As of Thursday evening, 385,566 of us heathens had RSVPed to attend the Post-Rapture Looting. As per the Facebook invite, “When everyone is gone and god's not looking, we need to pick up some sweet stereo equipment and maybe some new furniture for the mansion we're going to squat in.”
If you think that nonbelievers are the only ones looking to reap some earthly benefit from the so-called Rapture—believed by some to be occurring this Saturday, with the end of the world slated for October—think again. Back in 2008, a Christian named Mark Heard launched You’veBeenLeftBehind.com: For $14.95 a year (or less as the number of participants increases), subscribers can store documents online that, thanks to the wonders of automation, will be sent six days after the Rapture to those sinners Left Behind.
According to the site, Christians are supposed to use the service to send their Left Behind friends and family emails persuading them to “receive Christ one last time” so that they can take advantage of “a small window of time where they might be reached for the Kingdom of God.” I guess storing documents that say something along the lines of “Ha ha! Told you!” would be frowned upon as un-Christian.
I’m surprised, though, that no marketers are offering Rapture promotions. Granted, I wouldn’t expect a mainstream retailer like JCPenney or Macy’s to advertise 20% off for all those Left Behind. But what about a brand like streetwear etailer Karmaloop whose target market, it’s safe to say, isn’t fretting about having to cancel plans for Saturday night, or brands that already pride themselves on being “edgy” and “in your face” such as American Apparel and Abercrombie & Fitch?
Presumably companies fear that offering discounts to those of us Left Behind is somehow insulting to Christians. Personally I don’t think it’s any more denigrating than offering similar promotions in honor of the birth and resurrection of Christ.
Which is why the whole “Put the Christ back in Christmas” campaign simultaneously amused and appalled me. If I were a devout Christian, I wouldn’t want the commercial pile-on that has become the Christmas season to be associated with Christ. Don't get me wrong: I love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping" and building gingerbread houses and surprising my daughter with gifts as much as the next person. But I’d want the relentlessly pushy TV adverts and the focus on "buy buy buy" to be considered “the holidays” so that “Christmas” could remain focused on its original meaning.
Then again, I’m not a believer. So if the Rapture does occur on Saturday, I’d really like to be able to take advantage of some nice discounts between then and the end of the world so that I could live it up for a few months before being relegated to the torments of hell.