"The Rapture" is the time when Christian believers will all be raised to Heaven and everyone else gets left behind. The Rapture doesn't get a lot of discussion time in New Zealand but it's quite big in the US where fundamentalist Christian beliefs are more popular.
Yesterday I came across a fascinating business idea called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets which may (or may not) appeal to you if you believe in the Rapture. Business partners Brad and Bart are atheists so they won't be joining you for the ascent to Heaven. Neither will your pets since animals aren't invited. It does seem a bit unfair that your faithful companions will have to fend for themselves in a chaotic post-rapture world but now you don't have to worry — for a modest fee you can arrange to have animal-loving atheists rescue and care for your pets within 24 hours of the Rapture.
I was intrigued so I wrote to Brad and asked a few questions. Here's the situation:
Yes, the business is completely serious and legitimate.
Reactions from the public have been mixed - some think it's a joke while others take it seriously.
Some Christians appreciate the service and have subscribed. Some Christians are openly hostile and can be quite nasty. Says Brad: "We often ask if they kiss Jesus with their filthy mouths."
We don't have a lot of conflict between faiths in NZ and atheism is pretty much the default philosophy. It can be hard to imagine what it's like to live in an area where atheists are seen as evil and anti-Christian. Judging by what I've seen in many "fundy" forums, I'm sure there are plenty of people who see Eternal Earth-Bound Pets as wicked. I just think it's wickedly funny.