Bring on the Rapture!
According to televangelist and radio-host Harold Camping, the rapture will take place tomorrow, the 21st of May 2011 at 6 p.m. Eastern time. I may be a stubbornly skeptical secular humanist, but I really hope he’s right.
If all of the fundamentalist Christians are suddenly whisked away to Heaven tomorrow, that’ll free up the rest of us to finally get serious about some things we really need to get serious about but which the religious right has been obstructing us from tackling for a long time. Granted only the true believers will be raptured up—so all of the congressional Republicans will still be around—but a great deal of their constituents will be gone. They’ll have to face reality and stop legislating Christian morality, as not only would it be politically pointless to pander to a group no longer dwelling on Earth but the Salvation Game will be over and the chance to earn brownie-points with The Man Upstairs will have officially passed.
So we can stop with all the silly anti-abortion legislation and get to work on protecting the environment. Assuming Armageddon doesn’t follow shortly thereafter, those of us remaining on Planet Earth will now know with certainty that this planet is all we’ve got so we’d better take care of it. And if Armageddon is coming, I can just imagine all those children born due to abortion-restrictions looking at the legislators who passed them and saying, “Gee, thanks a lot.”
One can assume that if the rapture does take place it will only have a really strong impact in the United States, as the Far East and Muslim World don’t have quite as many devout Christians in key positions within their societies. A few Europeans may vanish too, but only a very small amount because while Europeans may hold steadfast to their Christian traditions—including baptism, confirmation, and closing everything down on Sundays—most of them don’t really take that stuff seriously.
I would like to see what happens in Uganda, where a strong faction within the government (prompted by American religious conservatives, of course) has been pushing to enact legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by death. If the rapture happens they’ll have to acknowledge that it really doesn’t matter anymore—the doors to Heaven will be closed and the straight people left behind will be just as damned as the gays.
We might as well let them get married—if it weren’t for the fact that Holy Matrimony will no longer have any meaning either.
The best result of the rapture will undoubtedly be peace in the Middle East. Once God lets the cat out of the bag that he actually does exist and that the Christians had it right all along, there will no longer be much reason for the Muslims to fight the Jews, will there? They can at long last sit down together, have a few beers, grill up a few pork sausages, and laugh about all those silly rules they’ve spent their whole lives following.
But I must confess that what I’m most looking forward to are the post-rapture interviews with all the high-profile Christians who didn’t make the list. I can’t wait to see Pat Robertson try to explain his continuing presence on this plane of existence. He’ll probably try to chalk it up to the fact that he didn’t hate the gays enough.
Of course no post-rapture interview will be quite as deliciously ironic as those given by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, authors of the Left Behind series.
But when I come to think of it, I don’t think there are any high-profile Christians who are holy enough to make the cut. In all likelihood, if God were to carry out the rapture tomorrow there will just be a few scattered disappearances of old ladies throughout the Midwest, nobody really noticing except for their astonished families.
Armageddon will continue as scheduled, brought about purely by humans with no help from God—as was the plan all along.