Not the end of the world...

Last Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, was supposedly going to mark the end of the world, according to the Mayan calendar.

Of course, as we now know, this didn’t happen... just as it didn’t happen on May 21, 2011, when The Rev. Harold Camping predicted it would, or on October, 21, 2011, his revised date after the first prediction proved erroneous.

It seems predicting the apocalypse, the end of the earth, is something that has been around as long as recorded history. The Romans, had several dates predicted for the destruction of the world, none of which came to pass.

Pat Robertson, the famed televangelist, wrote a book in 1990 in which he predicted the earth’s destruction would take place on April 29, 2007. I’m not sure why people would have believed him. He had also previously made the same prediction for 1982.

Revised predictions seem to be a popular theme among those foretelling the end of the world. The astrologer Johannes Stoffler predicted the world would end on February 20, 1524, based on a planetary alignment, and when that didn’t happen, he revised the date to 1528.

Some very influential and respected people through history made doomsday predictions, including Pope Sylvester II (January 1, 1000), Pope Innocent III (1284, which marked the 666th anniversary of the rise of Islam), Martin Luther (no later than 1600) and Christopher Columbus (1656).

May 19, 2013, is the next date on the doomsday calendar, according to Ronald Weinland, founder of the Worldwide Church of God. But don’t put too much stock in that date. He had earlier predicted dates in 2011 and 2012.

Weinland may have wished for an earlier date... next week, he is scheduled to begin a 42-month federal prison term for tax evasion.