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. Handyman

    I would like to hear the excuses when they wake up on May 22nd and find their still here on earth. Such fools.

    May 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Not as much fools as CNN for covering this rubbish. What will CNN do, have camera crews around the world covering earthquakes as they happen? Oh I'll be glued to the TV all day!!!

      May 18, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chris R.

    People that believe the world will come to an end on May 21st need to get a life. When they wake up on the 21st and then again on the 22nd, everyone else in the world will be laughing their butts off at the ding bats that believed the world is suppose to end this month. Like... c'mon... get real! The bible does NOT state which day the world will end. It says the world will end WITHOUT WARNING TO MAN!

    May 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Taylor

    lets go camping

    May 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. You know

    I CAN"T WAIT till may 22nd to roll around!

    May 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary of Churchville

      Me either. It's my birthday!!!

      May 19, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. another dummy

    MAy 22nd,2011 the day you went broke and realized your a fool. hahah

    May 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris R.

      lmao my wife said the exact same thing before i read your posting... what are the odds.... lmao

      May 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gahd

      That's not a coincidence, but God's plan at work. Everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen is all happening as it should. It's the strings.

      May 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Taylor

    oh to bad..casey anthony will not get her jury seated.

    May 18, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      Im going to a bad place for laughing at that.

      May 18, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sarah Palin

    Maybe Jesus is speaking directly to them. He spoke to me to stop the bridge going nowhere

    May 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barack Obama

      He told me to do everything I can to make the US a third world country and I'm doing as I was told too!

      May 18, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kylie gunn

    The people of the bible died at their various ages but at different times throughout their year of death, so Harold Camping cannot add the ages together to come to an accurate date without a margin of era of 6months per person.

    May 18, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Me

    Time to have an "End of the World Party"!

    May 18, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • evets2010

      How about an end of the world tea party?

      May 18, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. I know the Time

    So, if the world is ending on the 21st, it must end just before 8am U.S. EST time in NYC on May 21st. It's the only time when its reached the 21st all around the world simultaneously. Otherwise, shortly after 8am NYC time, it'll be midnight the 22nd in New Zealand. If it's any earlier, it'll still be the 20th somewhere in the world. 8am NYC time = 2am in Hawaii = 2pm in Paris = 10pm Sydney.

    May 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • evets2010

      You're thinking is far too deep for these people! "Time zones? What's that?"

      May 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • sillyshelly

      Actually, according to these people, Saturday is not the end of the world but the beginning of the end of the world. It will start with massive earthquakes at 6pm in each time zone..and then the survivors will basically loot and kill each other until October 21st when the world is supposed to be destroyed completely.

      May 19, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jeremy

    Religion is stupid

    May 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave in Viola

    duh, duh, duh.............
    uhh......duh....duh....duh

    May 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. joe

    This religious people I can tell they are not doing they homework, they say they are Christian and they don't even know what the Bible says, it says that some people asked Jesus when the end of the world was coming and Jesus said " No body know , I don't know, only my father knows" if Jesus didn't know , how the hell this liar preacher knows when Judgement day is coming? This preacher is a pathetic liar that is making money if people that believe in what he says, and the worst he is using God and the Bible to lie, like most o the religious people and the republicans

    May 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gahd

      Well apparently the people who selected the books for the bible didn't do their homework either. Stoning an adulterous spouse was frowned upon by Jeezy Crisco, but an unruly child is to be stoned by all the village men. What if said unruly child was raised by unruly, drunkard and adulterous parents? Should not the parents be stoned for failing to raise their child? What if the child has a psychological disorder? Would that not require healing instead of punishment? The Bible is a flawed piece of literature written to control people. Jesus was Jewish, so theoretically his followers should be Jewish too. Many people have been led astray over the years by false prophets. Religion has not fixed racism, disease, war, or corruption, yet people cling to the hope that they have bet on the right horse, instead of digging in deep and doing the actual work involved in changing our world for the better.

      May 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey

    Actually, I have a party to attend Friday night.
    We must have planned it with precognition.
    I must be psychic–say...know what?
    The Rapture is Sunday, not Saturday.
    Send me money, and I'll send you a prayer handkerchief...as soon as I do the laundry.

    May 18, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. William Fitzwater

    Come Monday & we will all still be here. However My unemployment is exhausted and my time is ticking for me. I am diabetic my Insulin will last only so long my medical supplies are limited . I have definite REAL deadline . Mr Campings is imaginary. This is the truth we can not put a dealing on God's will. Some may wish for the Rapture pray for and even beg for it.
    For me I don't wish for it in one sense. Do I wish to see judgement on others Real judgement ? Would any sane person wish to see Hell on Earth ?
    This is the difference between reality & faith a for of self delusion which we all suffer from. Be salt & light just go about your business live as best we can tough a hurting world & let God plan unfold...

    May 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
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