Worried that everything is about to come to an end? That the apocalypse is just round the corner? For some reassurance, may I commend to you the marvellous website raptureready.com?
This site lets us all know how close we are to the 'end days' by comparing world events to the prediction of the Bible as to the advent of Judgement Day - mostly taken from the Book of Revelation. The site's homepage includes such delights as the 'Prophecy Gopher', digging around for confirmation of biblical prophecies.
Best of all, the site has its own 'rapture index' - a figure rather like the FTSE index, which lets us know the level of imminence of the rapture (for more on the rapture itself, see my previous article here). Disturbingly for those salivating at the thought of the advent of the Beast, the rapture index is on the decline. From a peak of 179 in 2002 to a current doom-averting 150. One reason is that the French 'no' vote on the EU constitution has 'downgraded' the anti-Christ category. Yum. Another, even more juicy, is the fact that Wal-Mart is falling behind in its plan to bar-code all products with radio tags. Satan is clearly on the retreat...
Elsewhere, Harper's magazine (from which the above link comes) publishes extracts of the rules for clients at the Refuge, a Memphis-based rehabilitation programme run by Love in Action, a 'Christ-centred ministry'. The clients are adolescents 'struggling with broken and addictive behaviour' (including sexual promiscuity and homosexuality). Amongst the myriad injunctions (such as how often the girls must shave their legs) is a ban on listening to any music that 'is not expressly Christian'. Bach, the rules go on, 'is not considered Christian'. Bach? Not Christian? The St Matthew Passion, the Mass in B Minor, 'not Christian'? What are they on? It's enough to make you want the world to end.