Soon: Chapter 16: Headhunting

The timeline post (now my Epic Quest!) is coming, hopefully tomorrow, but first, the exciting end to Chapter 16, and Paul’s EXCITING, AMAZING…lukewarm promise to think over the possibility of maybe being a double agent, if he feels like it.

Straight comes back from the salt mines, and Paul’s first words are, kid you not, “Missed you yesterday.”

To which Straight responds, “Sure did. You were on my mind.”

Oh, Jerry Jenkins, you nutty funster, you’re just handing us the slash for free now, aren’t you?

Of course, what Straight means is that he was thinking about recruiting Paul to The Cause, and invites him out for a late-night visit with Abraham.

Three-way!

Paul, who I’m sure is anxious to be out of the house after having to spend ONE ENTIRE DAY in the company of his wife and kids, immediately agrees. Jae is slightly pissed, but wanting yet another night with Straight is just yet another reason that she will be leaving Paul in the dust once school ends. To which I can only say, go Jae!

And since Paul has never yet given a flying crap what his wife thinks about anything, off he goes with Straight.

The conversation goes on for three pages, but boils down to this:

Abraham: O hai, Paul. Become a double agent.

Paul: Um…

Straight: We need you!

Abraham: There have been miracles ALL OVER (the United States).

Paul: Well…

Straight: “You could save lives, friend.”

Abraham: There are also fakey Christian cults, who aren’t true Scotsmen and if you could bust them, it would be totally different than busting us!

Paul: I’m not…

Abraham and Straight: GOD WOULD HELP YOU OUT!!!!

Paul: This is a big decision…

Straight: “I’m not trying to talk you into anything.”

Paul: Well…maybe.

Good effort on the tag team hard sell, boys. Too bad you failed.

Advertisements

Posted on July 15, 2011, in Books, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. inquisitiveraven

    Oh, Jerry Jenkins, you nutty funster, you’re just handing us the slash for free now, aren’t you?

    You mean he wasn’t before (or for that matter, in LB)?

    Oh, and I see JJ still has a tin ear for dialogue. I mean what kind of reply to “Missed you” is “Sure did”? Was the stuff you compressed down from three pages that cringe inducing?

    • Yes, sorry, that was condensing. The conversation is:

      “Missed you yesterday, ” Paul said. “Get your business straightened out?”

      “Sure did,” Straight said. “You were on my mind. I was thinking about you going back to work.”

      • And the unedited version is even slashier. There’s more double entendres in that snippet than a whole season of Three’s Company.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          Well, Left Behind was famous for Unintentional Canonical Slashfic Setups. (More Slashfic setups than even Rainbow Dash fanfics.) The most common being LaHaye’s Author Self-Insert (dom/top) slashed with Jenkins’ Author Self-Insert (sub/bottom). Made me wonder if this reflected any RL.

  2. Straight: “You could save lives, friend.”

    Abraham: There are also fakey Christian cults, who aren’t true Scotsmen and if you could bust them, it would be totally different than busting us!

    Are you bleeping kidding me? If the real conversation even remotely goes like this, it’s just staggeringly clear that the only lives that matter to these people are Christian lives. No, let me correct that: their sort of Christian lives.

    This should not surprise me. And yet, I keep forgetting that – in their own fiction – RTCs routinely characterize themselves as monstrously horrible people. Which rather makes me want to grab one and shout “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?” while shaking them vigorously.

    • Seconded, I would really like to hear how they put that one. It’s nice to see them just drop the pretense altogether and admit that religious persecutions is a great thing when it’s directed at everyone except RTCs.

      • Ask and ye shall receive:

        Paul says, “My job is to hunt down Christians.”

        Straight and Abraham talk about how Paul could warn them (hilariously, they call themselves “the Watchmen”) about raids and save lives.

        Then:

        “There are also false Christian cults,” Abraham said. “You could help alert the legitimate Watchmen to them, With your background, you’d be able to recognize their characteristics.”

        Paul had been wondering how he could accept this challenge and still appear legitimate to the NPO. It wouldn’t take them long to notice if he was ineffective in flushing out Christians. But if he exposed false cults, the organization wouldn’t know the difference. “Are there enough of these weirdos to make me look good?”

        “Probably.”

        So, Paul admits his job is to hunt down (which, so far, has translated to “kill”) the religious. Abraham appears to have no problem with this, as long as Paul killing “false” Christians distracts from killing “real” ones.

        • Because Jesus said, “Blessed are you who hunt down and imprison (or kill) all those who believe not in The Correct Magic Words, or attempt to follow Me in any Not Officially Approved Way, as long as you do it to save your own posterior ends.”

        • Words fail me. I’m left with incoherent noises of rage and disbelief. That’s it. No one can make RTCs look as bad as RTCs. And these are their heroes. Their HEROES!

          If they, like most people, give their fictional heroes all the traits they consider good and, as much as possible, write stories in which they do good, RTCs clearly have their good and evil switch set in reverse.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            I’m having Left Behind deja vu.

            Apparently Jerry “Buck” Jenkins, GCAAT, can only write one kind of RTC hero.

        • Well, I asked for this further shred of evidence that the Rapture can’t happen fast enough since whatever else may happen, at least these pricks will be gone. And boy, I did recieve.

          The ‘best’ part is how everyone, including new convert Paul, completely accepts the falsehoods of these cults at face value. Like a true Jenkins character, his writer gleefully dumps the brainwrecking task of writing thoughts and actions of a non-RTC the second he converts and turns him into a copy of Jenkins. We have established that the Atheistapo methodically (though not per-se efficiently) hunts down and kills Christians. And yet there are still “enough” of these obviously false Christian cults around? Why?

          If they are living so obviously in a lie, wouldn’t they prefer a life of insincerety that doesn’t get them killed? If they are some kind of satanists or RTC haters that just wish to lure people away from the ‘real Jesus’ by offering something that kinda looks like it (like the Catholic Church in Chick Tracts), they don’t need to set up competing churches anymore, since the only legal religion is already hard-core atheism. If they were ‘plants’ from the Atheistapo to lure out potential underground Christians, it would make sense but then Paul wouldn’t get credit for killing them (and would get shot for killing any undercover men).

          That leaves one option: Those false Christians are perfectly sincere in their devotion to Jesus, but got some of the important RTC-quiz questions wrong. Seems even more understandable than it would be today, since Bibles are outlawed and there aren’t likely any Bible study groups advertised in fliers anymore. But that doesn’t matter to these noble rebels. Rather than finding these loyal followers of Jesus that just don’t understand his wishes perfectly and explaining it to them, the RTCs prefer to have them all killed. It’s what God would’ve wanted.

        • Wait, all religion is banned, right? So wouldn’t it be easier to say, “there are still Buddhists/Muslims/Janists/etc” to hunt down?” Or does Jenkins have this dim understanding that there are religious people that don’t believe in Jesus, but since the very concept of a non-Christian is perplexing to him, he just lumps them altogether as “False Christians”?

          • You’re probably right. In Jenkins’ Atheistan, all religions would be equally forbidden, but he doesn’t seem to realize that because Christians= So Persecuted OMG!1!!

            The fact that Buddhist monks have set themselves on fire rather than denounce their beliefs is, I suspect, something he doesn’t know about and wouldn’t believe if he did hear about it.

          • But the weird thing is, he does admit the Atheistapo persecutes False Christians(TM) too. Maybe he just doesn’t want to accept there are other religions than Christianity in the USA (and since none of the Underground Zealots give a crap about anyone outside the USSA, they probably don’t want Paul to work abroad).

            And it’s a minor point compared to the howling wrongness, but what’s the point of alerting the Watchmen (just as screwed up and morally ambigious as the comic book version, if not more so) to these False Cults if Paul is simultaniously going to turn them in to the Atheistapo for browney points? Whatever information Paul can give the zealots will be outdated and superfulous since they are all arrested or killed. And if he’s going to concentrate working on these False Christians (TM), he won’t have time to work on RTCs and find out relevant plans for attacking them. Unless he works on both, but then he will have to accept that he must screw up at least half of his cases to protect his allies.

            But like I said, it’s small peas compared to the message this section sends to people of the real world. Since, as I argued, I don’t see any other explanation for these False Christians (TM) other than that they’re just Christians of non-RTC denomination, this line is a big middle finger to all Catholics, Mormons and what not: Even in the face of an ungodly enemy that wants to wipe them all out, Jenkins feels arranging all other Christians to be murdered is perfectly justified if it gives even the slightest advantage to his group.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            In Jenkins’ Babylon Rising, I understand there’s a scene where the Big Bad Conspiracy cackles about when they take over all the governments of the world, “Then we can deal with our most dangerous enemies — Born-Again Bible-Believing Evangelical Christians!!!!!!”

            Because Born-Again Bible-Believing Evangelical RTCs are as SPESHUL: as Eragon and/or Bella.

  3. And on a general note: I think the prominence of miracles (in America!) is really, really getting weird. In LB, there was a vague excuse. It was supposed to be the Rapture. The time where God comes down and personally slaughters us all. But in Soon? So there is some bad things happening to RTCs. Even Jenkins couldn’t be so shortsighted to think this is the first time that happened in the last 2000 years, could he? A house full of worshippers killed is bad by human standards, but hardly a blip compared to some of the purges in communist dictatures. Is Jenkins really channeling Bandit Keith so much that he figures none of that really matters to God so much, but the same thing happening in the USA? Oh, now it’s on humans!

    Interestingly, if this is what God will do when RTCs are persecuted, does that means Jenkins admits RTCs aren’t being persecuted now?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      And if you actually go through the Bible itself, miracles are a very rare occurrence. At some points there are clusters of miracles (usually when God is doing something important, like the Exodus or Life of Christ), but these clusters might have centuries between them where NO miracles were recorded. Even in the Bible, miracles are a rare occurrence that sometimes come in concentrated clusters.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Even Jenkins couldn’t be so shortsighted to think this is the first time that happened in the last 2000 years, could he?

      Most Evangelical RTCs have little or no concept of history. Only a “holy history” of Bible times (indistinguishable from “way back when” myth) and The Present. Apparently jump cut from New Testament Times to when their Pastor Billy-Bob restored the Real True Church (his) 10 years ago.

      A house full of worshippers killed is bad by human standards, but hardly a blip compared to some of the purges in communist dictatures. Is Jenkins really channeling Bandit Keith so much that he figures none of that really matters to God so much, but the same thing happening in the USA? Oh, now it’s on humans!

      Bandit Keith?

      Interestingly, if this is what God will do when RTCs are persecuted, does that means Jenkins admits RTCs aren’t being persecuted now?

      No. Evangelical RTCs have a persecution complex that interprets anything other than wild enthusiasm for RTCs to be Persecution (TM). Any opposition or disagreement is Persecution (TM).

      I think they’ve gotten themselves into an all-or-nothing mindset with a disturbing emphasis on Power Struggle. In Left Behind et al, God triumphs through Raw Power and nothing else. I have heard it said that Christian theology emphasized God’s nature (in the sense of personality) and Islamic theology emphasized God’s omnipotence (in the sense of absolute power). Look at the difference this made.

      • Bandit Keith?

        The character from YuGiOh, specifically his version in the abridged series… in America!

        • See, this is one of the many things I love about this blog. I get to learn about different TV shows and movies and books and how they relate to my Bad Christian Fiction.

          btw, where can I find episodes of the Ponies show? Because now I can’t stop imagining the Ponies schooling Paul about love and friendship.

          • inquisitiveraven

            Do a search on Youtube. Apparently, Hasbro isn’t inclined to go after posters because it considers the videos to be free advertising for the toys.

          • “Dear Princess Celestia,

            Doing a favor for somepony you care about is one of the best ways to show friendship. But some favors can be dangerous, or even wrong. It’s important to use good judgment. A true friend will never try to guilt you into becoming a double agent against your own country, employer, or princess. Always remember that just because a friend can beat you at chess, it doesn’t make you their pawn!

            Your faithful student,
            Twilight Sparkle”

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            It’s really saying something when My Little Pony can teach you more about love and friendship than all the Christian (TM) fiction/movies/video/music empire. When multicolored cartoon ponies have a better grasp on it (and are better written) than RTCs.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            P.S. Welcome to the Herd. (brohoof)

  4. Maybe Abraham’s the Atheistapo mole. (Old CPGB saying: in any meeting of three or more revolutionary communists, there’s at least one police informer. Usually he’s the only one with money.)

    “Yeah, go and zap some False Christians. That’s exactly what the Evil Government wants you to do anyway, but never mind that now.”

    Seems to me that the RTCs would benefit by having lots of False Christian groups about – more chaff to throw the Atheistapo off their scent…

  5. Bit late reply to Unicorn’s quote of “Born-Again Bible-Believing Evangelical Christians”.

    I remember seeing that line snarked. It’s hillarious to be sure. But is it ever said WHY the seven consider conquering the world a minor stepping stone in their true fight against their immortal enemy? Are they supposed to be satanists? Or just eeeevil atheists who, somehow, don’t see any threat in Catholics or Muslims? I mean, the Atheistapo in this book is suggested not to know the difference between RTCs and False Christians (TM), so why do these guys care.

    Or why they even want those Biblical artifacts? They aren’t supposed to be magical of themselves, it just happens to be the item God used for healing a long time ago. The Seven don’t seem to be interested in covering up the existence of these Biblical artifacts, so it’s not like they’re making an effort to hide the litteral truth of the Bible. They just let Indiana Christ gather them up, photograph them, hold press conferences about them, and THEN steal them. Do they ever really explain why?

  6. Choir of Shades

    I’ve been telling you guys for a while now that it only gets worse when Paul goes back to work. Well, now you know why. And this bearing of false witness to execute non-Christians (or at least non-RTCs) is presented as good and honorable.

    To be fair to Jenkins, Paul is going to be almost entirely focused on Christians. Remember, he supposedly got a Ph. D. in Religious Studies specifically focused on Christianity. If he proves ineffective against Christians, then he demonstrates that he is useless. So what carovee mentioned doesn’t really hold (sure Buddhists, Jains, Hindus, etc. will still exist, but Paul isn’t likely to get assigned to those divisions)..

    To give credit where it is due (not really, but the bar is so low that it’s buried), Jenkins does NOT try to claim that Muslims are part of the NWO.

  7. Oh god, he’s actually an PhD level expert on Christianity, but hadn’t read Revelation? He had a PhD on it, but never even read all the available Bible books? And needed day-old information from wiretaps to sound like a Christian?

    It was already bad when I didn’t know his PhD was specifically on Christians, I thought it was religion in general.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: