After the Rapture

This video was posted by YouTube’s TheThinkingAtheist on May 21, 2011:

RADIO ANNOUNCER: On May 21st 2011 at 1:27pm Eastern Time, billions of people suddenly vanished. Witnesses report hearing a loud trumpet, followed by a blinding flash of light and the sudden disappearance of men, women, and children everywhere.

Christian homes, suddenly empty, are now providing free clothing, furniture, and appliances to be donated to the poor. The dramatic decrease in motor vehicles on the road is reducing the demand for fossil fuels, driving gas prices down to 1.93 a gallon.

TBN, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, is now CSBN (Carl Sagan Broadcasting Network).

Prison populations have virtually disappeared.

Recycled bibles are now being used to make juice and milk containers for school children.

Former religious institutions are now being used for exploration, health, science, and recreation including facilities for laser tag (the Vatican), the world’s largest Jupiter Jump (The Creation Museum), and the worldwide distribution of Darwin Genuine Draft (Liberty University).

Our planet now has more money, more food, more space, more resources, more education, and more common sense than ever experienced in recorded history. There is a sense of joy, of jubilation, of freedom. The world unites in celebration in the wake of– *phone rings* — Hello?

CALLER: Hi, is this News 1550?

ANNOUNCER: Yes.

CALLER: Hey, uh, the Christians are all still here.

ANNOUNCER: Really? All of them?

CALLER: Yeah. Nothing happened. They’re all still here.

ANNOUNCER: Shit.

Life really would be better if all the irrational spouters of hate, bigotry, and intolerance disappeared.

See also: TheThinkingAtheist.com

Harold Camping is an asshole

‘Nuff said.

The good news is we get to do another rapture countdown.

By the way, this being my first post since the May 21 rapture, I should clarify that – ahem – nothing happened on May 21.

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:

The countdown is nearly over!

Two days ’til rapture.

So what exactly does that mean? It means a great world-wide earthquake, to start with. As already determined the earthquake will begin precisely at 6:00p local time everywhere. This gives us in Texas and the central United States a good 19 hours’ warning. I’d say that’s plenty of time to get away from large, heavy structures that likely wouldn’t survive an earthquake. Simultaneously, 200 million or so Christians will be “raptured,” meaning their physical bodies will be lifted off the earth and into Heaven. What is yet to be determined is whether their clothes will be raptured with them. In addition, the ground will split open and all of the dead who in their lives believed in Jesus will also ascend into Heaven.

Gross.

Anyway, the rest of us will be left behind – yes, just like in the books! For five months (because the world will cease to be on October 21) those of us who didn’t perish in the earthquake will suffer terribly: war (even without all the crazy Christians?), plague, starvation; not to mention the terrible natural disasters that will happen. This summer we can expect to see hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, storms, hail; basically all the same things we see every summer.

I can only imagine all the pissed-off non-Christians who will be left behind. I said jocularly in my last post that we atheists will be all that’s left in this world, totally free of religion. That’s obviously untrue. We’ll still have all the crazy Jews and Muslims, Hindus and Rastafarians. If I believed any bit of this was true, I would be worried about the crazy religionists who aren’t super thrilled about learning that everything they’ve ever believed was wrong. Naturally (and I’m talking about you, Jihadists) some of them will take out their frustrations on the rest of us. No doubt there would still be war. And this time, all the crazy Christians in the US government and intelligence agencies won’t be here to protect us. Which brings us back home.

The majority of the US government and government agencies will disappear. The majority of the US armed forces (Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, et al), FBI and CIA, police and fire departments will be gone. There will be bedlam, anarchy, riots, looting, fires, depression, terror – just absolute chaos. Most of my friends and family will have disappeared. My wife and I, along with a pretty small group of close friends will be left behind and, if we survive the earthquakes on Day Zero, we’ll have to work together to survive the next five months…

…to be continued.

Three days away

Three days ’til rapture.

I like to think of this whole thing as kind of win-win for atheists. On the one hand, if rapture happens it’ll just be us left over on earth. Government will be free from religion, there won’t be any holy wars, and all in all things should be pretty peaceful. On the other hand, if nothing happens, it’s a nice little slap in the face to those who are “absolutely sure” it’ll happen.

I’m absolutely aware that not all Christians think May 21st is the day of rapture. I realize it’s just a small sect of the particularly crazy ones who believe what that nut Harold Camping says. I also realize they’ll continue to be crazy once May 21st comes and goes with no incident and Camping will just claim he forgot to carry a two in his mathematical formula for predicting the end of the world. But the rest of us (not-quite-as-crazy Christians included) will get a good chuckle out of it. I’ll feel nothing but pity for those who have taken Camping’s advice and spent/given away every last bit of their money in anticipation of being raptured.

Four more days

Four days ’til rapture.

Being that you are a good Christian, you will be raptured in four days. Being that animals have no souls, your pets will not. Being that I am atheist, I also will not be raptured. Assuming you are not a cruel person (after all, you’re a good Christian, right?) you are probably interested in making sure your pets continue to receive care even after you are gone. If your answer is anything other than “Yes Dave, you’re right, I do want my pet to be cared for after my ascension into Heaven” then you are a cruel, heartless person. See also: not a good Christian. If that’s the case, you won’t be raptured anyway so my offer won’t matter. If you do want your pets receiving care, daily feed, proper grooming, etc. then by all means email me with your request. Please include your home address and keep in mind that I live in north Texas so be reasonable.

Five days!

Five days ’til rapture.

In five days, according to the crazies following Harold Camping, all hell breaks loose. Earthquakes strike in every country successively, starting at precisely six o’clock in the evening in every time zone. As I mentioned in my last “countdown” post, the first earthquakes will hit on Christmas Island, Jakarta and Singapore (because they’ll see 6:00p before anybody else) at precisely eleven o’clock at night, my time, on May 20th. Nineteen hours later, we’ll get it here.

The Camping Crazies seem to have this all mapped out pretty well. Camping himself perused his Bible, word for word and page for page, and came to the decisive conclusion that rapture will occur on May 21, 2011, and that the world itself will be destroyed exactly five months later on October 21, 2011.

This all comes from the belief in an inerrant Bible and the belief that the world was created in 10,000 (or so) B.C.E. From there they are able to determine precisely when Noah got on his boat and traveled the world. The Camping Crazies use Bible numerology and symbolism and figure that May 21, 2011 is exactly 7,000 years after Noah’s flood. Seven thousand years, and to god a year is to a day or something like that. Just Google it. Anyway, after reading how the Camping Crazies came to their collective conclusion, you can’t really deny that it sort of makes sense. I’m not saying I believe in their nonsense – it’s still nonsense – but it’s sensible nonsense.

What I do believe is that they’re reading just a little too far into the Bible. You can twist a book’s words and make it mean whatever you want it to mean. Given five decades (this is how long Harold Camping has been studying his Bible to determine the end times) I could probably find references to the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2nd, 2011 in the Pyramid Texts. The point is that you can make anything mean anything, and given enough time you could probably do it pretty convincingly.

Countdown: Six

Six days ’til rapture.

Allegedly, the rapture is scheduled to happen at 6:00p in every time zone. This tells me that by 11:00p on May 20th CST, I’ll know whether or not I should go in for work on the 21st (at 11:00p CST it will be 6:00p the following day on Christmas Island). If nothing happens on Christmas Island – no earthquakes, no people just disappearing from their homes or beach parties – at precisely 11:00p my time, then we’ll know this rapture business is just a whole lot of hooey.

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.

The Final Countdown: day eight

Eight days left ’til rapture.

Rapture would be beautiful. The crazy Christians get what they want – ascension into Heaven with JC – and we freethinkers get what we want – no more crazy Christians. I’d say it’s win-win if it weren’t for the whole Four Horsemen thing. Death, famine, destruction and whatnot.

What’s disappointing is that once May 21st comes and goes without much ado, those who claim they know the exact time and date of rapture won’t let it drop. They’ll just say there was a mathematical error in their calculation, and that it’ll still definitely happen sometime during their lifetime. Just like it happened during Jesus’ followers’ lifetime when he told them it would.