As recently noted, there are a number of people who firmly believe we have just over a week until they will (they hope) be raptured. As a public service to those individuals, I am reposting an older verse and story, so that they might put their minds at ease with regard to their animal companions. (Note–because of increased demand, prices have gone up since I wrote this.)
The day the rapture sweeps the land,
And plucks up true believers,
Among those heathens Left Behind
Are Labrador Retrievers
No Saint Bernard will make the trip
Nor Cockapoo, nor Hound;
The Lord may be my shepherd,
But my Shepherd stays aground.
No Poodles, Pugs, or Pekingese;
No ifs or ands or buts—
The rapture takes God’s faithful,
But it doesn’t take the mutts.
Believers who are worried for
The welfare of their pets
Are offered, now, an answer
If they’d like to place their bets.
“Eternal Earthbound Pets” exists
To serve those Left Behind;
It’s rapture pet insurance, if
Believers are inclined.
Of course, not all believers think
Their pets will all be lost;
Their pets may go to Heaven, too
(Thus saving them the cost)
And Fido sits beside them, cos
In Heaven, all is well;
Together, they can laugh and spit
At sufferers in Hell.
From The Union Leader (Manchester, NH) comes the last pet-sitting service you will ever need. Well, assuming that you are going to heaven. If you’re with me, plan on needing to buy kibble for a long, long time.
As those Christians who believe in the Rapture get taken up into eternity, the pet-lovers among them will have one less thing to worry about if a Langdon atheist has anything to say about it.
Bart Centre, 61, a retired vice president of an international retail firm and current co-owner of Eternal Earthbound Pets, is offering a $110 post-Rapture pet care service. The way Centre sees it, he makes a little money in his retirement, and should Jesus Christ return and the Rapture occur, those snatched up into heaven will have their pets cared for, he said.
Of course, to me, the most interesting thing was the reaction from the editor for Rapture Ready:
One Christian who is having a bit of a chuckle over it is Terry James, general editor for the popular Christian Web site Rapture Ready based out of Arkansas.
“He’s giving somebody the business,” James said. “It’s a scam. . . . Anyone who would take that offer seriously, well, how would you even follow up?”
James said what is true is that Christians who believe in the Rapture do wonder about what will happen to their pets. So many, that James wrote a pamphlet about it. He said though pets will be left behind, if the people in Heaven decide that they miss their pets, they can decide to have them brought up later. He acknowledged that sounded a little screwy, but, he said, it’s what he believes.
“I find it kind of amusing to tell you the truth,” he said of Centre’s business venture. “I don’t begrudge him and I don’t hate him for it. And if anyone is actually foolish enough to buy the service and don’t think to follow up, well, then they are foolish.”
Leaving aside the irony of a biblical literalist making up non-biblical pamphlets telling feel-good stories about pets in heaven, and leaving aside the irony of someone with his beliefs calling any other beliefs foolish, there is a further, less evident (or maybe that’s the H1N1 talking) irony.
I have, in arguments with Rapture Ready believers and their ilk (not using my Cuttlefish handle), been told that they are happy I am going to hell, and that they will greatly enjoy looking down from heaven and watching me suffer in a lake of fire. I have been told that they will laugh, and if they are feeling particularly charitable, they will spit on me, just to watch me welcome this relief from the searing heat. Seriously.
And these people (or, most probably, others who share portions of their world view) are going to miss their dogs in heaven? Terry James makes up a story about bringing up Fido later, but gee, it’s too bad about grandma. If you love her, maybe you can convince more of your heavenly friends to spit on her.
(edited to add: predictably, the commentary on the story is every bit as interesting as the story itself, which will surprise no one familiar with the Union [mis]Leader.)