Forgive me a brief moment of irreligious kidding. (I’m tempted to not kid and talk about ongoing revelations about the Catholic Church, but I doubt I could stay studiously cool on that topic.)
But something that’s occurred to me in recent weeks, thinking about the Rapture and the Left Behind books (which I teach in my History of the Future course) and so on.
What if the Rapture already happened, and only about three or four people disappeared, so few having met the standard? And thus this is the Tribulation already. I get that preterist Christians have thought this way for a while. In fact, given the complexity of Christian eschatology, I’m sure this is an old-hat proposition in some schools and not particularly funny. (I also have a sinking feeling that it’s probably a standard schtick in somebody’s comedy act already.) But it certainly is an amusing proposition up against the particular constituency of American religious conservatives who are certain that the Rapture is imminent in the near-term future and that they will be among those called in it.