(Content note: this might get a bit disturbing. But I’ll post a kitten video at the end, I promise you. Kittens make everything better.)
There’s an excellent post at Roll to Disbelieve that deals with the current Blood Moon rapture scare. The truly sad thing is I can understand where some of these poor souls come from: I was terrified of something very similar when I was quite young.
When I was young, my mother would often speak of the end times, but rather than mention the rapture, she spoke of war. There would be a time when God’s chosen people would be tested; i.e. persecuted and tortured. Those tortures included being hung upside down by one’s ankles while honey and fire ants were poured over the victim. Yes, the victim would scream and howl in pain as they were slowly killed by the ants’ bites. My mother said the day would come when that would happen to me and she’d cry. But she’d be happy knowing that I was in the Kingdom of God.
As a child, I had an overactive imagination–think along the lines of Calvin–and I could quite easily see a group of men stringing me up and laughing as I screamed. Needless to say, this gave me nightmares and one of them in particular, I can remember to this day.
I had this nightmare when I was around four years old. Even now, over three decades later I can recall it vividly. In this nightmare, I found a dog. This dog was a nice dog; it looked like a Border Collie and it was quite friendly to me and my parents. It even seemed to like our cat. But the nice dog had a collar and it had been running away from something. However, I wanted to keep it.
Then the nice dog’s companion showed up. This dog was mean and looked exactly like a German Shepard. It barely tolerated me, was not at all obedient to my parents and often bullied the nice dog. I didn’t like the mean dog and wanted it to go away.
Then both of the dog’s owners showed up and barged into my house. These were men, in military uniforms who spoke in an odd accent and said that we had to hand over the two dogs. The mean dog immediately went over to the men. The nice one didn’t. Then my parents said that these two men were “from the army” and that they were here to hurt us because we believed in God. The men started talking, watching me as they spoke. I was near the front door, the nice dog with me.
I began to run. The mean dog jumped after us and tackled the nice dog. Then I heard the banging noises and fell. That was when I woke up.
It wasn’t real. It was only a dream. Not once did I find a sweet-tempered black and white dog wandering in my yard following a foul-tempered one. But to this day, I still feel cold whenever I remember that dream. I was so certain that men from the army would come to my home and either kill or torture me, as my parents and I believed in God. I lived in fear–mortal fear–that this would happen.
Years passed. I grew up. My mother stopped talking about the end times and started talking about governmental takeovers and how we’d have the National Guard on our doorstep, demanding that my parents hand over their guns. By this time, I was in my twenties and realized just how insane this all sounded: yes, my parents had a few firearms but not that many. They had all been purchased legally. Neither one of my parents had used these firearms to commit any sort of crimes. So why would the government even care?
That’s when I figured that it was all about fear. My parents were afraid and they were letting that fear override their rational thoughts. They were so caught up in the ideas that had been put forth by militia leaders that they never stopped to think that maybe, just maybe, these people were actually wrong.
At the time, I chalked it all up to my parents mid-lifing it; they were both around the age of forty when Waco and the Branch Davidians made news. Dad got caught up with the militia movement and my mother followed. But if I had stopped and thought about it as a young adult, I would have realized that this was almost exactly the same thing I had been told as a child: the big bad oppressors are out to get us. My parents had traded one fear for another.
I’m an adult now. I don’t subscribe to the idea that the world when end because of a prophesy, religious or otherwise. If the world will end, we’re probably not going to get a big heads-up before it happens. I’ve pretty much learned to stop being afraid, since I spent so much time feeling fear when I was a child. I’ve grown up and I’m not a slave to that fear anymore. But the recent rumblings of the Blood Moon and the rapture show that many others aren’t. It’s sad, truly sad, as these people live their lives in a state of perpetual terror, believing that the next moment might be the last. I can’t mock them, as at one point I was one of them. I know how paralyzing that fear is. I just hope that one day, they too will be able to wake up from the nightmare and actually start living their lives, free from fear and filled with joy.
Okay, since you made it this far: here we go. Here is a video of kittens popcorning. Enjoy!