Not only is that my favorite song by REM, it's a prophesy by Family Radio president Harold Camping. According to the SF Chronicle, he's convinced that a worldwide earthquake will strike at 6 p.m. (local time) Saturday, May 21, alerting the human race that Judgment Day has begun. It's always nice when your daily newspaper thoughtfully provides you with this very important information.
Since this city has always led the country in gay civil rights - if all is accurate, according to these religious prophets - San Francisco should be floating right past Alcatraz at about 8:35 P.M.
The Chronicle has thoughtfully provided us with a FAQ to the Rapture (should that really be capitalized?) according to Camping.
"There's nothing in the Bible that holds a candle to the amount of information to this tremendous truth of the end of the world," he told New York Magazine. "I would be absolutely in rebellion against God if I thought anything other than it is absolutely going to happen without any question."
Not everyone is as informed about Judgment Day as Camping, of course. With that in mind, here are a few answers to frequently asked questions about the End of Days:
Q: Who gets to ascend to heaven?
A: Those who accept Christ as the messiah. Even Jews are invited, says Camping, but only if they accept Christ - which would seem to make them no longer Jewish.
Q: How many will be Raptured?
A: Campbell estimates 200 million. The remaining nearly 7 billion face a grisly fate - crushed in the quake, burned by sulfur, turned into pillars of salt, etc.
Q: Why May 21?
A: Camping calculates May 21 is exactly 7,000 years from the date of the Noah's Ark flood. In his book "Time Has an End," Camping writes. "The year 391 B.C. is the year when the Old Testament was finished, and 2,011 + 391 - 1 = 2,401, or 7 x 7 x 7 x 7." There you have it.
Q: Any other reason?
A: Yes. Gay Pride and same-sex marriage. Camping says God will punish America and the rest of the world for Gay Pride and same-sex marriages, just as Sodom and Gomorrah were punished with fire and brimstone in the Old Testament.
Q: Will the Earth end on May 21?
A: No. The Earth will stick around for a few more months of "chaos and awful suffering" before being obliterated Oct. 21.
Q: Didn't Camping predict the end of the world would take place in September 1994?
A: Yes, but the book in which he made the prediction was titled "1994?". The question mark makes all the difference.
Q: Will the Rapture happen sooner in Australia, like New Year's celebrations?
A: Yes. May 21st begins first on Kiritimati Island, a Pacific Ocean atoll, so presumably the earthquake would strike there first.
Q: If I'm Raptured, what will happen to my pets?
A: Probably nothing good. However, a business called Eternal Earthbound Pets run by "confirmed atheists" offers to save pets left behind and ensure their care in 26 states. It lists a fee of $135 for a single pet ($20 each for additional pets), but has raised rates due to "increased activity associated with the May 21, 2011 Rapture." Pets are limited to dogs, cats, birds rabbits and small caged mammals in most states. Four states can accommodate horses, camels, llamas and donkeys.
Q: Are exploding watermelons in China a sign?
A Conversation With Harold Camping, Prophesier of Judgment Day New York Magazine
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/hottopics/detail?entry_id=89183#ixzz1Mk2G2O7c