Harold Camping: Like I was saying, Judgment Day will happen by October 21

He was wrong in 1994 too, but maybe the third time’s a charm. Until then, Camping followers, keep those donations coming.

Through chatting with a friend over what he acknowledged was a very difficult weekend, it dawned on him that instead of the biblical Rapture in which the faithful would be swept up to the heavens, May 21 had instead been a “spiritual” Judgment Day, which places the entire world under Christ’s judgment, he said.

The globe will be completely destroyed in five months, he said, when the apocalypse comes. But because God’s judgment and salvation were completed on Saturday, there’s no point in continuing to warn people about it, so his network will now just play Christian music and programs until the final end on Oct. 21…

Follower Jeff Hopkins said he spent a good deal of his own retirement savings on gas money to power his car so people would see its ominous lighted sign showcasing Camping’s May 21 warning. As the appointed day drew nearer, Hopkins started making the 100-mile round trip from Long Island to New York City twice a day, spending at least $15 on gas each trip.

“I’ve been mocked and scoffed and cursed at and I’ve been through a lot with this lighted sign on top of my car,” said Hopkins, 52, a former television producer who lives in Great River, NY. “I was doing what I’ve been instructed to do through the Bible, but now I’ve been stymied. It’s like getting slapped in the face.”

What’s the Netiquette these days on whether it’s okay to mock Camping? Let’s hammer it out now, since apparently we’re going to have to go through this again in five months and endure another tribulation of lame Rapture jokes on Twitter. On the one hand, he’s an old man who seems to be sincere. He’s suffered a great spiritual disappointment. He’s not coercing anyone into following him. Per the “donation” story linked above, it doesn’t sound like he’s cashing in (although it’s hard to be sure). On the other hand, an awful lot of suckers have lost an awful lot of money trying to “warn the public” about his crankery, and some of those suckers have kids who need food and tuition. Mocking fools and predators is A-OK, mocking earnest/well-meaning yet misguided people usually isn’t. Which group does he belong to?