Friday the 13th, Judgment Day? — A Harold Camping Memorial

What’s the billboard below got to do with Friday the 13th in August 2021?

Harold Camping

Let’s take a glance back, to ten years ago: then Harold Camping was a radio preacher from Oakland, California, who figured IT out.

IT” was the date of Judgment Day, when  Jesus would return, sinners tumble into hell, the elect fly off to heaven, and the world would soon end.

Not making this up. The year was 2011. The billboard was real; I took the picture.

To spread this somewhat dismaying news, Camping put up hundreds of identical billboards along highways across the country, paid for by his listeners. One stood next to Interstate 95 in North Carolina, not far from me. A few people may even have believed the prophecy.

May 21, 2011 was a Saturday.

The next morning, once the sun was up & it was clear the world was turning undisturbed, I headed up I-95, to see if the billboard was still there.

It wasn’t. Somebody from the billboard company must have been on alert at sunrise, to strip off the message, painted on a huge sheet of vinyl, from its large frame, unless prevented by a legion of avenging angels.

But the angels didn’t show, and the workers made quick work of removing the evidence.

Preacher Camping didn’t face his redeemer that day, but rather a couple of reporters — probably not pleased to be working on a Sunday morning — asking embarrassing questions like, why was he still here? Why were they still here?

My photoshop comment.

So May 22, 2011 it wasn’t a good day for Harold Camping. He soon suffered a major stroke, retreated to a home office, and died in 2013. His prophecy & billboards were mostly forgotten.

Now, what’s this got to do with Friday the 13th, August 2021?

Here’s a hint: Mike Lindell.

Lindell too has figured out when Judgment Day will be: he says it’s Friday the 13th of August, 2021.

Mike Lindell & his pillow.

But this time, instead of Jesus returning, it’s the previous president who is predicted to be back, and instead of judgment, there will be a “re-inauguration,” wherein the last guy will replace Joe Biden.

But let’s suppose — now stay with me— just suppose that the USA, including you and me, finishes out this week with Joe Biden still in office. Suppose that Air Force One does not make a sudden pickup from Mar-a-Lago? Suppose Lindell ends up being “Campingized”?

Will he simply vanish in a puff of crushed foam rubber?

I make no prophecy here, but recent events leave me more nervous than I was when May 21 2011 arrived.

Who was that masked man???

Besides, if anybody else were to move in at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, maybe it should be that guy with the mittens who brightened January 20th?

UPDATE: As of noon Friday, Biden is still President. He’s slated to leave Washington at 1 PM EDT for Camp David, via Wilmington, Delaware. [NOTE: Only serving presidents are permitted to stay at Camp David. Our sources also indicate that the camp is well-stocked with pillows.]

I don’t know if this last part of Camping’s billboard prophecy would be applicable to this case.

But I’ll keep looking.



5 thoughts on “Friday the 13th, Judgment Day? — A Harold Camping Memorial”

    1. Keeping warm, as Biden is sworn in, til he can get into the Chairman’s office at the Senate Budget Committee . . .

  1. Yep, this business of setting a date for a momentous transformation of human (and divine) affairs is very, very common.

    In the United States of America, the most notable practitioner of this style of prophecy was William Miller (1780-1849), who predicted the last judgment to occur between the dates of March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. When it didn’t happen in that time span, he delayed the date to October 22, 1844.

    The failure of Christ to return on that latter date is known as the Great Disappointment. William Miller retired to his house and died a few years later. But some of his followers (Hiram Edson, Ellen White) reinterpreted his teachings and kept on going. They’re known as Adventists. The largest branch is known as the Seventh Day Adventists.

    I would bet Mike Lindell’s Great Disappointment is in the works right now. Lindell & QAnon are apocalypticists for our time. The temptation to reinterpret their prophecies and then to keep on going will be very very strong. I don’t believe we have ever seen before — at least in the US — such a tight connection between politics and apocalypticism. It’s highly dangerous. The prophecies can mutate faster than the coronavirus.

  2. When Camping was predicting the Rapture in 2011, I asked the superintendent of Indiana Yearly Meeting if he knew of anyone in the yearly meeting who had embraced the idea. He replied no, but, if the Rapture did take place, he was leaving instructions that I’d be in charge of the yearly meeting.

    1. …Would have served thee right. But it might also have deprived Steve Angell & me of our favorite book title, “Indiana Trainwreck.”

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