I howled with laughter when I read about a couple of extremely clever marketing schemes that prey (or should that be 'pray'?) on the fantasies of religious extremists.
In case you hadn't heard, Judgment Day is pencilled in for 21 May and any Christians among you who hadn't made provision for your pets' wellbeing after the Rapture had better pull your fingers out before you take your place at God's right hand and your poor moggy is left stuck here on Earth staring at an empty bowl.
. . .
... help is at hand in the form of another creature absolutely guaranteed to be left behind by the heavenly mass exodus: the atheist.
Yes indeed, thank God for the animal-loving non-believer willing to take up the slack, such as those recruited by After The Rapture Pet Care.
According to the blurb, you pay a one-off fee of 10 bucks to register, and once you've been righteously raptured, a "Volunteer Pet Caretaker" moves in to retrieve your beloved pet.
Interestingly, while After The Rapture Pet Care admits Judgment Day will be a time of great wailing and gnashing of teeth for the majority of people left unraptured, it's pretty certain enough infrastructure will remain - including the vital Google servers - to ensure the pet database's survival.
This simple faith is touching, and it remains to be seen if the Great Satan of Mountain View's hardware does indeed continue to function after Brin and Page have been rewarded for their religious adherence to the "Don't be evil" motto with jobs running Heaven's massive Unrepentant Sinners Database.
If you're unconvinced, however, that Google's servers are entirely Rapture-proof, then consider a contingency: Eternal Earth-Bound Pets.
You may find the $135.00 per pet rescue fee a tad steep, but it's actually a bit of a bargain if you live in Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire or Vermont, where experienced atheists will take charge of your stranded llama or camel.
They really are experienced, too, as the site's FAQs demonstrate. In response to the not unreasonable question "How do you ensure your representatives won't be Raptured?", comes the answer: "Actually, we don't ensure it, they do. 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."
There's more at the link.
Here's a marketing video from After The Rapture Pet Care.
I note that in its contract, Eternal Earthbound Pets includes this clause:
If subscriber loses his/her faith and/or the Rapture occurs and subscriber is not Raptured (aka is "left behind") EE-BP disclaims any liability; no refund will be tendered.
Furthermore, the company advises: "Due to the increased activity associated with the May 21, 2011 Rapture prophesy we have increased our service rates for all new contracts submitted as of 1/13/11."
Nothing like profiting from adversity - or eternity!
(P.S. - I don't believe in the Rapture at all. It was never preached or taught in Christianity until the 17th Century, and then only by a fringe theological perspective. The Apostles and the early Church certainly had no such doctrine - and that's good enough for me to regard it as invalid. If those who were taught by Christ Himself didn't preach it, why should I believe it?)