Babylon Rising, Chapter 26

Because when the United Nations is under attack, who do you call? 

North Carolina Biblical Archeology Man!!!

So what it all comes down to, is that Tim LaHaye Michael Murphy is so intelligent and amazing, his research so groundbreaking, that his opinions are sought by anyone investigating anything even remotely related to the Bible.

Hank Baines, FBI agent from the Charlotte field office, has been dispensed to Murphy’s office to watch him as a conference call is placed to “head of the New York [FBI] office,” Burton Welsh.

Phone calls!  Hot conference call action!

(They keep calling it a “conference call,” but it’s just Murphy and Welsh, with the U.N. security chief standing next to Welsh, so WTF?  It’s just speaker phone.)

Murphy endears himself to Baines right away:

“Do you shoot me on the spot if I answer a question wrong?”

Wow, good job there, Murph, dealing with the FBI.  Because such remarks don’t make you sound defensive or paranoid at all.

But his paranoia is justified, of course, because we are talking about some good old-fashioned Christian persecution, here!

Murph’s question goes unanswered:

“What do I have to do with any of this?”

You know, that’s a damned good question.

Turns out, the answer is, Murphy is a Christian, and thus doomed to be persecuted by the Powers That Be.  Or, in this case, one FBI guy asking him some questions over the phone.

Murphy explains John 3:16, and the following fascinating conversation occurs:

“So, you think this is the work of some religious fanatic,” Nugent interjected.

“Whoa, gentlemen!  Religious fanatic?  You mean because it refers to a Bible quotation?  Look, fanatic would seem to be a fair conclusion, because somebody obviously went to a whole lot of trouble to paint it all the way up there on the U.N.  But there’re many millions of people, myself included, who think about that quotation every day of their lives and would take offense at being described as religious fanatics.” (emphasis Murphy’s)

So, Murphy, your answer is yes, then?

Because, Murph, hon, Nugent wasn’t talking about you or any other “millions of people.”  He was talking about the person or persons who did “the work.” 

Welsh points out that there are, in fact, “fringe Christian groups” out there, and that some of them have a beef with the U.N.  Of course, that sets Murphy off again:

“So, now I get it.  You called me because I must be the only Bible expert who popped up on your computers as a known evangelical Christian.”

Seriously, LaHaye Murph?  Seriously?  You think you’re the only “Bible expert” around who’s an evangelical? 

“Religious fanatic is your definition for evangelical Christian, is that it?”

Um, no, that’s not it.  Again, they were talking solely about the person or persons who plastered a Bible verse onto the Secretariat Building with “glow-in-the-light” paint. 

Not everything is about you, LaHaye Murph.

“And I don’t consider myself fringe, crackpot, reactionary, nuts, or any other code words you want to tar me with because of my faith.”

Good, since they weren’t actually talking about you.

Asshat.

Then Laura wanders in (Wow…what are you big, strong fellows talking about in here with your Manly Man Talk?)

And Murph just keeps on going…

“Welsh, my wife’s joined me.  She shares my faith as well.  You’d better call in backup for Agent Baines here—the religious fanatics now outnumber him.”

“…unless you want Agent Baines here to arrest me and my wife, and then round up our entire church, I’m going to go.”

And thus the “conference call” ends.  And they have accomplished: Nothing.

What has Murphy gained from it?  Confirmation that “a lot of people [look] at all of us believers as some vast conspiracy opposed to individual thinkers.”

Do we have a word for a conspiracy theory about a conspiracy theory???

Murphy pauses to think about John 3:16.  He thinks about how it “crept into the mainstream” by a guy holding up signs at sporting events.

First of all, I think John 3:16 was pretty well known before that.  And TimNGreg fail to give us the rest of the story about the John 3:16 guy, Rollen Stewart, specifically about how he is now serving a life sentence on three kidnapping charges, and rejected a plea deal of 12 years so he could proselytize in open court.

More on Stewart here and here.

Sometime later, the Scripture survived the silliness of a pro wrestler’s using a variation as part of his act.

Presumably, Tim and Greg are referring to Austin 3:16.  Which, okay, nice topical reference, but wrestling uses everything as part of some act or another.  Name anything sacred and some wrestler has mocked it in an act. 

Murphy sensed that the media was poised to use the same Scripture, the most beautiful and poignant of all Scriptures, which had brought hope to countless millions down through the ages, as part of a smear campaign, a conditioning process against evangelical Christians.

Um, are evangelicals really the only Christians who find hope and meaning in John 3:16?

Oh, and Murph, the eeevil librul media wouldn’t be able to start their little smear campaign if some doofus hadn’t plastered the verse on the side of the Secretariat Building.

Sigh.  Except, of course, in that the authors have indeed shown that this is a smear campaign.  Because evangelicals would never really do anything wrong.  And America is persecuting Christians.  Can’t you see how much they’re persecuted?  In evangelical fiction?

Laura’s contribution: “John Three: Sixteen is a pretty good message to get out there.”

Yeah, Laura.  Even when it’s painted on the side of the United Nations.  Even when it’s proclaimed by some bewigged jerk who kidnapped people.

Dumb chick.

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Posted on April 25, 2010, in Babylon Rising, Books. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. >>>Do we have a word for a conspiracy theory about a conspiracy theory???

    Meta-conspiracy?

  2. Well, in this particular case, I’d go with “narcissism”.

  3. Reading that entire thing was painful. Do LaHaye and Dinallo not realize how Murphy’s behavior acts, quacks and smells like a confrontational jackass with delusions of grandeur? In any sane world the FBI guy would have looked at the other folks, and the boss listening in would make the “hang up” motion. *CLICK*

    Afterwards, the FBI guy would say, “Damn, are we gonna have to deal with this guy or can we get a better Bible expert?”

    Boss dude would say, “I’ll find you someone. And just between you and me, Mr. Murphy there might end up being investigated for jaywalking.”

  4. Never mind that John 3:16 isn’t the ONLY possibility. There’s also JOEL 3:16:

    The LORD will roar from Zion
    and thunder from Jerusalem;
    the earth and the sky will tremble.
    But the LORD will be a refuge for his people,
    a stronghold for the people of Israel.

    Me, if I thought that was a threat of violence, I’d be looking at Kahanists…

  5. Of course the funny part is that I doubt they think that the majority of Muslims are peaceful people who have nothing to do with the violent religious extremists who share their religion.

    And by funny I mean really sad. Such hypocrites.

  6. So, all the bad guys need to do to start a persecution of Christians in this book is to frame them for vandalism, and with a verse that could not be construed as violent or mean-spirited in the slightest to boot.

    The Westboro Baptist Church simply must not exist in the book’s universe, given that what they do on a regular basis is far more inflammatory than this.

    • I’ve said it before, I’ve said it again: The story should’ve been about Talon marking those same windows with an explosive or something (surely if he can get super-special fluorecent paint, he can get those), so the 3:16 message would’ve been made in fire by blowing those windows up. Not only would it have been way cooler to read about, but it would also have given us some reason as to why the FBI is supposed to be pulling out all stops to find the vandal since it would be an actual terrorist attack. And it would have made a much better smear campaign on part of the Seven, especially given that their next move is implicating Murphy’s church is a secret bomb factory.

      But the writers were either too lazy to think that one up, or (and that’s worse) such an idea was rejected because we can’t have the persecution making any sense. It’s supposed to be a display of the irrational hatred all eeeevil liberal government employees have for everything Christians, can’t have the accusations make any sense.

      In other news, welcome to the blog Syera

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