The End is Nigh, Daddy
That is the polite thing to say first. But now that that's out of the way, let me say something else.
You (the people mentioned in this article) are what's known as bat-shit insane.
I've written previously about the strange religious notion of The Rapture, a concept thankfully little known outside of the United States. It is believed by some that in a prelude to the biblical judgement day all true Christians will be whisked away to a better place while the heathens are left wandering in confusion before Armageddon finally strikes.
The details are hardly important, it's all pre-tribulation this and post-millennial that until your nose falls off with boredom. What's worth noting is the speed and intensity with which the doctrine has gained credence, due mostly in the 70's to Hal Lindsey's books and in the 90's to Tim LaHaye's.
Though beguiling, the notion that we are on the brink of destruction is not a novel one. That both the Old and New Testaments bang on about it at length should clue us in to the fact that the inhabitants of just about every epoch felt that the Earth was nearing oblivion. And yet here we are.
But times are different now, you may say, this is the modern world. And while there is much evidence to support your assertion, we should recall that every person that ever lived was, in there time, living at the leading edge of modernity.
Those people whom I have described as 'bat-shit insane' not only believe wholeheartedly in the concept of The Rapture, they fully embrace it and await its arrival with undisguised gleeful anticipation.
While I've done some research on the doctrinal history of this fascinating fantasy, I have never met anyone who actually believed in it. Recently I found myself accidentally perusing a Christian message board and got a feel for the human side of The Rapture.
Whereas I had hoped to find an hilarious tongue-in-cheek satire of nutty fundamentalists, I instead witnessed a chilling catalogue of severe mental illness and eschatological hysteria. This is a site where you can check up on the latest Rapture news, time lines, reported false Christs, signs of the Beast etc, all fed in the the calculations of something called the Prophetic Speedometer.
What I found written there was shocking, appalling, pathetic, grotesque, and pitiful; not to mention a potential goldmine for any aspiring psychoanalyst. Please remember that these are mostly nice people, many are just children. How could they have been brought to this? Who could have warped their mind this sadistically? Jesus–hardly.
Some of the comments were of a reasonably mild nature.
I only see myself flying and the wind blowing on my face. Everybody yelling in excitement all the way up to heaven.
Some became a little more intense.
I cry more now than I ever have in my life. But they are tears joy and anticipation. I believe the closer to the Rapture we get, the more excited we will be.
In the last year I have had this excited tension in me saying……..Watch! Here He comes! Are you ready? We're about to leave! Are you ready? Watch, look, it is all lining up! It's close! It's closer! Get ready to leave! Watch! Watch! LOOK! He's coming!
Many were downright manic and disturbing.
Okay, I don't care if I sound like a 2-year old in the toy store. I don't care if I am going to be spanked or put on time out! I don't care if my tantrum in the grocery store is causing people to stare and making my daddy embarrassed! I don't care that I am sprawled out like a rag doll on the floor…[numerous animated smileys removed for clarity]…if he pretends to walk away and leave me I will just cry louder!!!
I don't care that I've cried so hard I am now making those stupid hiccup sounds with snot running down my nose….as I take heaving breaths trying to still cry but now I am too tired…I just look defeated and pathetic…..I DON'T CARE, I DON'T CARE, I DON'T CARE!
Because after all my cutting up and fussing and whining and crying, and even if I did not get what I wanted…my daddy is going to take me home, feed me, bath me, and tuck me in bed with my favorite animal And I will be happy in the morning when I wake up.
Father, come take me home…..
Which prompted the response:
WE WANT TO GO HOME NOW, DADDYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY YYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [sic]
Words fail me, as cruelly as society has failed that person.
The site does have a donations page which gives a ridiculously contrived P.O. box address in Boystown (really?), Nebraska. Thus my only hope, and fervent prayer, is that Rapture Ready is a brazen money making scam run by some chortling hedonist.
Fingers crossed. X