Rapture-ready?

Dear Auntie,I keep having dreams about impending nuclear holocaust. I know Hull would be an unlikely first strike target, but who knows which way the fallout might drift? Now I've just read on a US religious website that nuclear war in the Middle East is foretold in the bible. Should I be worried?Shaky Steve, Hull

March 1, 2007
2 min read

Dear Steve,

You should be worried if you’ve started browsing US religious websites. It wouldn’t be one of those ‘Rapture Ready’ websites, by any chance, where you can write a letter to those who are left behind when the Lord takes the faithful up to heaven?

The idea is that we’re fast approaching the ‘end of days’. (Auntie knows that feeling only too well after six pints and a spliff.) Millions of people are simply going to disappear from the face of the earth to join God in ‘Rapture’. It happens to odd socks all the time, so why not Christians? Of course, not everyone is going to be chosen.

So a gamut of websites has sprung up where you can leave a letter for those who didn’t make it. A sort of ‘Guess where I’ve gone? Glad you’re not here’ postcard forwarding service.

There’s no need to be worried by these websites. But there’s plenty of reason to be worried by the fact that a fifth of Americans believe that Rapture will definitely come about in their lifetimes and a further fifth think that it probably will. Since born-again George ‘Burning’ Bush is one of the apocalyptics, you might want to start checking out your local fallout shelter.

You could possibly buy yourself a little radiation-free time, post-apocalypse, by burying yourself in a lead-covered cylinder. Just remember to stock up on Spam. But you can forget any Ray Mears-style fantasies about Mesolithic hunter-gathering. Put the bow and arrow back in your (well-stocked) cupboard.

Assuming you don’t consider yourself a candidate for Rapture (or even if you do), the best solution to those bad dreams is to get proactive and try to stop the end of the world, instead of hoping to sit it out. Join the anti-Trident demonstrations at the Faslane base in Scotland (www.faslane365.org) or get involved with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

And if you wake up one day to discover that your fellow campaigners have all disappeared, you’ll know why.


✹ Try our new pay-as-you-feel subscription — you choose how much to pay.

Utopia: Work less play more
A shorter working week would benefit everyone, writes Madeleine Ellis-Petersen

Short story: Syrenka
A short story by Kirsten Irving

Utopia: Industrial Workers Taking the Wheel
Hilary Wainwright reflects on an attempt by British workers to produce a democratically determined alternative plan for their industry – and its lessons for today

Mum’s Colombian mine protest comes to London
Anne Harris reports on one woman’s fight against a multinational coal giant

Bike courier Maggie Dewhurst takes on the gig economy… and wins
We spoke to Mags about why she’s ‘biting the hand that feeds her’

Utopia: Daring to dream
Imagining a better world is the first step towards creating one. Ruth Potts introduces our special utopian issue

Utopia: Room for all
Nadhira Halim and Andy Edwards report on the range of creative responses to the housing crisis that are providing secure, affordable housing across the UK

A better Brexit
The left should not tail-end the establishment Bremoaners, argues Michael Calderbank

News from movements around the world
Compiled by James O’Nions

Podemos: In the Name of the People
'The emergence as a potential party of government is testament both to the richness of Spanish radical culture and the inventiveness of activists such as Errejón' - Jacob Mukherjee reviews Errejón and Mouffe's latest release

Survival Shake! – creative ways to resist the system
Social justice campaigner Sakina Sheikh describes a project to embolden young people through the arts

‘We don’t want to be an afterthought’: inside Momentum Kids
If Momentum is going to meet the challenge of being fully inclusive, a space must be provided for parents, mothers, carers, grandparents and children, write Jessie Hoskin and Natasha Josette

The Kurdish revolution – a report from Rojava
Peter Loo is supporting revolutionary social change in Northern Syria.

How to make your own media
Lorna Stephenson and Adam Cantwell-Corn on running a local media co-op

Book Review: The EU: an Obituary
Tim Holmes takes a look at John Gillingham's polemical history of the EU

Book Review: The End of Jewish Modernity
Author Daniel Lazar reviews Enzo Traverso's The End of Jewish Modernity

Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
Ida-Sofie Picard introduces Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants – as told to Jenny Nelson

Book review: Angry White People: Coming Face to Face With the British Far-Right
Hilary Aked gets close up with the British far right in Hsiao-Hung Pai's latest release

University should not be a debt factory
Sheldon Ridley spoke to students taking part in their first national demonstration.

Book Review: The Day the Music Died – a Memoir
Sheila Rowbotham reviews the memoirs of BBC director and producer, Tony Garnett.

Power Games: A Political History
Malcolm Maclean reviews Jules Boykoff's Power Games: A Political History

Book Review: Sex, Needs and Queer Culture: from liberation to the post-gay
Aiming to re-evaluate the radicalism and efficacy of queer counterculture and rebellion - April Park takes us through David Alderson's new work.

A book review every day until Christmas at Red Pepper
Red Pepper will be publishing a new book review each day until Christmas

Book Review: Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
'In spite of the odds Corbyn is still standing' - Alex Doherty reviews Seymour's analysis of the rise of Corbyn

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
'A small manifesto for black liberation through socialist revolution' - Graham Campbell reviews Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's 'From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation'

The Fashion Revolution: Turn to the left
Bryony Moore profiles Stitched Up, a non-profit group reimagining the future of fashion

The abolition of Art History A-Level will exacerbate social inequality
This is a massive blow to the rights of ordinary kids to have the same opportunities as their more privileged peers. Danielle Child reports.

Mass civil disobedience in Sudan
A three-day general strike has brought Sudan to a stand still as people mobilise against the government and inequality. Jenny Nelson writes.

Mustang film review: Three fingers to Erdogan
Laura Nicholson reviews Mustang, Deniz Gamze Erguven’s unashamedly feminist film critique of Turkey’s creeping conservatism

What if the workers were in control?
Hilary Wainwright reflects on an attempt by British workers to produce a democratically determined alternative plan for their industry