According to a Washington Post story filed just about an hour ago (7;38 pm EDT), at least some of Harold Camping’s followers aren’t giving up hope as long as it is May 21 somewhere:

“It’s still May 21 and God’s going to bring it,” said Family Radio’s special projects coordinator Michael Garcia, who spent Saturday morning praying and drinking two last cups of coffee with his wife at home in Alameda. “When you say something and it doesn’t happen, your pride is what’s hurt. But who needs pride? God said he resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.”

Marie Exley, who helped put up apocalypse-themed billboards in Israel, Jordan and Lebanon, said the money allowed the nonprofit to reach as many souls as possible.

She said she and her husband, mother and brother read the Bible and stayed close to the television news on Friday night awaiting word of an earthquake in the southern hemisphere. When that did not happen, she said fellow believers began reaching out to reassure one another of their faith.

“Some people were saying it was going to be an earthquake at that specific time in New Zealand and be a rolling judgment, but God is keeping us in our place and saying you may know the day but you don’t know the hour,” she said Saturday, speaking from Bozeman, Mont. “The day is not over, it’s just the morning, and we have to endure until the end.”

For at least one person–Robert Fitzpatrick, whom I mentioned here as having spent his entire life savings, $140,000, to get the word out–the light has apparently dawned:

In New York’s Times Square, Robert Fitzpatrick, of Staten Island, said he was surprised when 6 p.m. came and went. He had spent his own money to put up advertising about the end of the world.

“I can’t tell you what I feel right now,” he said, surrounded by tourists. “I don’t understand it. I don’t know. I don’t understand what happened.

“Obviously, I haven’t understood it correctly because we’re still here,” he said.

Too true. I say that with the utmost sympathy for Mr. Fitzpatrick, who unfortunately has been swindled by a charlatan whose media empire the Post estimated to be worth over $100 million. If Camping has a shred of decency and honor, he will liquidate as much of that empire as he has to in order to indemnify people like Mr. Fitzpatrick. I doubt that will happen, but I hope that orthodox churches across the country will step in to help the folks who have put so much misplaced faith in Camping’s numerological schemes to pick up the pieces of their lives and return to a true faith in the God of Jesus Christ.

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