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. kakuranbo

    I think doomsday is just going to be like any other day, people are over thinking it and getting thier hopes up for nothing. If the world was going to end we would have seen some sort of sign by now.

    May 19, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. kakuranbo

    Doomsday is going to be like any other regular day. If the their theory was ever correct wouldn't the world ended in y2k

    May 19, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. concerned

    Really, the only thing this group has wrong is the date which the Holy Bible makes very clear that NO ONE knows. But anyone with less than half a brain should know out of common sense that the world as we have known it is surely coming to an end. Doesn't matter what you believe in. The end is eminent. It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: And THAT's no fairy tale.

    May 19, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. TvNYC

    I believe it may happen because my right of my brain which thinks of long term memories is blocked only to think till Saturday. In other words I don't see past Saturday may 21st 2011. Maybe it won't. Regardless of what happens I will keep having faith in our God and I will keep having faith on our civilization even though there's clearly more evil than good. I do believe the world is going to end sooner than people think though, there are clearly signs all over, and the 7 years of tribulations began back in 2004 from the Sumatran tsunami/ earthquake. May God bless all of us and may God bless the USA!

    May 19, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chelsea Bashi

    This makes me laugh every time I hear anything about it. Honestly, the only thing that is going to "END" on May 21st, 2011 is the end of their belief that it's the end of the world that day. They are all going to feel so pathetic for seeking so much unnecessary attention. The Bible says itself that not even the son of God knows the time of judgement day. So what makes that man think that a mathematical calculation could give us the day?! If anything, God probably changed the day now cause this guy tried to outsmart him hahahaha.

    I LOVE CNN!
    -Chelsea Bashi

    May 19, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • marilena66

      i wouldn't be laughing chels. you might think its funny, but its not. some of these people really believe that it will happen. the thing that concerns me, is that sometimes when people have their belief shattered, some of them commit suicide because they can't handle the reality that what they gave up so much for, perhaps a home, money, what have you, was all for nothing. you have to have some sort of compassion for these people, because they are misled. iam sure their hearts are in the right place, but they cannot know the hour or the day, because no man knows. only God.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Patrick

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

    Way to be totally ambiguous so when the world does end (probably billions of years from now) you can point and say "he was right" .

    May 19, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Patrick

    " "Have a good flight. BTW, can all you soon to be departers leave me your bank account ID and passwords?""

    You said it... final message... does it mean these morons will be off the planet? Thank god!

    May 19, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. TvNYC

    I agree marilena

    May 19, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. blf83

    See y'all Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, well, you get the idea ....

    May 19, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    I totally agree with the fact that Matthew 24:36 says no one knows about that day or hour, including Jesus himself. Maybe I'm wrong, but no one knows because the only way the world will end will be either by an asteroid hitting earth dead on or us killing ourselves by poisoning the environment in some sort of apocalyptic disaster. The bible was written by men 2000 years ago and transcribed by men. For all we know, Paul may have eaten some type of hallucinate and was tripping when he saw and wrote down everything in Revelations. We have no clue.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      That would be John, not Paul.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Lubiana

      sorry but the Bible was written by God

      May 19, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • maine liberal

      God wrote the Bible ? I thought guttenberg my bad

      the bible was voted on by man

      May 19, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. Astra Navigo

    From where I sit, I hope the "Rapture" does happen on the 21st. The sooner the likes of this guy and his followers, plus the Westboro crowd, the Seven Mountains crowd, the Dominionists (Gary North, David Barton, and all of their ilk), plus every Fundie nutbag in America are off-planet, we can get back to fixing things.

    They're all in the way.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      And please take all the far-right Republicans while you're at it...

      May 19, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. TvNYC

    Patrick it's called faith. You are the only moron in here you lonely fart!

    May 19, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dr Anita

    Have you read the absurd calculations this guy had to go through to get to May 21, 2011... 5x11x17 squared? seriously? This guy is obviously schizophrenic.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Phil

    By the way – Draw Mohammad Day 2 is tomorrow (May 20). Don't forget to draw your image of the false prophet and post it on-line.

    Then we can sit and watch the rapture not happening anywhere around the world on Saturday...postponed due to bad weather.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. TvNYC

    Astra ur anoter moron!

    May 19, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
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