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Fun Friday: Only 200 Rapture-Ready Christians Sign Up for Atheist Pet Service

posted by Nicole Neroulias

This week, Religion News Service revisited a Business Week story from February about Eternal Earth-Bound Pets USA, which aims to pair up responsible atheists with Christians concerned about the pets they will be leaving behind during the Rapture.

The RNS update reports that only 200 pet owners have signed up for the $110 service for the next 10 years, though many more non-believers have volunteered to serve as animal rescuers, in the event of being “left behind.”TobyStamp.jpg Disappointed entrepreneur Bart Centre, a retiree living in New Hampshire, seems to think that this is because his business isn’t being taken seriously by even a small percentage of their estimated 40 million (really?) Premillenialists, Christians who believe a literal Rapture will occur in their lifetimes. Either that, or these pet owners wouldn’t want their furry pals to become godless man’s best friend…

If you ask me, it’s because everyone knows that all dogs (especially mine — see adorable photo) go to heaven!

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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LutheranChik

posted July 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm


Where do they get the idea that 40 million people subscribe to what a theologian in my own tradition calls “the Rapture racket”? Premillenial Dispensationalism is a fairly recent theological phenomenon, and it’s only embraced by a percentage of even Evangelical Christians, let alone Christians as a group.



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nnmns

posted July 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm


It sure does get a lot of air time!
Maybe people who believe that kind of silliness just don’t care that much for their pets anyway. Or even they don’t really think it will happen!



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Curt Cameron

posted July 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm


I don’t doubt the 40 million number. Most Christians are simply not aware that the idea of a premillenial rapture isn’t endorsed by their church. Look how many “Left Behind” books sold – and to the readers, it wasn’t fantasy fiction, it was realistic fiction.



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Tom

posted July 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm


Now if they do get raptured up, then how would they bind the entrepreneurial atheists to their contracts when they’re not on earth to do so? It might be a little awkward to approach another, saying, “Well, since you’re not going to be raptured, be sure and enforce this contract or take em to court when my time comes.” No wonder so few signed!
Premillenial Dispensationalism is a fairly recent theological phenomenon, and it’s only embraced by a percentage of even Evangelical Christians, let alone Christians as a group.
As recent as the 1830s.



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nnmns

posted July 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm


Tom these are “responsible atheists”. And anyway we love our dogs as much as the next person. Sometimes more.
But as far as enforcement, it seems like an interesting question. Is there supposed to be communication between realms in that universe?



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Tom

posted July 23, 2010 at 7:58 pm


Yes nnmns, but do you love other people’s dogs as much as they do? The flip side is what if some “believer” defaults on his mortgage and skips town at the time of this supposed rapture? There’s no way to (immediately) verify whether or not he was raptured, and yet the poor pooch is left behind nevertheless! The pooch care taking atheists would be on the hook at least a couple or few weeks, and so there could be potential fraud on both sides.
I’m not sure what dispensationalists dictate regarding communication between realms, but I’m almost certain none of it would be admissible in court.



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Bryant

posted July 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm


It is an odd but interesting idea but the failure to catch on may signify one of two things. First, people don’t think the Lord will return, or two, fewer people are buying into the whole left behind idea. I am a Christian who has no doubt of the Lord’s return at any moment but the rapture, 1,000 year thing is not Biblical and ought be abandoned.



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jestrfyl

posted July 23, 2010 at 11:26 pm


I draw from the wisdom of the prophet Charles Schulz, whose character Snoopy asked the theological question, “Did Jesus have a dog?”. Following that thought, would Jesus’ dog not share in the rapture. If he did, would he (assuming the dog is male) also be eligible for sainthood? Would this not then allow dogs to share in the sacraments? (See the other story about the dog being served communion).
It is not hard to go from theology to silly. This event is right through the day-glo Silly Gate.



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kenneth

posted July 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm


I’ll provide the service for free if they leave the planet by sundown today…



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LutheranChik

posted July 24, 2010 at 4:28 pm


Tom: The 1830′s IS recent, in traditional Church terms. It’s a wacky innovation from the same era that brought us spiritualist table-rapping, (mostly unsuccessful) utopian communes and The Great Disappointment…just to name a few 19th century religious movements. Sort of like the 60′s without the dope.;-)



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pagansister

posted July 24, 2010 at 5:07 pm


My question is….why won’t those people (who are so sure they are being taken to that place in the sky when JC comes back) think they won’t be “allowed” to take their pets? Doesn’t JC want them to be totally happy and if that means their dogs, cats etc., then they should be taken too, huh? Have they asked JC/God if he/she is yanking pets too? Probably not.



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BobSF

posted July 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm


If it weren’t so clear that the money is going to atheists, I suspect there’d be more suckers. I mean takers.



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Bruce

posted July 24, 2010 at 11:25 pm


Of course all dogs go to heaven! And especially your cute dog, and especially my cute, wonderful dogs. How could anyone think otherwise?



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Randy

posted July 25, 2010 at 1:38 am


Well St Francis would sure believe that all animals go to heaven.
Angels and Birds will be signing…



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nnmns

posted July 25, 2010 at 3:37 am


So, will all the animals that ever were be in heaven?



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Rob the Rev

posted July 25, 2010 at 10:41 am


Heaven is eternal and infinite and is perfectly capable of holding ALL the animals that were on the earth even as it will be able to hold all the people. “The lion shall lay down the lamb, you know. the little child shall play over the viper’s nest.” Oh ye of little faith, nnmns.



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Rob the Rev

posted July 25, 2010 at 10:44 am


Perhaps this reveals that these “believers” are so sure about their beliefs regarding the rupture…err…rapture.



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Rob the Rev

posted July 25, 2010 at 10:51 am


Last post should have read:
Perhaps this reveals that these “believers” are NOT so sure about their beliefs regarding the rupture…err…rapture.



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LutheranChik

posted July 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm


In my experience the same people who buy into ideas like the Rapture are people who treat the rest of God’s creation as, at best, an interesting but thoroughly disposable backdrop to their own me-and-Jesus drama and to the greater working of God’s will in the world. So sorry, Fluffy — your beloved master and mistress think you’re little more than a disposable wind-up toy created for their amusement by a God with apparent excess time on the divine hands. If you die, or if they get “Raptured” — oh, well.



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nnmns

posted July 25, 2010 at 7:19 pm


“Heaven is eternal and infinite and is perfectly capable of holding ALL the animals that were on the earth even as it will be able to hold all the people. … Oh ye of little faith, nnmns.”
You overestimate my faith Rob :). I’m just thinking there have been, and are, a whole bunch of animals y’all might not want to share heaven with. But if it’s infinite the Big Guy can just stick those at the other end. :)
But wait, some folks would want man-eating dinosaurs around to study, if not to wave red flags in front of. Heck, some people might even want mosquitos. Do people need their characters built after they’re already in heaven?



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Janet Greene

posted July 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm


I’m an atheist who grew up with Tim LaHaye-style rapture-ready evangelical parents. I spent my childhood in terror that my salvation wasn’t assured and I would be left behind – every time it was too quiet, or my parents weren’t around, I had to phone somebody just to make sure.
Considering this history, if christians are gullible enough to believe in the rapture, I have no problem at all taking their money. Contact me through this blog – I LOVE animals.



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Apuleius Platonicus

posted July 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm


Back home in Indiana I used to occasionally see a bumper sticker that says:
“When the Rapture comes …. can I have your car?”



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sherry

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm


I believe in the event of rapture, all the puppies go to heaven. Cats on the other hand, are on a case by case basis. :)
LutheranChik, I am a Baptist. My dog runs the house. Sorry you have chosen to take your experience with a few whose beliefs you clearly don’t respect as representing animal cruelty.
I have noticed the more open minded people claim to be, the more closed minded they really are.



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Craig Fine

posted September 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm


I think it’s very ironic. If you believe in the Rapture, the only humane thing to do IS to sign up. Your not respecting your faith if you don’t. I would think those who believe in the Rapture would be thanking this man for putting the service together.
If you don’t do it, it shows you don’t believe in the silly story any more than us who are religion free.



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