According to thousands of billboards, fliers, and windowless vans, the end of the world starts on May 21, 2011. This is a day on which roughly 200 million chosen believers will be instantly “raptured” to heaven, says Family Radio, a California-based sectarian Christian group that is gaining both followers and revenue by scaring the bejeesus out of gullible folks.
But if you don't buy (literally) into Family Radio's promise of salvation on Judgment Day, you'd better be prepared for extreme death and destruction. Here's what to do if you're one of those non-believers who's planning to still be around on May 22, 2011 ...
We're all going to be dead soon anyway, so why not go out with a bang at a fabulous Rapture Party? The nonprofit American Atheists is throwing several such fetes in Houston, Fort Lauderdale, and Oakland to mock what it says is the fundamentalist group's ridiculous prediction. American Atheists even has its own billboard to advertise the events:
The Rapture: You KNOW it's Nonsense. 2000 Years of 'Any Day Now.' Learn the Truth at our Rapture Party, May 21-22.
The benefits to attending such a party are twofold: You can do as the party-goers intended and "plan a secular future with like-minded people." Plus, wouldn't downing a few glasses of champagne make the whole relentless earthquakes and flooding situation sting a lot less?
Also, if you're going to be left behind on May 21, the least you can do is find a way to profit off the end of the world. Buying into a company called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets USA is certainly a worthy investment. Here's how it works: The company charges fundamentalist Christians $135, plus $20 per additional animal (payable upfront, obviously), and guarantees that if or when the Rapture comes, one of 44 contractors in 26 states will drive to their home within 24 hours, collect their dog, cat, bird, rabbit, or small-caged mammal, and adopt it. You're already going to hell -- could the punishment for taking money from innocent religious people under false pretences be any worse?
Finally, if you somehow survive the apocalypse on May 21, you'd better start planning for the next one: December 21, 2012, the day the Mayan calendar ends, is just around the corner!
Are you planning to be around on May 22, 2011?
Image via @jbtaylor/Flickr