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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Crapture Index

Michelle quotes from a Bill Moyers speech which talks about the multitudes of end-timers who plague this country:
How do we explain the possibility that a close election in November could turn on several million good and decent citizens who believe in the Rapture Index? That’s what I said – the Rapture Index; google it and you will understand why the best-selling books in America today are the twelve volumes of the left-behind series which have earned multi-millions of dollars for their co-authors who earlier this year completed a triumphant tour of the Bible Belt whose buckle holds in place George W. Bush’s armor of the Lord. These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the l9th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative millions of people believe to be literally true.

According to this narrative, Jesus will return to earth only when certain conditions are met: when Israel has been established as a state; when Israel then occupies the rest of its “biblical lands;” when the third temple has been rebuilt on the site now occupied by the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques; and, then, when legions of the Antichrist attack Israel. This will trigger a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon during which all the Jews who have not converted will be burned. Then the Messiah returns to earth. The Rapture occurs once the big battle begins. True believers” will be lifted out of their clothes and transported to heaven where, seated next to the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents suffer plagues of boils, sores, locusts and frogs during the several years of tribulation which follow.

I’m not making this up. We’re reported on these people for our weekly broadcast on PBS, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious, and polite as they tell you that they feel called to help bring the Rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That’s why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It’s why they have staged confrontations at the old temple site in Jerusalem. It’s why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the 9th chapter of the Book of Revelations where four angels “which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released “to slay the third part of men.’

...One estimate puts these people at about l5% of the electorate. Most are likely to vote Republican; they are part of the core of George W. Bush’s base support.
So, I took him up on it, and googled "Rapture index." That took me to this page, which rates 45 categories on a scale from one to five. He adds them up to get a "rapture index." His all-time high of 182 was achieved shortly after one of George "Wapture" Bush's lengthy vacations, on September 24, 2001. The all-time low was in that miserable era of peace and prosperity (just kidding, I know better) called the Clinton era: December, 1993.

One of the many things interesting about this trip into the mind of the insane is that what is bad is good (although what they think is bad may differ from what you think is bad), since total chaos is a sign of the rapture, which they devoutly wish for. So, while he calls gay marriage a "scourge," he seems to relish in it since it raises the rapture index.

Anyway, if you want some clues into why the clueless W is as popular as he is, a lot of them are on the Rapture Ready web page.

PS: Here's one comment I thought was interesting. The "Mark of the beast" category was recently upgraded (more chaos, closer to rapture) for the following reason: "The push to replace bar codes product labels with radio tags has upgraded this category." I've been opposing these RFID tags ever since I first heard of them. Go get your rapture on some other planet, nutballs!