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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.