Remember that time I woke up to an eerily quiet Saturday and became convinced that the zombie apocalypse was happening? I wonder how it’s going to look tomorrow if the Rapture actually occurs. I can’t imagine much happening on my block; there are a lot of Mexicans here, and judging by their Virgin Mary windshield decals, most of them are Catholic. Also, at one end of the block is a mosque (no Rapture) and at the other end is a Baptist church (possibly Rapture, but probably not unless Tyler Perry endorses it…but oh, the hats).
But of course the Rapture won’t happen, not only because it’s a bizarre story fabricated around a single sentence in the whole Bible (1 Thessalonians, 4:15-17 yeah I had to take theology class for 12 years), but because if God exists, there’s no way He* would be dumb enough to let people in on his plans to begin ending the world. First of all, that’s cheating. Second, God has probably had enough of atheists like me and can’t wait for an opportunity to really scare the shit out of us.
Or maybe not. Maybe God in His infinite wisdom and omnipresence has better things to worry about than whether or not I believe in Him. And maybe that’s the big reveal at the end. Fiala and I were talking about this the other day. When the world ends (or we die, whichever comes first), God’s going to ask everyone a couple of questions.
“Did you kill anyone? No? What about rape, did you rape anyone? Still no? Okay, Heaven’s that way, everything’s free, have a good time.”
Maybe a few other really bad sins that I can’t think about right now, but certainly nothing as piddly as most of the Ten Commandments (in which rape is not included, so maybe an ancient wandering nomad tribe with a fondness for slaughtering animals didn’t know everything?). With all the bullshit we deal with in life, I cannot imagine a deity so insane and vindictive that He would make it any more difficult than that. Unless God is an escaped prisoner from the Universal Ward for the Criminally Insane, that just doesn’t make any sense. Decency is decency, it’s not hard to figure out. Especially if you’re God.
And that’s the test. Say somebody from the Westboro Baptist Church and I die at the same time and we’re both standing before God. As an atheist, I look at God and go, “Huh. You know, sir, I really did not expect you to exist.” But I’m not mad about it. I don’t deny it. Denying God while I’m looking Him in His face, while I’m literally standing in his irrefutable presence, would be as stupid as someone denying evolution. It’s so obvious. And because God is a reasonable being who has plenty of other concerns in His life, He asks me the basics and lets me into Heaven. Assuming I haven’t raped or killed anyone by this point, I mean, and in case you were wondering, I’m not really planning on it.
But then you have someone from the Westboro Baptist Church, one of the most hateful, ugly, stupid, evil group of liars in the country who claim to be that way on behalf of God. Well, first of all, God doesn’t need you to do anything on his behalf. He’s God. Second, while I know that not everyone’s reading comprehension skills can be as high as my own, I have deep concerns about anyone who behaves that way and claims they’re doing it because the Bible told them to. While the Bible does get pretty gory, sexy, and weird in parts, the theme of the book is to be a decent person. I mean, that’s what I get out of it, and I don’t even believe in the magical Jesus parts. The Westboro Baptist Church behaves more like they’ve been reading Palahniuk novels all day, which I wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t call themselves Christians while doing so.
ANYWAY. Clearly a member of the Westboro Baptist Church is operating at a tolerance level far below mine, which leads me to assume that when we both get to Heaven and God lets me in for not being a rapist and/or murderer, the Westboro Baptist Church member might have something to say about that. They might whip out a protest sign, or ask to file a complaint, or simply start arguing with God about how come He thinks I’m okay when I’m obviously not entitled to free stuff in the afterlife?
This is when God presses the button. Not because members of the Westboro Baptist Church are such assholes in life, not because they got the basic message wrong, but because, when faced with the ultimate proof of God and His will, they refused to consider that maybe they don’t know everything, and they’re not the ones who can say whether or not anyone else can get into Heaven. Believe whatever you want – like I said, God has bigger things on His mind – but above all, just be decent. To everyone. World without end.
Except in the case of the Rapture, which totally won’t happen because at this point, I really do think that zombies are a more likely way to bring the apocalypse.
*all pronouns related to God in this post are capitalized because the theme is the Rapture and it’s just easier to keep it consistent. I also chose “Him” instead of “Her” because I don’t really think God is a woman. I don’t necessarily think God is a man, either, but “Him” sounded slightly more respectful than “It” and was a lot easier to type than “Him/Her.”
Also, I’m still an atheist so all of this was conjecture.
I hope I used that right. Such a great word. Conjecture.