20 April 2011

Rapture party, heyyyooo

I told myself I'd stay away from the "Let's snicker at religious people for believing something silly" sort of posts that spice up many an atheist blog. I find myself recanting that vow now, at least for one particular issue.

Photo credit: not me.
Last week I witnessed the caravan of "Judgment Day - May 21, 2011" mobile billboard trucks rolling about Columbus. I passed them stopped in traffic on I-270 on my way home from work. I wish I'd taken a picture, but I didn't really want to take the risks associated with fumbling with a camera phone while driving.  Of course, with these things cruising all over the country, someone was bound to photograph one and post it on the internet.

I'm a bit perturbed by the amount of time and resources that Family Radio is spending promoting this campaign. They haven't stopped with advertising in the continental US - they've got paid advertising for their doomsday prediction as far away as Thailand.  These people are devoting everything they have to warning the world about an apocalypse they're certain is going to come this year.

I've considered three possible outcomes of their efforts, in increasing order of gravity (though decreasing order of likelihood):
  1. They all wait around to be raptured on May 21st and nothing happens.  Some of them, disillusioned, abandon the cult and try to put their lives back together.  Others go on to form their own cults, as happened after the Great Disappointment of October 22, 1844.  The rest of the world laughs it off.
  2. They turn out to be a suicide cult like Jim Jones' "People's Temple" and all end up dead on May 21st, spending their last moments believing they're being raptured and not giving much thought to the odd aftertaste the Kool-Aid seems to have.
  3. They turn out to be a terroristic cult like Aum Shinrikyo and carry out some sort of horrifying WMD attack loosely based on some verses from the Book of Revelation.
 Oh, and mustn't forget:  4.  They were right all along; Jesus comes back, whisks the True Believers up to Heaven, and then our unconditionally loving God proceeds to torture the rest of us for five months before finally throwing us into a lake of fire to forget about us for the rest of eternity.  See a dramatization of the events to unfold in this video (not produced by Family Radio, mind you, but a truly epic film indeed).
If you can make it through the whole thing, then you are truly dedicated to fully investigating the claims of the religious wasting 44 minutes of your time.

And now I see that the who's-who of today's atheists are throwing a Rapture Party!  If it weren't in California, I'd at least consider going, but I'm going to just stay here in Ohio.  Anyone want to join me for a beer on May 21st?

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