Then on Sunday, The Most Awkward Church Service Ever

So apparently tomorrow is the rapture. Except that of course it’s not. The world is no more likely to end tomorrow than it was on any of the few hundred previous times it was predicted.

The thing that pisses me off about all this Rapture nonsense isn’t the theology. I really don’t care about how good or bad the theological arguments are for the Rapture. Theology is just another brand of fantasy. Arguing the good or bad of it is like arguing over which version of the D&D players Handbook is more accurate (4th Edition, bitches!).

The rapture isn’t theology at all. It’s folklore, invented by Evangelicals in the 19th century. It didn’t even enter mainstream Christianity as a concept until the 1970s and then only because of the rise of Christian-themed entertainment. It could be argued that the only reason the Rapture as a concept is known at all by anybody buy historians of obscure American religious sects is because of Hal Lindsey’s book, the Late Great Planet Earth, in which he predicted that the Rapture would happen in… 1988.

No. What really irritates me about all this Rapture talk is that it is a cognitive brake. If you believe in the Rapture, than you don’t have to worry about the mortgage or how your kids are going to afford college or what will happen if you loose your job and can’t find another one right away. It means you don’t have to waste brain space fretting over global warming or the revolution in Libya or the Fukashima Exclusion Zone or the rising price of gas, the GOP trying to take away your health care, or the hundred and one other things you could and should be thinking about. If the Rapture happens, then none of those things matter. So you think about the rapture and hope and pray about that and you ignore all the real problems that need your attention.

Believing int he rapture makes you lazy. It’s a distraction. And we’ve got enough of those without having to invent new ones. And this one has the potential to embaress a lot of people. As Tom Tomorrow put it,

Remember, anyone left on Earth after Saturday is by definition a godless sinner, no matter what they may claim.

Tomorrow is Saturday, and by all likelihood, it will be a nice day out. So enjoy your weekend because on Monday, it’s back to work. We’ve got a world to save and we need every able bodied mind working on the problem.