The end is why?

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Just when I got used to the idea of the world ending on Dec. 21, 2012 because some Mayan calendar-makers ran out of space on the ledger, overenthusiastic sign-wavers are insisting the date be moved up more than a year, to May 21, 2011.

What gives?

It turns out that competing groups of true believers read the apocalypse tea leaves differently. The May 21, 2011 date has nothing to do with the Maya, and is instead arrived at by some extra-creative Christians and their liberal reading of the Bible. (It has to do with Genesis, Noah's flood and one day being like 1,000 years to God — or something.)

As such, you can expect much talk on cable news of The Rapture, Jesus returning to earth and God's wrath. Just don't expect to actually see any of it. (Except on Fox News, of course.)

And don't expect the end-times lunacy to go away after May 21 (or 12/21/2012, for that matter). A quick search online uncovers 17 (!) possible ends of the world between 2020 and 2040. That's a lot of hiding under the bed, even for the religiously unemployed.

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