The Corner

The Power of Pop Culture

Several Rapture-believing Christians wrote to say I was wrong and insulting to say in today’s piece that the Rapture isn’t a doctrine widely held by Christians. But I am correct: worldwide, the number of Christians whose churches do not profess belief in the Rapture dwarfs those who do. These writers fall for the parochial error known as the Kael Fallacy, attributed to the late Manhattan critic Pauline Kael, who legendarily observed, “I don’t know how Nixon won; I don’t know a soul who voted for him.” On the other hand, never underestimate the power of pop culture over the pulpit, especially when preachers are silent about the real-life concerns of the congregation. Kevin Orlin Johnson, author of “Why Do Catholics Do That?,” writes to say: “I speak so often to groups of Catholics who are ready and waiting for the Rapture — a doctrine their own Church doesn’t profess. After all, they’ve had no catechesis whatsoever, these fifty years, and they figure that The Rapture is just part of Catholic teaching because they hear about it on the TV.”

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