Soon: Chapter 31: Brochures and True Christianity

Sure, the very special tracts are made on a letterpress, but what do they say???

(btw, do RTCs really call tracts “brochures”?  Because a little while back, Ranold called tracts “little brochures,” and it seemed we were meant to interpret that as Ranold being both clueless and intolerant.  But now, Barton calls them “brochures” again and again.)

The brochures were titled “Risking Our Lives for Yours.” 

I fail to see how the Christians are risking their lives for the atheists.  They’re risking their lives for themselves.  (Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not really nice to paint the situation as something it’s not.)

Now, if they are referring to the saving of the atheists’ souls, then they need to think of a new public relations strategy, because that’s not something that will fly with most atheists.

The copy stated unequivocally that the underground Christians were not armed and never planned to be.

Well, yeah, but from the standpoint of the atheists who are the target audience, I would think that the immediate response would be: “Oh, yeah.  That’s exactly what those militant Christians would say.”

“The slaughter of secret believers is genocide,” Paul read, “pure and simple.”

Oooo, such compelling prose!  Assertion in place of evidence, works every time!

“We are no threat to the government or the status quo.”

As we shall see in a few short pages, this could not be farther from the truth.

“We merely believe that God is real, that Jesus is alive, that He died for the sins of the world, and that He is coming again soon.  We will persist in spreading this word until none of us remain.”

And again, I can only imagine the typical Atheistopian response: “And those beliefs led to the slaughter of countless billions.”

“I don’t know what they’re so afraid of,” Lois said.  “We’re just talking about the free exchange of ideas.”

Yeah, Lois, and what Christian would ever be against the free exchange of ideas???

Well, here’s one case from THIS MONTH:

Atheist Student Faces Town’s Wrath over Religious Protest:

Sixteen year old atheist Jessica Alquist has received threats on line and has to have a police escort to get to school. A local florist refused to deliver flowers to her and Democratic State Rep. Peter G. Palumbo called Jessica “an evil little thing.”

Why? Because she protested an 8-foot tall prayer which is displayed on the wall of the auditorium at Cranston High School in Cranston, R.I.

-Sally Quinn, Washington Post blog

We’re just talking about the free exchange of ideas.  So Lois would be all for this!

Right?

Eh, probably not.  Anyhoo, Paul appears to have a brief brush with awareness:

“Dangerous ideas, though,” Paul said.  “You have to admit.  I studied religion, and there is a huge legacy of religion-related atrocities throughout the history of civilization.”

Wow.  Is this actual understanding, actual insight into the perceptions of Atheistopia???

“But religion and true Christianity are two entirely different things.” [said Lois]

“You’re preaching to the choir, ma’am.”

Oh.  Guess not.

I hear this on Christian radio all the time: Christianity isn’t religion–it’s the truth.

And how could “true Christianity” ever hurt anything?

You probably think the Inquisition was a perversion of the “true” spirit of Christianity.  Perhaps it was.  The problem, however, is that the teachings of the Bible are so muddled and self-contradictory that it was possible for Christians to happily burn heretics alive for five long centuries.  It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas).  Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews, and witches.  You are, of course, free to interpret the Bible differently–though isn’t it amazing that you have succeeded in discerning the true teachings of Christianity, while the most influential thinkers in the history of your faith failed?

-Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

Fascinatingly, despite the great technological innovation of their letterpress printer, the L.A. Christians are so out of the loop that they haven’t yet heard that Specs is dead.  What, do none of them watch the news (or listen to it on their skull phones, I guess)?

Yeah, they are really ready for the future.  They’re so underground that they are underground from each other and from very basic news stories.  That is pathetic.

“We have to do something big,” Carl said.  “Something that will get the attention of the nation.  We have to cripple this army, unless we want to see more of us wiped out.”

My first thought was, Sure, good luck with that.  Then I remembered that they have God, the biggest bully on the block, on their side.  Turns out, they don’t need to worry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on February 8, 2012, in Books, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. inquisitiveraven

    Being underground from basic news = pathetic

    Being underground from each other = kinda the point of a cell structure

    Basically the only people in a cell who should have any idea who else is in the organization are the contact points for other cells, and they should only know about the other cell, and then possibly only their contact in the cell. It makes it harder for the authorities to trace the organization. This is where code names are actually useful.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      The most pathetic part of this is the readers who not only think Soon is great literature, but don’t even realize it’s fiction. “History Written In Advance” and all that.

    • Well, if they already knew who Specs was and that he was responsible for the hacking, he probably knew about them too, and they should be keeping tabs on him. In case the Atheistapo wises up and leaves some people alive for questioning before executing them.

  2. Considering the status quo is ‘There is no organized religion and most people are okay with that’, I somehow doubt they’re not interesting in threatening it. And if they wish to convert atheists to their religion, I mean the TRUTH, then they’re risking their lifes too. So an accurate description, taking into account the RTC ‘Witness every waking hour or you’re ashamed of Jesus and going to hell’ attitude, would be “Risking our and your lives for our souls, and maybe yours if you decide to agree with us.”

    Ah, describing your own suffering as genocide to a group of people that has no reason to trust or like you. Sure, that’s totally going to work.

    Well, that’s the clearest display of blind exceptionalism yet. ‘Religion has caused a lot of problems, but WE’RE true Christianity so that’s totally different.’ Bonus points for “True Christianity”. Had they called it “Real, True Christianity” their victory-lap would’ve been complete.

    Is that army still going to be a problem? The zealots are dead, the one saboteur that drew them to LA is dead. Job well done as far as they’re concerned. I wonder how ‘crippling the army’ is going to go over with their promise not to be a threat to the government or the status quo.

    • Well, the use of the term ‘genocide’ can mean a couple of things, depending on a charitable or non-charitable interpretation of Jenkins’ intent.

      Charitably, he’s just using it to mean ‘killing a lot of people.’

      Un-charitably, he’s using the strictest definition of ‘genocide’ which means ‘elimination of a people or a tribe,’ c.f. ‘genotype.’ In which case this douchenozzle believes that RTCs are actually physically different from everyone else.

      To be fair, ‘genocide’ has been used to the point of dilution of that original meaning.

  3. “I don’t know what they’re so afraid of,” Lois said. “We’re just talking about the free exchange of ideas.”

    NOW I know what this reminds me of: Glenn Beck and his pathetic protestation of, “I’m just asking questions.” Both statements are so patently false as to be hilarious.

    Good rule of thumb that I’ve found: whenever anyone uses the word “just” in that way — as in “I just want to talk to him” or “I just want to go home — unless it’s wailed in frustration, there’s no “just” about it. There’s an agenda.

    • There’s a reason why that particular approach has been given the rather snide description of JAQing off. JAQ for ‘Just Asking Questions’. And yes, Glenn Beck is listed on that page as one of the more active users of the technique.

  4. “But religion and true Christianity are two entirely different things.” [said Lois]

    And what you have to say is simultaneously a) so obscure that the person who find your tracts will never have heard this message before and b) so powerful that the person who finds the tracts will be taken straight to “true Christianity” without any possibility that he or she will be diverted to “religion” and violence? Really Lois?

  5. “The slaughter of secret believers is genocide.”

    Excuse me while I seethe in rage, because NO IT ISN’T. It’s no less heinous, but it’s NOT GENOCIDE.

    For attempting to draw a comparison between himself and people like himself to Jews in the Holocaust throughout his book, Jerry Jenkins is officially a racist ass.

    “We’re just talking about the free exchange of ideas.”

    Blatant lie is blatant. “Exchange” implies mutual sharing, and it’s obvious that the RTCs only want the flow of ideas to go one way.

    • Yeah. There are many mass murders of much greater magnitude than the equivalency profferred in this book. I think Jenkins could have made his point by having the character argue that Christians are being extrajudicially executed in secret with no accountability for the officials involved. That’s still a Bad Thing.

  6. People who don’t normally read squid314’s livejournal should note: there’s an excellent piece on dystopias of just this sort, the “everyone is fed and healthy, but Big Point of Principle is compromised” type, at http://squid314.livejournal.com/308666.html and http://squid314.livejournal.com/308872.html .

    Proselytising religion runs hard aground on the rock of a reasonable demand for evidence. You want to save my soul? Give me some reason that I should care, and that I should care more about you than about the other ten guys who want to save my soul but all demand I do incompatible things in order to achieve it.

    Surely a sensible tract would be more along the lines of “who are these Christians anyway – ten lies you’ve been told by the Atheistapo”, explaining that they never carry weapons because it’s a core part of their philosophy not to employ force, that they aren’t the same as the religious loonies who started WW3 (OK, that would need an actual point of difference between them, but it’s kind of essential) and so on.

    • No, no! The tracts would have to consist of stuff from the Bible. ‘Coz the Bible is actual words from GOD and that makes them magical! Reading them automatically makes you a Christian!

    • You want to save my soul? Give me some reason that I should care, and that I should care more about you than about the other ten guys who want to save my soul but all demand I do incompatible things in order to achieve it.

      It’s amazing how so many people are so good at hearing, “I’m not worried about my afterlife, because I’ve got no good reason to believe I’ll have one at all,” and being able to come up with no response at all besides, “But what about your SOUL?” They’re usually the same people as the “even atheists believe the Bible is the word of God!” crowd.

    • Those live journal entries are quite good.

      Although I feel like I should stick up for Burgess: Even Burgess knows that Clock Work Orange is kind of a crap book, and he’s a bit embarrassed/annoyed that it’s his best known work.

  7. “The slaughter of secret believers is genocide,” Paul read, “pure and simple.”

    Later, when TurboJesus comes back, the much larger slaughter of the unbelievers will not be considered genocide.

    I think it’s right for the Christians to call Atheistopia out on its institutionalized murder and campaign of lies against them (and other, less Real-and-True faiths not worth mentioning). But inaccurate and inappropriately loaded terms like “holocaust” and “genocide” do neither them nor Jenkins any credit. Stop Godwinning up your book, Jerry.

    “We are no threat to the government or the status quo.”

    *cripples the military*
    *calls upon their deity to destroy the planet*

  8. They don’t believe in weapons? Really? I thought they had them in the salt mine in Michigan. Didn’t the folks there say that they didn’t want to kill anyone who stumbled upon their hiding place, but they would if they had to? Or am I mis-remembering?

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