The End of the World As We Know It, redux

May 22, 2011

In August, 2010, I wrote a somewhat tongue-in-cheek blog post (if you’re dying to read it, hit the “previous entries” link at the bottom of the page several times until you get back to 8/19/10) about an erroneous prediction of the Rapture, the eagerly-awaited (both by Rapturees, and, I suspect, by everybody else as well) day when Christian True Believers will be beamed up from Earth to Starship Heaven, as prophesied in The Book of Revelation. I don’t exactly remember the circumstances of the timing in my writing of that piece, but presumably it was in response to yet another Religious Mathematician who crunched the numbers and predicted the event in no uncertain terms (despite the fact that this information is unknowable by mankind, according to the Bible), only to be sent back to the drawing board when the time for the predicted event slipped past without apparent detrimental effect on the world’s population.

I went on at some length about an experience I had had in Tennessee back in the 80s, during a Rapture Fever outbreak chronicled in minute detail by The Nashville Tennessean (front page, above the fold) and several channels of local TV news. As you might remember, or at least intuit, that one didn’t pan out. I would have noticed.
For in Tennessee, you see, I was surrounded by Christians of all denominations, and if there had been a mass exodus of the sort predicted, precious little would be getting done in Nashville for the next, oh, millennium.

Nowadays, though, I spend most of my time in Japan, where the Christian population hovers around 1%; additionally, most of those folks are located in Western Japan, where the missionaries first got a toehold in the years following the Meiji Restoration. This is a good day’s drive, perhaps more, from my Tokyo digs, so I can literally go for weeks at a time without running across anyone from any of the Western religions, let alone a Christian. I do have one Japanese Christian acquaintance, but I see her very rarely; she is, I think, not the sort of believer to be derailed by doomsday prophecy, however.

All of that to say, if the Rapture did indeed take place yesterday, it is quite likely that I would not know about it. I have sent emails to several friends in the US, and not heard back from any of them yet. For that matter, I have not heard from my Japanese friend, either. Hmm. I haven’t seen anything about it on CNN, and the BBC World News never even bothered to report on the prediction, as far as I have been able to gather. The news outlets have been rather widely regarded as godless anyway, so they might well opt not to report anything pro-religion, particularly once all the believers have been spirited away; so, in the absence of any clear evidence one way or the other, I find myself once again sitting on the fence, awaiting a sign.

If any of you are left (you know who you are), drop me a line, okay?