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Well, did it happen? (05/22/2011)
By Frances Edstrom

Well, did the Rapture occur?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, an 89-year-old California (where else?) man named Harold Camping has predicted that the end of the world would begin May 21, 2011. All those who are saved will be caught up and taken to heaven, and the rest of us, the unsaved, have until October 21, 2011, to make amends, because then it’s curtains for all of us, as the world will be destroyed by fire.

So if you are reading this after 6 p.m. on May 21, you were unfortunately not saved. My condolences. But those saved will be gone, leaving everything, even their clothes, behind.

This presents some problems, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, compassionate atheists have started a business called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets USA. Their website promises “For $135.00 we will guarantee that should the Rapture occur within ten (10) years of receipt of payment, one pet per residence will be saved.  Each additional pet at your residence will be saved for an additional $20.00 fee.  A small price to pay for your peace of mind and the health and safety of your four legged and feathered friends.

“Unfortunately at this time we are not equipped to accommodate all species and must limit our services to dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and small caged mammals. [Please note:  we can now offer rescue services for horses, camels, llamas and donkeys in NH,VT, ID and MT ]”

But a person may not have been aware of this service, and was suddenly whisked away, leaving a camel — or more likely a dog or cat — behind. So now what? Your aunt’s neighbors call you and tell you she’s disappeared and the eight cats are yowling, the Shih Tzu is barking at the door and it’s driving everyone on the block crazy. Will you please come get them? And think how you’ll feel that your aunt left you this mess and still she got into heaven, while your eternal life remains a question mark.

You might notice your own neighbor’s classic car is just sitting in his garage, and it seems he’s gone. And what about that diamond ring your mother-in-law always promised you could have? What do you do? Are you cementing your own eternal damnation by taking them? Or would God want you to enjoy your final days?

If you think you have it bad, think what a mess it will be at the missing person’s bureau with wives and husbands reporting spouses disappeared, leaving behind their credit cards, cell phones, and new shoes.

Wow. Wouldn’t this have been a great opportunity to stage your own disappearance? You’d have had to think ahead, but it would have been simple to stash some stuff somewhere, sneak out of the house in clothes no one knows you own and just be off to a new life, leaving your old mess behind. It would be an especially rotten thing to do since your family would most likely not get to cash in your life insurance. Try claiming your loved one was taken up in the Rapture.

Ooh! What about murder? You could hide the body and when the cops come around with questions, you’d say, “Fred? Oh, I think he must have been taken up in the Rapture. And if I were you, Officer, I’d repent. There’s not much time.”

But, this is all moot, whether the Rapture happened or not. You missed your opportunity. Wait, though! Maybe not. This same Harold Camping also predicted the Rapture and end of the world back in 1994, and unfulfilled predictions have been made by others over the years. Perhaps May 21, 2011, wasn’t the Rapture after all. Maybe it’s still coming. In that case, clip this column and save it for the next time. 


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