Saturday, May 21, 2011

If you're reading this, I may or may not have been raptured.

So today we are (by 6PM) supposed to have earthquakes, strong enough to open graves, etc. I've been listening curiously to all the coverage this supposed Rapture date has gotten. Slate has articles about how religious/cult groups handle it when their prophesied doomsday comes and goes, and about what happens to your pet if you have to leave it behind.
(Which brings us to my favorite scene in the Simpsons... ever:)

I remember when this same guy predicted the rapture back in '94. I remember that there were stickers on light poles everywhere. I was living in MA and volunteering with Young Life, an ecumenical Youth Ministry. I was one of the very few Catholics on the volunteer team and I watched in (silent) amazement as some of the others, evangelical-types, prepared for the Big Day. They made plans to meet just before rapture-time and pray together, and I thought that was nice. (Fast-forward to this week, where there's a Facebook event called "Post-Rapture Looting" that one can join.) I made no such plans at the time, and as nice as I thought that was, I have no such plans today. So, if it comes and I'm not ready, it'll serve me right.
I guess if this is The Day, then I'm fine with that. But I have a lot of theological issues with the way this group is ruling out people and ruling-in others. What is it about religious-types and their inability to say "you know, we just don't know. How would we know who goes to Heaven or what Heaven is?? But we think it's going to be great."
I feel bad for the people who want this to be true so badly, who have taken big risks with their lives like quitting their jobs and leaving their families behind to make van caravans (??) all over the US. Slate says they won't be too disappointed, and will just readjust their expectations... you know, if it doesn't happen. I know one thing, if I were that minister who started all this buzz, I'd disappear, either way... and leave a note that says "if you're reading this, I've been raptured!"

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