Every once in a while something comes along that leaves you with so many questions it’s just impossible to know where to start. The promo video for ‘After The Rapture Pet Care’ is one such thing: (HT the very Darwinian Head of Biology, Mr Simon King 😉 )
How does one begin to unpack this? First of all, this is a serious organisation. They really believe that:
a) the Rapture will mean that Christians (well, the good sort, anyway) will be rushed away to paradise, where there will be a sign saying ‘no dogs.’ Presumably guide dogs won’t be an exception.
b) this Rapture will leave behind a world in complete turmoil, but one with intact communications systems that will allow the left-behind atheists to roll-out their programme of finding, rescueing and looking after the pets left behind by the thoughtless Christians who’ve just gone on permanent vacation.
To be honest, I’d be more interested in ‘After The Rapture: Who’s Looking After Your Ferrari’, and I’m sure some unscrupulous atheists are already eyeing an quick rapture to bag the great-looking non-believing partner of their Christian friends…
Yes, it is easy to mock. And I could go on doing so for hours. But actually there are some interesting questions around this. What sort of religious mindset believes that this is a good eschatology? The service is based on soothing the worries of Christians who might find themselves anxious about their pets when in heaven. If they were anxious, it is surely not a perfect place. And if it takes a group of atheists to perfect The Heaven Experience™ by looking after their pets, we have some serious conflicts of interest.
But, more worryingly, what sort of culture have we created where some people seem more concerned with the welfare of their pets in the case of a rapture than they are with the fate of the billion people in the world today who will go without clean drinking water?
In 2007, Americans spent some $41 billion on their pets, and Brits around $480 million. Is this a wise use of money? If people are serious about rapture, should they not be trying to convert people, rather than leave them uncoverted in order to work some kind of salvation for their dog? (Or rabbit, to be fair. Couldn’t write a post like this without flagging up the classic book written by a friend-not-to-be-named’s mum ‘Will My Rabbit Go To Heaven‘)
But the final question I’m left with is this: if the rapture leaves all the pets behind, I’m guessing the ‘grand banquet’ isn’t going to be me feasting on lobster and steak. Damn it, I might have to stay down here for the chaos and bag me a Ferrari…