How many of you are just working whatever job you happened to fall into in order to pay the bills, but you’re still secretly holding out hope that you’re about to stumble across your multi-million dollar idea that initially seems kind of lame but everyone else loves for some reason, like post-it notes and drink umbrellas and those fugly decorative things designed to bedazzle the swiss cheese holes of even fuglier Crocs (seriously — that stay-at-home mom sold her idea for $10 million to the Croc people).
And, once that happens, you’ll be able to retire and your life will finally — finally — start?
**Imagine me sheepishly raising my hand right now**
Some of these ideas were slowly cultivated, researched, and marketed, while others were lightning strike strokes of random luck — the exact opposite of stepping out your front door, tripping on a crack in the sidewalk, and knocking out your two front teeth. All because you wanted to get your mail.
But for the most part, they all have one thing in common: they are all products or services that are playful, interesting, and have a broad range of appeal.
However, there are certain niche businesses who undoubtedly generate respectable sums of money while providing goods or services that are… shall we say… less than respectable.
(Or are they actually incredibly respectable because they’re so mind-bogglingly disrespectable — unrespectable? — repugnant?? — that it almost makes them look genius? Almost.)
The idea: A couple of days ago I read about a man named Bart Centre, who started a company in 2009 called Eternal Earth-bound Pets, which offers a pet rescue and fostering service to Christians who might be whisked up to Heaven in the event of a Rapture.
The genius: Centre has built a network of 44 pre-screened atheist animal lovers who have the means and desire to rescue pets from the abandoned homes of the Saved. In guaranteeing that his caretakers are atheists, true-believing Christians can rest easy, knowing their beloved pets will be well cared for in the hands of those who are destined for Hell.
The twist: Following the website’s compelling tag-line (“The next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World“), is an intro paragraph that reads… well… more than a little patronizing:
You’ve committed your life to Jesus. You know you’re saved. But when the Rapture comes what’s to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.
Then there’s all the businessy stuff, followed by the terms. Centre charges a whopping $135 for the first pet ($20 for all subsequent pets), guaranteeing rescue for up to 10 years from the date of payment. The article states that Centre is now servicing 259 clients, and at $135 a pop, that comes to almost $35,000!! (*Note: Until the recent May 21st Rapture estimation, the business had been charging $110, so he hasn’t made quite that much. Yet.)
The question: Is this okay? Regardless of what you believe, is it ethically responsible for a man to blatantly poke fun at another person’s religion and then make money off of the very beliefs he mocks?
In my opinion, the answer is a surprising, yes.
Because in the end, whether he’s mocking or not, he really is providing a service — peace of mind to those who believe, and a little humor to those who don’t.
And just like a Jibbitzed Croc hole, how could it be wrong when it feels so right?