Saturday, March 26, 2005
I have to confess that I have never read the Book of Revelations in its entirety, and that for the time being, I do not want to. I do not believe it is prophecy, but a message for crypto-Christians living in the second century AD. I believe it is meant for them and not for modern readers.
The rapture is nothing but a scam to justify social neglect, environmental degradation, and the resulting dehumanized society we live in now. Belief in the rapture validates all the crimes of the Bush Regime, and turns every believer into a self-satisfied, anti-progressive glutton. There are no end times, there will be no rapturing away of the good. If anything, those who believe they will be raptured away and live lives of excess and neglect the needs of the impoverished through their embrace of pro-corporate wasting of nature are more condemned than the most apparently sinful among us. The insane or intellectually disabled man or woman trapped in a local jail, imprisoned on charges he or she can barely understand, is more worthy to be saved from the world and from hell, than the most apparently righteous of Dominionist/Reconstructionists.
If anything, belief in the rapture is an indication of an individual's fear of himself, of his fellow human beings, and of the possibility of human progress. The last thing any Dominionist/Reconstructionist wants to believe is that human action can explain the origin of humanity and the earth, understand nature, serve humanity generally and take on, with a realistic chance of effectiveness, humanity's endemic problems. The people who want the world to remain impoverished, desperate and ignorant are the ones who have profitted from these conditions. And while not all the world's gluttons are rapture-believers, you can rest assured that all rapture-believers are gluttons overstuffed with various commodities and obsessions. My biggest condemnation of Dominionist/Reconstructionists is their persistence in highlighting and creating injustices of all kinds and exacerbating the ones pre-existing. Their implications and assertions that the unbeliever is an inferior being, and that even though all souls are equal in the sight of God, the inequalities of the world must be defended and even nourished. According to my moral maxim, anyone or anything that makes the world more unjust than it already is, is evil, these people and their institutions can be nothing but evil.
I think the apocalypse will be an event that the most sinful of us, the most frightened of us, and the weakest of us will not dread, but will welcome. The apocalypse will be the day that injustice is divorced from the world, that crime and criminals are removed from human thought and action. The apocalypse will not rapture the righteous away, it will punish the hypocrite. The apocalypse will not be the union of the alienated-- it will be the disunion of the scar from the flesh, the rending of spirits from the desires for power, and the end of the monstrous indifference that has made our suffering so hard on earth. In the apocalypse, those who are weak and in need, those the world chafed and turned aside, those buried in unmarked graves, those sleeping in doorways, will be given the dignity and well-being denied to them by the corrupt institutions of the world. The debtor will not be made to suffer. The massive creditor institutions will be exposed as dens of thieves to the hatred of all the people. The apocalypse is the descent of the sword of heaven, the sword that rips the world apart, uplifts blameless nature, and shows humanity its place in nature. So when I think of the apocalypse, I am deeply comforted. When I suffer, I always imagine the sword of heaven, howling flames engulfing and deep, furious water drowning those who reinforce every injustice the world inflicts, those who have alienated righteous nature with the cancers of overwork, pain and debt they have brought to the innocent. I see this in my mind, and it makes me glad. Truly, the apocalypse is the sea without a shore, the spirit breaching the boundaries the world has arrogantly drawn.