Christians of the apocalyptic sort — which includes most all of the fundamentalist Christians in the occidental world, especially in the US — look forward to something they refer to as “the Rapture.” There are different specifics as to when it will happen, however, this is the moment during “the End Times” when Christ calls up to heaven all the saints — the dead as well as the living — to be with him prior to his arrival on the earth. Belief in the Rapture is based primarily on 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 explicitly, and implicitly or figuratively in Revelation 4:1 when its author, John of Patmos, is brought up to heaven to be shown the rest of his vision.

Christians who believe in the Rapture view this is a good thing for themselves, since it means they’ll be rescued from the earth before some or all of the “End Times” hardships are inflicted on the planet. They look forward to the moment when they will all be sucked suddenly into the air, some while in the act of driving, piloting planes, etc. thus leaving whoever is left on the highways or in the planes, in grave danger. (For a sample of their pride on this point, see e.g. this bumper sticker).

Some of these apocalyptic Christians genuinely worry what will become of the friends and/or family they leave behind who are not saintly enough to have been sucked up to heaven. They view this as such a serious problem, in fact, that some are paying an avowed atheist to deliver post-Rapture messages for them, as the Orlando Sentinel reports:

There are those who believe in the Rapture prophesied in the Bible. And there is Joshua Witter, avowed atheist.

They need each other.

At least some people think so — those willing to pay Witter to be their post-apocalyptic postman, delivering cards and letters to their non-believing friends, relatives and neighbors who will be left behind when the Day of Reckoning arrives.

About 70 people have paid the Orlando man about $5 apiece to get their messages to those doomed to face the plagues, pestilence and darkness of Armageddon.

Witter’s Web site was not, initially, meant to be taken seriously:

Witter started his website — postrapturepost.com — as a joke, a satiric jab at those who see things like the swine flu, economic collapse and the election of a liberal president as sure signs the end is near.

But then he started receiving orders for his merchandise. Since 2005, Witter said he has sold more than 200 items, most of them T-shirts and coffee mugs, and many of those (he admits) to friends and fellow atheists.

Granted not all of Witter’s customers take this seriously — but apparently, some do. It’s nice to see there’s at least one non-believer out there who’s found a way to profit from other people’s irrational beliefs!

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