Tomorrow’s the big day

One day ’til rapture.

So apparently I’ve got approximately thirty-three hours to get all my affairs in order before all hell breaks loose on earth. Tomorrow at 6:00p.m. one of three things will happen:

  1. Nothing will happen. Nothing rapture-related, at least. Surely something, somewhere will happen tomorrow at approximately six o’clock in the evening. But in this instance, it won’t have anything to do with god or religion. Not in a rapture sort of way.
  2. Rapture happens and my wife and I have to try and survive after having been left behind. We will most likely band together with our closest friends and come up with a plan.
  3. Rapture happens and my wife has to cope without me because I’ve just ascended into Heaven. What? Why would that happen? I’m a baptized Catholic, whereas my wife has been nonreligious her entire life. Some people live under the philosophy of “Once ‘saved’, always saved.” That means I’d be taken away with Jesus whether I like it or not.

I’ll reiterate again that we should know what’s going to happen some time today because Christmas Island (among other places near Indonesia in the same time zone) will be seeing 6:00p.m. May 21st in approximately 13.5 hours. I’m sure CNN will cover it if people just start disappearing in a huge, not-so-quick-by-god’s-standards-or-power, wave across the globe.

This “wave of rapture” will be accompanied by massive, global earthquakes. When they make it to America tomorrow evening, things get a little confusing. Most of the state of Arizona, for example, does not abide by the Daylight Saving rules, whereas some parts of the state do. Some parts of the state that do not use Daylight Saving are inside and completely surrounded by the part that does not (research Navajo Nation to see what I’m talking about). Massive earthquakes will allegedly hit in the Daylight Saving portions of the state one hour before they hit the rest of the state, according to Harold Camping. You’d think that the Christian god, with all his power, could just shake the whole planet at once.

All of that isn’t what I meant for this post to be about, but I figure I might as well load it up since it might be my last. As I alluded to at the end of my last post, here are some ways you can prepare for the rapture, as well as some ideas for passing the time (or surviving) once rapture has happened and you’ve been left behind:

  1. Get out of and away from large structures such as skyscrapers and other tall buildings. Rapture (and the massive earthquakes that come with it) is supposed to occur at precisely 6:00p, local time. This means that depending on where you live you should have several hours’ preparation time once you’ve determined this is really happening. Don’t be one of the rapture’s first victims by succumbing to the earthquake!
  2. Stay off the road! At precisely 6:00p local time, according to Harold Camping 200 million Christians will suddenly disappear. This will include Christians who are driving in their cars at the time. This means a whole lot of running vehicles suddenly becoming driver-less, and a whole lot of traffic accidents.
  3. DON’T FLY. You think you’ve got a chance against a driver-less car? How about a pilot-less airplane? If you’ve got a flight that’ll have you in the air at the time of rapture, you may want to skip it.
  4. On a related note, reschedule that root canal you were going to get at 6:00p on Saturday. Don’t want your dentist disappearing mid-drill, do you? Credit to AD’s Ed for these last two.
  5. Don’t assume anything. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, if at six o’clock nobody around you suddenly disappears do not say to them “Oh, I see you also don’t believe in Jesus.” This might cause a fight, especially if that person is bitter for having not been raptured despite believing in Jesus.
  6. Seek weaponry. The chaos ensuing from the realization that rapture just happened will occur almost immediately. You will need to protect yourself. If you do not have access to firearms, cutlery and bludgeons are good alternatives.
  7. Find a better place to live. Unless you live in a gated mansion, you’re gonna need to start seeking shelter. The world just became a far more dangerous place. The upside? Lots of new, free real estate just opened up. The downside? Everyone’s gonna want some. My friend Rachel recommends settling down in a church. It’s not like anyone needs those things anymore.
  8. Write a bucket list (thanks @dema33alya). You’ve got a maximum of five months left to live, so it’s time to do all those things you’ve promised yourself you’d do before you die. And being that the world will be in complete chaos, you could die any day now so you’d better get started. Never been to Disney World? Now’s the time to go – I hear the lines this time of the end of the world are super short!
  9. Kiss your moral boundaries goodbye. Look, it’s tough for me to say this, but if all this turns out to be true and the Christian god exists then he just slapped you hard in the face with a “I know you’ve been good and all, but you just couldn’t find it in yourself to believe in me and really, that’s all I care about. Check this shit out – I just raptured every member of Westboro Baptist Church just because they believe in Jesus.” Once all hell breaks loose, all bets are off. You will have to loot some places and cheat some people just to survive. You’re damned anyway, right? (blame AD writer meiochi for this one)
  10. Read the Left Behind book series. Why not? You just got left behind; maybe you could use some pointers (thanks Holly). You could even make a game out of it. Spot the differences!

Hopefully you are now well-prepared (and well-warned) for the rapture. Remember, rapture will occur at 6:00p local time, wherever you are. I would live-blog during the rapture but frankly, I don’t expect anything noteworthy to happen.

Here is a list of all my “countdown” posts, for easy access:

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Countdown: day seven

One week ’til rapture.

What if the rapture already happened? What if the six or seven billion of us on earth are the ones who’ve been left behind? Didn’t the Bible state in Revelation that only 144,000 people would be “raptured”? That’s a pretty insignificant number of people considering the overall world population. This could have happened already with none of us realizing it.

Think of the four horsemen: conquest and war? We got ’em. Lots of that going on right now, as a matter of fact. Famine? 20,000 or so people (likely much, much more) die of hunger every day. Death? Read that last sentence again. Multiply it by however many other causes of death there are. That’s an awful lot of death.

Earthquakes? Floods? Tornadoes? Have you been watching the news lately?

Of course, I don’t believe any of this stuff has anything to do with what’s predicted in the Bible. Except, perhaps, the wars – many of which can be attributed to holy books and the belief that they are the inerrant word of the god they represent. But that’s a post for another day.

Counting down: day 9

Nine days ’til rapture!

21 May, 2011

May 21st of this year is thought by quite a few religious idiots (sometimes ad hominem attacks really are all they deserve) to be the “Judgment Day,” when Jesus himself will return to earth riding side-saddle on a pegasus and zap all the true believers up into Heaven, leaving the rest of us heathens to suffer the apocalypse for five entire months until the world as we know it ceases to exist on October 21st.

There has, of course, been an awful lot of thought put into the May 21st date and it is preached by many people to be absolutely, undeniably the day of judgment. It could not possibly be any other day, they tell us.

Who, exactly, are they?
They are, fortunately, just a small percentage of the religious population led by one Harold CampingUnfortunately, that small percentage is able to reach out to a very broad audience. They’ve even gone so far as to raise over 2,000 billboards across the world proclaiming their ridiculous assertions. I’d say it’s a waste of money, but hey, if they’ve only got one month left to blow it all they might as well, right?

How did they reach this conclusion?
I’d rather not provide any links to any particular religious campaign’s website since I don’t believe anybody in particular deserves the traffic, but I will tell you they’ve read their Bibles thoroughly, crunched some numbers, warped some verses and words, and come to their absolute, for-certain conclusion that 2% of the world’s population will be “raptured” on May 21st of this year. If you’re really interested in learning exactly how they’ve come to that conclusion I’ll let you do the Google search for yourself.

Why is this unimportant?
Because the world won’t end this year. I suppose it takes an awful lot of faith to say that, but so what? It just won’t. If it does, you can tell me how wrong I was when we’re all – well, I guess you can’t. The fact of the matter is that these end of the world scenarios and rapture predictions arise all the damn time, all because Jesus himself couldn’t accurately predict the end. Remember, he told his followers it would end during their lifetimes (Matthew 16:28).

So when will judgment take place?
That would depend on whom you ask:

  • 1818: William Miller says it’ll all happen some time between March 21st 1843 and March 21st 1844.
  • Presumably on March 22nd 1844: William Miller says “No wait, I meant the 22nd of October!”
  • 1907: Jehovah’s Witnesses say it’ll go down in 1914.
  • 1917: Jehovah’s Witnesses say “Nevermind, it’ll be 1918. We’re sure of it this time.”
  • 1924: Jehovah’s Witnesses say it’ll be in 1925.
  • 1941: Jehovah’s Witnesses say it’s actually gonna happen in 1942.
  • 1974: Jehovah’s Witnesses are pretty sure it’ll happen in 1975.
  • 1978: Chuck Smith says the world will probably end by 1981.
  • 1988: Edgar C. Whisenant publishes 88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988.
  • 1989: Edgar C. Whisenant publishes The Final Shout: Rapture Report 1989.
  • 1993: A lot of people thought the world would end in the year 2000 with the initial judgment occurring seven years prior.
  • And so on, and so forth. Consult A Brief History of the Apocalypse for much, much more.

Why is this important?
I know, I know, I just inferred that it isn’t important a moment ago. But here’s the scary truth: these crazies want this to happen! They want the world to go down in flames. Too bad the Bible tells me only 144,000 people (.002% of the world’s population) will actually make it into Heaven (Revelation 7:4). The Bible is full of accurate predictions, they like to claim. Other than the “lucky guesses,” any events properly prophesied were self-fulfilled. And that tells me whether or not Jesus returns to earth on the back of a half-horse/half-Mother Teresa (he won’t) the crazies will be doing their best to make sure the world sees its end. Holy wars over whom the land of Israel actually belongs to, book burnings, pissed off jihadists, mass suicides… you name it, it could happen.

Is that my prediction?
No. May 21st will come and go, and while us nonbelievers are laughing at all the knuckleheads on the 22nd they’ll just flatten their ruffled hair, put on some rouge, and get on TV to tell us “Sorry, we forgot to carry a one. It’ll be next year, we promise.”

Just like last time, when Camping predicted the end of the world to be on September 6th, 1994.

EDIT – View my ten posts counting down to rapture: