artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


27 August 2006

posted by BoringPostcards 27 August | 20:16
posted by psho 27 August | 20:39
I screwed up the edit on BoringPostcard's comment. It was supposed to be this:

≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by iconomy 27 August | 20:45
To answer your now-closed question, I've never heard of any Christian planning for the care of their pet post-rapture.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 27 August | 20:52
The Specklet's got a whole Flickr set on flying dogs...
posted by Zack_Replica 27 August | 21:07
Hi, ortho. I don't think I've welcomed you back yet.
posted by danostuporstar 27 August | 21:35
My systematic theology courses disabused me of the notion of a pretribulation rapture. Meanwhile I'm more worried about people not ready for the Lord's return than the pets. Pets don't go to hell.
posted by bunnyfire 27 August | 21:36
What denomination of seminary did you go to, bunnyfire?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 27 August | 21:45
To answer your now-closed question, I've never heard of any Christian planning for the care of their pet post-rapture.

Thanks, I thought it was a legitimate question too.

But the follow-up question was, why aren't they planning for post-Rapture care?

If it's because they expect the pet to be raptured too, that's one thing, then there's no real follow-on.

But if they don't expect the pets to be raptured (and they expect their families to be raptured -- a reasonable assumption), -- I think they would care about their pets and would want to provide for their pets.

A contract providing for pets post-Rapture could provide them real comfort and peace of mind, and be a market niche too. I'm surprised no one else is marketing it.

Your thoughts?
posted by orthogonality 27 August | 21:55
Everyone knew this is the direction you were leading, and that's why your post was deleted, you know that, right? "LOL XIAN". I could try to give you a well-thought out answer, but I don't think you actually care.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 27 August | 22:01
I don't really have a non-speculative answer for you, but I do think it's too bad that this kind of question gets deleted so often on AskMe. Is simple intellectual curiosity not a valid reason to ask a question?
posted by brainwidth 27 August | 22:14
Ah ha! Somebody already DID think of it!

I didn't really look at the link, just found it via Google.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 27 August | 22:28
Is simple intellectual curiosity not a valid reason to ask a question?
It can be but, whether or not this question was posted with the intent of poking fun at christians (which I suspect, but am prepared to give the benefit of the doubt) or simply out of curiosity, it was a train wreck needing only a short space of time to come to a grinding, crashing conclusion with the gnashing of teeth and grinding of axes guaranteed. We're better off without it. It would work here, though, where the default attitude is much more laid-back.
posted by dg 27 August | 22:33
even my dog would know better than to give credence to metafilter as a source for spiritual questing. if you were REALLY intellectually curious, you'd investigate. your investigation, were it thorough and thoughtfully executed, would likely disabuse you of the pop culture notion of "the rapture". as far as i can determine, its a load of bollocks (based on two or three scriptures taken out of thier context and blown out to voluminous proportion), despite the incredible popularity of the left behind series and the misguided proclamations of the all-too-numerous 'cultural veneer Christians'. some people will beleive anything. that doesn't make them bad or dumb. just human.
posted by quonsar 27 August | 22:39
quonsar, the question wasn't, so far as I understand it, whether the notion of the Rapture has any theological significance; it's not about whether people should believe in the Rapture. The questions seems only to ask, given that some people do seem to believe in the Rapture, what do these people plan on doing with their pets?

And sure, any question involving odd religious beliefs has the potential for contentiousness, but that shouldn't automatically disqualify the subject matter from forming the basis of a suitable question. The answers given before the thread was closed certainly don't seem to be of the trainwreck variety.
posted by brainwidth 27 August | 22:51
Everyone knew this is the direction you were leading, and that's why your post was deleted, you know that, right?

Right in the question I mentioned the other question that had prompted it.

And nobody said "LOL XIAN" until you did. Had anyone's answer been "LOL XIAN", it could have been deleted, just as joke answers always are. Maybe somebody would have "LOL'd", maybe not. But that doesn't make it any less of a real question.

I'm genuinely curious about this. (The I'm pretty sure is a joke, as they go on about space aliens too -- I looked at it when I googled "Rapture pets" before asking the question.)

Had I been able to find an answer via google, I wouldn't have asked metafiler. But precisely because, as quonsar points out, the Rapture is part theology, part pop culture (though as I understand it, not purely pop culture as quonsar seems to suggest), ask metafilter seemed a good way of arriving at the "consensus" answer (or more likely, answers).

People do believe in the Rapture, and some of them must own pets. So what do they believe happens to their pets? And again, this came to my mind form the question about pets "left behind" and not sold at pet stores, not because I got up this morning scheming to "LOL" at XIANs.

It seems terribly thin-skinned to say, "yes, there's are several answers, but the question is too dangerous to ask".

(On a personal level, Pink, I'm a bit disappointed that you'd write "Everyone knew this is the direction you were leading". You were willing to trust me to spend two hours logged into your computer as super-user when I was trying to fix your iTunes problem. I didn't abuse that trust by looking into your personal files (or even copying down the password you gave me, or anything else for that matter; in fact I went to a good deal of trouble to avoid even having to list directories, just to be as circumspect as possible). I just spent two solid hours of my time trying to fix your problem because I consider you a friend. It pains me that you don't extend that trust to my intentions regarding a perfectly reasonable question about popular theology.)
posted by orthogonality 27 August | 22:58
Er, iPod, not iTunes, sorry.
posted by orthogonality 27 August | 23:01
What part of this question made people think it was mocking Christians? It seems like a perfectly honest question to me.
posted by cmonkey 27 August | 23:49
Ok, I apologize for doubting your motives, and will give you some of my thoughts on why I don't think people think about it (and I don't; I've never heard it brought up in a Christian setting). Keep in mind, most (if not all) environments I've been in that discuss that rapture are thinking pre-tribulation. The Rapture is The End for Christians on earth- for us, that's it- it's just a hop, skip and a jump to a new heaven and a new eath. Of course some things will be left behind- homes, personal belongings, and yes, pets. Part of the beauty of trusting God is knowing that He will provide- as He always has. In Matthew (brb- have to pull out my Bible!) 6, Jesus tells his followers:

25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life [e]?

God doesn't want us to worry, and He takes care of his creatures, so why worry about it?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 27 August | 23:55
Does that make sense?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 27 August | 23:56
This is all kind of interesting to me. As someone who was brought up Catholic, and didn't really know any protestants, I'd never really heard of the rapture until I moved to the USA.

Is it a belief that is more common in this country?
posted by gaspode 28 August | 00:01
It's a very evangelical idea, made popular by a series of books called the "Left Behind" series.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 28 August | 00:08
I don't think it's a protestant thing. I was raised Presbyterian, and I'm pretty sure that each and every adult that was on Team Jesus back then would have laughed at the whole rapture nonsense.
posted by cmonkey 28 August | 00:12
Yeah, I wasn't meaning all protestants. But it's definitely not a Catholic thing, or at least it wasn't given a hell of a lot of time at my Catholic school. And I mean specifically the "pre-millenial" bit. Obviously we learnt about everyone gathering together to be at one with Christ when the shit hit the fan.

then again, I haven't really thought about all of this since high school, and my memory isn't fantastic at the best of times.
posted by gaspode 28 August | 00:17
hang on TPS, I just read the last part of your comment. So you mean, that an idea about a fundamental aspect of the religion is popularised by a series of novels? WTF? People are getting their theology in the fiction section?

posted by gaspode 28 August | 00:19


It's a joke site. A very poorly done, one-joke parody webpage.
posted by item 28 August | 00:21
I think the rapture is primarily a US thing rather than being fixed on any religious group. At least, it seems to have originated there, anyway. I attended a methodist church until I was 16 and never heard of it all that time. It seems to me that it is still confined to relatively small (but vocal) groups and is not really taken all that seriously by "mainstream" religion. Like so many other aspects of religion, there is no way to prove that the bible doesn't describe the rapture and that is what makes it so hard to discuss with any sort of point, except as pop-culture rather than religion.

The thought that the whole thing may have originated (or at least been popularised) through works of fiction is just horrible.
posted by dg 28 August | 00:30
I was raised in the Baptist Church, and they taught us about the rapture waay back when I was a kid in the 1970s, plus all of my older relatives believed in it, so it definitely predates the "Left Behind" series.

Interestingly, Pat Robertson doesn't believe in the rapture, so there's some difference of opinion even among evangelicals.
posted by BoringPostcards 28 August | 00:36
WTF? People are getting their theology in the fiction section?

nah, mostly from tv at this point.
posted by quonsar 28 August | 06:36
I don't think people are basing their theology on the books- there are theological schools of thought that support the ideas presented in the Left Behind Series (I'm not a Bible Scholar, so I can not elaborate); so it's more that people are learning about the ideas from the books.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 28 August | 09:12
Here's my alma mater.

Don't be too impressed: altho the theology classes were HARD, my certificate is in worship leading. Not all that academic. (Except for the theology.)

We actually discussed four (four!) different views of endtimes, and pretrib rapture (the left-behind series theory) was pretty handily disposed of.

In the years that I did believe in pretrib rapture I never heard of anyone worrying about a pet, so that is an interesting concept. Glad I don't have to worry about it (besides I don't have a pet.)
posted by bunnyfire 28 August | 10:45

Pre, Post, Middle and ?? None?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 28 August | 10:49
Pre, Post, OMG THE ALIENS ARE HERE, and Profit!!!!!
posted by quonsar 28 August | 10:57
There's almost nothing more painful than watching mefites discuss almost any aspect of Christianity. I don't believe Orthogonality's protestations of good intent for a second. It's obvious that he thinks that the Rapture is a silly idea and he's fishing around for silly implications of it.

I've yet to find a religious belief system that doesn't have all sorts of silliness inherent in it, just waiting for a question of Ortho's sort. And yet, the overwhelming majority of the world's population, incuding probably a large portion of MeCha members, have religious beliefs of one sort of another.

At the very least, it's rude to mock other people's religious beliefs. It's also like shooting fish in a barrel. And I'm certain that given about an hour's opportunity to grill Ortho, I could find some absurd belief he holds that onlookers would happily join me in aiming at it withering ridicule.

Is it really news to anyone reading mecha that for various historical reasons the US version of protestant Christianity has long been fascinated with the eschatology of "The Apocalypse of John"? A widely popular and old interpretation includes the "Rapture". There is a correlation between those we used to refer to as "fundamentalist Christians" and those who are focused upon the so-called "End Times". But from its appearance this book has always had profound effects on Christianity.

Insofar as many believers are not religious scholars of any sort and instead rely upon the few sermons on the topic and what they see in popular media, I suppose you could say that the "Left Behind" books describe some (now popularly "correct") version of the events in the Apocalypse. But I've encountered more eschatological Christians who found these books problematic than I have those who think they are in any sense definitive. Really, the "Left Behind" books are only marginally more textually correct than, say, the "Omen" movies were.

At any rate, conventional Christianity obviously does not believe in the ensoulment of anything but human beings (whether angels are ensouled is a point of controversy) and so for that simple reason almost no theologically informed Christian expects to see pets in Heaven. So, presumably, pets will be left behind at the Rapture just as all other Earthly concerns. Almost by definition, all those Earthly concerns are not important enough to worry about. So no one does. A more practical answer is that only a very few, very hardcore Christians truly and in a practical sense expect the Apocalypse to happen in their lifetimes and thus make any attempt to prepare materially for it. I suspect that those few prepare for the disposition of their pets just like anything else they materially prepare for—though, again, none of these Earthly matters are, in context, very important.

Catholics, especially Catholics of other nations, (but also often Protestants of other nations because their church is nationalized or there is otherwise a great deal of social homogeneity of religious belief) often seem a little confused about what is and isn't, by their standards, "orthodox" in US Protestant Christianity. But the thing to understand about US Protestant Christianity is, first, that it's Protestant and thus sees the text (the Bible) as preeminent and certainly not a Church authority's interpretation; and, secondly, US Protestant Christianity originally was made up of a relatively large number of dissident or even heretical interpretations of the Bible and even where those have become, in centuries since, mainstream the US cultural mileau is such that new sects continually arise with their own peculiar interpretations. So, in that context, asking what US Protestants believe about any given thing is problematic: you should limit yourself to a particular variety of Protestant. (Incidentally, this is also part of why the US Catholic Church is so liberal even though the US, as a whole, is arguably cultural conservative in the religious context. The cultural environment is much more tolerant of dissident and particularly individualistic interpretations of Scripture and is also suspicious of authority.)
posted by kmellis 29 August | 01:29
I should add that "The Apocalypse of John" is deeply important if you want to understand historical or modern Christianity. Why it's very important, and what makes it so interesting, is that Christians as a whole have always been deeply divided about it where, for some, it's relatively unimportant, or misleading, or apocryphal. For others, it is the very essence of Christianity. There's almost always strong feelings about it. You can look back that the history of Christian theology and see a lot of hot debate about it. But, it seems to me, that there is a certain personality type for whom the eschatology of "The Apocalypse of John" is irresistable—and for those, this book and perhaps a few of the Gospels are all that is important. I don't think the attraction is surprising—after all, its eschatology and eschatology in general seem to fascinate people of a wide variety of beliefs and it appears again and again in popular culture.
posted by kmellis 29 August | 01:37
"I asked God for a Harley and he sent me a squirrel" || A fool and his money are soon spammed.