweight myself. ;)
        I think we should all do the zombie shamble down the streets at midnight and see how many fundies we can make shit themselves.

        • May 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm —

          Bug can’t drink until she’s big enough to wrestle the beer away from Stacey’s parrot. :P

          • May 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm

            Now that she’s one, it’s time she learned about being responsible. She’s our designated driver.

          • May 18, 2011 at 4:57 am

            (There’s no “Reply” thingy on Elyse’s post, so I’m replying to Kammy instead…)

            All hail Elyse for responsible parenting! You’ve got to reach them early.

  10. May 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm —

    Yikes! The B Ark is leaving on Saturday, and I almost missed it. So when do the rest of us die from a plague spread by unsanitized telephones? Sunday?

  11. May 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm —

    My wife and daughter will be out of town this weekend, and you know what that means!? Yep, I’ll be turning the TV way up!

  12. May 17, 2011 at 5:19 pm —

    My husband and I will be in Houston for a birthday party my sister is throwing for my father. The party has been scheduled for a while; since its scheduling, we’ve learned Dad has cancer. He’s recovering from a mastectomy (yes, mastectomy) but is well enough to travel from FL, so the pary is still on. Most of my family are Catholic, Dad is some kind of non-denominational Christian, but none of them believe that The Rapture™ is upon us.

    I’ll also be recovery from a root canal I’m undergoing Thursday. Depending on the medication I’m given, I might *imagine* something like The Rapture®.

  13. May 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm —

    My wish is that some of the people who’ve fallen for this Rapture© nonsense realize, when they’re still here on May 22, that they’ve been duped and learn to think for themselves. I know that’s not how it works, but that’s my wish.

  14. May 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm —

    I’ll be live-blogging Armageddon while simultaneously shopping for new shoes and a new bag for my upcoming vacation.

    If I’m lucky the stores will be deserted as the Believers are all sucked in…er..up.

  15. May 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm —

    I personally feel that popularising these stupid events is the best way to combat them.

    The more people aware of all the failed past raptures events, the less people will likely believe the next one.

    And any excuse for a party is a good excuse.

    • May 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm —

      I used to think the best way to combat lunacy was to show it to be lunacy.
      But then Charlie Sheen happened.
      Lunacy is the new black baby and more popular than ever.

      • May 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm —

        Stop praying to Artemis in the comments. You often use phrases such as “Lunacy” or “I swear upon the light in the night sky!”, or others that are direct or indirect entreaties to a god. While you may see it as careless use of accepted everyday language, I see it as sloppy non-skeptic behavior that reinforces our religious state.


        • May 17, 2011 at 10:21 pm —

          What would happen if I said hysterical?

          • May 17, 2011 at 10:33 pm

            If you said ‘hysterical’ I would probably cut and paste the same comment from above that I cut and pasted from Rebecca’s article originally and give you another misguided etymological tongue lashing for which I will be justly ridiculed.

      • May 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm —

        I used to think the best way to combat lunacy was to show it to be lunacy.
        But then Charlie Sheen happened.

        Serious LOLZ on that one! COTW.

        • May 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm —

          Argh. Like many others I realy, really, reallly miss “preview” and “edit” functions.

          And while I’m at it, snarking away, and I know it’s OT, but what was the purpose of this, in my opinion regressive, update to the site anyway? I mean now it’s a screen full of overlarge pictures taking up real estate that used to be filled with interesting stuff; there’s no preview function; there’s no edit function, and naviagation tends to sometimes be a pain; and we have to use HTML or insert a dead period to get a space.


          I don’t know, but I don’t exactly call that an update.


          OK, back to the topic at hand.

    • May 18, 2011 at 2:33 am —

      “The more people aware of all the failed past raptures events, the less people will likely believe the next one.”

      Sadly, it’s always “But this time it’s different.”

  16. May 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm —

    I’m all for the partying. This rapture fiasco just works in our favor.

    THEY are putting all their eggs in one basket. If 10 people laugh at you and you’re found wrong, you can hold your ground. If thousands of people laugh at you and you’re wrong, you might just rethink your position. I figure the more embarrassed they are afterwards, the more they’ll rethink the whole thing next time.

  17. May 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm —

    I’ll be having lunch with a bunch of local skeptics and listening to a speaker talk about the long awaited apocalypse. The date was fixed long before Camping went public but the speaker was chosen with malice aforethought.
    Let’s hope all the publicity and the inevitable let-down (The world not ending is a disappointment!!!) are a learning experience for many.

  18. May 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm —

    I don’t think anyone will actually learn anything. Why not party?

    Me, I’ll be at graduation events all day Saturday, and I’m pretty sure my little bro’s graduation will be taking place on Sunday morning without so much as a hiccup. Then the *real* partying will begin!

  19. May 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm —

    If the Rapture happens, I think I’ll be one of the first to find out. Friday night, I’m doing Relay for Life, meaning I won’t sleep. Then, all day Saturday, I’m on a geology class field trip. So, I’ll be at least semi-aware for the full 24 hours of May 21st.
    Personally, though, I’m not do worried. The world has being going to end more times in my lifetime then there are years in my life so far (I think at last count, it’s been at least 25 times in 18 years?) Plus, how can it end in 2012 if the world ends on Saturday?

  20. May 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm —

    In case anyone has need of it, here is a good image of a poster announcing the *last* well-publicized Rapture:

    • May 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm —

      Is it the same group?

      • May 17, 2011 at 11:10 pm —

        The guy behind this most recent prediction last predicted the Rapture in September of 1994, so I kinda doubt it was him that predicted it in 1992.

  21. May 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm —

    Here’s an idea: Go to one of these guys and cut a deal – you’ll help them hand out their ‘rapture’ leaflets for a day prior to Saturday if they’ll agree to hand out atheist literature for a week after Saturday. Make sure there’s a written contract with a hefty financial penalty clause (penalties void in case of rapture.)

  22. May 17, 2011 at 8:28 pm —

    Damn. My mom is flying to Australia to spend a month with my sister on Friday. And me and the boys were going to Dallas to Medevil Times. Now it won’t happen. Poop.

  23. May 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm —

    We found the place for Chicago Skeptics’ Rapturing Skeptically event, and, as we were leaving, saw that the bar is having its own rapture event that night! Kismet!

  24. May 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm —

    I’ll be hanging w/ PZ in DC this Saturday, so there’s little chance I’ll be raptured.

  25. May 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm —

    Well I did once sign up for one of those Rapture pet sites (I still can’t tell if it was a joke or not, but I’m there). So in the off chance that something actually happens, my poor kitty will have a sibling to tolerate. Notice how I’m not out buying more cat food and litter.

    Being unemployed with a car that broke down just today, I’ll be spending Saturday in my apartment, trying to make a dent in that giant box of popcorn I bought from Costco months ago and found in my closet when I cleaned it out (I also found some Fun Dip).

    • May 18, 2011 at 4:45 am —

      According to @pciszek below, the unemployment numbers may be going down by about 3%.
      You may have to work for a church however.
      But if past performance is any indication the most worthy won’t be at the churches anyway.
      Perhaps a nonprofit. Or make that a non-prophet.

  26. May 18, 2011 at 12:23 am —

    I’m going to celebrate the rapture with a little looting. Just think of all cool stuff these people are going to leave behind!

    • May 18, 2011 at 12:43 am —

      They are estimating that about 3% of the world’s population will be Raptured, so there won’t be a lot of loot to go around. Especially if it’s the poor and humble people who get Taken Up.

  27. May 18, 2011 at 12:42 am —

    My favorite Judgment Day joke so far:

    “So are you worried about the Rapture?”
    “No, unless it figures out how to open doors.”

  28. May 18, 2011 at 1:54 am —

    Amy, this:

    Personally, I would much rather stick around with all the educated heathens here on good-ol’ planet earth then spend anything close to an eternity with a group of people who have nothing better to do than stand on the corner of Hollywood Blvd all day long holding signs.

    Reminds me of this (it gets to the point at about 2:34.

    • May 18, 2011 at 4:40 am —

      I say good riddance, we could use a few less self-righteous sheep around here.

    • May 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm —

      Heaven is for people who like the sort of things that go on in heaven. Lol! I’ll take hell.

      • May 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm —

        As they say, “Heaven for the weather, hell for the company.”

  29. May 18, 2011 at 2:15 am —

    This saturday I’ll be working on my new website which let’s you make predictions, records the time as proof of when you made them, and then emails people when the time of your prediction rolls around so you can prove how right you were (or how stupid you were, there is no backing out).

    It’s called told them so.

  30. May 18, 2011 at 4:20 am —

    I would really like to try this on someone: YouTube Fake Rapture Prank

  31. May 18, 2011 at 8:54 am —

    I think as Atheists, we do not threaten with eternal damnation or violence, so the best rebuke to these extremists is mockery and contempt. For all their supposed faith, they seem particularly thin-skinned and whiney when ridiculed. I wish I saw MORE of this .

  32. May 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm —

    Hilariously, I had a Facebook friend actually bring up the topic of “Freedom of Speech” regarding my expressed disgust, mockery and ridicule of Family Radio’s bullshit. Apparently, because Harold Camping is free to pay for air-time, billboards, etc., why should I care? Much like the concern trolls regarding the CBS Anti-Vax billboard, either she’s misunderstanding my criticism for some call to legislate, or she doesn’t fully understand what free speech means.

  33. May 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm —

    Oh, shucks. I won’t be able to make the Rapture, I have to wash my hair that day.

    • May 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm —

      And you appear to have a lot of it.

      • May 19, 2011 at 12:30 am —

        It’s probably an “infinite” amount of hair to wash, dry, style, and if it doesn’t work right, then wash it again to get the product out to start over. OTOH, my hair is too short to do much with, but I will still find a way to be busy. Oh! I know, We gotta feed our eleven snakes, clean their cages, play with them…. Yeah, that works. I’ll be too busy for anything. I can hope that some JW’s will knock on the door while I’m holding DMX, my 6.5 ft long Black Pine Snake, especially if he’s in a hissy mood. LOL

        • May 19, 2011 at 12:41 am —

          Oh! And I’ll be taking time to call my mom for her birthday, she’s the one that had the good sense to raise me as a Humanist!

  34. May 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm —

    I’m starting a 7 day canoe trip on Saturday. I’m kind of sorry to be missing all the parties but I’ll have a great time paddling into rapture.

  35. May 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm —

    I’m packing for my big cross country move in a few weeks… perhaps I should pack for my rapture, instead. After all, why plan for the future, anyway?

    Happy birthday to bug!

  36. May 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm —

    If I were Harold Camping I would disappear on the 21st, lay low, then show up on my radio show two weeks later and say I’ve been to heaven. If he did that Camping would be an instant messiah.
    That probably won’t happen, but I’ll tell you what will. A few people will be reported to the police as having gone missing (as happens every day). Some Christian group is going to latch onto those reports and say those people were raptured. That I guarantee.

    • May 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm —

      That would require them to believe that the rapture had happened *and they had missed out*.

      • May 18, 2011 at 11:23 pm —

        … and that a prostitute, a troubled and possibly drug using teen, and an ex-refrigerator repairman with alzheimer’s however HAD been taken.

  37. May 19, 2011 at 1:54 am —

    ROTFL! The local TV station just had a blurb about the “Rapture” coming up on the 10pm news. Oh. My. Goodness! This is absolutely hilarious. And people believe that they could possibly know the will of their god? If that were the case, then that god wouldn’t be very god-like, would it?

  38. May 19, 2011 at 8:16 am —

    I am, coincidentally, doing my first tandem parachute jump that day. My other half suggests I check the person I’m strapped to isn’t a Christian, just in case.

  39. May 19, 2011 at 9:17 am —

    My (now distant) childhood gave me a certain insight into the godbot mind. Their refusal to sign over their worldly goods is perfectly rational within their mindset.
    While they believe with great certainty that they will be raptured, it would be presumptuous to take any action based on that certainty as God may have other plans for them. This is analogous to the habit of pious Victorians of appending “(DV)” to every statement implying a future action. This stood for deo volente, “God willing.”
    Both superstitions are based on Proverbs 27:1, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
    I hope that clarifies matters.

  40. May 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm —

    Happy Rapture Looting Day!

    Here’s hoping we all manage to get some good stuff!

    Rapture THIS! ;)

  41. May 22, 2011 at 10:07 am —

    It is Sunday and I am still here. What does it all mean?

  42. May 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm —

    It means there are a helluva lot of idiots in this world who actually believe this fairytale drivel AND they’re still with us today.

  43. May 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm —

    Where’s your messiah now?

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