Faith escapes truth in advertising

“A fool and his money is soon parted.”

And that’s exactly what happened to all those “believers” who emptied out savings accounts, sold their homes, moved out of apartments, quit their jobs, and dumped all their energies into Harold Camping and the end of the world. Now the 90-year-old prognosticator, who is in failing health, has apologized — in a way — and resigned from his Family Radio Station.

In a five-minute apology he said “Why didn’t Christ return on Oct. 21? It seems embarrassing for Family Radio. But God was in charge of everything. We came to that conclusion after quite careful study of the Bible. He allowed everything to happen the way it did without correction…”

All I can say is bull dinky with a capital bull. Camping’s hubris is only exceeded by his failure to accept responsibility for bilking those people out of millions. And bilk he did. The man is an incredible salesman — he could probably sell birth control to the pope if push came to shove and then blame it all on a miscalculation of the Bible.

This man has done more to destroy faith in Christ than Torquemada did during his reign as the Grand Inquisitor.

And now he’s retired. How convenient. But he still has his house to live in, probably a nice savings account to see him through the rest of his days, and his family around him. Not so for his hapless followers who gave up all they had to promote an end that didn’t come.

Religion is a funny thing, you either take it on faith or you don’t. Unfortunately you can’t take faith and prosecute it for false advertising. If you could, those people would at least have legal recourse to recoup a bit of their worldly possessions.

Harold Camping is right up there with the Bernie Madoff’s of the world, taking people for everything they’ve got for a personal dream.

Bernie is in the slammer, serving a very long sentence and paying for his crimes up front. Camping took the easy route and retired while offering a mea culpa or two.

The way I see it, for all those who believed that Oct. 21 was the last stop, you have two choices — you can really put your back into it and start working hard to regain some of what you lost, or you can always hold out for the next end of days, the ultimate Mayan destruction scheduled for Dec. 12, 2012.

Not for Nuthin, but I don’t put much stock in the Mayan prediction either, even if I didn’t hear it on Family Radio.


Coumnist Joanna DelBuono column appears every Wednesday on BrooklynDaily.com/ She can be reached at jdelbuono@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2523.

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