Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Not Rapture, Christian Coalition Says
Washington, D.C.--At a press conference in a downtown hotel here today, Christian Coalition of America President Rebecca Combs categorically denied that anything like the Scriptural "Rapture" had in fact occurred yesterday afternoon.
"Sure," Ms. Combs admitted, "we had some mysterious disappearances. I'll grant you that. But this was not the Rapture prophesied in 1 Thessalonians 4:17."
What did happen around the globe yesterday remains to be determined. Living people vanished into thin air. Funeral processions were disrupted as corpses burst through coffin lids and hearse roofs and came to life in midair, emitting unearthly screams or, in some cases, sardonic comments on those left behind.
And those left behind did seem to include an inordinately high proportion of born-again Christians, televangelists, politicians on the Christian Right, and the creator of the popular Left Behind series, Tim LaHaye.
LaHaye himself urged Christians not to jump to conclusions.
"This was not an act of God," LaHaye told reporters yesterday evening. "We're not sure what it was, exactly, yet. I encourage born-again Christians to take their concerns to the Lord in prayer."
He agreed with President Combs of the Christian Coalition of America that, despite superficial resemblances, it was not the Rapture.
"The Bible tells us that God will take the born-again Christians first," he said. "And early indications are that very few, if any, Christians were taken. The entire student body and faculty of Bob Jones University, for example, was left behind."
Bob Jones III, president of that born-again Christian university, which is also LaHaye's alma mater, scoffed at the notion that yesterday's event might be construed as the Rapture.
"What, are you kidding? If it had been the Rapture, our school would be vacated. We're all here. No," he added, "this was some kind of Satanic mimicry. Satan has his tricks, you know."
Fuel was only added to such interpretations by revelations that many of those "taken up" were homeless people, atheists, homosexuals, feminists, and liberals.
"How could God have taken fornicators and polluters of family values and left His People behind?" Jones asked rhetorically. "No, this wasn't the Rapture. You can take God's Word for that."
President Bush has instructed the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the event as some form of supernatural terrorist attack. The FBI is in fact looking closely into reports that a dead Austrian philosopher appeared at the Republican National Convention just scant hours before the event. The philosopher, one Ludwig Wittgenstein, was not only a foreign national and fifty years in the grave, but a Jewish homosexual.
Another mysterious occurrence possibly tied to these strange happenings is the death-by-time-travel of a reclusive New Mexico professor of transition studies named Bill Kaul, who was murdered by a mechanical goat sent back in time from the future around the time of the Austrian philosopher sightings.
"Yeah, see?" President Bob Jones III said. "Evil goats from the future. In the end times our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ set the sheep on his right hand for salvation, and the goats on his left for eternal damnation. Matthew 25:32. It's as plain as day. This is Satan at work, sure as shootin."
Conservative politician Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America, was at first unavailable for comment, and some suspected that he had in fact been "taken up." He was found later in the evening, though, playing the videogame Worms Armageddon in his basement, at home. He'd been so engrossed in the game that he hadn't heard the ruckus.