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.



‘Confronting imperialism means winning back the power to imagine alternatives’. An interview with Vijay Prashad

Vijay Prashad talks to Daniel Whittall about socialism, anti-imperialism and the new global research network Tricontinental.

The deadly dangers of the ‘special relationship’

The ties which bind the 'special relationship' between the UK and the US are a toxic mix of militarism and free trade. By Andrew Smith

We went to an arms company AGM. Here’s how they justify profiting from war.

BAE Systems weapons have been involved in countless atrocities - and we saw board members doing rhetorical backflips to avoid accountability, writes Andrew Smith from Campaign Against Arms Trade.


Six things you need to know about the UK arms trade

Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.

Why is the Labour Party dragging its heels on nuclear disarmament?

Corbyn just won a prize for peace activism - so why is the Labour Party still committed to renewing trident? Lily Sheehan investigates.

Fighting for Peace: the battles that inspired generations of anti-war campaigners

Now the threat of nuclear war looms nearer again, we share the experience of eighty-year-old activist Ernest Rodker, whose work is displayed at The Imperial War Museum. With Jane Shallice and Jenny Nelson he discussed a recent history of the anti-war movement.