I felt like being depressed, for some reason, and so I did a news search on "rapture". It's surprising how many of the hits aren't religious stories. I won't spend a lot of time on those, although I have to say in passing that using the word "rapture" in connection with birdwatching or mountain climbing is even less comprehensible to me than the usual religious meaning of the word.
So here's what we've got today:
- A rather bitter column about the country going to hell in a handbasket, titled "From republic to tyranny". Widespread belief in the imminent rapture is just one of the many ills that face us. The author describes the book of Revelation as a rogue text largely incompatible with the gospel, which is about as apt a description as I've seen. I'm a confirmed nonbeliever, but it's obvious even to me that the parts just don't mesh up. You can base your religion on one or the other, but not both, and our fundies have decided they prefer the book that reads like the violent, incoherent ramblings of an insane person. Somebody give that John guy some thorazine, stat!
- Well, ok, not all fundies are identical. They've got lots of petty little theological divides and fissures, and the precise nature and timing of the Rapture is one of them. Not everyone believes it's right around the corner. Or more precisely, some belive it's impossible to know whether it's right around the corner. This article surveys the wide range of beliefs occurring just in the Yucca Valley, CA area. Read, and be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
- That Jesus guy isn't the only one who's due back any minute now. The Mahdi will also return Real Soon Now, and Iran's new president is working tirelessly, making all those pesky last-minute preparations. See the article "Waiting for the rapture in Iran".
- And the National Review, of all people, has an overview of Islamic end times beliefs, titled "Sound familiar?".
- In one of the better Freudian slips I've seen in a long time, this page refers to our upcoming, hyper-expensive F-22 Raptor fighter jet as the "F22 Rapture".
- I've saved the true sign of the apocalypse for last. Seems that the band Blondie (remember them?) is reworking their song "Rapture" for re-release. Gaaaaahhhh!!!!!