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Save the Date! Billboard Campaign Reminds Angelenos the End of Everything is Coming

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A Family Radio "Judgment Day" billboard in Houston, TX (Photo by gsloan via Flickr)
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"Have you heard the Awesome news? - The End of the World is Almost Here!"

Forget about 2012. Actually, forget about the second half of 2011. Some Biblical devotees believe that we are due for a Judgment Day, and that day is May 21st. A billboard campaign mounted by Oakland, California-based Family Radio Worldwide has been launched, and Angelenos are being urged to "save the date" for, well, the end of the world.

Yesterday, KPCC's Patt Morrison spoke with Harold Camping from Family Radio, who explained that his group's research offered "proofs and signs from the Bible" that "judgment will be finalized" for the believers and non-believers in Jesus, and that process will take five months, culminating in the ultimate end of everything on October 21st. "We've come to the end of everything," says Camping.

For those who are hoping to put a time down with their save the date, Camping says it's going to happen at 6 p.m. However, when Morrison asked if he meant 6 p.m. Pacific, or Greenwich Mean Time, he instead explained that the events would take 24 hours and start in one place and move through other regions (perhaps signaling that in order to best accommodate the initial judgment activities, one should really clear the whole day).

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So why advertise this, especially if people are pre-ordained to be saved, as some devout believe? Camping said that people don't know if they have been saved or not, which is why an awareness campaign was necessary. To that end, Family Radio has not only bought billboards in cities all over the country, but has a "caravan" tour of the country, which was in Los Angeles March 14-19th. A Delaware publication recently examined the Family Radio campaign, Family Radio's background, and local clergy's reaction, including one pastor, who says his planned sermon for Sunday, May 22, 2011 will be called “Why Judgment Day didn’t happen yesterday."

Scholars say that "end time" thinking comes up often in world history, including recently with the arrival of Y2K. What is unique about this current "end time" belief (billboards notwithstanding) is that they do offer the specific date. On May 21, according to Family Radio, we can expect a massive earthquake, and the kick off the "rapture."

This is a complex issue, and divisive--even within Christianity--and, ultimately, who knows, we might not be able to fully dismiss the Family Radio prophecy until May 22, or even October 22, when, in theory, all will be said and done. In the meantime: Have you seen the billboards? What do you think?