With props to Blonde Nonbeliever for the inspiration for this post.
Across the atheistic world recently there's been a spate of discussion about Family Radio and their claims that the rapture is coming - specifically, it's coming on May 21st. There has, unsurprisingly, been a lot of mocking and derision. Nobody's going to disappear on the 21st, just as nobody has disappeared in the many, many previous predictions of the rapture. They're promoting an idea which is ridiculous to any thinking person, including the vast majority of Christians.
There's little doubt in my mind how the proponents of this rapture will react when they wake up on the 22nd and haven't been sucked into heaven: They'll either forget about the whole thing and move on, or they'll predict a new rapture date, claiming to have made some sort of mistake or something. The thought that the rapture happened and they weren't included would not, obviously, be a possibility.
What I hadn't considered, at least before last night, are the potential effects on those who have joined the ranks of Project Caravan. These are people who have left their jobs, their friends (and in some cases, family), and basically given it all up to spread their message across the country. They've left it all behind, believing that come May 21st they'll have no use for it anymore.
What, then, are they going to do on the 22nd, these people who have dropped their way of making a living? Will their former employers take them back? Considering that this Caravan will have been on the go for nearly a month, it doesn't seem unlikely that they will have been replaced. Will they be able to find new jobs? I don't know about the southern states, but up here where I am, every job posting that goes up is receiving hundreds of applicants. It's a tough market.
In short, I'm not sure these people haven't doomed themselves to poverty, welfare, dependence on family members, and so on. Whether any or all of them will be able to regain a way of making an independent living remains to be seen, but the fact will remain that they took quite a risk, on the word of a lunatic preacher, a bizarre, numerological interpretation of a two thousand year old book, and mountains of evidence to the contrary.
As I said to BN last night, it strikes me as just another example of religion destroying the lives of it's followers. And it's pretty sad.