As if to make up for the high seriousness of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, we now have the comic relief of an approaching Rapture this Saturday, May 21. Apparently, a certain prophetic figure named Harold Camping has predicted it and some fundamentalist Christian group has spent oodles of money (in excesss of $150,000) purchasing billboard space and renting RVs with signs proclaiming that the faithful will be raptured up to heaven this coming Saturday while those "Left Behind" will face a time of mounting tribulation leading up to Armageddon and Judgment Day.
You can read sympathetic accounts of what some Christians believe is coming at the following links:
Pretty creepy stuff on one level, but hilarious on other levels. FaceBook has been running a satirical page for people to sign up for the 'Post Rapture Looting Party" and I've been getting a lot of laughs out of reading some of the responses to it:
(N.B. You will need to sign up for a FaceBook account if you have not done so already, if you wish to take part in the festivities. More than 130,000 people have already signed up as 'Attending.')
Amidst all the levity, we do need to remember that a certain sub-set of people are more vulnerable to the charlatans and hucksters amongst us. I feel badly for anyone who has quit his or her job and disposed of all his or her possessions in anticipation of being raptured. I don't think there's much that can be done to prevent people from making foolish mistakes that will cost them dearly; Lord knows, I've made more than my share. But even as I snicker, I do wonder how people can be so gullible.
Being an adherent of Thoreau and his philosophy to pare life back to what is 'necessary,' I do not forsee a need to engage in much post-Rapture looting for myself or Alma. OK, there is that Taylor guitar I've been lusting after for 10 years and that I was going to buy if I ever won big in Vegas. But, aside from that, there's not much I want in the way of material goods. Funnily enough, I have to get a new permanent crown on one of my molars Saturday. I sure hope that God\Jesus\Holy Spirit has made a general Rapture Exemption for dentists. Otherwise, I'm screwed.