After months of warnings and fear, the Day of Rapture, as predicted by apocalyptic Christian broadcaster Harold Camping, passed without apparent calamity. Judgment Day was to have started at 6 p.m., but as darkness fell on many parts of the world, it appeared that heaven could wait.
At this writing, there have been no reports of people soaring upward to the skies, but plenty of folks are talking about it.
“Although I assume that I’ve lived a sinful life and will probably be here on Sunday, there is a small chance that maybe I was better than I thought and might get sucked up into the heavens on Saturday with all the other self-righteous wing nuts,” I thought. “If that happens, feel free to have my stuff. But probably not! Let the Looting Begin! HAPPY APOCALYPSE EVERYONE!!”
Many had looked Down Under to find relief. If Australia — 12 to 14 hours ahead of Eastern daylight time — survived, then maybe we all had a chance.
“Rapture deadline passes, world still here” screamed a headline in the Sydney Morning Herald.
By Saturday afternoon, Australia had become a trending subject on Twitter.
“Stop worrying about the world ending today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia,” wrote #EndOfTheWorldConfessions.
No problems reported so far in Asia or Europe, either.
But some were still not completely sure: “Maybe the world did end and Twitter is the only survivor,” Simon Plumb said.
The Twitter feed for the U.S. Geological Survey, which records and measures earthquakes around the world, was mum on the topic. The agency’s worldwide map showed no major earthquakes.
Had it all been for naught? All those billboards, signs and newspaper ads, the pamphlets blowing in the wind and the RVs plastered with Judgment Day warnings weaving through cities?
Believers had said Saturday would be the day when those who were saved would be taken up to heaven, and those who aren’t will endure unspeakable suffering.
Judgment Day was supposed to have started at 6 p.m. and last five long months. Dead bodies were going to be strewn about as earthquakes ravaged the Earth, they said. And come October 21, they said, the entire world would be kaput.
It wasn’t immediately clear what the believers thought about Saturday’s nonhappenings. But people around the world sure were making jokes like there was no tomorrow.