Securing Your Pet's Post-Rapture Future
What will happen to Christians' pets after the Rapture? No worries. These animal-loving atheists will feed them.
By Mary Beth Crain
A while back I received a most amazing e-mail from my cousin Claire in Raleigh, my conduit to all things bizarre. “This one’s for you!” it read. I clicked on to the link she sent, www.eternal-earthbound-pets.com, and wow, was she right! This had to be the wildest entrepreneurial invention since the guy who patented spectacles for chickens.
“You’ve committed your life to Jesus,” the site announced. “You know you’re saved. But when the Rapture comes, what’s to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.”
Not knowing whether to be appalled or enthralled, I read on. “We are a group of dedicated animal lovers and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you’ve received your reward. Our network of animal activists is committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.”
So what are the requirements? Well, for only $110, EEBP guarantees the earthly salvation of one pet per residence should the Rapture occur within ten (10) years of receipt of payment. For an extra $15 per furry head, each additional pet is assured lifetime care as well.
My reaction was probably the same as millions of others. What a put on! Yeah, I’m gonna shell out $110 with no money back guarantee if I’m not completely satisfied, because I won’t be around to know whether or not I got ripped off! Is the money put in escrow? Who knows? The co-founder of Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, a man who calls himself “Bart” and won’t reveal his last name, insists that his operation is not a joke. “This is a serious offer to our Christian friends who believe in the Second Coming and honestly care about the future of their pets after the Rapture occurs,” he maintains.
The FAQ page of the EEBP website is a cryptic coup. Are they serious or seriously tongue-in-cheek? You can’t say for sure. Here’s a sample:
You’ve got to admit, the idea of atheists courting their nemeses as clients is pretty ingenious. One article I read observed that this type of business venture is akin to Home Depot telling its customers, “We really don’t believe in DIY and we know that 99 percent of you are inept deweys who’ll never be able to get your projects finished, but we’ll be glad to help you out and take your money anyway.”
And while we’re at it, what exactly is the Rapture? In a nutshell, it’s the belief that when the Second Coming arrives, pious Christians will be taken up to heaven by God in one fell swoop, while the unbelievers will be left on earth to deal with the anti-Christ. The word “rapture” comes from the Latin “rapio,” meaning “caught up.” (Ironically, it also derives from “rapere,” meaning “to seize or abduct”—the same origin of the word “rape.”) Eternal salvation is promised in Thessalonians 4:15-17: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”
For those who find this notion somewhat fantastic, be forewarned: you’re in the minority. Polls show that some 55 percent of Americans believe in the Rapture. Which means that in a perfect world, Eternal Earth-Bound Pets could really clean up. How are they doing so far? Well, their website is “celebrating our 100th client!” Who, precisely, these clients are is an admitted mystery. Are they honest-to-God Rapturites who’ll take a chance on an atheist for the good of their beloved pet? Are they fellow unbelievers who appreciate a good con for a good cause, and are sending money that they know will go to community welfare? (EEBP states that “a portion of income generated from advertising on this site is contributed to community food shelves and food banks in Minnesota and New Hampshire.”) Or are they just friends and relatives of Bart?
I guess we’ll never know. And I guess it doesn’t matter. People do what they want to do. The only thing I’d suggest is, if you want to ensure your pet’s post-Rapture rapture, just make sure you post-date your check “Rapture Day.” Or insist that it’s put in escrow until the Second Coming of the Lord. It doesn’t hurt to be business savvy, even in the End Times.
Comment on this essay here.
Senior editor Mary Beth Crain's last piece for SoMA was Ho, Ho, Hollywood.
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