Stupid Tuesday Questions, earthbound edition

No Rapture this past weekend, it turns out.  The day before the Big Event a colleague and I were stuck on the Storrow Drive on-ramp behind a line of vans proclaiming to imminent End of the World, but we never caught up with them to see what they said on their sides or what the expressions on the drivers’ faces were.  She and I talked about how we’d spend the last day on earth, and I considered whether I’d bother going on a longer training run if the earth were to be destroyed before my half-marathon anyway.

I’m not going to ask how people would spend their last day on earth, if people really knew the end was near.  That question is not nearly stupid enough.

First of all, I’m wondering if anyone will be willing to admit they were even the slightest little eensy bit nervous that maybe some crackpot in Alameda just maybe might have been right.  Just a little tiny bit worried, way at the back of your mind?  C’mon!  You can admit it.  We’re all chums here.

Second, just in case you were a little tiny bit nervous, who was your Rapture litmus test?  Who do you know that, if the chosen really were to fly up into heaven for their eternal reward, would be sure to make the cut?  Did any of you make a casual phone call to a more pious friend or family member, just in case?  For me, it would have been either my own mother, or the Better Half’s parents.  All are Christians of sincere belief, and if they didn’t make the A list, then nobody did.  (Sorry, Dad, but you read too many fantasy novels, and you weren’t even born in America.)

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. I wasn’t worried that I would be raptured.
    I did, however, kiss my wife and told her that I’d miss her if it happened.

    She explained to me that she was Catholic and they don’t really do the rapture thing. I tried to explain that that was because they were a bunch of idolators and that was the real reason they didn’t have to worry about the rapture and the conversation didn’t progress too much after that.

    But we kissed and said we’d miss each other if it came to that.

    • Ever read “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag”?

      • I hadn’t (which surprised me because I spent a couple of my teen years as a Heinlein addict). They should have made an episode of the Twilight Zone out of that… I liked the epilogue.

        According to IMDB, there is a movie “in development”. Huh.

        • The epilogue is what made me ask. (Did you just read it today, then?)

  2. I have been wondering all along if there are really all that many people that believed the guy in the first place, or if it just made a easy story for a lot of news outlets to pump for a few days. I live in big time Baptist country and even on the radio here the story was treated with rolled eyes, but also covered breathlessly and constantly.

    My wife and I had a disagreement about whether or not our 18-month-old would be raptured or not. She said babies were innocent and would absolutely disappear, an idea which I found somewhat disturbing. The idea that she’d plop up in heaven and be told to live in eternal joy while your parents suffer through the end times and then eternal torment sounds kind of mean.
    In any case, she was still throwing lasagna on the floor at 6:05 from her high chair, so we can put the question off until October at least.

  3. What if the Rapture did happen, and we are the ones who got Raptured? That means we’re all in heaven together, right now, and your lifetime is eternity. And you know what? If that’s the case, I can live with it. We have cheese and pears, chocolate and wine, friendship and family, sex and romance, a treasure trove of knowledge to acquire and challenges for our minds. And ice cream.

    (And no, I never entertained even a fleeting moment’s consideration of the possibility that the predictions could possibly be right.)

    • I almost left similar as a facebook comment on the numerous friends who kept mocking the whole rapture thing.

      “I hate to break it to you but you’ve been in heaven for a few years now. We’re trying to ease you into the idea. We did a profile and found that your favorite sensation is feeling superior to others. How are we doing?”

      Cooler heads prevailed.

  4. I confess I was a bit nervous even though (or especially because?) I’m an agnostic. Also, from what I know of the relevant theology, the rapture by definition is unpredictable (thief in the night, no one knows the day or the hour, and all that). “Just like I was on Y2K”

    As for who would make the cut, I don’t know, but I imagine it would have to be someone of surpassing humility.

    • I was skeptical, but that was before God punished San Francisco’s tolerance of gay by smiting Buster Posey.

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