I started writing this post a couple years ago as a response to a very silly book called “How to Profit from the coming Rapture”. Here’s the description:
“Taking the familiar form of a how-to investment guide, HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE COMING RAPTURE instructs those readers who will certainly be left behind (Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, less ardent Protestants, and many more) on how to exploit the inevitable demise of the world in order to make a tidy profit. Sure, the rivers and seas will run with blood, locusts will swarm, mountains will move all over the place, and famine will strike. But for the five billion of us left behind, the post-Rapture world will be a time of even more unique investment opportunities.
Disclaimer: I haven’t read the book. I don’t plan to. So this is not a book review. But I like the idea of the book and think it is worth discussing.
I assume the book is tongue and cheek – pointing out how ridiculous we sinners will be when the Christians are gone but we keep thinking about money, rather than turning to God.
Since Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, less ardent Protestants (not to mention Agnostics and Atheists) aren’t concerned about Rapture and would probably celebrate the disappearance of a few billion Christians, using the opportunity for financial gain may not be such a bad idea.
Here are some ideas, for the two most likely scenarios.
The Rapture Happens
If the Rapture happens (all the good Christians disappear leaving their clothes behind) I am not going to suddenly get on my knees before God asking his forgiveness. That’s because I don’t accept that God’s plan of Christianity is a fair system. It measures no morality. It is based on economic and social circumstances that are mostly due to chance. It depends on historical horrors such as colonization and the desecration of the Americas.
So even if Christians are right and their merciless, blood-thirsty God comes down, I won’t beg. (What virtue is there in cowering before a powerful foe that makes unreasonable demands?) Ok, if he offers me a choice before eternal pain or eternal bliss, of course I’ll say whatever he wants me to say, but I’ll be lying, and he’ll know it. Can he make me believe in my heart that he is good? Probably not.
So let’s say all the Christians are gone. Here are some things you’ll want to do:
- Hit all the Jewelry shops in town and plunder. (A lot of the cops will probably be gone, too).
- Break into all Christian homes and steal what you can carry. Better yet, just move into a big one and squat in it.
- Sell snake oil to all the fearful people who are now afraid of God and are going to spend all their money on ANYTHING that promises to get them into heaven.
- Start a religion (same as 3, but on a bigger scale). This would be a ripe time for a new global faith based on fear and insecurity.
- Make a pact with Satan. If there is a war going on, and you’re not on God’s side, there may still be hope. Satan and 1/3 of the heavenly host are still around someone. Maybe if enough humans join in, they’ll have a chance against God’s army.
The Rapture Doesn’t Happen
We all secretly hope for a revolution where we can be pirates, pick up anything we find and keep it, do whatever we want, and start our lives over. But probably instead, we’ll grow old and die and nothing supernatural will happen. You can still profit on the Rapture – at least, you can still profit on the belief in Rapture.
After the Rapture Pet Care and Eternal Earthbound Pets are two smart business ideas aimed at Rapture-believing Christians. Basically, they tell “fellow Christians” that in case the Rapture happens they will take care of their pet, who was left behind. This is a business that addresses a real need and fear (and least a perceived need). Both businesses weren’t serious enough to keep the cash flowing, but if you thought up something similar, you could make pretty good money. For some of these ideas, you’d probably have to become a church first before people would believe you.
- Sell free “companion fare” tickets, so that you can choose to take someone to heaven with you.
- Start collecting charity for the people left behind (who will feed the orphans after the Christians are gone?)
- Sell something like a bicycle reflector, that Christians can wear when they’re flying to heaven so that airplanes don’t hit them.
- Sell a diet fad or recipe, claiming that fat Christians won’t be raised up (because they’re too heavy).
- Sell a test-prep software or service, claiming that St. Peter will quiz them on Bible trivia before letting them in.
- Offer a translation app, from English to Aramaic, so they can talk to Jesus.
Of course the real winners are those Christian Organizations like Harold Camping’s Family Radio, who made millions just predicting the coming rapture (without really providing any services!), even though the End of Times didn’t correlated with his failed prophecy (twice).
Anyway. You get the picture.