- Let us consider the Rapture Index. This is a real thing
prepared by serious people. If it makes you laugh, you have not gotten
the memo. You probably have not read any of the 12 volumes of the "Left
Behind" series, the best-selling books in America today. Those Left
Behind are those who did not experience the Rapture, which is an instant
in time when all the truly holy people are taken directly to heaven, leaving
their clothes in small neat piles behind them. The rest of the ungodly
losers are left to deal with natural disasters and wars and the armies
of the Antichrist, after which they die in various colorful ways while
the ranks of the saved watch with compassion tempered with an understandable
sense of satisfaction.
- The Rapture Index, as of this writing, stands at 153.
Anything over 145 is labeled by the Rapture Actuaries as "Fasten your
seat belts." In other words: Repent for the End Is Near. You may see
all this for yourself at www.raptureready.com/rap2.html, should you think
I'm making it up.
- The Rapture Index is based on 45 prophetic categories,
things like drought, plague, floods, liberalism, beast government and mark
of the beast. "Beast government" is apparently the European Union;
the news that the EU is looking for a new president is seen as a sign that
the end time is drawing nearer. The latest "mark of the beast"
is a plan by the Antichrist that will result in said mark being implanted
in the right hand or forehead of unbelievers. The relatively high number
of this indicator is explained thusly: "Wal-Mart is falling behind
in its plan to bar code all products with radio tags." There are some
parts of this belief system I have not yet grasped.
- The Rapture is a good thing, and therefore floods, famine,
drought and all that are also good things because they portend the coming
of end times. Even liberalism is a good thing, because there need to be
a lot of Christ- deniers for the end times to come. (Among the prophesied
Christ-deniers: the pope. That part is pretty much played down in the pamphlets.)
- The end times begin when Russia (also known as the ancient
nation of Gog) and Iran join forces to attack Israel. Before this can happen,
however, the old temple must be rebuilt. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians
is necessary for that to happen, so the Rapture Index sees the peace talks
as a good sign. Not as a good as the tsunami, but definitely positive.
- I am not the first one to notice this. The environmental
Web site www.grist.org has been covering it; Bill Moyers also wrote a column
about it. Alas, the quote attributed to James Watt, the secretary of the
interior under Ronald Reagan ("after the last tree is felled, Christ
will come back"), is not verifiable, although it's been reported many
times. Probably the liberal media again, taking time out from promoting
the homosexual agenda.
- So read the Rapture Index. Consider its implications:
One of George Bush's core constituencies is actively praying for environmental
degradation. Its members are in fact praying for the end of the world,
because the end of the world is the beginning of the fun part of salvation.
- Let's look at the new budget through this lens, which
is (I emphasize) neither fanciful nor satirical. Money for clean water:
down. Money for the cleanup of old nuclear sites, including the massive
job at the Hanford (Wash.) Nuclear Reservation: way down. Number of Forest
Service and Bureau of Land Management acres open for logging: up. Amount
of territory in Alaska declared OK for oil drilling: way up.
- You might even consider the impact of the Rapture on
deficit financing. Who cares how much debt we accrue? Christ will come
and forgive it all. Why not borrow against the future to pay for the present?
The future is gonna be a whole different deal. We're just placeholders
for God's own totalitarian state.
- For us secular humanists, us gay-marrying, porn-reading,
prayer-mocking harbingers of doom, all this seems incredible. We are still
in the reality- based paradigm; we have not yet crossed over into the faith-based
paradigm. In the faith-based world, the apparent inconsistencies within
the Bush administration fade into nothingness.
- Millennial Christians have somehow convinced themselves
that the founding fathers would have approved of all this because they
were all old-time Christians following that old-time religion. Because
Rapture theology was mostly cobbled together in the 19th century based
on very selective readings from parts of the New Testament, it is unlikely
that the founding fathers believed anything of the sort. Not important:
Once again, I'm indulging in reality-based thinking.
- Like the prophet said: Fasten your seat belts.
- The thing about the Rapture Index is this: If you're
part of the problem, you're part of the solution, because it's no good
smiting sinners if there are no sinners to smite.
- © 2005 San Francisco Chronicle
- ### AntiChrist candidates list: http://www.raptureready.us/antichrist.htm
- Even includes the Pope!