Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rapture fantasies

Today, the 21st, is the day the Rapture is supposed to take place. Preliminary reports from Australia (one day ahead of us), are negative, but one never knows!

In my studies of medieval theology, I never came across the idea of the Rapture in the current sense, though it has taken its place in recent decades as part of Dispensationalist apocalypticism, which does have a good medieval pedigree. The Scriptural basis is 1 Corinthians 4:15-16, if I recall the citation correctly.

One wag, of the liberal persuasion, has expressed the wish that it does come true, because with all the evil Republicans gone (or pretty much all), we will be able speedily to advance to universal medical care and an end to foreign wars. I suppose, but then we would have to listen to endless mandatory sermons on civic virtue by such self-righteous commentators as Lawrence O'Donnell and Donnie Deutsch.

At one time eliminationism--the wish that one's opponents would simply disappear--was confined to the far Right. Now it is occurring among liberals.

Hasn't anyone heard of the advantages of persuasion?

UPDATE. Maybe the Rapture did occur, and we all just think that everything has continued as before. But actually we're in some sort of hologram, a little like the situation in the film The Matrix. Of course, those lucky enough to experience the Rapture know that it did occur. When they contemplate the rest of us, they are pleased to affirm the truism of Jean-Paul Sartre: "Hell is other people."



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