We've all heard from Harold Camping and his dire prediction that May 21, 2011 will be the Armageddon -- the day Jesus comes back to earth to take his believers to Heaven, sending everyone else down South.
Naturally, there are those who don't quite believe The End is near. Atheists are the leaders of the nay-sayers.
SeattlePI.com reports that an atheist group in Tacoma, Washington has set up a Web site called WeCan'tKnow.org, a takeoff of Camping's WeCanKnow.org. The atheist site features a clock counting backwards until that fateful moment. There is also an invitation to a rapture party:
The night that we’re all Left Behind, May 21st, 2011 at 8:00 PM, the producers and crew of Ask An Atheist would love to see you at Dorky’s Arcade in Tacoma. We’re throwing an awesome party in Tacoma’s new retro arcade and bringing in our favorite Seattle bands to rock the place as we celebrate the END… of the countdown to backpedaling.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a local atheist group called the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (Phact) is also holding a party that night. However, the invitation has one caveat:
Sorry, but if this day is in fact the start of the End of the world, we can't promise a refund.
The American Atheists ran counter-ads to Camping's billboards. Its leader David Silverman said he is concerned about people who are spending all of their money in anticipation of not needing it anymore.
"Doomsday cults are money-making enterprises," he told the New York Daily News. "I wonder what is going to happen on May 22 when people no longer have their possessions or their savings and we are all still here and they don't have their rapture."