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. Lynn

    So if I go to Australia the day before, the end will have come and gone? An inquirying mind wants to know.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • George Kuzni

      I always pay my credit card statement on time and in full, it just happened that my next credit card due date is the 20th of this month, so after calling the credit card company and going through the maze of voice response menus, I ended up with an operator, I asked her if she can just change my billing due date for few days past the 20th, she agreed by saying "of course we can , we can have it any day you like, except we can not change it for this billing period", and when I explained to her the reason that I only really need it for this month, I mean just in case the world ends on the 21th, there would be no reason for me to send the money and waste my time. Anyway, I always pay online, but this time I'll send a check with the envelop post dated today , the 19th and let's hope for the best, ( we don't know what the best is ) the Credit Card rep thought it was hillarious, and told me I made her day !

      May 19, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • angela

      LOL thanks u made my day!

      May 19, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jess Dee

      HAHA! You made my day too!!!!!!!

      May 19, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Don

      These idiots should read the Bible! No one knows the day of the Rapture, but when it does occur, it's seven years of tribulation, then a thousand years of perfection, then a minor rebellion of Satan, then a new heaven and a new new earth. So theoretically the world never ends! However, Babylon (the world monetary system) will get its ass kicked but good, and that could happen on Saturday May 21, 2011.

      May 19, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. Margroks

    Anyone who believes this is an idiot. This guy is either an idiot or, more likely, just glad to profit off the people who fall for his nonsense. And yes, I do believe you could skip all this by just heading to OZ!

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

    these false prophets need to read their bible:

    matt 24:36
    However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen,
    not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.
    mark 13:32
    "However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen,
    not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.

    Deuteronomy 18 v 20

    20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded
    him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”

    21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken
    by the LORD ?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not
    take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken.
    That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Red Dragon

      stop quoting fairy tales

      May 19, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Alverant

      And why can't your god change his mind after saying those things?

      May 19, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. Angela

    I sat reading all of the comments on here last night, and was really saddened by where we are as a people. It makes me wonder just how sad God must get when he looks down at us. Yes, I am a Christian, and I am going to say I just don't know what the 21st will bring. My first instinct when I heard this, was to examine myself, my faith, and my life. If nothing else comes out of it, then perhaps many people did the same. My heart goes out to the families that have been destroyed and the pain they will all face should nothing happen. If it does, I am ready to go home. I don't think its at all kind to tear people down. The ones of you that degrade and criticize remind me of those that walked by the cross that Jesus hung on. There is nothing new under the sun.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rob Dyson

    These people are the exact reason many people turn away from the truth of the Bible. What the Bible doe say is that no man...NO MAN...knows the day or the hour of the Lord's return for His faithful, not the angels, not Jesus Himself , only God knows. People, pay no attention to this self proclaimed prophet. Another thing the Bible says is that a person who speaks one false prophecy is a false prophet. He's been wrong about this once, what does that make him?

    May 19, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      No, people turn away from the bible because it is so hypocritical that you can't trust it for anything. Now, yes, I did kill my children when they talked back to me, and I did off my neighbor when I saw him eating a pig product, but really, do I have to check every woman in my town to see if they were virgins on their wedding night? It's hard to tell, and I'd probably have to kill an awful lot of them.

      May 19, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jess Dee

    This is hilarious. I don't care what any of you say....this is just hilarity at it's finest.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. ron

    The book of revelation is the only book in the bible with a warning label . In the last chapter it tells you NOT to put any interpretation on ANY thing in it . Only Christ knows what it means and only he can intrepret it . This is the book that all fundamentalist preachers go to to proov amargedon and literal hell . They are no different than fundamentalist muslims . They to preach a literal end of the earth and the comming of a redeemer .......... same thing . I was raised in this religion . I know what I am talking about . Yeah, I can't spell worth a hoot and I do have an education .

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

    If the end-of-the-worlders really believe that May 21 will be The Day, I invite all of them to sign over to me the deeds for their homes and cars on May 20. Then, I promise they will receive a revelation shortly thereafter...

    May 19, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. ron

    My concern is with those poor people that have been lied to . God love'm . The only mistake they have made is to put their faith in a man . I hope the don't lose their faith in God when it does not happen . I Pray for them .

    May 19, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. flchris77

    On Sunday I'm going to stand outside a church with a sign that says "Jesus hates you and you're all going to hell."

    May 19, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. Gary of Churchville

    Does this mean I don't have to go to work on Monday???

    May 19, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. mickey

    A PLEA FROM A CONCERNED NON CHRISTIAN:
    Please, when the rapture comes, LEAVE YOUR KEYS IN THE IGNITION! don't make me look for the keys to my new car!
    THANK YOU!

    May 19, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bernie

    Nothing like taking predictions of the future from ancient goat herders over 2000 years ago. Makes sense to me. How much should I donate for this slice of heaven?

    May 19, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lee

    I don't feel the least bit sorry for these people. If you are going to believe in the invisible boogyman in the sky and all that entails, you get what you deserve for your self-imposed ignorance. A fool an his money are soon parted.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. No!

    CNN, please stop running this garbage as headline news when there is so much more important things going on in the world right now.

    May 19, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
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