When I first heard the story, I thought it was hilarious. It consists of two different versions: one version is that, according to prophesy, the end of the world will happen on May 21, 2011 and the other version does not give a date for the end of the world but says it’s coming and they both address the concept of Rapture.
The simplified definition of Rapture is that God will be taking all those who believe in Him up to heaven just at the moment that He pulls the plug on Earth and causes our planet to cease to exist.
Apparently, there is a website that tells God-loving pet lovers that while they will be Raptured, their pets will not be because they have no soul. Therefore, this man, a self-proclaimed atheist, says that for a fee of $110.00 a pet, and $15.00 for each additional pet, he and his team of people who are too bad to be Raptured, will take care of these dogs and cats and provide a good home for them. There is a ten-year contract that the owners sign giving permission to have their pets taken after they have been Raptured.
The poor rabbits, horses, goats, chickens, ducks, and other assorted animals/pets, are not included in this contracted pet care after their owners have been Raptured. What happens to them? And how does he know that animals don’t have a soul? He might have said that he received a message from God that animals don’t have a soul, but since he says that he’s an atheist, he can’t use that story.
I’m not questioning religious people’s right to believe in the Rapture theory; what I am questioning is that there isn’t a whole lot of critical thinking taking place before they fork over $110.00 for the peace of mind of knowing that their pet will be looked after when they are no longer around to do so.
What I can’t get my head around is that in none of the versions that I’ve heard, if this is truly the end of the world and the only people who are going to be saved are those who believe in God, where are these godless people going to be living with their countless dogs and cats?
I also can’t imagine anyone handing someone they have never met or heard of, a fee of $110.00 to take care of their pet after they are gone. A guy hands them a contract that says he’ll take care of their pet but they are to have no contact with him while they are still here on earth and he doesn’t even want to meet their precious Fido or Kitty before he comes calling for them at the time of their Rapture. He doesn’t even tell them where he is going to house all these animals or if there are zoning laws that allow him to keep so many of them on his property, if, indeed, he even has a property.
There are a few different stories about the details. In one story, this enterprising man has twenty-six godless rescuers in twenty-two states who have signed an affidavit that says they don’t believe in God but they are animal lovers. In another story, these rescuers haven’t signed an affidavit saying they don’t believe in God but they are too bad to get into heaven yet they have passed a criminal background check. In yet another version, these rescuers are evil, but they are pet-loving people who can’t get into heaven but they haven’t had a criminal background check.
All the stories seem to be saying the same thing about the popularity of this website and the fact that this man has been making a lot of money playing on the emotions of people who want peace of mind at any price. Since this is a nonrefundable fee of $110.00, I wonder what the policy is if their precious pet dies before they get Raptured or what happens to their pet if they should die before the end of the world and before their Rapture.
What I’m not wondering about is the fact that this man has hit on a brilliant scheme to earn a living without having to invest a penny, without having to curry favor with an impossible employer, and without having to employ workers and be required to provide health insurance for them.
He can also laugh all the way to the bank knowing that he can continue to live as he’s always lived, albeit a lot wealthier, giving peace of mind to people who believe in what he is offering, and feeling that he has caused no real damage.