Should Harold Camping Be Jailed for False Prophecy?

Harold Camping
Harold Camping (AP Images/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Friday came and went and the world didn’t come to an end.

Now, Harold Camping, the so-called doomsday prophet whose repeated failed rapture predictions have caused many to fear and some to mock the church, has gone silent.

Camping’s false prophecies have made international headlines, but the 90-year-old founder of Family Radio isn’t offering any explanation for why the world didn’t come to an end on Friday—or when he thinks Jesus will return now.

“I'm sorry to disappoint you, but we at Family Radio have been directed to not talk to the media or the press," Camping's daughter Susan Espinoza told the Associated Press on Friday.

Here’s the history of Camping’s false prophecies: In a 1992 book, he predicted the world would end in September 1994. When that didn’t come to pass, he shifted gears and pointed to a faraway date in the future: May 21, 2011. And when that didn’t pan out, Camping said he miscalculated and predicted the end of the world would happen on Friday.

Many are weary of Camping’s predictions, but one prison minister is arguing that the elderly preacher should be jailed. Marty Angelo spoke out harshly against Camping after the latest failed prediction.

“I know prison convicts who are serving life sentences for much lesser crimes than what this Christian ‘Bernie Madoff’ Camping keeps committing,” Angelo says, noting that evangelist Jim Bakker went to prison for lesser crimes than what he believes Camping has committed. “Camping has fleeced his followers out of millions of dollars over the years without one law enforcement official ever looking into what he was doing was against the law.”

Do you think Camping should be investigated for fraud?

Your Turn

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