O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

Left Behind: What About the Pets?

Having written a book about mankind’s obsession with the apocalypse (particularly the evangelical obsession with the rapture and second coming), you might think that I would not be surprised to learn of a weird rapture-related fringe business. Like when William Miller made a bunch of money in the 19th century selling white robes so everyone could be appropriately dressed when Jesus came back. Or like the website that will kindly send an email to your friends and family, post-rapture, to inform them why you will not be showing up for Thanksgiving this year.

But sometimes I really am surprised. And sometimes I am not at all sure whether this is a joke or not.

This is one of those times.

Pocket Guide friend Ken Grant, by way of Tim Stevens’ blog, alerted me this week to Eternal Earthbound Pets, a seemingly real business that will take care of your dog and cat (and fish and birds, too) should they be left behind by the rapture.

Oh, my. I hadn’t thought of that. But seriously, who will feed Precious once we enter eternal bliss? Would we want our paradise to be marred by thoughts of our little friends scavenging amid the chaotic wasteland we’ve escaped? Would we want them dodging all those unmanned vehicles with the “In case of rapture…” bumper stickers? No. We want them fed, comforted, and cared for in our absence.

Thank God for atheists. Oh, didn’t I mention? The nice folks behind this business are atheists. Which makes perfect sense, because they know for a fact that they will be left behind, post-rapture, seeing how — according to their FAQ page — “each of our representatives has stated to us in writing that they are atheists, do not believe in God/Jesus, and that they have blasphemed in accordance with Mark 3:29, negating any chance of salvation.”

That’s comforting to know that these are admitted atheists but certainly not the bad kind of atheists. They are fully trustworthy, because — again, from their FAQ — “being an atheist does not mean we lack morals or ethics. It just means we don’t believe in God or gods. All of our representatives are normal folks who love and live for their family, are gainfully employed, and have friends of varying beliefs….We fully endorse the “Rule of Reciprocity,” also known as “The Golden Rule.” We just happen not to believe in God(s).”

So the nice atheists promise to personally care for raptured Christians’ pets in loving homes, as long as these Christians agree to their terms and conditions, sign a contract, and pay them upfront. The cost is $110 for the first pet, with extras for additional pets in the same location. Paypal accepted! Buy now!

But first consider these philosophical questions:

1. By agreeing to this service, Christians will be putting themselves in a position where they have to hope for the eternal damnation of the person in charge of their pet’s well-being. Because what if the atheist assigned to your pet finds God, pre- or post-apocalypse? What then? What could be worse than the unexpected rapture of your End Times pet minders? Clearly you should pray against their salvation, for Fido’s sake. Right?

2. And sure, these atheists are trustworthy and upstanding citizens who follow the Rule of Reciprocity. But look at it from their perspective. They are asking you to pay them to carry out a theoretical future event that they do not believe will happen. In fact, they have staked their life and faith on the fact that the Rapture will not occur, that the whole belief system behind that idea is a human construct, and that there will be no actual reason for them to take in your dog. Ever. But they are asking you to pay them $110 for the peace of mind you receive via this contract. Which is fine. Providing peace of mind can be a legitimate service. Insurance agencies bet against having to do what they’ve promised all the time. But the atheists behind this business have no intention of having to fulfill the detailed contract they offer. Right?

So Eternal Earthbound Pets is a moral problem for Christians (based on #1), and an ethical problem for atheists (based on #2).

Which leads me to this conclusion: It is the most brilliant business model ever devised.

If it’s real, that is. I’m still not 100 percent sure.

Comments read comments(16)
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posted August 20, 2009 at 9:12 am

First, thanks for the shout out!OK, so here's the plan – Christians should buy a bunch of parrots, get them to repeat key Bible verses, the 4 spiritual laws, and maybe an occasional "I told you so" message – then sign up for the service with hopes that once the atheists show up to care for the birds, they might reconsider their position.Obviously, this only works if we're talking pre-trib or mid-trib eschatology, but it might take care of that first dilemma.OK, time for me to work on my new business plan – evangelical parrots!

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posted August 20, 2009 at 9:27 am

Brilliant! I wish I would have thought of that idea first. I wonder if there is a company who will handle your estate and split it fairly between all your left behind relatives for a small up-front fee of only $500?Great line: "Clearly you should pray against their salvation, for Fido's sake. Right?"

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Jason Boyett

posted August 20, 2009 at 9:29 am

@Ken: I think that's an excellent idea. I've always thought parrots were grossly underused as evangelical tools. If God can use a talking donkey, or Stephen Baldwin, surely he can use a bird that talks already, right?

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Jason Boyett

posted August 20, 2009 at 9:29 am

Oooh. Sorry about that, Stephen Baldwin. That was kinda mean.

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posted August 20, 2009 at 9:53 am

For the contract to have meaning after the rapture, there has to be some human around who is willing to enforce it. I think the contracts should appoint a post-rapture guardian ad litem to sue EE-BP if they don't hold up their end of the bargain. That person would have to be an avowed atheist, too, and there would have to be incentives (a set fee, perhaps, paid by EE-BP to the guardian for every adjudicated breach of contract) in the contract.How about plants? Nobody wants their houseplants to wither and die just because they were called to Paradise.

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posted August 20, 2009 at 10:09 am

Matt, are you saying there might not be enough attorneys around after the rapture? (insert favorite lawyer joke here).

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posted August 20, 2009 at 10:16 am

Whoohoo! I have 1 parrot and I will begin immediately to teach him Bible verses so that he can be an evangelical tool when I am gone. I am so glad that this service exists as I have always fretted over what would happen to Sammy-boy after I was raptured. I wonder though, if they will extend their contract length. 10 years doesn't seem long enough.

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posted August 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm

This is an oldie but goodie that seems appropriate:What do you call an insomniac dyslexic agnostic?Someone who lies awake at night wondering if there really is a dog (rimshot!)

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Tess Mallory

posted August 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Okay, not sure whether to laugh or cry, but I'm laughing anyway. I'm headed out to buy a parrot, and a hamster. What? God can't use a hamster?

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posted August 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I'm sure the rapture will Leave Behind plenty of attorneys — likely all of them — but the problem will be that none of them have incentive or standing to bring a lawsuit enforcing the contract.

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posted August 20, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Now I'm depressed. I hadn't even thought about my dog being left behind. I'm praying the rapture doesn't happen until after Cru has died (he's three, so he's got another 12 years or so)? I'm going to go give him a dog treat and a hug and try not to think about this…

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Jason Boyett

posted August 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm

What if you're walking your dog when the rapture occurs? Will you drag the little guy up into the air with you? I'm thinking they get to come along…but only if you can hold onto them for the entire journey. Large dog owners: time to hit the gym.

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posted August 20, 2009 at 3:21 pm

haha, great post! And the dog on the picture totally knows he's going to be left behind. Look at his sad face…

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John Armstrong

posted August 21, 2009 at 8:43 am

Did anyone else follow the link for Eternal Earthbound Pets and notice the book for sale by an atheist camel named Dromedary Hump? If there is an atheist camel, why can't there also be pooches in paradise?

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Dromedary Hump

posted August 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Yep, my site is for real. And theists need not worry about praying for my or my cadre of rescuers salavation. All of us have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit which, per Mark, is the only unforgivable sin. So no burden on the minds of the rapture prone, and no point for their prayers. We aren't going anywhere.While not covered in our site, we will offer a 50% discount for the second ten year contract if the rapture doesn't occur within the first ten years. Quite a bargain I'm sure you'll agree.Sorry, we are not accepting any new applications for pet rescuers. We have our hands full servicing out current regions.Best regards,Bartaka Dromedary Hump(PS: MY BOOK "THE ATHEIST CAMEL CHRONICLES" IS RATED NUMBER 11 OUT OF 70,000 ATHEIST THEMED BOOKS ON AMAZON. SIGNED COPIES AVAILABLE THROUGH MY WEBSITE FOR USA CUSTOMERS: BUYERS VIA AMAZON.COM)

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The "Catcher"

posted October 24, 2009 at 3:52 pm

ENFORCE your contract between Christian pet owners and Eternal Earthbound Pets athttp://rapturepets.blogspot.coom

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