Harold Camping—aka "the guy with all the Raptures"—says he's "embarrassed" that his last two failed doomsday predictions on May 21 and October 21 did not pan out. In fact, he even admits that, "incidentally," he was wrong.

"When it comes to trying to recognize the truth of prophecy, we're finding that it is very, very difficult," Camping states in an audio message posted on Family Radio's website (which, for some reason, no longer mentions any of Camping's old Rapture predictions). Calling the announcement "a radical change" in his thinking, the Christian Post has transcribed his statement (YAY you don't have to listen to it):

Why didn't Christ return on Oct. 21? It seems embarrassing for Family Radio. But God was in charge of everything. We came to that conclusion after quite careful study of the Bible. He allowed everything to happen the way it did without correction. He could have stopped everything if He had wanted to.

I am very encouraged by letters that I have received and [am] receiving at this time concerning this matter. Amongst other things I have been checking my notes more carefully than ever. And I do find that there is other language in the Bible that we still have to look at very carefully and will impinge upon this question very definitely. And we should be very patient about this matter. At least in a minimal way we are learning to walk more and more humble before God.

Yes, surely the right answer's in Camping's notes somewhere, mixed in between the shopping lists ("Milk, Entemann's coffee cakes, tub of lard") and the chores lists ("submit short story to lit mag contest, dust crucifixes, organize iTunes"). Even though many people sold their homes and spent their life savings to help pay for ads promoting the May 21 No-pocalypse, effectively destroying their lives on behalf of an empty promise, God will forgive Camping. God's a nice guy:

Incidentally, I have been told that I said back in May that people who did not believe that May 21 should not be the rapture date, probably had not been saved. I should not have said that, and I apologize for that. One thing we know for certain, is that God is merciful, merciful beyond anything that we would ever expect. And so, we can pray constantly, and should be praying constantly: "Oh Lord, we look to Thee for Thine mercy, and we're so thankful that we know that Thou art so merciful."

Camping's somewhat lame apology comes just weeks after his announcement that he was retiring from Family Radio and the rapture-prediction biz. Which suggests that a plum job in America's false-prognostication industry is opening up soon, so be on the lookout for the ad. No qualifications necessary! God will train the right candidate to be wrong all the time, about everything.

[KBOI, Christian Post, via Post-Intelligencer. Image via AP]