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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Final Thoughts on the Rapture That Wasn’t

Addendum at the end of the post


You sir are why I don’t read the internet. Your mocking GOD is hateful and you are a poor excuse for a CHRSITIAN. When you judgement comes you will not be so funny then and your are not funny now your just think you are [Sic].

It’s been a week since Harold Camping’s non-Rapture.

It’s been, what? four days since I wrote the rapture posts?

The hate mail is now down to a trickle, but for a while there it was a torrent.

Rather predictably, none of the faithful – like the fuzzy rapture monkey above, who wrote me a long lovely note about how I can burn in Hell forever, Praise Gawd! – were sucked into outer space by Zombie Jesus.

Frankly, I’m a little disappointed, but I guess I can live with that. 

It might actually be for the best. Perhaps there’s a lesson there. For the faithful.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, I think it would have been hysterically funny if these glassy-eyed simpletons actually did get sucked up into the sky like dustbunnies in a vacuum cleaner.  The world would be a better place without these chowderheaded genetic failures.  But, the fact that The Big Moment failed to materialize, yet again, is even better.  Did it dent their belief? Only momentarily, then Harold Camping had yet another divine epiphany and told his legions of gullible followers, “Good news, Lemmings! Spoke to Righteous Jesus Dude, I was totally correct, the Rapture did actually happen just like I said it would, but it was a sort of an invisible spiritual deal because merciful happy forgiving God wants to spare the unsaved five months of torture (so he can torture them for all of eternity later apparently. How five months makes a difference compared to, oh, forever wasn’t explained – but never mind that!) and for absolutely sure the world is going to end on October 21st. Send money!” Camping didn’t explain if the actual no-foolin October 21st end of the world will be invisible too, but I suppose he just assumed that was a given.

A more perfect example of the human mind’s ability to rationalize complete bullshit into shiny fairy dust there never was.

The people who believe in this crap are drooling idiots, and these idiots deserve every single bit of mockery and derision currently being directed at them. Ridicule is entirely the correct response and I laugh in their bewildered sobbing faces, fuck ‘em and the Winnebago of Doom they rode in on.

Now hang on, Jim, I hear you say in that tone you reserve for greeting uninvited Jehovah’s Witnesses at the front door when they show up just as you sit down to dinner, that’s pretty cold hearted. Don’t you have any sympathy for the poor deluded fools who left their families, quit their jobs, and spent their life savings on posters of doom in anticipation of Launch Day? Do you feel nothing for their disappointment, their crushing despair, their confusion and the dashing of their dreams like small helpless puppies dropped from a height onto concrete like little water balloons full of chunky spaghetti sauce?

Have you no empathy, man?

No.

I don’t.

What I’d actually like to do is grab these silly bobbleheads by the lapels and shake them until I’ve shaken every last bit of stupid right out of their empty skulls. And make no mistake at all, stupidity is exactly what this is. The worst kind of stupid: deliberate stupidity.  Selfish stupidity. And I do not, ever, have sympathy for those who engage in willful foolishness. 

I simply cannot and will not suffer fools gladly.

Sounds harsh, I know. And it sounds like I’m coming down hard on religion.

That’s because I am.

Or rather I’m coming down hard on a particular kind of religion. 

See, what these people are engaged in is not faith, but rather selfishness.

Selfishness.

That is the fundamental principle of their belief. Selfishness. Pure and simple. 

Selfishness. I’m pretty sure that’s a sin.

This childish belief system is literally escapism.  This Rapture horseshit is nothing more than a wish fulfillment fantasy, a little daydream where Happy Smiling Bearded Tanned Chiseled-Chest Jesus Man comes down from the sky in a beam of pure white awesome surrounded by sparkly angel farts in a spotlessly white robe to hold their hands and rub their shoulders in a totally non-homoerotic way and tell them how wonderful they are and how they were right all along about everything and how God loves them best of all and how all the mean people that they don’t like are assholes who are finally going to get what’s coming to them and then the Soap Opera Savior will take them away from all their earthly woes by flying them up into the sky to a wonderful magical place of crispy shining clouds and Roman fountains and fluffy kittens and white marble where they’ll be skinny and healthy and happy and young and rich and glamorous and talented and fabulous and surrounded by skinny, healthy, happy, young, rich, glamorously talented fabulous people who believe everything that they do and nothing that they don’t and where there are no ugly disagreeable stinky fat dirty people who are smarter than they are and who make them feel bad about themselves and there will be no bills to pay or shitty jobs to go to or ungrateful kids to raise or unshaven horny husbands with morning breath or frigid wives with fat asses or houses to clean or crowded highways or poor people to feed or sick people to care for or indeed any responsibilities at all and they can spend all of eternity thinking happy thoughts and having earth shaking bang bang sex with angels on cottony clouds without guilt or having to sleep in the wet spot and the rest of the time doing exactly what they want to do without any kind of consequences ever – and the icing on the big God cake is all the people that they don’t like will burn in lakes of fire while wrapped in chains of ice hidden away from God’s sight forever and ever and ever exactly as they deserve and the Saved will get to say Ha HA! Fuckers, told you so, nyah nyah! Amen.

That is exactly what The Rapture is, and it’s why I got a ton of hate mail this week – people get very upset when you mock their little fantasies, especially a selfish little bit of escapism that they’ve spent so much time and effort on, polishing it and adding little embellishments, worrying it around over and over like an ingrown nail. 

But here’s the sad part, if these people really believed that they were going up into the sky to live with the Cloud People, they wouldn’t give a fig as to what I think, after all, I’m just one of trillions of souls who will finally get what I so justly deserve, right? That’s right, trillions, all the graves will open up and all the people who ever lived, ever, will walk the earth and a whole lot of us aren’t going to get to go.  So why in the hell would they bother to send me hate mail?

Unless, of course, they’re afraid that their little Rapture balloon will pop and then they’ll be stuck dealing with, you know, actual life. Here. Now. Today.

And, man, dealing with real life is such a bummer.  What if the whole purpose of life is to do the best you can with what you got?

Oh hell no, there’s got to be more than that! Why, we’re special! Sure we are.

It’s selfishness. 

It’s selfish and conceited to an extraordinary degree to believe that you’ll be saved and others won’t - and you’re OK with that.

Yeah, so?  Big deal, so they believe in The Rapture and Magic Eight Ball Jesus and Heaven, what’s the harm? Why does it matter? They’re not hurting anybody.

Wrong.

Selfishness has consequences.  Conceit has consequences.  Always.

Real consequences, in the real world.

A number of these stupid bastards abandoned their families, husbands left wives, wives left husbands, parents left children, they left jobs and homes and responsibilities and waited for Jesus to come along and rapture them away to happy magic land where the bunnies fart sunshine and rainbows and taste just like Grandma’s fried chicken.

Think about that.

No, really think about that. Think about the consequences. Think about what kind of person it takes to believe in this crap, to want it, to hope for it.

When you think like this, there are consequences.

The people who allow themselves to believe in this nonsense, who willingly embrace this garbage, are the kind of selfish self-involved self-centered sons of bitches who would abandon their own children in order to save themselves.   These are the kind of sorry pusillanimous assholes who, given the choice last Saturday (Remember, it was real to them), when they believed that The Question was actually being put to them for real, made a conscious and deliberate decision to sacrifice their own families.  Families?  Hell, they intended to abandon the whole human race, they intended to sell out the whole Goddamned planet – every person who ever lived all the way back to the very beginning.

That’s what they intended.

Not one, not a single one, of these sorry pathetic sacks of shit looked up into the sky and said, Hey! You up there, you son of a bitch, kiss my ass! Take us all, or don’t take any of us.  If my children are going to Hell, then I’m going with them.  If my wife is going to hell, she’s not going without me, asshole! Have and to hold, better or worse, richer or poorer, that’s the deal. You want my family? My friends? My world? You’re going to have to come through me to get them! Tell Jesus to bring help, because he’s gonna need it.

That’s right.

No, instead they stood in parking lots and on mountain tops and in churches and said, Hey, psssst, Jesus, screw them, no really screw them forever and ever, you can have my kids, my wife, my husband, just take me to happy land, Baby, so I can dance naked among the clouds!

Sympathy? You must be joking. I have nothing but utter contempt for these cowards.

Harold Campings [sic] isn’t a real Christian!

Yeah, yeah. I hear you.  I got a couple hundred emails from real Christians quoting The Book of Mathew.  There were a bunch of comments to that effect too, but I deleted them because I don’t want them stinking up my blog. These “real” Christians tell me that Jesus will “come like a thief in the night” and no man can knoweth the day or hour of His return

Gotcha. I’d have probably gone with a different metaphor, if I was writing the Holy Book, but that’s not even close to the most significant changes I’d make (Ten Commandments? Bah. How about only one: Don’t be a dick. There, done, now go and be happy and shit will work out).  

I’ve got bad news for you: you don’t get to disown Harold Camping or the rest of these bozos on a technicality.  They believe in Jesus, ipso facto, they’re Christians.  They might not believe like your particular branch of Christianity but don’t go getting all smug here because Camping doesn’t have the corner on selfishness.  Sure, Harold Camping put an expiration date on his version of the Bible (and granted, his expiration date is like the expiration date on a box of MRE’s, more of a guideline than what you’d call an actual rule), but other than that, his beliefs really aren’t distinguishable from one hell of a lot of people in this country who are going to be listening to pretty much the same exact message come this Sunday.  A lot of them think that some day they’re going to fly up into the sky with Jesus, even if they don’t pretend to know the exact date, and everybody else is going to burn, burn, burn, forever, and they can’t wait for that to happen because it’s going to be awesome. Hallelujah!  And sure, there’s a whole lot of folks who, while they don’t exactly buy into the Rapture Rocket thing, are still convinced that someday they and their best friends are going to be partying in the clouds with Jesus while everybody else gets to attend Satan’s BBQ.  Every single one of these people, from snake handling Evangelicals to Unreconstructed Catholics who recite the Mass in Latin are firmly convinced that they’re right and everybody else is damned to eternal torment.

A lot of these folks might claim to respect other’s beliefs, or lack of belief, but they don’t. In their minds, respect of other’s beliefs means, Hey, I didn’t burn your ass at the stake, what else do you want? Now, don’t be gay, don’t choose, don’t think, don’t question, don’t be uppity, don’t be different from me – now bend over and I’ll respect you in the morning.

This colors how people think.

And there are consequences.

Jesus said feed the hungry, but really why should we? They’re all just going to burn anyway – if they don’t believe like us.

Jesus said clothe the poor, but again, that would be a waste of good clothing. Wouldn’t it?

Jesus said heal the sick, but they wouldn’t be sick in the first place … if they believed like we do.

The only thing we need to know about the world is: God did it. Don’t ask. Don’t think. Don’t strive to know. God did it, that’s it and that’s all.

No need to conserve resources, they’re ours. God will either make more or blow the earth up before we run out.

No need to take care of the planet, it’s disposable anyway. Pollution? Climate change? Extinction? Fuck it, Jesus has that covered.

No need for respect of others, by definition they are damned to fire and torture and eternal hellfire anyway. Fuck them too.

Peace in the Middle East? Now why would we want that? War in the Holy Land is one of the signs, man!

Selfishness, that’s what this worldview fosters. Selfishness.

Ask yourself this, how many abortions could have been avoided if the Catholic Church spent as much on correcting the causes of unwanted pregnancy as they did on preventing the teaching of birth control around the world?  Tell me again, which is the lesser sin? Which one could you live with? Sex without conception for pleasure or abortion? Seems fairly obvious to me, but then again I’m not Catholic.

How many many battered spouses could have gotten help last year if the Church of Latter Day Saints spent the same amount on shelters and counselors as they did defending the sanctity of marriage by opposing same sex unions in California? Seems to me Mormons should be the very last people telling others how to be married, but then again I’m not a Mormon. 

How many homeless could have been fed, clothed, and sheltered if those megachurch TV evangelicals had spent even a fraction of their tax free billions on doing what Jesus rather specifically enjoined Christians to do instead of glorifying themselves?  Seems to me if the world is going to end, there’s not much point in a huge glass and steel cathedral complete with TV studio and holy casino, but then again I’m not born again either.

How many angry young Muslim men would be less angry, more patriotic, and less likely to fear and distrust their neighbors here in the United States if the Southern Baptist Convention had spent its money helping to build an interfaith center near Ground Zero instead of fighting it tooth and nail?  Jesus said something about turning the other cheek, something or other about forgiveness and humility, something about hubris and something about judgment being reserved for God, but I don’t recall the specifics because I’m not a Baptist either.

How many sons, daughters, wives, husbands, how many families, could have been saved if Harold Camping’s followers had spent their money on taking care of others instead of going off to save themselves?  How many baseball lots and family recreational parks, how many classroom improvements in New York’s impoverished schools, how many after school programs could the eighteen million dollars Harold Camping’s Family Radio raked in from selfish listeners last year paid for? I don’t know, but then again I don’t believe in The Rapture.

How much of the National Debt could have been paid down if these various churches rendered unto Caesar as they were directed to do by Jesus?  Enough to pay for our schools? Enough to fund college grants for our kids? Enough to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, shelter the needy? Fix Medicare so old people don’t have to split pills and do without? Could we fund mental health programs so crazy people could get help and maybe get better and not spend their lives on the street or shooting Congress women in the head? Would we have enough to keep funding alcohol and drug rehab programs to help addicts get better and maybe get jobs and maybe stop being homeless?  Beats me, but then again I’m not exactly what you’d call a Christian.

Someday you will watch people raise up to meet your GOD but you will be left behind. You will be sorry then.

Perhaps so, but in the mean time, I’ll make the best of this world and do my part to leave it, when the time comes, a little better than I found it.

And you?

Since you live here too, how about you stop acting the asshole and lend a hand?

I’m pretty sure that’s what Jesus would do.

 

 


Addendum:

As expected, this morning the inbox has some nice feedback from the faithful.  I’ll paraphrase the common themes:

 

WHY DO YOU HATE GOD?!!!!

Well, you know, should the Christian God actually exist, it’s not as if the guy is particularly likable.  I suppose the best I could manage in that case is the kind of regard a rat might have for the scientist running the experiment, “Thanks for the food pellet and this nice exotic disease, Poindexter, but you should know the first chance I get I’m going over the wall.”   Face it, most of the “love” believers feel for “God” is the kind of love a battered wife feels for her abuser – just ask the folks in Joplin, Missouri this morning, “He totally fucking destroyed the town and killed our families and neighbors and sucked little Billy right through the goddamned wall and turned his body into Jell-O, but man He spared me so He sure must be awesome! Whatever you do, don’t question it, He doesn’t like that.”  But here’s the thing, I don’t hate your God, any more than I hate a volcano or an earthquake or snow, just because somebody points out the fallacies of your belief system doesn’t mean they hate God, Jesus, or America.  You’re using “Why do you hate God” as a set of earplugs so you don’t have to deal with the logical fallacies of your silly belief system.  That’s your problem, don’t make it mine, i.e. you look to the beam in your eye first then get back to me.

 

WHY DO YOU HATE CHRISTIANS?!!!!

I don’t hate Christians, or Muslims, or Mormons, or Jehovah’s Witnesses, or those gomers who hang out on street corners with the fist full of flowers and the dazed looks on their faces.  And I actually dig the Jews (I hate to show favoritism, but they’ve got just totally awesome food).  Repeat, I don’t hate them.  Most of the time I don’t care, however, when you start demanding that I live my life in accordance with your beliefs, then you’re getting on my nerves. When you use your beliefs as an excuse to act like a dick, then we’re going to have a problem.  I refer you to a devoutly religious man, Ghandi: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

 

I’M A CHRISTIAN AND I AGREE WITH THE BASIC PREMISE OF THIS POST, BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE SO HATEFUL (OBNOXIOUS, ARROGANT, MEAN, SARCASTIC, FOUL MOUTHED, and so on and so forth).

Eye for an Eye, Sparky.  Couple of points, when you tell people that they’re going to burn forever along with their kids and friends and neighbors and etcetera because they don’t believe like you do, well then you are being an obnoxious dick.  When you claim to have all the answers, when you claim that you’re special and exceptional and saved, you’re being a prideful dick.  It’s OK for you to express blind faith without a shred of proof, but if I’m confident in my beliefs then I’m “arrogant” –  that makes you a hypocritical dick. When you attempt to force your religious beliefs on others, and especially if you whore it up as “intelligent design” or “morality” or “It’s a Christian Nation” or some other euphemistic bullshit, then you are being an insulting selfish dick.  Yes, insulting, because recasting religion as science says very clearly that the rest of us are so fucking stupid we can’t see what you’re up to.  When you come to my door and tell me I’m going to burn forever in a lake of fire because you’ve got all the answers, you’re telling me that my experience and education and worldview is completely invalid and you can kiss my ass.  When you use your religion to deny others their basic civil rights of life, liberty, and happiness, then I’m going to punch you right square in the mouth. When you tell people that “it’s a Christian Nation” you’re telling all the rest of us that we don’t count, that we’re second class citizens, that we don’t belong and then we’re going to have a problem, you and me.  You reap what you sow, so said Jesus. You’d like me to be more polite with posts like the one above?  Fine, you go first. 

 

WHEN THE RAPTURE REALLY DOES COME, YOU’LL BE SORRY

Couple things: First, you should know right up front that I don’t respond well to threats, from you, from your preacher, or from Jesus. Really.  Second, why do you care if I’m sorry or not? Ask yourself that, then ask yourself if the emotion behind your childish little threat is the kind of thing that will get you in the front door of Heaven when your time comes.  If you’re right, you shouldn’t have to threaten people. Think about that.

 

MATHEW 24:36 BUT OF THAT DAY AND HOUR KNOWETH NO MAN, NO, NOT THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN, BUT MY FATHER ONLY. HE’S COMING BITCH.

Here’s a thought:  According to Christians, God is big on tests. He supposedly gave you free will, but you’re not supposed to use it.  He gave you the ability to disbelieve and numerous reasons to disbelieve up to and including putting dinosaur fossils in the ground and manipulating the decay of Carbon-14, but you should believe anyway.  In point of fact, there is one hell of a lot of proof that God does not exist, and exactly none that He does, but you should believe anyway. That’s why they call it faith, right? The Christian God is big on tests of faith and character, the bible is full of such tests.  Ever ask yourself, what if?  What if this whole rapture thing is a test?  Given free will, when you thought it was the end, you choose to abandon your children, your spouse, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your nations, your world, your people for a free ride to paradise.  What’s that say about your character?  Do you really think that’s the kind of person Jesus wants to spend eternity with?  How about the rest of you believers? Are you really living your life as if you believe the Rapture is coming? Really? Or are you just using it to make other people do what you want? Do as I say or you’ll be sorry. Remember, according to your belief, Jesus knows what’s in your heart.  Maybe, just maybe, there’s no rapture at all, maybe it’s just a test to separate the selfish assholes from the worthy. Think about that.

You can stop writing me now, I’m not the one you need to convince.

69 comments:

  1. I find that these hard core fundamentalists are ridiculous. I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus, but I do believe we have a world today, problems to solve, and we are doing no good by blowing it all off based on a point of doctrine from a very metaphoric book. Will Jesus return someday? Maybe. Could it be tomorrow? Also maybe, but the point is, you are right, he gave us some clear missions for the here and now, and many Christian organizations are failing to accomplish them.

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  2. All this just makes me glad the my daddy raised me as an Atheist. I don't think too much about it and I know I'm worm food when I die. Pretty much everything else in the world is just a "thing", just life. It's a nice way to live. No rituals and I don't give up any percentage of my income to some non profit scamming church that really doesn't help anyone. Life's good, live it, without the superstitions.

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  3. Bravo! Well said. Unfortunately, the people this is aimed at won't listen.

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  4. My son is an agnostic, I guess I would call myself a Deist who does not believe that there is any reason to EVER set foot in a church. We are both SO burned out by the Shite Baptists we are surrounded by in Texas. When my son was a child at church camp, he was horrified at a "demonstration" pushing for evangelism which utilized a blender full of water with a goldfish inside. The crazy minister kept asking them, "if this was one of your friends, wouldn't you do anything to save them?" All the while keeping his finger on the button. My son was just sure he was going to blend that fish! When I lost my job, and was not sure how I was going to keep the electric on or keep food on the table, a friend of mine went to her church to see if they could help me. She was treated to a 30 minute sermon by her minister on "teaching a man to fish." (What is it with all the fish imagery?) I could have told him, I already know how to fish, I have been "fishing" since I was sixteen years old and that really will not do you a whole lot of good when your feet are no longer on dry ground, your boat is sinking and there are no fish available. She was also given a list of those "Big Government" programs to help us useless poor people with things like that, all of whom were already out of money for the year, or else took months to apply for and receive. The Christian churches in this country DO NOT HELP ANYONE BUT THEMSELVES. I found myself really hoping maybe Tom Cruise is right about religion, and maybe it was actually the Evil Galactic Overlord Xenu who was coming to take all the "chosen" away in his magic DC-8‘s. No such luck. (And regarding the "Rapture Monkey" you quoted at the beginning of this article, why is it that none of these people ever seem to know how to spell? Christian home schooling, perhaps?) Great blog, the selfishness factor really describes these morons to a tee. I have never understood the need to consider yourself somehow "better" than others in order to feel good about yourself. No religion has a monopoly on truth. If they would actually read that bible they keep quoting, they would discover that Jesus Is A Liberal, Baby! And a bit of a hippie as well. Oh well, I guess I am consigned to the fires now. I would rather burn with the people I love than dance on the clouds with those self-righteous idiots and a bunch of stuck-up angels, anyway. Keep on fighting the good fight, Alaska Man!

    “Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.” Thomas Paine

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  5. I'd like to buy you a beer for that one. Seriously. Or maybe you should put this stuff between the covers of a book, one I could give to my friends, and I'd buy a number of those.... Well done.

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  6. You got 'em nailed Jim!
    Excellent work.
    I'm 54 and an atheist all my life. These people drive me nuts with their irrationality, hubris and holier than thou bullshit.

    When they proudly proclaim that they're a "christian" I hear "I'm a moron who'll buy anything but reality". That, or they're lying, which I believe is more the case.

    Witness the "christians" in the Congress attacking the "least among us", the poor, the sick and the aged.

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  7. Jim, excellent post. I call myself a christian, but I hate being a part of the same general category as these crazies. This escapism religion is bullshit. Just makes it easier for people to justify either amassing a personal fortune like many of the so called "christian leaders", or else justifying this Jesus loves America/pro-war/pro-capitalism fuck the poor and sick attitude so prevalent in America. I don't have any idea how to believe in Jesus and try to follow his teachings in America anymore, so I just spend my time trying to advocate for the hopeless and wish for a massive change in our system. I certainly think that if God even cares about America or whatever (and I doubt he does), then he is probably massively fucking disappointed.
    Thanks for your blog. Totally great.

    Josh
    www.kimmeltribune.com

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  8. A poor excuse for a Christian...yep, that's you.

    Word verification is "chasm", which seems particularly appropriate.

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  9. Pusillanimous. I =like= it. It's a big word like "mayonnaise."

    "Pusillanimous assholes just makes it better.

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  10. Sometimes people's spelling and grammar errors end up saying something they never intended. That guy actually ends up coming off smart!

    Your mocking GOD is hateful.

    Bravo Mr. Hate Mail writer!

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  11. Well said, but let's not forget the sheer ARROGANCE of the Rapturist. After all, which is more likely:

    (A) That an infinitely loving God would torture anyone for eternity, or
    (B) That the Rapturist, a mere human being, has somehow got the message wrong.

    The Rapturist says that (B) is impossible so it's gotta be (A). Such arrogance would be comical if it didn't have consequences. The sheer cruelty of the Hellmongers is amazing; frightening children and stupid adults with the Lake of Fire is just nasty.

    BTW I very much like Stonekettle's point about the proper response to an offer of being Rapture being "Take all of us or none". How could anyone seriously love their wife but choose to leave her behind? How could you possibly have the universal love that Jesus preached (...and is hard to practice but bear with me ...) and leave ANYONE behind? There is only one kind of "god" that would force you to make such a choice, and it would not be a good god.

    BTW I hadn't remembered that Rapturists were supposed to be pulled up into the skies naked, but it figures: as their last act on Earth, they wanna moon the rest of us.

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  12. Thanks dude, I needed that...

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  13. Brilliant. Just freaking brilliant. Selfishness, pure and simple. And these people who are willing, and looking forward to, abandoning the rest of us to torment and hellfire, are the same people who claim to be "Pro-Life". The only life they are 'pro' is an unborn fetus inside a woman they want to control. You are so right in that their religious views (I refuse to call their views 'spiritual') inform their thoughts and desires.

    The United States GDP during 2010 was $14,508.1 billion, so we spent 4.57% of our money to support the military and kill people the world over. That same year, we spent a mere 0.6555% of our money to save families with children here at home. $663.8 billion to destroy vs. $95.1 million to offer solace and support. Does that make sense to you?

    Selfishness. They'd rather kill than help others.

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  14. My rapture was finding your blog on Rapture Day. I was looking for Sol in SOLdotna to post a new blog, but he was still missing. So I followed a link and got yours. It explains a lot. Now I realize that Sol must have been in the pre-rapture test crowd. A zealot in liberal blog clothing? So I got you instead. And what a joy. An intelligent person who is kind of all over the map and is funny? Gotta love it...As a follow up to your first rapture thoughts, I checked with some gay friends and sure enough - a married gay couple on the east coast was taken. They sent an email with pictures and requested that someone take care of their chickens. Thanks for putting so many of my thoughts and beliefs into such great words...and the birdhouses rock.

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  15. I try to keep an open mind and tend toward a wait and see attitude about any life after death.

    Be charitable, be kind, leave the world a little better than you found it, pretty simple. If that isn't good enough for your God, fuck him.

    These raptards really aggravate me, the selfishness is almost comical.

    Well said Jim.

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  16. Even when I was going to church, I have never ever believed in Hell. It's dumb to claim that God is loving and forgiving and then to say "if you don't believe in Him, He's sending you to a nasty place for all eternity." Besides being a clear example of an oxymoron, the kind of god who would do something like that doesn't merit belief.

    (Hey, if I'm going to Hell anyway, I might as well do so having spoken my mind. ;)

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  17. Jim,

    Stop doing that.

    Thinking exactly the things that I am thinking and then stating them in a clear, coherent, forceful and funny way. As the `Day of the Dumbasses' drew nearer and nearer (and I read a little here and a little there) I spent a fair bit of time thinking about how obvious it was that these people were quite simply selfish idiots who really just hated their lives and hated all the 'sharing with others' and the fact that there was no quick fix.

    No one was going to find them sitting on their ass in a Soda shop and turn them into a movie star. No one was going to turn them into the next American Idol even though they didn't bother to audition. Instead what the world needed was a big Rapture Daddy® to sweep them up to Vegas Eternia and *screw everyone else*.

    At the risk of being offensive to those of faith all I can add is "Amen Brother!"

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  18. Jim, my dear, this is why we loves you. Thank you once again.

    and the word verification this time around is:

    prases = what readers all do to Jim everytime we read SKS! We sing his prases!

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  19. Anyone who claims to be a saint, probably has already disqualified themselves. I've always believed that. Believing that your ticket has already been punched and you're just waiting for your ride to heaven, without doing anything which would make you worthy, other than wanting to be special more than anything real in the world, is just simply nuts.

    Dr. Phil

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  20. "sorry pusillanimous assholes"

    Lord how I love a silver tongued devil.

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  21. Thank you so much for saying so well those things that so need to be said.

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  22. Oh, man - fantastic!

    Reminds me of this Carlin clip - you should get some 'training films' made, Jim.

    Spot on, just spot on.

    Thanks!

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  23. Just been introduced to your station. Am currently ducking the dozens of little hearts bursting over my head due to sudden, totally platonic man-crushness. I quite share the opinions posted here, and will continue reading.

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  24. "Don't be a dick"

    That is buddhism! Arguably the best religion for that simple fact.

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  25. Thank you for writing this, and you're right, a lot of christians have failed their primary mission. No surprise since the message has mutated so as not to offend the wealthy, who are so important to the building fund.

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  26. Nick from the O.C.May 27, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Hey Jim,

    Good stuff, as usual.

    With this messaging, I bet I could get you a spot as a laypreacher at my church. Seriously. I mean, you'd have to knock off the f-bombs but, other than that, I bet you would be a huge hit. The message would be very well received, I think.

    Seriously.

    It would not be too different from last week's sermon, which made sarcastic fun of the "holy Hoover" vacuum cleaner that was supposed to suck the believers into Heaven.

    Feel like a trip to the O.C. to do some preachin'?

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  27. "What he said!" (Pointint to Jim's picture).

    knittingbull

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  28. okay, can't type worth crap today.
    POINTING!!!

    knittingbull

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  29. I simply cannot and will not suffer fools gladly.

    That's too bad because God made a lot of them.

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  30. Well, all I can say on the whole tortuous subject is my rule of thumb is 'If anyone tells me they know the will and mind of God [in in incarnation]' I'm gone.

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  31. oh well said my friend. i agree with every blessed word. you are right. one day i will die and have to leave all behind. that's alright because i love them right now right here. it has been a grand ride and if there is another dimension somewhere it would have to accept all of us.

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  32. Nothing more to add. You nailed it spot on!

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  33. As Carl Sagan once said, we are all of us made of star stuff. Which means that we have atoms in our bodies which once were in stars, which means that we have atoms in our bodies which will once again become part of the universe. That's it folks, that's all she wrote.

    Unfortunately we are a bunch of sentient beings, this means that we know that we will eventually die. That fact scares the shit out of everyone and makes a lot of people act all nutty. Because of that fact a long time ago along came some smart shyster(s) who invented religion, "play by my rules and you will live forever."

    The "rules" have gone through a lot of changes. Many of them are very, very stupid, and it usually makes your brain hurt really bad to try to marry "the rules" with modern education. Luckily for religions people are equipped with the ability to turn reasoning and intelligence right down to nothing. Unfortunately that usually means turning the "us against them" knob all the way up.

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  34. God did NOT write a fucking book.

    Man did!

    Man, created God in his own image.

    Jesus Christ, get over it will you!

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  35. As Randy Newman wrote, "That's why I love mankind. You really need me." (God's Song).

    Plus, we are in the end times. Nero, the AntiChrist, is dead. Has been for a long time. (Said the person doing a lot of research on dispensationalism for his next book).

    Plus, anyone who believes in the Rapture can not be a Bible literalist, by definition. You have to put the Bible through a Cuisinart to construct the Epochs which then allows you to discern that a Rapture will happen.

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  36. Thank you Jim.

    Right up front, I am an atheist, having been exposed to both Christianity and Judaism in the formative years.

    There are laughable things in all formal belief systems,and they deserve to be laughed at!

    However, it is my belief that those who hoard money do so in the same kind of belief; the belief that they will be able to buy immunity from species die off and climate change. Instead of a great sky God who will rapture them up to heaven, if they manage to hoard enough money they will be able to buy gated ocmmunities and private armies and helicopters to fly them out of harm's way.

    It's as poorly thought out as the rapture; where are they going to go, and how much value will their money be if the global system ocllapses?

    It's just as selfish and just as ignorant.

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  37. The reason Jesus didn't show up like he was supposed to was because I figured as long as he's coming, I might as well invite him to go sailing with me here in San Diego. I had the day planned anyway, so I prayed real hard and he said OK. We had a good day, sunny, warm and windy. When we got back he dozed off on the couch. Right about 5:30 PM. Sorry.

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  38. Well that explains it then. Damn that Jesus. When I used to pilot warships through the San Diego harbor that bastard was always zig zagging back and forth across the channel - I swear I damned near ran him over one day. He's got no respect for the Rules of the Road. No respect.

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  39. Thank you so much for you simple way of putting things. It's not the religion but how it's handled that's the problem. I'm a girl with a very strong faith, not in Jesus or his father, but in that there are dieties looking out for us. Some don't seem to pay attention to those in their charge and others are followed by some who belong to another's flock, but well, it happens.

    I said I don't have faith in Jesus or his father, that's not because I don't believe in either but because I know they are there, just as I know the god and goddess I follow are there. Faith is only needed if evidence is lacking. Well I felt their presence as a child, and what that presence said was you are not one of mine, go where you belong. Is this the action of a loving god or simply of a good shepard?

    Still I prefer to qoute Pratchett's character Granny Weatherwax when it comes to living a good life. She just sums it all up in such simple easy to understand terms. Everything I have ever felt was true, is laid out in easy to follow and understand terms by her. Should we live as if we are being watched by some figure for every mistake we make? NO, we should live as though we are going to have to live with the consequences of every decision we make, be it right or wrong. Make your decision and stand by it, you'll live with it either way.What do we face in the afterlife? A Judge? A loving god? An eternal punishment? We face ourselves and the decisions we made and if we can't stand by them, or haven't learned from them do we deserve more? What is sin? Treating people as things. Is this a test? Everything is a test. Plain and simple. These are some of the simple teachings I have gotten from a rather complexly simple fictional character. And they are some easy lessons to take to heart and live your life with. Though I should perhaps mention her definition of people may include animals as well. Her and Jesus would probably get on well together. What does it matter if one if fictional, and the other's real life existence is questioned, the lessons they give are important. It's too bad no one actually pays attention to the true teachings.

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  40. "In point of fact, there is one hell of a lot of proof that God does not exist."

    I would like to point out that this is not correct. Belief in God intrinsically presupposes that His existance is beyond empircal demonstration either way.

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  41. As I was laughing through the first bits, I was feeling guilty for laughing at ignorant sufferers. And then my heart went cold and still as you laid out the appalling selfishness of the Rapturists. A masterful analysis. Selfishness. I had never thought of it that way before. Thank you.

    For what it's worth, my thoughts on heaven? If there is a heaven, everyone gets in. I haven't thought through all the details, but it seems to me that's the only way it could possibly be heaven. Everyone's sins and troubles are washed away. Everyone is anointed and transformed into the blessed. No one is left behind. It's not heaven if some people get to sit up in some clouds in the sky and rejoice that others were excluded. That would just make heaven into some cheesy high school clique.

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  42. Anonymous@10:09, Perhaps. However, sometimes absence of evidence is evidence of absence, but I digress.

    This is an argument whose principle component is a matter of faith (in either direction), hence one that be best left alone

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  43. Anonymous@10:09, upon further thought, I concede the point.

    What I should have said was: "In point of fact, there is one hell of a lot of evidence that God is unnecessary."

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  44. You ROCK Jim! Thanks for saying what I've been feeling for a long, long time. These religion fanatics, not just the Rapturists), are out in force and out in the open now and are doing their best to take over our world. I'm going to share your words far & wide. People need to wake up & smell the sulpher. We can't ignore them anymore, they're too dangerous.

    Thank you!

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  45. I don't think the issue of the existence or not of God is the issue.
    For me my great disappointment and heart ache over not having the Rapture is the herd needed some serious culling. And if the people who believed they were the chosen had indeed been called for this would have been a far better world the next bright morning.
    But, no Anonymous invited Jesus sailing knowing it was one of his favorite things to do, so we're stuck with the a%#@holes for "God" knows how much longer.
    Thanks, Anonymous.

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  46. On target Jim, as usual.

    I was a little disappointed in this latest version of Failure to Launch the Faithful. They're still here, I'm still here. Stuck with them at the office, at the store, hounding me for money both downtown and by leaflets stuck in my mailbox...

    I must have been really bad, for God to plague me with these clowns for eternity.

    In my life, I've known many people who claim to follow the teachings of Christ. Out of all those, I can think of only 3 who REALLY walked the walk.

    And that's just sad...

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  47. "Winnebago of Doom" I chuckled all day. Thanks, Jim!

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  48. I just LOVE you. I look daily for any new posts. You're so much more insightful than any commentator on all the political shows I watch. We need you in these times of mass insanity.

    Thank you
    Bec

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  49. Like you need another blog to read, (and forgive me if you've already seen the suggestion), but there's this guy, Fred, who's an articulate, non-hateful evangelical Christian. He writes as/at Slacktivist -- http://www.patheos.com/community/slacktivist/ -- and one of his diversions is dissecting the "Left Behind" series. In fact, that was the way I was introduced to him; someone reposted a beautiful sentence from one of those dissections. He had some useful and interesting observations on the non-Event.

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  50. Being the only pagan in a workplace full of decent, non-evangelical, non-Rapturist Christians, I've been biting my tongue a LOT the last few weeks. Reading your thoughts on the event was pretty cathartic.

    I would say "Never back down, Jim" but I don't think you'd even consider wussing out, so I won't Instead I'll just applaud.

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  51. What a great rant. I wish you did this on video! A deep sincere bow from me.

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  52. I work in a library and can affirm the most hateful and arrogant people check out and obsess over the Left Behind series.

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  53. Well, that and Harry Potter ;)

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  54. I have played volleyball for the last 20 or so years with a lovely Catholic couple, active in their parish, just good folks, not pushy. One day many years ago the Mrs. asked me if I was Catholic. I replied that I had been *raised* one, but over time I just didn't see the logic in it. I said, "I can't reconcile the idea of an all-loving God with someone who would consign me to an eternity in a lake of fire just because I didn't come to his house for a visit every Sunday." Thanks for reinforcing and amplifying that belief. Great writing!

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  55. "And I actually dig the Jews (I hate to show favoritism, but they’ve got just totally awesome food)."

    I've got some leftover Matzah you're welcome to.

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  56. How you fixed for Kreplach soup?

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  57. It is such a disservice to people who PRACTICE Christian principles that we are tarred with the same brush as those who TALK their own selfish brand of Christianity. I have always believed in a supreme deity whom I call God. Everyday I try to live by the positive messages of Christianity: the ten commandments, the Old Testament requirement in Micah to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God and finally the section you quoted about feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, etc. Any Christian who works at accomplishing that has no time or energy left to criticize the beliefs and actions of others. Jim, keep preaching your wake-up calls. The sad thing is that you are mostly preaching to the choir.

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  59. I've had up close, personal, intimate experience with cult-Christians so frightened of life they brainwash themselves into believing apple farmers and car salesmen can communicate to them Yahweh's demands. People so selfish they do abandon their children, to "the world" to "be destroyed" for "ignoring the truth."

    Oh, they feel sad about it, sometimes, but their children deserve it, you see. What's more, their children understand because their children know they deserve it for having "hardened their heart" against God. For that reason, they may feel sad sometimes, but they do not need to suffer guilt. Their children can't hold them responsible, because their children know the abandonment is necessary and deserved.

    You've hit the nail on the head. Same for your observation that Christians say other Christians aren't "true Christians", and they all think and say the exact same thing about each other.

    There are too many hilarious and insightful sentences in this blog post to choose a favorite, so I'll just say, you rock, Jim.

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  60. Rapture Rupture what a total load of crap. As for these so called christians, their god would disown these charlatans, where was it I read that the divinity con was the second oldest profession ...
    Believe what you wish to believe in but don't impose your views on others and TS if you don't like what others say about your OR My belief system...

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  61. I discovered this blog the other day & I just want to say thanks. I'm very impressed by it & completely agree on this.

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  62. Now this was some righteous preaching -- hilarious and TRUE. The Rapture-racket is just what you say it is, the spewings of selfish hearts. And, by the way, about as far away from what the Bible says Jesus actually said to do as is possible. That sums up most of Christianity, of course, but the Rapturists do inspire pointing and laughing.

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  63. I think its ineffective to attempt to convince people to stop being dicks by treating them like dicks, it just reinforces the behavior. Show some love, bro, especially to all the dicks out there. I think that's where the "love your enemies" and the "forget eye for an eye; instead, turn the cheek or strip naked" sermons come from.

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  64. Ok I think these people that thought they were gonna "float up into the sky" have done lost their brains (maybe they floated outta their heads like the bodies were supposed to do with the rapture lol) long ago... BUT I do think if you look at it in its simplest form.. the meaning behind it all remains the same. the point is simply be a good person, respect and help others and be all around a morally good, helpful, caring, loving person. care about others and be a good person. any way you can, help give people hope love and a friend to lean on etc.. thats the moral of the story in my opinion.. and by the way I have no standard religious background to speak of. you could almost call me an athiest but i believe in living your life with love for others... As for these people that have abandoned their families etc expecting to "float up to the heavens" doesnt that make you not worthy if you really do believe this shite? wheres the morals and love in that? smh the best thing i can say about this guy is good for you for making some people think.. if it really would be the end would you be proud of who you were in life and what kind of person you were

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  65. Just found your blog via your Palin/Revere post. Checking back posts and found this one. I'm a regular!!

    You are an amazing writer.

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  66. Exactly. I could have written this myself. As I've said , my disbelief in your religion has nothing to do with whether or not there's a God or an afterlife. It's just that I think you're full of shit and your deity is a big Sky Psycho who apparently did so much evil shit that this Satan fellow couldn't hold a candle to it. I mean... bears to eat kids for teasing Job for being bald? How 'bout killing all the first born kids in Israel? The guy's a right bastard.
    Then you have these yahoos who survive something terrible and say, "God saved me." Right. God saved you and blew off the 19 people that DID die. Here's a suggestion. Go rot.
    I don't hate Christianity, or Christians. I just hate bullshit.

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  67. You put into words exactly what I felt the first time I saw a bumper sticker reading: "In case of rapture this car will be unmanned." The unadulterated arrogance and pride of that, the total lack of care for others, sickened me.

    What I particularly liked about this post, though, was that it made me think about some of the consequences of this Rapture psychosis in ways I hadn't before. That, I really appreciate!

    Good work, Chief.

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  68. With this post you put into words exactly what I felt the first time I saw a bumper sticker reading: "In case of rapture this car will be unmanned." The pure arrogance and pridefulness of that ("I'm SAVED. You're NOT.") was sickening, and still sickens me.

    What I particularly liked about your post, though, was it made me think things through on this subject in a way I hadn't before. I appreciate that! Thanks.

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