For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Fidalgo
Phone: (207) 358-9785
May 19, 2011
Amherst, NY-May 19, 2011-Harold Camping, a Christian radio broadcaster based in Oakland, California, has secured advertising real estate to announce his prediction that the Rapture-when Jesus will supposedly gather up true believers-will occur at exactly 6 PM (starting in IDT) May 21, 2011. Camping’s prediction has received some attention even though his record as a prognosticator is flawed. He last predicted the End of Days in 1994.
Believers who say the Rapture will occur this Saturday are a distinct minority, and skeptics have enjoyed poking fun at them. Many are planning Rapture and morning-after parties. Some skeptics are even offering to take ownership of believers’ personal possessions, which won’t be needed in the afterlife.
However, the Center for Inquiry (CFI) maintains the really significant Rapture story is this: many Americans disagree with the current Rapture zealots only with respect to the date and some of the details of Jesus’ return.
According to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, “41 percent say Jesus Christ will return within the next 40 years.” In other words, almost half of the American public is confident that Jesus will appear on Earth (or at least in the clouds above Earth) sometime before 2050.
CFI President and CEO Ronald A. Lindsay observes, “It’s a sobering thought that well over 100 million Americans believe Jesus is on his way-the date just may not have been penciled in yet. It’s both disturbing and unfortunate that so many still cling to what can only be described as a fairy tale.”
The Center for Inquiry is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization based in Amherst, New York; CFI is home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Our web address is www.centerforinquiry.net.