(Editor's note: since this story was posted, the end of the world has failed to arrive. Nonetheless some of born-again Christians who were "orgying" pre-Rapture have apparently continued to do so post-Rapture. They include the good people of Axe Handle Alabama, whom we photographed for our story. As of this writing they're still making whoopi in their local mega-church's font several days later. As one woman put it: "Honey when we fornicate we take our time. People our size it can take a while figuring out what goes where!")
May 19th 2011: A Californian preacher’s assertion that the world will end next Saturday evening is good news for bars, brothels, and drug dealers across the Bible Belt. With Judgment Day less than a week away, Baptists and Evangelicals are seizing the opportunity to have sex with that guy in Parts and Service or that red-head in Piggly Wiggly they’ve lusted after for years. And they’re getting ‘trashed’ on legal and illegal substances while they do.
As one Baptist woman put it at her church in suburban Atlanta, “We’re partying like there’s no tomorrow because come Saturday, there won’t be no tomorrow.”
The phenomenon may seem counterintuitive to those of other faiths, but given the fundamentalist tradition of predestination, it makes perfect sense. On Saturday around the happy hour, those who are ‘saved’ will be ‘Raptured’ – or snatched bodily up to Heaven by Jesus. Knowing the ‘day and the hour,’ as Jesus put it, of their deliverance and having had all their sins forgiven them, they’re free to do anything they like between now and then. If it’s a sin, it’s pre-forgiven. The vast majority of preachers and pastors agree with this theology, and are leading orgies in megachurches across the region, praising Jesus even as they climax multiple times, 'wasted' on cocaine and Ecstasy.
“We are SAVED!” beams Randy Wright a 40-ish Pentecostal deacon and senior snake-handler from Tuscaloosa, sneezing as he tries to snort marijuana. “All is forgiven unto the end of time! Any sin I commit, I’ll still be Raptured!”
Like other white, obese and preternaturally unattractive Christians whom angels will snatch up to Heaven May 21st - though in his case at the risk of an angelic hernia – Randy’s having no trouble hooking up with similarly full-figured partners. Pentecostal or not and of both genders.
Until last week, when he heard he would be Raptured and began to party down, Randy not only didn’t know he was bisexual, he didn’t know what the term meant: “Like...a fancy word for prostitution?”
New Orleans native Brian Bradley echoes that experience. He says for years he’d been tempted by what the Bible calls ‘lying with thy fellow man’ but didn’t know how to “be gay.” Last weekend, a born-again friend from San Francisco showed him how, at a pre-Rapture orgy in the megachurch he attends. Judging by the three-way action Brian was enjoying in the back of a Bourbon Street bar when he spoke to a reporter, the initiation was successful.
The only problem? As he had a J for JC an hour or so later, Brian said he was having second thoughts about Saturday. “I ain’t so sure I want to be Raptured - not now I’ve been gay a few times.”