I really wish I could quit you, Harold Camping.
Really. You used to be funny and we’d giggle at your laughable prophecies every week on the show. Now, I just wish that you’d just curl up and die. I’d have thought that we’d have heard the last of this senile, half-dead zealot when he announced that was retiring after a trifecta of failed apocalyptic predictions.
But now he wants you to know that he’s sorry. Kind of. Not really.
This is the same insulting non-apology that we’ve grown accustomed to hearing from the Pope and his army of amoral frocked reptiles in the leadership of the Catholic Church:
“We sympathize with the pain that this terrible situation may have caused you,” they typically whine only to want to scurry off with no admission of responsibility and without making any real amends to the people they’ve wronged.
And when the topic of compensating the victims comes up, the response is utterly predictable.
“What else do you want from us? We said that we were sorry!”
Well, according to the San Francisco International Business Times, Harold Camping’s Family Radio empire raked in “$18 million in contributions, and the total assets for  was $72 million.” Camping should not simply say that he’s sorry, but show it. He can start by writing a tall stack of checks to people who’ve literally given their bottom dollar to his billboard and bus ad campaigns of the past Spring and had their lives left in complete ruin in an already-scary economy.
Here are a couple of the people who’ve put their financial and retirement security into the toilet because they believed Harold Camping when he preached that the Rapture would occur last May 21st:
- 60 year-old Robert Fitzpatrick of Staten Island has spent the entire sum of his retirement savings – $140,000 dollars – on subway ads proclaiming that the world would end on May 21, in accordance with Camping’s prediction. When asked by the New York Post what he would do if Camping was wrong, he said, “I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to think about it,”
- Adrienne Martinez and her husband Joel, a young couple from New York City, told NPR that they’d left their jobs and have been handing out apocalyptic tracts in Florida. They say that they’d budgeted their remaining savings so that they would have no more money on May 21st. At the time of the NPR report, they had a two year-old daughter and a second child due this past June.
So, how about it, Harold Camping? If you have any shame or human feeling, you’ll junk the Family Radio corporation, liquidate its assets and start to pay back the people whose lives you’ve destroyed. The rest of your life should be a long series of heartfelt apologies to the wide swath of people who have poured their savings and futures into your absolute certainty that May 22nd, 2011 wasn’t going to come.
And after you’ve finished signing the final check, Mr. Camping, you should just crawl under the porch and die like a dog. Then the county’s animal control people can come out and dislodge your rotting carcass with a rake after the neighbors start to complain about the smell.
But first, write the damned checks.