Overheard on CNN.com: Scoff and concern for end-of-the-worlders
May 18th, 2011
05:58 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Scoff and concern for end-of-the-worlders

Comment of the day:

"It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine." – Lolita

Tick tock goes the doomsday clock

The beginning of the end of the world, in some people's minds, is near - like this Saturday. According to loyal listeners of Family Radio, founded by Harold Camping and based in Oakland, California, Saturday will usher in the beginning of Judgment Day. They believe a massive worldwide earthquake will strike, leading to five months of death and destruction culminating on October 21, when the Earth will no longer exist.

Some CNN.com readers expressed strong skepticism about the "end of days" prediction, and some felt empathy for the people who have given up their possessions, jobs and family to spread the message.

Acts 2:38 said, "The rapture will NOT take place on May 21st. I feel so bad for the poor people who have bought into Mr. Campings lies." Claymation said, "This Camping fellow knows exactly what he's doing. He's done it all before. The fact is that he's feeding off these people, whether it be for money or fame, he's getting what he wants. May 21st will come and go and he'll say something like, 'Oops, I guess I miss calculated' and change the date." Walt said, "I hope Mr. Campings gets sued by all these people that have been following him. What are these poor people going to do on Monday when they realize they have no jobs, no belongings and probably no money?" Martha said, "I really, really feel sorry for the children of these people who have to spend these next few days terrified of the world ending Saturday evening, and the supposed mechanics of that, and then the issue of how will they will adjust to their reality for years to come."

Other readers found the idea amusing and responded in kind:

Donnie said, "Wow. This is actually good news for me. I've got a bunch of drywall and painting work to finish at the house this weekend, so this will really take a lot off my plate. Thanks God for freeing up my weekends ... FOR ETERNITY!" J said, "If we're supposed to be 'sorted' on the 21st, I hope I’m on Gryffindor!" NB said, "Thank God I'm playing golf on Friday. Maybe I can go out with a round of glory!" D said, "Darn. My End of the World Party doesn't start until 6:30 on Saturday." Jason Goodrich said, "End of The World Parties are always the best. Usually it's on a hurricane day. I hope the weather is good Saturday night." JohnnerMan said, "I'm glad that God acknowledges our (man-made) International Date Line. I wonder if heaven observes daylight savings time?" curleyg said, "I need to know what time Sat. Do I bet the Preakness or not?" Outawork said, "Oh boy!!! Now I don't have to worry about finding a job, but with my luck I'll win the lottery this Saturday." The Jackdaw said, "If this turns out to be true and I don't go to Heaven, I will earn my place in Hell before October." PCollen said, "Have a good flight. BTW, can all you soon to be departers leave me your bank account ID and passwords?" KMAN said, "People! You've got it all wrong! Everybody knows that the world won't end until that fateful day when the Chicago Cubs are one out away from winning the World Series."

Some Christian CNN.com readers who didn't subscribe to the prediction defended their religion:

gmn835 said, "Matthew 24:36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (NIV)" Iago said, "If we Christians everywhere would stop trying to figure out God's plan and concentrate more on being the hands and feet of Jesus by reaching those who are lost, you'll touch more people as opposed to sending out RVs with 'Repent Now ... ' pamphlets and billboards." While Isaac quoted Robert G. Ingersoll –"The inspiration of the bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it" - Bob said, "Don't lump all Christian's together. 99% don't think this way." LindaMae said, "No one can be sure when the world will end - we just have to be ready always - start by forgiving yourself and then others. Be at peace with yourself so you won't have to worry when the time comes."

U.S. sanctions target Syrian president, Iranian commanders

President Obama has imposed sanctions against six senior Syrian officials and two Iranian Quds Force commanders in an effort to stop the regime's fierce crackdown on protesters. The effort comes after more than two months of unrest in Syria and reports of hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests.

CNN.com readers had mixed reactions to the president's action:

Neutronium said, "Sanctions. Let the escalation begin." sammoor said, "Great work President Obama. This regime deserves a shakeup." randypeel said, "Assad Jr. of Syria is worse than Gadhafi of Libya , Mubarak of Egypt , and Ben Ali of Tunisia." Tsimbi7 said, "Sanctions. Never HAVE worked. Never will." RealHist4Me said, "Where are the sanctions for Yemen and Bahrain?" sam9999999 said, "Oh no, sanctions! Not sanctions! Somehow, some way, this will cost us billions."

Goss68 said, "Why aren't we bombing targets in Syria and trying to take out Assad? The situation is much worse than it was in Libya. Assad's regime has killed more than 2000 people since the pro freedom activities started five weeks ago in Syria. That's more casualties than all the other pro-freedom events in Tunisia, Egypt and Lybia combined. Thirty years ago, his father killed over 40 thousand innocent children, women and elderly in the town of Hamma. Jr. will do the same, or worse if not constrained. President Obama, it is time for you to tell Assad to leave power."

justaword said, "Sanctions against another country? Give me a break. It would be nice if Obama focused on real problems facing the US. How about sanctions against our own Congress to get back to work and stop playing politics with our future otherwise the street riots similar to the Middle East are going to begin here in America."

Kevin442 said, "I say that sanctions, done right, are a good, nonviolent way to put pressure on the leaders of Syria. However, I caution that we keep an eye on how it will affect the price of food in Syria. At times, people might bite the hand that feeds them. But they will for a fact rip out the throats of those who starve them. We do not want to be that person."

The game changer: Netflix

Thanks, in part, to the popularity of Netflix, perhaps for the first time in the Internet's history, the largest percentage of its traffic is content that is paid for. Netflix streaming movies now fill more of the U.S.'s Internet tubes than any other service, and streaming real-time entertainment is also on the rise.

Many CNN.com readers posted comments about how Netflix has changed the way they view at-home entertainment.

cobaltblue said, "See what happens when you charge a reasonable price for services? I love my Netflix streaming. Netflix has always been an excellent service and the very few service issues I've experienced have been remedied right away." NSIndiana said, "Netflix unlimited streaming movies/ TV shows = $10/month + Unlimited high speed internet through ATT = $20/month for a total of $30/month. Cable and internet through most providers = $120+ a month. Now I wonder why this is shocking." ExtremePhobi said, "I think the takeaway here is that if you make it affordable, people won't pirate."

toofly said, "I'd be distraught without my Netflix. I like TV shows but there’s nothing worse than watching 20 minutes of commercials in a 60 minute episode just to be left with a cliffhanger you need to wait a week for to see the end. With Netflix you can get rid of all of that." But PCTech714 responded, "I can't believe that in this day and age no one has heard of a DVR. If I want to skip commercials, I push the skip button on my remote and it fast forwards 30 seconds at a time. Usually after a few presses I'm back to the program. As far as cliffhangers go: that's the whole point. Sometimes the "NOW NOW NOW" mentality of this world disturbs me ... "

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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soundoff (385 Responses)
  1. D Grant

    If you drink enough you don't worry about stuff like this. Long live booze!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • jarod47

      Even if you don't drink you do not have to worry about this. It is all childish christian fantasy.

      May 19, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Roland

    God bless and hope I see you good people on the other side next week.

    May 19, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Lee Oates

    You don't need religion to realize that we are committing species suicide by our pollution and destruction of the planet. I think that most people in the back of their minds know with some cetainty that things are going to get very bad in the near future. Any intelligent person can understand that:

    (1) The worlds population continues to rise and our resources are declining. Oil has peaked.
    (2) We have built an entire civilization on a non-renewable resource (oil), and failed to seriously consider building alternate, non-polluting energy sources.
    (3) We are polluting the planet's air, water, oceans, and lands to the point of ecolgical collapse. [The Gulf oil spill being a classic example, or the killing of forests and phytoplankton to the point were it will affect our oxygen levels, or Climate change resulting from our destructive behaviours].
    (4) Our governments are corrupt, controlled by corporate interests, and block serious change. [World-wide, not simply the US].
    (5) Our food sources are declining, creating hunger and civil unrest. [World-wide]
    (6) The unequal distribution of wealth resulting in a few very rich and massive poverty [World-wide].
    (7) Human behaviour itself is working against our survival, i.e., denying problems, prograstination and hope it will go away, and leave it up to a fairy-tale figure to resolve it all in some supernatural way. Above all, a high level of ignorance prevails, maintained by politics and religion.
    (8) We are slowly building up to a 3rd world war involving nuclear weapons, which could hasten our destruction.

    Is it any wonder that the human species is slowly going insane as it faces the consequences of their behavior. Its all just a matter of time. I'll give us anywhere between 10 to 50 years. You can expect many more doomsday predictions in the near future as people are forced by circustances to acknowledge a dawning reality. And, In typical fashion, we will do our best to kill the messangers of bad news.

    May 19, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Rita

      If trees hade weiners, you'ld be blowing them instead of hugging them wouldn't ya, lee?

      May 19, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee Oates

      Thanks Rita for proving my point. Ignorance and stupidity rule the world.

      May 19, 2011 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. Allen

    I don't believe any such thing will happen on saturday, but if it does, it will be a lot more fun to participate than watch!

    May 19, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. Roland

    I must admit I still dont know anything abiout May 21 until today from Evangelist Harold Camping. Although the Bible under Revelation, Joel 2:2 and Jeremia 25:32 points on the judgement day it doest say anything about May 21. I am still not 100% sure about evangelist Harold Camping calculations but I do respect him for a long time as the followers of Christ. Although it is dangerous to predict something that wont happen because that is by itself consider as a gravious sin in the eyes of God. I am still studying Harold Camping findings about Judgement day on May 21. I believe the judgement day will one day come and we needed to prepare for it as soon as possible both physical and spiritual.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. The Biblical Prophet

    Nikola Tesla made earthquakes in Alaska in 1899 and YOU are going to hell for not having an ear. Tesla made earthquakes! Man made earthquakes over a century. Take it to the bank. Bet the farm. I am not wrong. So saith The Lord God. -Biblical Prophet

    May 19, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Roland

    Whatever the time and day the good lord will give us the judgement day we should be prepared for it before it happens.If it happens tomorrow or saturday we need to prepare spiritually.

    Matthew 24:36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Roland

    I just heard from another christian website that Evangelist Harold Camping of Family Radio Sayings is just another in a long line of false prophets. His previous (failed) date was September 6, 1994 now ‘corrected’ to May 21, 2011. It too will prove to be ‘a mistake in calculation’. I guess that is good news . I can still attend my fellowship on saturday and sunday.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Allen

    Whoa! I better get busy!

    This reminds me of the flagellants (people who whipped themselves) who roamed Europe during the Black Death in the early 14th century. They were sure the Plague was God's punishment and were repenting their sins... but they only served to spread the disease further and faster.

    Get a life, people.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
    • greg

      Why go back so far. The weirdo Pope John Paul used to whip himself.

      May 19, 2011 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. Doug

    HOW CAN PEOPLE BE SO STUPID!!!!????? Its so discouraging and saddening to see that such idiot bible-thumpers actually exist and can be duped by such nonsense.

    GOD DOES NOT EXIST!!!!! THERE WILL NEVER BE A JUDGMENT DAY!!!!! One day the human species will go extinct, and one day the Earth's orbit will decay until it plunges into the sun. BIG DEAL!!! The universe will go on without us.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brandon

    Getting tired of all the talking about May 21st and how the world is going to end. Well why don't we all just create a new date, make it November 11, 2011. And set that as a date we start to all improve everything around us. Stop looking forward to the end. Start improving the future of our own and those that will come after us. For the legacy of all of us, will live long past the here and now.

    May 19, 2011 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. mike

    christians are some of the most brain dead, utter morons on the entire planet

    May 19, 2011 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jack Mehoff

    I saw one of these christian nuts and he said hey Jack Mehoff and I said no do that yourself.

    May 19, 2011 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. jack

    a cult is a cult is a cult, even a christ cult !!

    May 19, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. So

    If you have made your peace with God then why worry, the hype is nothing but hype and the pushers of this don't understand anyone who wants to disassociate themselves from the pushers of its their way or no way, understand this to those who believe that May 21 is the day, the bible gives NO specifics and you can not go on assumption so make you peace with God and live your life as there is no tomorrow and ENJOY LIFE.

    May 19, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
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