Lo, the day draws nigh!
The folks over at Family Radio must be all in a tizz. Why? Well, because Jesus is coming back on Saturday and he’s taking all the good people — them — back to heaven with him. That is, there’s gonna be some blatant rapture action and some mighty sorry slobs — you and I — will be left behind. I’m guessing it will be a pretty dramatic occurrence. Look out for planes to fall from the sky, cars to pile up on the interstates, and people to die on operating tables as Jesus takes all the pure ones away from this unwashed and hopelessly heathen world.
This popular idea of the rapture is not only silly; it’s unbiblical. It’s just not in there, folks. But this doesn’t keep the Family Radio people and countless other groups from claiming that not only will the rapture happen in a here-today, gone-tomorrow kind of way, but that they know the date and even the time at which all naughty people will be left behind to rot in squalor on this putrid and sinful planet. Predicting the end of the world has been a nonstop industry for centuries. And it occurs not only in Christian circles. Look here for an interesting article from the LA Times on recent claims.
Predictably, with the frenzied claims of the world’s immanent doom has come the equally frenzied mockery from the atheists. These folks have had a fine time making fun of those who think they’re leaving us on Saturday. Some of them really work hard at it, too. Perhaps too hard. It’s depressingly familiar: So many atheists (but not all) spend so much time and energy focused on the crudest forms of religious expression.
The rapture squad scream on street corners. The atheists mock them. We yawn. Nothing to see here, folks. Not a single thing.
But maybe not. It seems to me that something new is happening this time. At least it seems that way from where I sit. Maybe it’s because of the rise of the Internets or perhaps the recent uptick in atheism. In any case, the atheists are thinking smart this time. Instead of merely making jokes about the sorry situation, these folks are finding a way to cash in on the pre-rapture mania. A group of “animal lovers and confirmed atheists” at Eternal Earthbound Pets have offered to take care of Fluffy after her owners get swept off the planet by Jesus. See this article at HuffPost. From their website:
For $135.00 we will guarantee that should the Rapture occur within ten (10) years of receipt of payment, one pet per residence will be saved. Each additional pet at your residence will be saved for an additional $20.00 fee. A small price to pay for your peace of mind and the health and safety of your four legged and feathered friends. Unfortunately at this time we are not equipped to accommodate all species and must limit our services to dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and small caged mammals. [Please note: we can now offer rescue services for horses, camels, llamas and donkeys in NH,VT, ID and MT]
This brings up some time-honored theological questions such as, Do dogs go to heaven? And if so, what about ostriches and llamas? Turtles? Ferrets? Other questions arise, too, such as: Has anyone ever seen such cynicism? How is this different than ripping off elderly people who are not capable of reading fine print or of discerning the difference between a legitimate email from their bank and a clever hoax? Just thought I’d throw out the question.
Not that the folks at Eternal Earthbound Pets aren’t nice people, mind you. They prove that they’re morally legit by giving away a portion of their advertising revenues to community food banks. See, they can benefit from the ignorance of others and be ethical too!
Hm. Maybe it’s me who’s cynical.
Good to be back.
P.S. No, Eternal Earthbound Pets is not a joke. Although it may be hard to imagine any member of the Jesus-is-coming-tomorrow-just-before-teatime crowd trusting one of those mean old atheists with Fluffy.