Pharyngula

Are you worried about the Rapture? Of course you will be called up into heaven, but those hateful bastards among your family and friends will certainly be stuck here on earth for the tribulation. So yet another service has sprung up to help you help your stranded loved ones: You’ve Been Left Behind. Why do you need this service?

WHY?

We all have family and friends who have failed to receive the Good News of the Gospel.

The unsaved will be ‘left behind’ on earth to go through the “tribulation period” after the “Rapture”. You remember how, for a short time, after (9/11/01) people were open to spiritual things and answers. (We are still singing “God Bless America” at baseballs’ seventh inning stretch.) Imagine how taken back they will be by the millions of missing Christians and devastation at the rapture. They will know it was true and that they have blown it. There will be a small window of time where they might be reached for the Kingdom of God. We have made it possible for you to send them a letter of love and a plea to receive Christ one last time. You will also be able to give them some help in living out their remaining time. In the encrypted portion of your account you can give them access to your banking, brokerage, hidden valuables, and powers of attorneys’ (you won’t be needing them any more, and the gift will drive home the message of love). There won’t be any bodies, so probate court will take 7 years to clear your assets to your next of Kin. 7 years of course is all the time that will be left. So, basically the Government of the AntiChrist gets your stuff, unless you make it available in another way. You can also send information based on scripture as to what will happen next. Each fulfilled prophecy will cause your letter and plea to be remembered and a decision to be made.

“WHY” is one last chance to bring them to Christ and snatch them from the flames!

They don’t mention the other reason why: so that the creators of this service can collect your $40/year for the indefinite future … for as long as you live, essentially, since the Rapture is nothing but a sick fantasy by apocalyptic wackos, and won’t ever happen.

I’m also suspicious. These guys may be cleverer than we think: “encrypted” access to your powers of attorney? Directions to hidden valuables? Bank account access? If I were duplicitous and evil, this is an opportunity for a really good scam.

Comments

  1. #1 genesgalore
    May 27, 2008

    monotheism, one of the biggest frauds ever perpetuated on humankind.

  2. #2 richbank
    May 27, 2008

    that is the creepiest thing I’ve seen in a while – and that includes this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCh2FXzD6R4

  3. #3 Bachalon
    May 27, 2008

    And every time I read something like, this I keep thinking that it can’t get worse.

  4. #4 Kseniya
    May 27, 2008

    What century is this, again?

  5. #5 Steve F
    May 27, 2008

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  6. #6 Bostonian
    May 27, 2008

    As an added bonus, for an added $10 per month you can give your survivors a share in the ownership of the Brooklyn Bridge, since it is currently owned by Christians who will be called into His Kingdom. Imagine your loved ones thriving on the bridge tolls in the wake of your ascension.

  7. #7 Judas
    May 27, 2008

    It’s also a catch-22: If they’re good Christian and can be trusted, they won’t be left behind after the rapture to take care of what you asked them to do. And if they’re left behind and not raptured then you really can’t trust your “encrypted” information with these immoral, unsaved heathens now, can you?

  8. #8 Rob
    May 27, 2008

    One of my favorite bumper stickers reads:

    In case of RAPTURE, can I have your CAR?

  9. #9 brian
    May 27, 2008

    Makes me think of a quote from William Burroughs “If you are doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing. His word isn’t worth shit, not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.”
    Only a christian could invent a scam this good/stupid to fleece his fellow christians.

  10. #10 --PatF in Madison
    May 27, 2008

    How do we know this is not run by atheists who are channeling the money to some free-thought association? They know that the only way they will be found out is if the Rapture does not happen and then they can plausibly claim that they are still waiting.

    On the other hand, maybe some atheist can set up a similar domain and start a rumor implying that the Xian domain is just a false front and the atheist domain is the tried-and-true Xian one. Or maybe all the atheist need do is start implying that the Xian domain stole the atheist idea to siphon money from the fundies.

    The possibilities are enormous. Poe’s law strikes again.

  11. #11 Dan meagher
    May 27, 2008

    For some reason (God told me to) I watched a little report on the earthquake in China by the 700 Club.

    They talked about all of the “hope” that tey saw in the disaster, and how people were coming together to hep on another. It was very hertwarming, but it had a weird sense of “direction”, as if they were leading somewhere.

    Sure enough, the report began to focus on the good work of the Warriors of God, spreading hope and joy and salvation.

    Then, the kicker; they were so encouraged by the progress that they saw in China; if only they could do more!

    That’s when the shilling kicked in, and it was really heavy. I thought; wow, that was, almost smooth.

    But it wasn’t smooth, and it didn’t need to be; the target audience couldn’t see past their jerked knees. It was beautiful, in a mission accomplished kind of way.

  12. #12 Glen Davidson
    May 27, 2008

    I don’t suppose that there would be any changes in government and legalities after a sizable population of earth simply vanishes.

    No, of course not, because it isn’t the lack of evidence that makes us disbelieve, it’s our sheer cussedness and hatred of God. So irrefutable evidence will be dismissed by anyone not wedded to judging every bit of evidence against a bronze-age myth.

    I wonder how any government can function with such dishonest people controlling it. Which is why every message from these yokels is schizophrenic, for on the one hand we’re all just hopelessly emotional liars with no constant ethics or morals at all, and on the other hand they rest their lives and finances into our care, not at all worried that we’d collectively double-cross them.

    It’s a strange little paranoid fantasy controlling the lives of millions of our fellow citizens…

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  13. #13 Insigtful Ape
    May 27, 2008

    As long as the DI “scholars” are the first to be raptured-that is just fine.

  14. #14 Benjamin Geiger
    May 27, 2008

    Now, see, this one is rather honest.

    Just write your letter and it will be hand-delivered immediately following the exodus of the pure from the Earth. But you must be thinking to yourself, “How can the letters be delivered after the Rapture?” The answer is simple. The creators of this site are Atheists. That’s right, we don’t believe in God. How else would we be able to deliver your correspondence after the Rapture? (Emphasis original.)

  15. #15 andy o
    May 27, 2008

    Nothing like a good-old nine-elevening before you ask for financial information of (United-statesian) strangers. I wonder if it would be good here in the US to have laws that protect the saps that fall for this like they just did with a certain portion of woo-wooers over there in the UK. I am not so sure, since these scam artists are playing the ultimate scam: the one you’ll most probably realize you’ve been scammed when you’re dead!

  16. #16 Rob Bos
    May 27, 2008

    I hope they have a few atheists on staff. If the Rapture really does come, someone’s going to have to handle the affairs of the firm.

  17. #17 Glen Davidson
    May 27, 2008

    Most of all, it’s interesting that the God who saves them won’t do a damned thing that they wish, including sending the perishing any messages or financial information.

    Even after the grandest miracle ever, they’d rather trust human government and financial institutions than their God.

    Which shows that there really is some deep-seated distrust of God among these people. No doubt they believe, by denying every doubt that they have (which is a sin), while their unconscious minds always work around the fact that they don’t trust god in the least, only the “materialist” society that they hate and fear.

    Ressentiment, anyone?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  18. #18 Rob
    May 27, 2008

    I just want to know what their rapture detection algorithm is, since it was “Programmed by Christians.” Or do they have someone with the title of Chief Heathen who’s only there to press a big red button should the rest of the staff suddenly disappear one day?

  19. #19 Eamon Knight
    May 27, 2008

    Won’t lawyers handle this sort of “In the event of my disappearance, deliver this envelope to….” thing, without the yearly fee? Just be sure to use a devout Jewish lawyer.

    (Hey, just trying to help).

  20. #20 Larry
    May 27, 2008

    I love this! The only thing that pisses me off is that I didn’t think of it first. That aside, however, if they’re sending out solicitations through the US mail, I expect they’ll be hearing from the P.O. inspectors real soon.

  21. #21 Doug
    May 27, 2008

    I think this could be the beginning of the best-courtcase-evah! Imagine 2 people fighting over money contractually left for the rapture and having the court have to determine if the rapture has, in fact, happened. Opening arguments please…

  22. #22 Tony Popple
    May 27, 2008

    “So, basically the Government of the AntiChrist gets your stuff, unless you make it available in another way.”

    There it is!

    I can finally justify my lack of religion to my friends and family. I have to stay behind and protect their worldly belongings from the Anti-Christ.

  23. #23 Etha Williams
    May 27, 2008

    For those who don’t have $40 to shell out, this site will deliver your letter for free.

    They’re not atheists, but they aren’t relying on the grace of God to get it sent…this is how they do it:

    How is this accomplished, you might ask. It’s a dead man switch that will automatically send the emails when it is not reset.

    I just worry that one day the creator of the website will die/abandon the site/forget to reset it, and a bunch of people will get e-mails saying that their friends and loved ones have been RAPTURED.

    …actually, that would be kind of funny.

  24. #24 CalGeorge
    May 27, 2008

    Has this been mentioned before? There’s also a post-rapture postal service:

    Class I Message – $4.99
    This is our standard message to those left behind. Your written note will be sent via our carriers to the recipient of your choice. There is a 1,500 character maximum for all Class I letters. Expect two to six weeks for delivery after the Rapture.

    Class II Message – $9.99
    Printed on resume quality paper, the Class II is for those who want a typed message to speak for them after their holy departure. Delivery time is two to six weeks after the Rapture. 1,500 character maximum. Available in white, eggshell, goldenrod, and sky blue.

    Class III Message – $799.99
    Our flagship model. Your message of up to 3,000 characters is hand-scribed on medieval style parchment sheets, and then rolled and wrapped with a fine Italian ribbon. The Class III message is delivered immediately after the Rapture, so expect delivery in as little as one day, depending on the transportation options available to those rejected from the Kingdom of God.

    http://postrapturepost.com/order.html

    This rapture stuff is big business! Hee hee.

  25. #25 Hank Fox
    May 27, 2008

    Auntie Christ.

    I’m picturing a large, bosomy nun in her late 50s, with a wonderful smile, a bawdy sense of humor, a motherly demeanor, and a slight mustache.

    Or maybe I’m thinking of Nanny Ogg.

  26. #26 SplendidMonkey
    May 27, 2008

    We have set up a system to send documents by the email, to the addresses you provide, 6 days after the “Rapture” of the Church. This occurs when 3 of our 5 team members scattered around the U.S fail to log in over a 3 day period. Another 3 days are given to fail safe any false triggering of the system.

    This has got to be a joke, it’s like something The Onion would have invented.

  27. #27 richbank
    May 27, 2008

    lol@25-I don’t know that Nanny Ogg would be the anti-christ per se, as she only dislikes religions that think they’re better than everybody e l s e…Ok, maybe she would :)

  28. #28 DaveX
    May 27, 2008

    Actually, I’ve been pushing this line of thinking for years, every time some religious pusher shows up at my doorstep. I tell them that I would prefer not to be saved AT THIS TIME, so that I can “stay behind” to minister to those fellow unsaved during the window directly following the Rapture. This ALWAYS confuses the heck out of the folks who thought I’d be an easy catch, and usually has them phoning their head pastor, haha. Actually, I’m glad that someone has figured out how to make a buck off this– I wonder if they franchise?

  29. #29 dave
    May 27, 2008

    Religious scams are the best kind. And if you have the preacher/faith healer routine down pat, you’re set for life. That’s why parents are teaching their two year olds how to preach. They used to teach their toddlers tennis (McEnroe), then golf (Tiger), and now preaching is in! That’s where the money is.

  30. #30 Moses
    May 27, 2008

    Damn! I wish I would have thought of it first.

  31. #31 Dan
    May 27, 2008

    I almost feel sorry for the poor sods who get suckered by this.

    Almost.

  32. #32 BobbyEarle
    May 27, 2008

    CalGeorge #24

    “…a fine Italian ribbon”?

    I want nothing but a Corinthian leather ribbon when they deliver the ultimate pink slip to me.

  33. #33 Jim Harrison
    May 27, 2008

    I used to offer Rapture insurance to true believers. After all, if the Rapture comes and, for whatever reason, you’re left behind, you’re going to need extra money to weather the end times or at least have a bang up good time. Never got any takers.

    I am also reminded of a radio prophetess of several years ago who foretold the end of the world within six months and solicited contributions. “You can put them on your credit card,” she said, which struck me as extremely dishonest since, of course, the debt would never be paid off in the event she was right. Isn’t it unethical to borrow money without the intention of paying it back?

  34. #34 Aegis
    May 27, 2008

    I Love this idea, frankly. I suspect that those running the service are atheists. That means that there is a transfer of cash from the hands of theists into the hands of rationalists, which I view as positive.

    I think the concept is hilarious, personally. I’ve been researching a way to have a “Rapture Betting pool”, but haven’t figured out the legalities yet :).

  35. #35 amphiox
    May 27, 2008

    I for one am looking forward to the Rapture. The sudden, peaceful (and voluntary!) removal of a large number fundamentalists from the general population would do the rest of us a world of good.

  36. #36 Diego
    May 27, 2008

    I don’t know. It’s easy to believe the worst of the very religious, but I am a bit skeptical on this one. It feels like an elaborate joke to me. Or perhaps I’m just not cynical enough.

  37. #37 MandyDax
    May 27, 2008

    Just get a lawyer to do this, everyone knows they‘ll be here during the Tribulation. ~_^

  38. #38 Dahan
    May 27, 2008

    I believe the rapture has already happened. It’s just that nobody noticed, because nobody was taken up. How could they be, what with trying to adhere to all the things in the Bible that contradict the other things?

    OK, I don’t actually believe this, but it makes as much sense as any of the other idiocy.

  39. #39 Lightnin
    May 27, 2008

    “I for one am looking forward to the Rapture.”

    Plus, as far as I can tell, the new world order will be lead by a handsome young atheist jew rockstar who will take over the UN.

    OT
    richbank-that youtube video is trully horrifying.

  40. @Diego (#36)

    This is where we must evoke Poe’s Law.

    I agree this is mighty questionable.

    Their privacy policy sure sounds fudged… “We won’t give any information to anyone, period!”…

  41. #41 Etha Williams
    May 28, 2008

    Hey, if the Rapture will take away John Hagee, then I’m all for it….

    (You’d think that when, after 2k years, the world still hadn’t come to an end, these people would have given up hope, but no…it’s a true doomsday cult.)

  42. #42 Autumn
    May 28, 2008

    What if “3 of our 5 team members” actually get dates, and discover more interesting things to do than wait for an imaginary rapture? Financial ruin for the youhavebeenleftbehind folks?
    If so, I must humbly suggest that we all fuck random Christians for a week to see if we can’t fuck a bunch of other Christians out of money they were fucking Christians out of anyway.
    Christians, money, and fucking.

    History of the USA in a nutshell.

  43. #43 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    May 28, 2008

    I seriously considered selling Rapture Auto Insurance. Part of the problem with auto insurance is that there are exclusions for “Acts of God.” Obviously, the Rapture would be an Act of God.

    Now, suppose some believer is taken up to heaven while speeding along on the Freeway at 80MPH when Gabriel blows the horn. The carnage would be magnificent horrific, but none of the insurance companies would be liable.

    Enter me. I would settle all claims, and yes I would make sure that all of the adjusters were etiher atheists or of the wrong religion.

    The premiums would go towards the Minnesota Atheist’s Building Fund.

    I am just too fucking ethical, and couldn’t bring myself to do it.

  44. #44 Bert Chadick
    May 28, 2008

    I’ve actually used a version of this on a couple of christians running in full missionary mode. I challenged both of them to empty their bank accounts and give the money to me to prove their commitment to there belief that the world is about to end. No takers yet.

  45. #45 HennepinCountyLawyer
    May 28, 2008

    Greetings!

    I am the son of the former Nigerian Minister of Oil, who left $27 million in his bank account when he was taken by the rapture. . .

  46. #46 mothra
    May 28, 2008

    Any true Christian (TM) would be concerned for others at the moment of their rapturization: the driver of a school bus gets raptured as the bus approaches a busy intersection, an airline pilot and co-pilot are raptured as they receive landing instructions. A true Christian would care for others (in as much as their god never does) and would want our patinted ‘Rapture deflector head gear.’ Guaranteed [or your money back] to delay rapturization until others are safe. With our unique and ancient foliation process using element number 50, we have created light-weight head gear so that you can protect others in case of your rapturization and others will know that you are are a true Christian by doffing the rapture deflector gear and that you CARE.

  47. #47 Giffy
    May 28, 2008

    A sizable chunk of the population has suddenly disappeared, the world is run by the evilest dictator ever known, and natural disasters are a dime a dozen, but unless you have your power of attorney, you’ll spend it all stuck in probate.

    I though evangelicals didn’t believe in purgatory.

  48. #48 raven
    May 28, 2008

    Rev 7:

    4Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
    5From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
    from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
    from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
    6from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
    from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
    from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
    7from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
    from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
    from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
    8from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
    from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
    from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

    rev 14:

    1And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

    2And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

    3And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

    4These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

    5And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

    I don’t know where the Rapture Monkeys get their fantasies. According to Revelations, the Rapturers have to be Jewish, male, and virgins. I don’t think the average Death Cultists who tend to be drunk white guys from the south USA are going to meet the criteria.

  49. #49 Wowbagger
    May 28, 2008

    According to Revelations, the Rapturers have to be Jewish, male, and virgins. I don’t think the average Death Cultists who tend to be drunk white guys from the south USA are going to meet the criteria.

    Especially if they’ve got cousins…

  50. #50 lytefoot
    May 28, 2008

    I have to agree with eager anticipation of the rapture.

    On the other hand, I also believe very strongly that anybody who believes that at any moment they may be lifted bodily to the kingdom of heaven should not be allowed to operate machinery, hold public office, bear children, or do anything else that will cause their sudden absence to adversely affect anyone else. How is driving a car that “in case of the rapture will be unmanned, yuk, yuk” ethical behavior?

    Oh, and this:
    http://www.cafepress.com/bblast003

  51. #51 richbank
    May 28, 2008

    @46 I thought doffing was removing? Maybe you meant donning (sorry, english freak here).

  52. #52 Sophist FCD
    May 28, 2008

    Wait, I thought money was an impediment to salvation. You know, camels through needles and all that jazz? So isn’t giving your estate to people who love you…evil?

  53. #53 Infinitejones
    May 28, 2008

    “Imagine how taken back they will be by the millions of missing Christians” – bring it on!!

  54. #54 cureholder
    May 28, 2008

    Better yet, keep your stuff out of the antichrist’s hands the easy way. Put everything in a trust, name me as the trustee (I will definitely be around after the rapture, through the tribulation, and through eternity in hell, according to my mother). I will, for a small trustee’s fee, distribute your assets according to your instructions. The best part is, you don’t have to pay anything NOW (other than minimal fees to set up the trust—in fact, I can recommend an attorney to do it for free).

    Seriously, though, if you are really, for some reason, worried about this, just form a living will that takes care of it, and list “disappearance for more than 30 days” as one of the triggering events. Voila.

    Nothing in this post is intended or should be construed as legal advice.

  55. #55 Martin
    May 28, 2008

    I’m really not worried. My very Christian grandmother (became Christian in her 50s, so no pressure either) has explicitly told me that she’s praying for me, and that she believes that if she prays for me, I’ll go to heaven. So basically I’m safe! Either I go to heaven, or what she believes in was wrong all along.

    Always keep a devout Christian in close proximity at all times, for safety.

  56. #56 Susan
    May 28, 2008

    In the encrypted portion of your account you can give them access to your banking, brokerage, hidden valuables, and powers of attorneys

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of the clients of this “service” started disappearing a little bit early, never to be heard from again.

  57. #57 Ron Sullivan
    May 28, 2008

    From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
    from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
    from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
    6from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
    from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
    from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
    7from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
    from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
    from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
    8from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
    from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
    from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

    …And a partri-idge in a pear treeeee!

    Really, though. Poe/kleinbottle/own asshole. Just sayin’.

  58. #58 Bride of Shrek
    May 28, 2008

    I’d soooo be part of this but I’m a little short at the moment. You see an official with the Nigerian government just sent me an email telling my that a subcontractor has passed away in Nigeria and their searches indicate I am the nearest living relative. Mr Mohammed ( my distant relative who is apparently from India ) has left approximately 12 million US dollars in earned subcontrator fees and, you see, this is all mine. I just had to send $40,000 US dollars ( see your economy isn’t that bad- its still the international currency of scams) to facilitate the estate process. So you see I’m a bit stretched at the moment but, no worries in a few weeks I’ll be a millionaire. ( I shit you not, this is an email I got last week- I thought they were urban legends but I’m keeping this one forever in my saved box- its too good to chuck out)

  59. #59 kris
    May 28, 2008

    If you check the whois info for the youvebeenleftbehind.com you can see they are being coy about releasing personal registration information for the domain. The domain has been registered by proxy through domainsbyproxy.com. Hard to say if much should be read into that, but given the already shady nature of the site…

    http://who.godaddy.com/WhoIs.aspx?domain=youvebeenleftbehind.com&prog_id=godaddy

  60. #60 Michael
    May 28, 2008

    your family and friends will certainly be stuck here on earth for the tribulation.

    Trying to mock a false belief in prophecy, PZ…The text I believe is being referred to is…Matthew 24:40. However, the text prior to that is verse 39, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be, For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

    No Christian knows when this event will happen…”Matthew 24:36 – “But of that day [the day of the Second Coming] and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My father only.” However, when the event happens everyone will know it…“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels, with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another.” Mathew 24:30-31

    Recap:
    Nobody knows when Christ comes back. Mathew 24:36
    When the event does happen(the Lord’s second coming) everyone will know it…Mathew 24:30-31
    The second coming is compared to the flood which “took them all away” meaning the wicked or another way of putting it the salvation of one and the destruction of another at the Second Coming of Jesus …Mathew 24:39-40

    No tribulation after Christ’s Coming back, which means we are currently in the tribulation which is not limited to seven years.

  61. #61 madprophet
    May 28, 2008

    There is a scene in Ruthless People, circa 1986 (very funny movie). The police have a rifle trained on Bill Pullman. The police lieutenant makes a statement that is perfect for these people, but would likely get me banned. For those that have seen the movie, you know exactly what I am talking about.

  62. #62 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2008

    Recap:
    Nobody knows when Christ comes back.

    recap:

    nobody here cares, except you evidently.

    and The Kenny, of course.

  63. #63 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2008

    You see an official with the Nigerian government just sent me an email telling my that a subcontractor has passed away in Nigeria and their searches indicate I am the nearest living relative.

    LOL

    perfect.

  64. #64 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2008

    Seriously, though, if you are really, for some reason, worried about this, just form a living will that takes care of it, and list “disappearance for more than 30 days” as one of the triggering events.

    I wonder if Chuck Noland would consider that good advice?

    :p

  65. #65 Wowbagger
    May 28, 2008

    #60 wrote:

    Trying to mock a false belief in prophecy, PZ…

    Whether or not he (or you for that matter) believes in the prophecy is irrelevant; it’s that they believe in it that’s worth mentioning. Claiming that they shouldn’t believe in their interpretation of the scriptures is all-but invoking a No True Scotsman? defence.

    What I’d like to know is how many people have actually signed up. Maybe we could update PT Barnum and claim there’s a sucker baptised every minute.

  66. #66 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2008

    Maybe we could update PT Barnum and claim there’s a sucker baptised every minute.

    actually, a bit OT, but Barnum never said that:

    http://www.historybuff.com/library/refbarnum.html

    which is an interesting story in and of itself, if you get a chance to read it.

  67. #67 BMS
    May 28, 2008

    We are still singing “God Bless America” at baseballs’ seventh inning stretch.

    And I SOOOO can’t wait for that nonsense to end.

  68. #68 pcarini
    May 28, 2008

    Now we just need Wikileaks to get a hold of a bunch of these letters, I’m sure they make for some pretty disturbing reading.

    Don’t a fair amount of these people believe that they’ll be whisked up to heaven sans genitalia, the explanation being that you don’t need the naughty bits up in heaven? Have they put any thought into the logistics of this? As much time as they spend pretending they don’t have any, the thought of the unsaved finding their unraptured junk would probably give them nightmares.

    “If you’re reading this then I’ve been raptured, so I was right and you were wrong. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah. You’d better repent now. You can make amends by finding a rifle and killing any heathen you see. Be sure to take good care of Fluffy and Rover… and oh, if you happen to find my penis laying about, please give it a proper Christian burial. As it says in John 3:16 … etc., etc., etc.”

  69. #69 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2008

    the explanation being that you don’t need the naughty bits up in heaven?

    well, that would also explain the “72 virgins” as a reward for good little Muslims too, right?

    must be plenty on hand…

  70. #70 Stephen Couchman
    May 28, 2008

    @ 57

    ROFLMAOcopter. Thank you!

  71. #71 travc
    May 28, 2008

    Too bad I actually have morals… This is a great idea for those without such a burden to enrich themselves.

    Very very often events remind me of Bob Altemeyer’s “The Authoritarians”. If you haven’t read it… do so
    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    A truly frightening fraction of religious leaders are amoral bastards. Makes perfect sense.

  72. #72 travc
    May 28, 2008

    #46 and others bring up an interesting point. Shouldn’t end-times fundies be pushing for Christians to be excluded from certain jobs? The school bus driver is a wonderful visceral example. Someone should start up an email meme to fundies pushing them to demand that local school boards ban Christians from being bus drivers. That could get really funny.

  73. #73 Walton
    May 28, 2008

    I should point out that the “Rapture” is not, actually, a core Christian belief. Like much of popular American fundamentalist doctrine, it was developed by a nineteenth-century preacher called John Nelson Darby, and only became popular in the twentieth century. It’s based on a particular reading and interpretation of the Biblical text, but much of the detail is simply invented. It is noteworthy that the Catholic and Orthodox churches reject the doctrine outright, as do many mainline Protestant churches.

    This money-making scam, and all the wild hysteria associated with some forms of Christian millennialism and eschatology, is not representative of the worldwide Christian community as a whole.

  74. #74 Christophe Thill
    May 28, 2008

    They seem to be quite sure that lawyers won’t go to heaven.

    (But in my opinion, this site is just a joke)

  75. #75 stoat100
    May 28, 2008

    Bad news PZ – The only people stupid enough to fall for this are too stupid to realize that there is money involved:

    From the RaptureReady site:

    ‘…the service is free…’

    I don’t think it’s real BTW

  76. #76 Ashley Moore
    May 28, 2008

    What amuses me is the assumption that when the Anti-Christ takes over the world and all financial services, he is going to honour the arrangements made by an Christian internet website.

  77. #77 Alcari
    May 28, 2008

    Well, you can be sure of one thing. Send them all your financial info and location of hidden valuables, and you can sure nothing will be left behind.

  78. #78 DiscoveredJoys
    May 28, 2008

    “2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their banjos:”

    Nuff said.

  79. #79 Tatarize
    May 28, 2008

    I hear there’s another rapture site which will make sure your letters get sent rather than rely on faulty programming and perhaps internet failures and other problems which can only truly be fixed while on the ground. They make sure your letters get sent because the site is run by atheists. So they will still be around to trouble shoot. And will make sure to get your letters out before they convert during the tribulation.

  80. #80 kev_s
    May 28, 2008

    The Italian for ribbon is ‘nastro’ and in Italian the same word is used for Sellotape. Hence they can get away with using Sellotape or Scotch tape if there is a shortage of real ribbon.

  81. #81 mightybob
    May 28, 2008

    I’m a Christian and I think this is clearly a scam. No one truly following the life of Christ could possibly consider signing up to this.

  82. #82 dreamstretch
    May 28, 2008

    All the Christians in the world should hide just to freak us out.

  83. #83 Andreas Johansson
    May 28, 2008

    Better yet – all the world’s [i]Catholics[/i] should hide to freak the rapturists out.

  84. #84 anevilmeme
    May 28, 2008

    For fun we should try to sell these folks magic beans.

  85. #85 Akheloios
    May 28, 2008

    Hehe, bye bye money and assets. Another appeal from the authority of god, demanding access to the believers cash. I’d be all for it, but it does tend to distort the playing field because when you have obvious scam artists like this, the televangelists down to the liberal churches don’t seem as bad in comparison.

    No true Scotsman would steal all your money.

  86. #86 GDad
    May 28, 2008

    My favorite line from a thread once is, “When the Rapture comes, there will be a lot of short buses flying up to Heaven.”

  87. #87 Bride of Shrek
    May 28, 2008

    Christophe at #74

    I,as a lawyer, know I’m not going to heaven but I’d sooner spend eternity in hell chatting the breeze with my Pharyngulite fellow hellbound persons, maybe quaffing a few fine merlots and smoking a few fine cigars ( and for you US hell bounds- Cubans are freely available in Hell), shooting the shit about the latest developments in evo-bio than spending it with a bunch of christo-nazi fascist bullshit artists in heaven who just want to crap on about their latest social achievement, announcement of their 18th pregnancy or predictions of their latest cyclone/hurricane/tsunami/tornado on the heathens.

    I don’t believein either but, really, Hell sounds kind of cool.

  88. #88 Snitzels
    May 28, 2008

    That is absolutely brilliant… I wish I’d thought of it first. $40 per year and full account access from all those people… Oh wait, I couldn’t ever do that because it’s just plain wrong, but you have to admit, it is a good way to make money…

  89. #89 ancientTechie
    May 28, 2008

    Why don’t we just spread the word that the Rapture occurred on May 15, 2006 and so few people disappeared into heaven that hardly anyone noticed? Perhaps the self-righteous folks could then move past it and get on with the business of living.

  90. #90 ShavenYak
    May 28, 2008

    As an added bonus, for an added $10 per month you can give your survivors a share in the ownership of the Brooklyn Bridge, since it is currently owned by Christians who will be called into His Kingdom.

    But, but… the Brooklyn Bridge was destroyed by Clover’s tail!

  91. #91 JeffreyD
    May 28, 2008

    OK, been playing around with this idea for years, but maybe time to actually register a domain name and start taking orders.

    Worried about going to hell? For a free will love offering of $19.95 or more – search your heart and send more – I will guarantee you will not repeat not go to hell when you die. You will receive a card stating such to carry in your wallet or purse. This is a money back guarantee!!!! If you are in error sent to hell, simply return to me, with your card in hand, and I will cheerfully refund your money, less a 50% handling charge.

    Also, if you order in the next ten minutes, you will receive a genuine autographed 3-D picture of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – the eyes follow you around the room.

    Yes, order now, Jeffrey’s House of Discount Worship Supplies and Heavenly Paraphernalia. Also check out the Noah’s Ark bathing cap and the Dead Sea Scrolls Steak Knives. Order now, the rapture might take place any minute and I may have trouble filling orders after that happens.

    Ciao, y’all

  92. #92 Wowbagger
    May 28, 2008

    Hey, here’s an idea – how about we get all the atheists to hide, and send out letters to the Xian folk that read something like this:

    Dear losers,
    The atheists are gone. Even though they didn’t believe in god he still thought they were far more interesting than you prissy, lame prudes anyway – so he’s raptured them up instead. Sorry ’bout that. But, c’mon – you didn’t think the bible was literal, did you? All the batshit loonery and obvious contradictions should have told you something.
    Love,
    Jesus
    PS evolution is real. Get with the program.

    Heh heh heh.

  93. #93 Matt
    May 28, 2008

    This is a great idea and I’m upset I didnt think of this first.

  94. #94 Cappy
    May 28, 2008

    Anyone expecting to be raptured up can kiss my Left Behind.

  95. #95 HombreMoleculos
    May 28, 2008

    I like the idea of offering Rapture Insurance. For as little as $5 a week you can leave those loved ones that didn’t make the cut something to help them through their tribulation period. I just have to come up with a rate schedule.

  96. #96 Pierce R. Butler
    May 28, 2008

    Sorry folks: the Rapture has already occurred, on August 16, 1977.

    Regrettably, only one person was found worthy, and his estate – to avoid all that probate stuff – covered up the truth with an elaborate fake closed-coffin funeral.

    Pilgrimages to the home of this renowned saint continue daily in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

  97. #97 John
    May 28, 2008

    Steve F made my comment at #5.

    I’m wondering about the morality of capitalizing on stupid beliefs. I guess it’s immoral… but it sure would be nice to be able to make money off of it, instead of just getting beaten by the bibles.

    Then again, you could fund a hell of a counter-proselytization campaign selling Bullshit Goods For Jesus.

  98. #98 BAllanJ
    May 28, 2008

    You guys needn’t worry about the school bus driver…the bus will be empty because all children get a free rapture pass. But pets don’t. I heard of a service provided by pagan animal lovers who will care for your pets post-rapture for a low low subscription fee.

    This quote from #33:
    “I am also reminded of a radio prophetess of several years ago who foretold the end of the world within six months and solicited contributions. “You can put them on your credit card,” she said, which struck me as extremely dishonest since, of course, the debt would never be paid off in the event she was right. Isn’t it unethical to borrow money without the intention of paying it back?”
    reminded me of a joke I heard once. This guy had attended an funeral of some sort from his wife’s side of the family, and people were putting $20 bills into the casket -for the dearly departed to use in heaven (?). The guy didn’t have any cash, so before they closed the casket he put in a cheque…for $200 and took $180 in change.
    Badump bump!

  99. #99 Hal in Howell MI
    May 28, 2008

    “‘In God We Trust.’ I don’t believe it would sound any better if it were true.” – Mark Twain

  100. #100 Eric Jones
    May 28, 2008

    #46 They have example letters on their blog if you want to read them. They are pretty out there, obviously.
    http://youvebeenleftbehind.blogspot.com/

    @ #82 & #83 Lol, those are both really funny comments.

  101. #101 frog
    May 28, 2008

    All I can say — pure genius. “You’ve been left behind” are really on top of things. You’ve got to give props where they are deserved!

    Do you think the Christian marks will put it together that the folks running this thing must be “assuming” they’ll be among those left behind, since otherwise there’ll be no one to run the business and actually deliver the product?

  102. #102 frog
    May 28, 2008

    Walton: This money-making scam, and all the wild hysteria associated with some forms of Christian millennialism and eschatology, is not representative of the worldwide Christian community as a whole.

    But it is representative of Christian history. Millenialism has a long history in Christianity – it may not be what most Christians believe, but it is implied by what you believe; you’ll always have a significant minority of Christians who will take the ball and run with it. This goes back to the first century — you can’t get more “authentic” than that.

  103. #103 raven
    May 28, 2008

    Imagine how taken back they will be by the millions of missing Christians and devastation at the rapture.

    Rapture Monkeys are just Making Stuff Up.

    There won’t be millions of missing Xians.
    As described in Revelations (#48), there will be 144,000 missing Jewish, male, virgins.

    No such thing as a biblical literalist. There are hundreds of contradictions in the bible so everyone picks and chooses. Some go further and just fill in the blanks and rewrite parts of it. Anyone who actually followed the OT would be doing multiple life sentences in prison.

  104. #104 thalarctos
    May 28, 2008

    As described in Revelations (#48), there will be 144,000 missing Jewish, male, virgins.

    Well, if Ben Shapiro’s invited, that’s reason enough right there for me not to go…

  105. #105 BJ Tabor
    May 28, 2008

    $40? Please give a break. What kind of cheep REDEMPTION are they offering here? A bag lunch with Christ threw all eternity more like it. Do they even give a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE on your SALVATION like Jesus FAVORITE Church Landover Baptist does? I bet not.

    These guys are nothing but a bunch of SLEAZY Scam artists. Jesus will be booting their bottoms into the lake of fire for taking business away from His Chosen Elect. GLORY!

    Can I get an AMEN here people?

  106. #106 RobertC
    May 28, 2008

    Did any other scientists get the mailings from the “Earth is the center of the universe” guys at work:

    http://www.geocentricbible.com/

    Wondering what mailing list sold me out…..

  107. #107 El Ron
    May 28, 2008

    I’ll bet the $cientologists are mad as hell for not thinking of it first.

  108. #108 Captain Button
    May 28, 2008

    Jim Harrison @ 33:

    Some years ago I read about a preacher in Korea who was predicting the end of the world that October. He ran into trouble when people started asking why he was putting the donated money into bonds which didn’t mature until December.

    dreamstretch @ 82 & Andreas Johansson @ 83:

    There is a video out on the web by some people who staged a fake rapture as a practical joke on a woman. It’s very funny, but also quite cruel. The perpetrators are supposedly Christians also, but I question if they are very good ones.

    And I have to add my favorite quote from the 1986 movie Riders of the Storm:

    “Maybe we’ll get Raptured!”

    ‘And maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll get ruptured!

  109. #109 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 28, 2008

    I shit you not, this is an email I got last week- I thought they were urban legends but I’m keeping this one forever in my saved box- its too good to chuck out

    Man. What a sheltered life you live. I get about 15 to 25 such e-mails per day (lottery winnings included). Of course, my e-mail address is all over teh intartoobz because the biggest mailing list I’m on doesn’t even try to conceal it.

  110. #110 David Marjanovi?, OM
    May 28, 2008

    I’ll bet the $cientologists are mad as hell for not thinking of it first.

    What evidence do we have that they aren’t behind this…? :-)

  111. The rapture service is obviously a scam. But I thought this was a science blog. It looks more like Christian bashing club.

  112. #112 BJ Tabor
    May 28, 2008

    But I thought this was a science blog. It looks more like Christian bashing club.

    Randy,

    There is no polite way to say it, these guys are atheists. This is what happens when people go around worrying about “facts”, “evidence”, “logical conclusions” and other ANTI-Christian ideas. It goes without saying they all hate Christians because they know, in their hearts of hearts, we Christians are right (well at lest the TRUE Christians(tm) are right, the rest of the false Christians are on an express elevator to Hell)

    I mean notice not once do they back up their assertions that God doesn’t exist with ANY Biblical scripture. (That’s right, I am looking at you Professor PZ “Courtier’s Rebuttal” Myers) I mean come on atheists, if God didn’t exist, wouldn’t He bother to have mentioned it in The Bible? It’s just logical.

  113. #113 Brownian, OM
    May 28, 2008

    But I thought this was a science blog. It looks more like Christian bashing club.

    Wrong, boyo. It’s a religious asshole bashing club.

    It just happens that so many Christians fit the bill.

  114. #114 Ben
    May 28, 2008

    In Chicago we godless atheists sing (drunkenly) “Take me out to the Ball Game” during the Seventh Inning Stretch.

  115. #115 John C. Randolph
    May 28, 2008

    Let me get this straight: they claim that the government of the antichrist will be thwarted when it comes to seizing the absent christian’s property, if they subscribe to this service?

    The antichrist is going to be restrained by the law?

    -jcr

  116. #116 T-1000
    May 28, 2008

    Hey PZ I just so happen to have a teleporter, would you like to use it to spontaneously disappear in front of a bunch of fundamentalist Christians?

  117. #117 mandrellian
    May 28, 2008

    Holy crap, and I mean that in every sense of the phrase.
    I thought cats like Benny Hinn were the supreme Xtian scambots but these guys really take the wafer!

  118. #118 Wowbagger
    May 28, 2008

    #111 wrote:

    The rapture service is obviously a scam. But I thought this was a science blog. It looks more like Christian bashing club.

    Almost. This blog is about science, which involves rationalism. If religious people can attempt to discuss their beliefs in a rational way (i.e. not like our wilfully ignorant, ACLU-hating, NDE-obsessed friend Kenny) then bashing shouldn’t occur.

    Sometimes it’s a Christian idiot bashing club. Have a look on some other posts and you’ll see Christians like Walton get treated with respect. Sure, we have some fun – but our derision is usually in proportion with the stupidity of what we’re attacking. The rapture people, for example. That’s loonery at its god-given (and I mean that literally) best and will be dealt with as such.

  119. #119 Ross Nixon
    May 28, 2008

    When the Rapture happens, probably before 2068 (“this generation shall not pass away…” – a possible reference to May 14th, 1948); there will be so few “true” Christians left, that not many people will care (except the 144,000 Jews who will realize what has happened). The few others who wonder will be given a clever lie – possibly something like “our space brothers from a higher plane have removed them for re-education”.

  120. #120 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2008

    I mean notice not once do they back up their assertions that God doesn’t exist with ANY Biblical scripture.

    ROTLMAO

    would that be kind of the reverse of the “bible supports the bible” circular argument?

  121. #121 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2008

    You guys needn’t worry about the school bus driver…the bus will be empty because all children get a free rapture pass

    or Mrs. Crabtree that tells them what to do…

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/12753/

  122. #122 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2008

    This money-making scam, and all the wild hysteria associated with some forms of Christian millennialism and eschatology, is not representative of the worldwide Christian community as a whole.

    yeah, it’s ‘fringe’ because only 30 million or so xians in the US alone believe it, right, Walton?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Association_of_Evangelicals

  123. #123 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2008

    I,as a lawyer, know I’m not going to heaven but I’d sooner spend eternity in hell chatting the breeze with my Pharyngulite fellow hellbound persons, maybe quaffing a few fine merlots and smoking a few fine cigars

    don’t forget the endless bad sci-fi/horror marathon I arranged a couple years back!

    that’s still (and always was/will be) going, and Joel Hodgson has agreed to host it come 2009.

    good times for everyone!

  124. #124 allonym
    May 28, 2008

    There won’t be any bodies, so probate court will take 7 years to clear your assets to your next of Kin.

    What an unusual assumption. If bodies go missing when their owners are taken up to Heaven, then I think we can assume very few people have ever made it there*. The evidence is buried under gravestones and in tombs the world over!

    *I’m actually pretty sure the number is precisely zero, I assumed even the existence of Heaven only for the sake of point-making.

  125. #125 Carlie
    May 28, 2008

    Really, $40 a year is absurdly cheap if you use the right sales pitch – “Look, I’ll stay behind. No, really, it’s ok. I promise I won’t convert and get raptured, just so I can take care of your stuff for you after you go. $40 a year for my soul? Why, that’s plenty. Don’t worry about me burning in hell forever so that your niece can get your junk bonds at all.”

  126. #126 gex
    May 28, 2008

    When these evangelicals get a meeting in the White House with the administration prior to going to war, and the President talks with God about whether or not to go to war, AND moderate Christians participate quite as readily in the culture wars, ‘fringe’ isn’t as out there as you make it sound, Walton.

    Remember, John McCain SOUGHT OUT Hagee’s endorsement. Many politicians (usually GOP) seek out these ‘fringe’ religious leaders’ endorsements.

    I fail to see how the fact that this is not what most Christians believe makes it any better.

  127. #127 keri
    May 29, 2008

    Y’all’ve seen the Slacktivist Left Behind Fridays series? http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/left_behind/ (might have to go back several pages to get to the beginning) The way I understand it, Fred’s a Christian, and he’s pretty well versed in the Bible and stuff, so it’s crazy the stuff he points out about those books. These Rapturists are simply batshit. Well, the guys at the top are apparently in it for the money, and the people at the bottom are unfortunate suckers, but batshit covers it all pretty well.

  128. #128 Etha Williams
    May 29, 2008

    @#126 gex –

    When these evangelicals get a meeting in the White House with the administration prior to going to war, and the President talks with God about whether or not to go to war, AND moderate Christians participate quite as readily in the culture wars, ‘fringe’ isn’t as out there as you make it sound, Walton.

    Wrt war…let’s not forget the role of Iran in end-times “prophecy.”

    More Hagee on Iran (starting around 2:57 here):

    As you know, Iran poses a threat to the state of Israel that promises nothing less than a nuclear holocaust. I have been saying on national television, in churches and auditoriums across america, quote: “It is 1938, Iran is Germany, and is the new Hitler. Ladies and Gentlemen, we must stop Iran’s nuclear threat and stop it now…[indistinct (applause)]…The only way to win a nuclear war is to make certain it never starts.”

  129. #129 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2008

    batshit covers it all pretty well.

    batshit?

    yes.

    fringe?

    no.

  130. #130 Etha Williams
    May 29, 2008

    In the Hagee quote above, it should read, “…and Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler.”

  131. #131 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2008

    ..yes because of course the “axis of evil” meme must be perpetuated!

    er, even though supposedly the only real nuclear threat is North Korea.

    I swear, I’m always surprised the same memes continue to work after thousands of years of use.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~tjneal/goering.jpg

  132. #132 Etha Williams
    May 29, 2008

    @#131 Ichthyic –

    ..yes because of course the “axis of evil” meme must be perpetuated!

    er, even though supposedly the only real nuclear threat is North Korea.

    And we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

  133. #133 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2008

    And we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

    oh crap!

    I almost forgot.
    ;)

  134. #134 Etha Williams
    May 29, 2008

    @#131 Ichthyic –

    I swear, I’m always surprised the same memes continue to work after thousands of years of use.

    Well, it appeals to a very basic us/them, group/other mentality. One that the Bible seems happy to promote, what with the Tower of Babel story; “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated,” which may be generalized to “Israel I love, Edom I hate” (the use of mythological kinship relation to reinforce nationalism is also interesting), etc. There’s also the dispensational premillenialists’ obsessive paranoia about the One World Government “foretold” in Revelations….

  135. #135 Etha Williams
    May 29, 2008

    This part is a rather weird:

    In the encrypted portion of your account you can give them access to your banking, brokerage, hidden valuables, and powers of attorneys’ (you won’t be needing them any more, and the gift will drive home the message of love).

    The first part of the parenthetical is appealing to the reader’s selfishness (you don’t need it any more, so it won’t hurt you), while the second is appealing to his desire to be seen as selfless (gift will drive home the message of love).

    Altruism: ur doin it wrong.

    or, alternatively:

    Hypochristianity: ur doin it right.

  136. #136 Kseniya
    May 29, 2008

    Wow, we’ve had so much batshit-insanity flow through these pages recently, for a moment there I thought Ross Nixon was just another rationalist. But I was mistaken, which is good, for Ross has never, ever disappointed me.

  137. #137 shane
    May 29, 2008

    As described in Revelations (#48), there will be 144,000 missing Jewish, male, virgins.

    Bugger, does this mean that Ben Stein is saved?

  138. #138 Ichthyic
    May 29, 2008

    Bugger, does this mean that Ben Stein is saved?

    who cares?

    good riddance, either way.

  139. #139 Ex Partiate
    May 29, 2008

    Screw the rapture, it is all BS anyway, I believe in life before death and will continue to live it that way

  140. #140 Pyre
    May 29, 2008

    So let’s pretend for a moment that these service websites are not only honest and sincere, but sane and accurate — the Rapture will happen, and then they’ll do exactly what they promise.

    The deadman switch will be triggered by the absence of the Raptured, all those important messages will be automatically printed off, automatically folded, automatically stuffed into envelopes which are automatically stamped and sealed, and automatically conveyed to the nearest mailbox, where they will wait, and wait, and wait…. because all the trustworthy and faithful mail carriers will have been Raptured too.

    Neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night will stay these carriers from their appointed rounds, but Rapture is another matter.

  141. #141 Pyre
    May 29, 2008

    And if the system doesn’t work when the Rapture comes, what then?

    Lawsuits in heaven?

    (As Mac says to Indy in the new film: “Bet you $500 we get out of this!” Talk about a safe bet….)

  142. #142 KC Jones
    May 29, 2008

    Actually, I know an atheist in Kansas City who has suggested setting up such a service.

  143. #143 raven
    May 29, 2008

    Bugger, does this mean that Ben Stein is saved?

    Of course not. Stein has prostituted himself to the Christofascists and any other group he could find way too many times. A Jewish male but no way a virgin.

    According to Revelations, the average Rapturee will end up being about 12 years old.

  144. #144 Nicole
    May 29, 2008

    Reading the URL I thought “You’ve got mail!” only incredibly morbid…

  145. #145 Miek G
    May 29, 2008

    Imagine how taken back they will be by the millions of missing Christians

    That sounds pretty pleasant to me. It might make the South inhabitable.

  146. #146 Daniel R
    May 29, 2008

    This is very strange. I have never heard of this thing of “Rapture”. I was however raised as catholic, with mass every Sunday and so on. In France, a still catholic country, I am pretty sure that nobody heard about it.

    When I read the present PZ’s article, I wondered what could be this “Rapture” he talked about. Dictionnaries say nothing about that, translating “rapture” as some french equivalent of “ecstasy”.

    In french Wikipedia, there is nothing about that either. The translation of “Rapture” (that I eventually found as “enlèvement” in Web sites) gives an article about things like “kidnapping”. Nothing about this christian meaning. By the way, the english wikipedia entry for “Rapture” does not have a link to a french equivalent entry.

    How Religions are relative!

  147. #147 Grimalkin
    May 29, 2008

    Okay, question:

    How would getting my valuables and power of attorney over my assets help my beloved unsaved friends and family members from damnation?

    Does money = salvation? I hadn’t realized we’d gone back to the whole indulgence thing…

  148. #148 RamblinDude
    May 30, 2008

    This is very strange. I have never heard of this thing of “Rapture”.

    Wow. Consider yourself lucky. Here in the states, it’s mainstream religion and big, big business. Mega churches are built on the proceeds of conning people into thinking that Jesus *jazz hands up high* is going to return just any minute now to make them all disappear and take them up into heaven in–The Rapture! (You can make the bible say anything you want it to say if you try hard enough.)

    Imagine Jesus with a fleet of star ships suddenly appearing in orbit and saying, “Beam them up, Scotty!” and all of the “real” Christians suddenly disappearing from the earth all at once–but leaving their clothes behind.”

    It’s kinda like that.

  149. #149 RamblinDude
    May 30, 2008

    To be fair, there is some disagreement as to whether the “chosen” will be taken up with or without their clothes.

  150. #150 Don Smith, FCD
    May 30, 2008

    Re #14,24,79, and others. I happen to know the creator of the Post-Rapture Post site and it is not a scam. He is quite upfront about not believing in the rapture. This article in USA Today also has a write up.

    So far, just 11 people have purchased letters from Witter’s site, all of whom chose the least expensive, Class I message for $4.99.

    Letters that are delivered on fancy resume paper are available for $9.99, but medieval-style parchment costs $799.99.

    “I wish someone would order the expensive one,” Witter said.

    The merchandise on the site is more popular.

    Witter said he has sold about 300 T-shirts, Rapture survival guides and coffee mugs. He is not sure how much money he’s made, but says it’s enough to at least break even.

    It also has earned him a few nasty letters.

    “I get about 80% hate mail,” Witter acknowledged. The other 20% fall roughly into two categories: people who appreciate the satire, and fellow atheists — offering their services as postal workers after the Rapture..

  151. #151 Don Smith, FCD
    May 30, 2008

    Oh and Post-Rapture Post has been around longer – since 2005.

  152. #152 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 30, 2008

    The rapture service is obviously a scam. But I thought this was a science blog. It looks more like Christian bashing club.

    Oh Randy, you so funny.

    Randy,

    There is no polite way to say it, these guys are atheists. This is what happens when people go around worrying about “facts”, “evidence”, “logical conclusions” and other ANTI-Christian ideas. It goes without saying they all hate Christians because they know, in their hearts of hearts, we Christians are right (well at lest the TRUE Christians(tm) are right, the rest of the false Christians are on an express elevator to Hell)

    I mean notice not once do they back up their assertions that God doesn’t exist with ANY Biblical scripture. (That’s right, I am looking at you Professor PZ “Courtier’s Rebuttal” Myers) I mean come on atheists, if God didn’t exist, wouldn’t He bother to have mentioned it in The Bible? It’s just logical.

    That’s mollyrific.

  153. #153 JeebusFreak
    June 13, 2008

    Do you think we could convince everyone who believes in the rapture that some or other bible verse clearly states that heaven lies at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and that they should all jump in “bodily” some time during August? Just seems like we would be a lot better off with these nut-jobs out of the way, so might as well give them a little push. Only after they’ve signed over all their stuff, of course!