I’ve been seeing these big ads adorning the sides of buses around town for a while. I haven’t given them much thought, and assumed they were advertising some upcoming blockbuster action movie (no, I’m serious). The other day I was stopped at a gas station putting gas in my truck and another one of these bus ads passed through my line of vision. I don’t know what made me take note this time, but I decided to investigate a little. I pulled out my handy iPhone and did a quick Google search. Silly me! I thought it was advertising the next big action flic, but it’s actually warning us all of The Rapture! Which is slated to take place just a couple of short days from now!
I can’t help but wonder how many people are buying into this. I mean, I know plenty of Christians on a personal basis. Are there people I know who are actually planning for Judgment Day to take place this weekend? I’m sure there isn’t an unanimous consensus on this whole thing, even among Believers. So do the Christians who are not buying into this see themselves as more rational and reasonable than the folks who have set aside their weekend plans (and I assume all future plans, right?) for The Rapture?
More than anything, these bus ads – and apparently billboards and other large-scale advertisements across the country – make me angry. That’s right, angry. You know, I could respect humble faith. Little clapboard churches, quiet prayer, noble good deeds that didn’t ask for anything in return, including accolades. But this loud, arrogant, vain, bigoted, intrusive, nosy faith? I find it appalling and offensive. These ads – as well as the gargantuan, gaudy monstrosities that pass for churches nowadays and the two-story-tall banners hanging along main streets proclaiming “JESUS LIVES!” – are a blight on the neighborhood. Why must I endlessly be subjected involuntarily to your beliefs?
It’s appalling to me that our public transportation system would even take part in such a religiously slanted ad campaign. But as Michael pointed out to me, the public transportation system is government-owned, which means they have some real First Amendment issues on their hands when faced with requests such as these. Refusing would be a violation of the Constitution. Man, what I wouldn’t give for a few tens-of-thousands of dollars to take out my own ad campaign.
This is fear-mongering and propaganda at its best. It’s religious terrorism, and terrorism that my kids are exposed to just by virtue of living in a regular ol’ suburb of the United States of America.
CRY MIGHTILY UNTO THE LORD! FOR HE IS COMING!
People have been predicting the exact date of the end of the world for centuries (okay, I know “The Rapture” is not the end of the world; the end of the world is apparently scheduled for either October 21, 2011, or December 12, 2011 – so you’ve still got some time, people), and, well, obviously they’ve always been wrong. I have no doubt that this weekend will pass uneventfully (at least supernaturally speaking), and then what will the folks behind these ad campaigns be saying? I also have no doubt that eventually, the end of the world will come. But it will be at the hands of humankind’s greed and violence and utter failure to live and to treat each other the way that mythical figure Jesus Christ taught.