Associated Press-AOL recently asked 1,000 Americans for their predictions for 2007 in a telephone poll.
The respondents have a pretty gloomy outlook.
Majorities predicted another terrorist attack on U.S. soil; that a nuclear or biological weapon will be used by nefarious folks somewhere in the world (no info on whether one of the bad guys will be George W. Bush, which seems most likely, given his posturing over Iran); plenty think there will be another national disaster on a scale with Katrina and that global warming will get worse. They also think the military draft will be reinstated.
Their worries are not surprising, given the experiences of the last six years and Bush’s inexplicable twisting of the November elections from “Baaaaad boy! Stop!” to “Pretend you’re nice, but win!”
But there’s a bright, warm spot in the poll. One in four Americans believes that 2007 will bring the Second Coming of Christ.
One in four.
I have a vivid imagination. When I read that, I saw myself in a grocery store, standing in line with three other people. One of those people could, at any moment, simply vanish. Her suddenly empty clothes would collapse in a heap – panties, bra, socks, jeans, shirt and shoes — and her jewelry would patter to the floor. Personally, I’m sure that God has pristine, flowing white robes and wings for these people up in heaven with which to modestly clothe their pretty new bodies. And since the “things of the earth” are frowned upon Up There, they surely won’t need those diamond rings and little gold cross necklaces. Among other things.
The U.S. Census Bureau says there are about 300 million people in the U.S. That means roughly 750,000 could poof into thin air sometime this year, if Jesus comes for the born-again among us. A full quarter of the population, gone, just like that.
Granted, this could be a shock. I do hope that God will give them a little bit of warning so they can at least pull off the road if they’re driving when Rapture comes. I sorta doubt that, though, since once they’re gone, God has terrible things planned for the rest of us.
I can live with it. Here in my county, that means that most if not all the realtors will disappear, which will leave it rather more sparsely populated. Nice. Real estate agents and brokers around here are great churchgoers – it’s all about face-time and networking, you know.
Think of the cars just sitting around, suddenly, with keys in the ignition! The empty houses! All that stuff they can’t take with them! Suddenly, there will be a lot of job openings, including one for the presidency, though I imagine that since Cheney will still be here with the rest of us, we’ll have to do something about him. But wow – no more Jerry Falwell! We’ll probably have to find a couple of new Supreme Court justices, too. Things will be a little chaotic for a while.
But once we get it all sorted out, I think a world without born-again Christers will be pretty decent. With 750,000 less cars on the roads, pollution levels will drop a little. Maybe there will be a positive effect on global warming, and the bears will be able to hibernate again in 2008.
If the silly Christers are right, there will be a lot less people in the world, period. In Ireland, there won’t be any reason any more to keep the North and South separate. Heaven’s gonna be real crowded, though. I wonder if they’ve thought of that. Who gets the best clouds?
Roe vs. Wade? Relax. They won’t be around to take our rights away from the rest of us. Patriarchal society? Whoa, sudden change. The rest of the religions, which will suddenly find their dogmas in ashes, will collapse. Nice. People can be rational again, and with most of their problems solved because the Christers are no longer around to keep things in an uproar, world peace might even be achievable.
Of course, those one in four who think they’ll be transported off to live with Jesus in the clouds also think that he has some really nasty plans for the rest of us. Pestilence, fires, floods, misery. We’ll suffer while they watch and strum their harps.
It’s worrisome, even scary, that there are so many Americans living lives of complete and total fantasy while they do their best to make ours miserable. People who honestly and faithfully believe in a crock like Rapture are working with a few bricks short of a load. Unfortunately, one of them is the Leader of the Free World.
That scares me a lot more than the idea of some amorphous Second Coming. People who believe crap like that don’t care who they hurt because they believe their places in heaven are already guaranteed. Kill hundreds of thousands of Muslims? No problem – God likes that. Make women into silent chattels, slaves and baby machines? Ditto. The list of things that Christers do and get away with in the name of their God are endless and have caused the world endless strife ever since they thought him up.
Good riddance, I say.
Hat-tip to the Carpetbagger Report.
Update: Patrick, who writes the fine blog Blowing Shit Up With Gas, points out gently in the comments that it won’t be 750,000 Christers floating up into the sky naked when Rapture comes, but 75 MILLION. YeeeeeHAW! That’s even better!