The following letter was emailed to Mr. Harold Camping and the Family Radio organization, who made the failed rapture prediction of May 21st, and have just announced a new rapture prediction of October 21st, 2011. I don't need much of a further introduction; the text presented below speaks for itself. I will publish any response they send me, and if they don't send me any response, I'll publish that, too.
My name is Matt Terzi. I'm more popularly known by my pseudonym (pen name), "Matt Rock." I'm a columnist at the MSNBC-affiliated Newsvine website, where I usually write articles about politics. But Harold Camping's failed prediction of a May 21st rapture, and his new prediction of an October 21st, 2011 rapture, have left me with no option but to write this email to your organization. I will be publishing this email to my Newsvine column shortly after I send it to you. I will also be publishing any response you send to me, and I will continue to publish that I have not gotten a response until one is rendered to me and my reading audience. I would appreciate this email being forwarded to Mr. Harold Camping, or any person or party authorized to respond.
I am an absolute skeptic of Mr. Camping's predictions. I believe his rapture predictions are nothing more than a profit-driven scam carried out in an effort to boost the ratings of Family Radio, sell books and merchandise, and to bring attention to Mr. Camping himself. Furthermore, I do not believe that Mr. Camping authentically believes that which he preaches; I refute his assertions that he is faithful in his own predictions. Therefore, I am hereby issuing a public challenge to Mr. Camping and the Family Radioorganization, in the form of a wager directly related to Mr. Camping's predictions.
I am not a Christian. Should the rapture take place on October 21st, 2011, I will surely be left behind, along with the vast majority of the rest of the population of Earth. In such an event, my end of this wager will be that I will spend every waking moment preaching the word of Jesus Christ, and I will raise an army of those left behind to fight the forces of evil in the name of Jesus. Furthermore, if this wager is accepted, I will cease and desist from publishing any negative stories regarding Mr. Camping, Family Radio, or what I consider to be a rapture that will never happen in my lifetime. I will also volunteer at a Church in the Binghamton, New York area of Mr. Camping's choosing, devoting no fewer than twenty hours per week to that Church, starting on the date where this wager is accepted, and ending on the date of October 22nd, 2011, unless the rapture does occur on October 21stas Mr. Camping advertises. Additional stipulations of my end of this wager are open for negotiation.
However, if the rapture has not occurred by 00:00:01 (midnight, +1 second) on October 23rd, 2011, the following stipulations must take effect. First, Mr. Harold Camping, his estate, and/ or Family Radio must issue a check of $1,000,000 USD to a legitimate suicide prevention organization of my choosing, as well as a $500,000 USD check to Habitat for Humanity, the Christian charitable foundation I personally agree with the most. Next, that same party must issue a formal apology for the failed prediction via the Family Radiowebsite, coupled with a copy of that formal apology sent out via a press release to MSNBC, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, BBC News, and Fox News. Lastly, that organization will issue a personal check to me for $75,000 USD, 10% of which I will donate to a charity of that party's choosing, but the rest of which will be kept by me for personal or public use in whatever way(s) I see fit.
If Mr. Camping and/ or the Family Radio organization truly, firmly believe that Mr. Camping's prediction of an October 21st, 2011 rapture will take place, then this wager should be of extreme value to your organization. A Church in the Binghamton area will get a volunteer they otherwise would never get, the post-rapture armies of Jesus would gain a recruiting officer who would otherwise go into hiding for his own protection, and none of this would cost a single cent to Mr. Harold Camping or the Family Radio organization. But if Mr. Camping doesn't believe in his own prediction, or knows it to be a scam, then I would imagine this email would never get a response, or would get an unfavorable one at best. If his cause is just, but he isn't certain of his prediction, I would imagine that Mr. Camping would retract his prediction before more people are hurt, like the Kenyan man who killed himself, or the woman who attempted suicide after also attempting to murder her children, all resulting from Mr. Camping's failed May 21strapture prediction. If Mr. Camping truly believes in his prediction, accepts this wager, and he is proven wrong as I personally predict, then the $1,575,000 is mostly going to outstandingly excellent charities. That's a win-win, in my book.
With this, the challenge has been presented, Mr. Camping. You can show the world you're serious about your prediction and accept this wager, or you can show the world that you're doing this for personal gain and/ or for the gain of additional ratings for Family Radio, duping a small swath of the public into believing a terrible sham which has thus far carried with it the expense of human life. I will be expecting some form of response in the next few days. Else, I will regularly publish articles broadcasting a lack thereof. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I, and my readers, are looking forward to your response.
Matt Terzi (also known as “Matt Rock”)