The media and blogosphere has devoted considerable attention to Harold Camping of Family Radio Worldwide, who predicted that the Rapture would occur at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 21st. With outreach campaigns such as Project Jonah, Family Radio Worldwide has promoted its May 21st Rapture prediction far and wide. Fearing that the end was near, several distraught people committed acts of violence, including a mother who sliced her daughters' throats and a Nairobi man who committed suicide.
While most coverage of Camping has focused on his Rapture prediction, some outlets have also taken note of his considerable homophobia. The video below captures Camping's attitudes toward gays, lesbians, and the city of San Fransisco, which he calls a "wicked area".
(Hat tip to Truth Wins Out. Click here if you're having trouble viewing the video.)
At the 2:26 mark of the video, Camping describes homosexuality as something akin to addiction that can be cured through faith.
MAN: Have you ever gotten a phone call on Open Forum from someone who was maybe struggling with--The Family Radio Worldwide website features a document entitled Gay Pride: Planned by God as a Sign of the End, available for download at www[dot]familyradio[dot]com/PDFS/gay_pride.pdf. In Gay Pride, Camping claims that the success of the LGBT movement is a sign from the divine that judgment day is near. He cites the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, in which the men of Sodom demanded that Lot hand over his angelic guests for abuse, only to be blinded and later destroyed by God. Camping likens the destruction of Sodom to the destruction of Judgment Day, with homosexuality as a common variable in both eras. Other current events, such as the founding of Israel in 1948, the rise of the Charismatic movement, and the supposed "spiritual decay" in many churches, also herald the approach of Judgment Day.
CAMPING: Of course we get calls like that, and I always encourage them if they become a child of God, then there will be a big change in their character. They won't want to be that anymore. That's just the nature of salvation. That's why, for example, an alcoholic--alcohol for them has become their god. They find that if they take that drink, they can face life. The person who's a homosexual is slave to sex. He can't give it up. It just possesses him. Anything that we are a slave to, that becomes a god. The only way they can get real victory over it is if they have their heart changed, and only God can do that.
Lambasting homosexuality as sinful, the document laments that homosexuality has been accepted across the globe as an "alternative lifestyle" instead of being hidden. Before the present day, it claims, homosexuality was only present to a small degree as part of idol worship. God has allegedly given up people to homosexuality as a sign that the end times are approaching.
Camping's condemnation of homosexuality has much in common with other Religious Right diatribes against the LGBT community: homosexuality as a sexual and spiritual pathology that can allegedly be cured, homosexuality as incompatible with Christianity, the Sodom and Gomorrah story interpreted as a condemnation of LGBT people, etc. As with other fundamentalists, the LGBT community was singled out as a menacing scapegoat in Camping's end times eschatology.
To learn more about Family Radio Worldwide and their Rapture prediction, visit www[dot]familyradio[dot]com. For additional news and commentary, visit the following links:
CBS News: How Harold Camping Marketed the Rapture
New York Magazine: A Conversation with Harold Camping, Prophesier of Judgment Day
Religion Dispatches: 5 Lessons Learned from the Apocalypse Fail, Or, It’s Not the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel So-So
Talk to Action: Harold Camping's Days Are Numbered: A Quick and Dirty Guide to the Rapture
Infidel753: It was just an ordinary day, dumbasses