Silenced: Chapter 21: Promiscuous Rascal

The aftermath of the call, on Jae’s end, is pretty unremarkable.  Ranold is a bit bitter that he couldn’t listen in, but why should he care?  Were those “incidentals and courtesies” really so revealing of Paul’s traitorism?

The only weird part is that Jae refers to Paul as a former “promiscuous rascal.”  Which seems an awfully cutesy way to refer to the behavior that broke her heart and nearly broke their marriage (and probably should have).

***

Over in France, Paul attends the meeting of the underground Christians, pretty much for the sole purpose of scolding their leader, ChappellShow.  Because nothing works better in a resistance group than an arrogant foreign stranger showing up to shame your leader.

Paul began quietly, earnestly, planning to warm to his topic as he took cues from the body language of his audience.

I wonder if their body language would be to slap him, since they’ve been loyal to ChappellShow for years and have known Paul for maybe two hours.

“Chappell,” he began, “what’s happened to you?”

“You’re folding your tents, man.”

“Chapp, are you done?  Are you finished?  Should the torch be passed to Lothair or one of these other younger, braver, brasher people?  Because your intensity is just a memory now.  If I were part of the leadership team here—and worse, if I were part of the rank and file—your example would inspire me to do what?  Oh, I don’t know.  Quit?”

It is hilarious that Paul refers to these strangers, some of whom have been Christians for longer than he has been alive, as the “rank and file.”  How respectful.  No doubt this will win them all to his way of thinking.

He’s so winsome!

Actually, what wins over the French Christians is, once again, Paul talking about his own life.  Specifically, his time in L.A., and how God showed his loving mercy by slaughtering millions.

“[The L.A. Christians] prayed that God would smite their enemies.  And then they told their enemies they had prayed that and warned them that if they didn’t stop killing believers, God would act.  And He did.”

Which would have been great if the only people smited were the army and law enforcement.  But, as we’ve discussed, those were the people who were most able to get out of L.A.  The true smited, the children and elderly and hospital patients and the poor, had little to nothing to do with killing believers.

And hey guess what??? Paul wants to go on that ride again!

“Chapp, if you could ask God to do in Europe something like he did in Los Angeles, what would it be?”

With Paul’s insistence that “God woos his own in love, but He judges his enemies in wrath and anger,” Chapp admits that though he is “in the flesh,” he wants “a plague on the house of our oppressor.”

And, as we shall soon see, God interprets the word “house” very liberally.

***

Meanwhile, back in D.C., Ranold reveals to Jae that the NPO is setting up a little sting for Paul, to make sure he’s “behaving.”  And by “behaving,” Ranold mostly means “not sleeping around.”  Jae is pissed, and I’m rather amused that we are meant to feel sorry for poor ole Paul, being entrapped like this, as he envisions a judgment for Atheistopia straight out of the book of Exodus.

Remember, it’s Ranold who’s the bad guy.

I have to remind myself of this all the time.

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Posted on February 22, 2014, in Books, Silenced. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Promiscuous rascal? Ugh. Yeah, boys will be boys amiright? I’m pretty sure Hattie is never refered to in such affectionate terms.

    Weren’t the zealots planning to bring Styr down? Why is their plan suddenly to outdo Styr? They aren’t even pretending this isn’t about wanting bloody vengeance.

    And again,why are they only now thinking about praying? How is atheistopia supposed to be a threat to the zealots when the first book demonstrated they can call on their omnipotent muscle in a matter of hours? And why does it never occur to them to ask for a miracle that doesn’t involve indiscriminate slaughter.

    • I think that Jenkins would claim this isn’t indiscriminate, though. After all, no RTC was even touched by the Los Angeles disaster, presumably more than can be said for what Magnor’s been doing.

      The emphasis seems to be not on raw body count, but on how many genuinely innocent of even accepting the oppression (i.e. ARE oppressed RTCs) are harmed. Everyone else is basically a bug held over a fire.

    • To be absolutely fair, some of the French Christians aren’t behind the Plague Plan. ChappellShow wants an exact replay of L.A., complete with “warning” everyone that if believers are punished…

      “…we are praying that God will make the government regret it.”

      “Frankly,” one of the older men said, “I will be praying at cross-purposes to that.”

      “So God was wrong in Exodus?”

      Paul knew God was never wrong, but he didn’t know how to pray, either.

      So, we’re assured that whatever God/Jenkins has in store for the atheists is the good and just and right thing, because, by definition, God/Jenkins is never wrong.

      • That is an interesting acknowledgement, but I can’t shake the feeling the poor old guy is meant as… well, not a strawman but a position to defeat. Perhaps one of Jenkins’ actual fans mentioned that the ending to Soon was a bit much. So Jenkins includes a Christian with that whimpy position in this book, with a “So god was wrong in Exodus*?” counter. The implication is that if you criticise Jenkins’ decision to write gory revenge fantasies, you’re really criticising god.

        *In answer to that: Fuck yes. The way it is written is horrible. God tells his prophet to threaten the pharao, then hardens his heart so that he won’t accept, then brings down the lethal miracles until the pharao gives in, while knowing the pharao will change his mind and lead many more of his men to their deaths in the Red Sea. I’d say the criticism to Soon does apply here: Why not use a miracle to teleport the Jews straight to Israel?

        Especially when you consider all the other shit that goes wrong on the trip, including Moses fucking up and not being allowed into the promised land and the Jews fucking up and having to wander for 40 more years. His omniscientness knew that would happen. And the usual “Free will” cop out doesn’t apply here (even less than usual I mean), because god is blatantly and directly interfering in the lives of the Jews. So why not interfere in a way that causes less collateral damage?

        • That is an interesting acknowledgement, but I can’t shake the feeling the poor old guy is meant as… well, not a strawman but a position to defeat. Perhaps one of Jenkins’ actual fans mentioned that the ending to Soon was a bit much. So Jenkins includes a Christian with that whimpy position in this book, with a “So god was wrong in Exodus*?” counter. The implication is that if you criticise Jenkins’ decision to write gory revenge fantasies, you’re really criticising god.

          Exactly. I’m pretty sure the dissenters here are meant to be the Obviously Wrong side. Perhaps, too, a reader of Soon mentioned that it was a bit odd that all of the L.A. Christians wanted exactly the same thing, no questions asked.

          And…let’s just say that The God Who Is Never Wrong doesn’t exactly side with the old man, in the end.

        • Well put! And yes, God was wrong. Exodus has bothered me ever since I read that “God hardened Pharoah’s heart.”

  2. I was going to write something about “when all you have is a terror weapon”, but actually this tame God could do nice things too. Is anyone hungry or ill in this world? Bam, food and healing for everyone. But it never even occurs to them that that might be a possibility, Everyone creates God in their own image…

    • Exactly. When Paul proposed his dry-up-LA plan, I didn’t approve of it but I could understand it. The zealots were getting killed by the hundreds, they didn’t have the weapons to fight the army, so they had to resort to terrorism. But then they remember they have an omnipotent ally, and yet it doesn’t occur to them that this gives them a whole range of other, non-psychotic options.

      • He could make his followers invulnerable; that would also be a fine witnessing tool. But if God did nice things, then people might say the magic words just to get invulnerability, and that’s wrong. They should should say the magic words so that they get to go to Heaven.

        Wait, what?

  3. Interesting wordchoice from Chappel BTW. “A plague on the house of our oppressor”. The original phrase from Romeo and Juliet was “A plague o’ both your houses!”

    It’s funny, because here we do have a feud between two murderous houses, the zealots and the Atheistapo, in which many bystanders get killed*. The original phrase would seem highly appropriate. You’d almost think Jenkins was deliberately mangling the famous phrase to underline that both sides here are evil monsters who can only see the injustice and suffering inflicted to them, while being utterly blind to the consequences of their own acts.

    But, unless Jenkins has been a Poe all along, that isn’t the case. Even when he’s ripping of a phrase about two sides being in the wrong, he’s as blind to the horrible actions of the zealots as his characters are.

    * Although none of those bystanders have at any point been hurt by the Atheistapo, unless Styr was their mole all along.

    • Aww, beat me to Shakespeare reference! ;)

      Now it’s just a question of which plague reigns down. Disease is the usual choice but a bit overdone. Frogs would be fun — and would provide an opportunity for Jenkins to show his “wit” with a racist French joke — but it’s been done before. A rain of fire would definitely get the heathens’ attention while providing evidence of God’s awesome destructive power, but again, it’s been done before.

      Hmm. How about a hitherto-unknown-to-science, creeping, disgusting mildew that magically — err, I mean, supernaturally grows on all surfaces including human flesh and eventually rots away the house? (But of course it won’t so much as touch the Christians.)

  4. I’m pretty sure Jae is calling Paul a “promiscuous rascal” because nobody, even a non-Christian, is allowed to cuss in a “Christian” novel. Calling him what he deserves to be called isn’t possible, so we get this cutesy substitute. Makes for truly terrible storytelling.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      But you can’t Offend the Church Ladies, or the denunciations and boycotts begin and your career as Greatest Christian Author of All Time (GCAAT) is over. Permanently. So you scratch the itchy ears and tell the reader what they WANT to hear.

      Including those who sin-sniff every word under an electron microscope just so they can find something that Offends Them. And then get the Righteous Warmfeelies of denouncing and boycotting and Doing the LORD’s work. It’s “The Tyranny of the Perpetually Offended” with a Christian coat of paint.

      Any Google with the search string “christian” and “boycott” together results in millions of hits.

    • “Promiscuous wretch” sounds like it could get in…

  5. Ranold is a bit bitter that he couldn’t listen in, but why should he care?

    Let me get this straight. A high-ranking counter-terrorism agent with suspicions about a member of his own family couldn’t get his own phone tapped? He didn’t even bother to get his own phone tapped, even if it would be inadmissable in court, just to gather more intel on someone close, whom he doesn’t trust?

    • Perhaps Ranold, godless atheist that he is, actually thinks his daughter has a right to privacy…even when exercising that right is unwise. So he’s displeased that she said he couldn’t listen in as she talked to her abusive husband who happens to be a traitor and an accessory to supernatural mass murder, but not willing to circumvent her wishes in the matter.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, March 1st, 2014 | The Slacktiverse

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