Silenced: Chapter 7, Part 1: They Fired the Pope

It’s fun times to rag on atheists: their lousy skills in marriage and parenting, their cancer-curing and homelessness-ending, their efficient travel times and planet-saving cars.

But sometimes you just like to mix things up a bit.

Which is why, in this chapter, we’re going to learn how much Catholics suck.

Regular readers of the Slacktivist’s critique of the Left Behind series will find this to be familiar ground: after all, of there are three memorable Catholic characters in the series:

1.  The Pope at the time of the Rapture…who is raptured.  Not because Catholics are Rapture-worthy, mind you, but because he had not-so-secretly embraced Protestantism and, more specifically, End Time theology.

2.  Peter Mathews, the new Pope, and later head of Enigma Babylon One World Faith.  He’s power-mad, short-sighted, venal, and rather stupid.  And those are his good qualities.

3.  Leon Fortunato, Nicolae’s right-hand man and greatest sycophant.  Although it’s pretty clear that LaJenkins intended him to be, at best, a Chew Toy, Leon will always be my Woobie.

(Apologies for the TV Tropes links.  See y’all in a few hours…)

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m exactly as Catholic as I am Protestant.  But I am not the only one to notice this.  Don’t believe me?  Just Google “Left Behind anti-Catholic.”

I’ve said before that the Left Behind series is more anti-Catholic than it is anti-atheist.  The Underground Zealot series is just the opposite, but I guess Jenkins decided it was best to remind readers that, just because Catholicism was outlawed right along with all other religions, doesn’t mean they weren’t Wrong and Not Real Christians.

Paul meets Rome’s chief of detectives, Alonza Marcello.

Ms. Marcello’s not unkind brusqueness was almost funny.

I know, right?  It’s so funny when women try to be competent and professional.

Marcello drops that the Vatican is now “a community park” and the Sistine Chapel is “a shopping bazaar.”  Paul segues into Marcello’s religious background, though this appears to be less because he wants to one day witness to her, than that he wants to hear about how much Catholicism sucks (sucked).

“Yes, I was raised Catholic. … I buy clothes where once I endured catechism classes, accessories where once I made my confessions.”

“You were devout?  You believed?”

“Not really.  When I was a child, yes.  You take on the beliefs of your parents.  In my case, my mother.  Church every day for her.”

“You don’t say.”

“My father enjoyed the Communion alone, if you get my meaning.  It was not hard for him to give up what little faith he had.  He didn’t have to give up the wine, after all.  For my mother, more of an ordeal, but she managed.”

“You never missed God?”

She shook her head.  “God was not personal to me.  Always up there, out there, somewhere, hanging on a cross or—I imagined—staring disapprovingly at me from beyond the clouds.”

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.  If only Catholics dropped the wine and got a Personal Relationship with God, why—they might actually be Saved!  It’s all so simple when you know who the tricksy ones are:

It is quite possible that we are on the verge of seeing a merging of the feminist movement, liberal Christianity (with its penchant for feminizing the Scriptures), and mother goddess worship.  At the same time, many in the Catholic church are trying to persuade the Pope to establish Mary worship as official church doctrine by naming Mary “co-redemtrix with Jesus” and the fourth member of the godhead.  In all likelihood, as soon as all born-again Christians are raptured, there will be no restraining influence to keep such perverse doctrine from being made official.  The next step, a very small one, would be for Gaia worshipers to become Mary worshipers.  Perhaps that is why Babylon—the religious beast of Revelation 17 seen with a woman on its back—controls the Antichrist’s kingdom during the first half of the Tribulation.

Are We Living in the End Times?  pp. 329-30

Ah, and so we see the perversity of a godless world—a FEMALE chief of detectives!

Having gotten in the shots at those wine-swilling, idol-worshipping “Christians,” Jenkins moves back to more familiar territory—those evil, decadent, hedonistic atheists.

But as they proceeded deeper into central Rome the streets became narrower, the blackened buildings taller, and the limo a claustrophobic amusement-park car in a haunted-house ride.  Soon every place of business reminded Paul of Amsterdam, live nudes in the windows, offering every kind of fleshly heterosexual and homosexual pleasure to all.  Bars, nightclubs, strip joints, houses of prostitution, tattoo parlors, drug-shooting galleries—everything was legal.

Wait, tattoos are legal???   ZOMG NOOOOOOO!!!!

Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.

-Leviticus 19:28

Kinda hilarious that Paul has nightmares about how manly he is, and reassures himself that he always performs at his absolute “peak,” yet the sight of a bar makes him think of a “haunted-house.”

Makes me think of the Haunted Mansion, which only makes me want to go to Rome!

But no doubt such evil, pagan things as haunted house are…evil and pagan.  Just like “drug-shooting galleries.”  It’s a slippery slope, people.

What was the problem with people being exposed to anything they wanted?  They didn’t have to buy or indulge.  These were merely options for an enlightened populace that had long since cast off any shackles of propriety—which, after all, was only in the eye of the beholder.

Um, yeah, Paul.  Pretty much.  Hell, it’s not like feminist former-Catholic Chief Marcello is buying or indulging.  In fact, she mourns the loss of the art and the endangered species in Rome from the bomb blast.

“Not to mention the loss of human life,” Paul said.

“Of course.”

Of course.  Surely until Paul said something, this woman, who has been heading the investigation of the crime scene for days now while Paul was eating sammiches, never considered the loss of human life.  Because we all know how much Paul cares about human life.

Except when he prays for its end.

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Posted on September 24, 2013, in Books, Silenced. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. So are “drug-shooting galleries” where you pay a couple of bucks to shoot trank guns at people? Or have people shoot darts full of drugs at you?

    • People are still shooting up in the future? They don’t have more advanced ways to get the now-legal and widespread drugs into your system? I was thinking some sort of artificial duct you could have installed.

  2. Headless Unicorn Guy

    …the new Pope, and later head of Enigma Babylon One World Faith.

    Only a drooling End Time Prophecy fanboy would name a religion “Enigma Babylon One World Faith”.

  3. “staring disapprovingly at me from beyond the clouds”
    As opposed to the deeply meaningfull relationsship that RTCs have with god, staring disapprovingly at those other people together.

    “Soon every place of business reminded Paul of Amsterdam”
    Oi! Jenkins, go stand in the corner with Apocalypse: Caught in the eye of the storm.

    And yes, we do have those red-light districts where the scantly clad women are waiting for their customers, if you know where to look (or follow the slew of tourists there). But the whole reason it is so famous is because it is/was only in Amsterdam where you could legally visit prostitutes or use certain drugs (any drug that you’d have to inject, as implied by “drug-shooting gallery” is still illegal). But this is Atheistopia, we saw in Las Vegas that this is hardly unique anymore. So why does it remind Paul, who’s lived his entire adult life in Atheistopia, of a city that isn’t special anymore? A more accurate description would be “Soon every place of business reminded Jenkins of what he imagines Amsterdam is like.”

    And by the way, the zealots moaned and complained how mean it was of Atheistopia to outlaw religion just because they disapproved of it. And yet here we see Paul complain that Atheistopia doesn’t outlaw the things he disapproves of. Hyporcitical much?

  4. Paul’s right to turn up his nose. Certainly Jesus would have never let himself be seen around prostitutes.

  5. As a (nonpracticing) Catholic, I do so love to be told what Catholics believe by anti-Catholics! Thank heavens I have them to teach me what my beliefs really are. *gag* (And oh btw, nice slam against Amsterdam there, Jerry. Too bad your knowledge of Amsterdam rivals that of Israel’s geography — which is to say, pathetic.)

    Wait a second. The Sistine Chapel is now a mall. A chapel — that is, a place of worship — is now full of vendors. . . . . . . I’m sorry, is Jerry simultaneously denouncing Catholicism while trying to draw a parallel between Atheistopia’s Vatican and the money-changers in the temple that Jesus went all whoop-ass on? ‘Cause my brain is really struggling with that kind of dichotomy.

    “drug-shooting galleries” makes it sound like it’s a carnival shooting gallery where you take aim at full hypodermics and bongs and such. And hey, what about drugs you snort or smoke? Can you still do those at the shooting galleries?

    “Not to mention the loss of human life,” Paul said.

    Paul. Shut the Fuck Up. Right now. Stop pretending you give a damn about anyone other than yourself. Or, if you prefer, “get behind me, Satan.”

    • Wait a second. The Sistine Chapel is now a mall. A chapel — that is, a place of worship — is now full of vendors.

      Jenkins might be drawing a parallel with the money changers but I think its more likely he’s riffing on a common caricature of atheists. Namely that if you don’t believe in god you can’t possible care about or appreciate all the beautiful art created by religious people. I’m not sure if Jenkins really believes that people think the Sistine Chapel is an incredible work of art because Jesus, or if he just didn’t bother to think it through much.

  6. Heh, sorry for the off-topicness, but this is rich: Ever hear of the tie-in game, Left Behind:Eternal Forces? The one where you can “convert” men and women in the street for your RTS army? And where the women are restricted to the roles of healers and entertainers whereas men can do every job, and be better healers to boot (no doubt suggesting doctors-vs-nurses), thus encouraging players to let the slutty harlots rot in hell and concentrate on converting men?

    Well, not only did they make 3 more of those games, but the owners of the game company behind it are accused of using the company as a vehicle to steal from investors and line their own pockets over the backs of fundies who were hoping for more RTC-approved entertainment.
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/128164-Left-Behind-Games-Accused-of-Scam

    Just like the game’s gender politics, the company’s practices make the games a suprisingly faithful adaption of the spirit of the source material.

    • Haha. Oh wow, I am completely unsurprised about that. When I tried the first game it seemed the height of crappy cynical pandering to the tribe. It actually had some good ideas for an RTS but never bothered to develop any of them, and made so many amateur mistakes that should’ve been caught on the first round of testing that they obviously weren’t even trying. All it did was co-opt the RTS as a vehicle for their (horrible, horrible) message that it failed at both.

    • I’ve thought about doing a Let’s Play or a review of that game, but I’ve heard that the mechanics are so clunky that it’s not even So Bad It’s Good. Be interesting to hear other opinions, though.

      • Trust me, the mechanics are just that clunky. I couldn’t get past mission… 3 or 4, I think. All of them had been set in NYC so far, the exact same map, so it was repetitive as hell right out the gate (it was also a huge map and units were very slow… not a good combination). Movement controls were iffy, the AI was bad and required a lot of micromanaging, mechanics tended to be poorly explained and they jumped the difficulty on you a little too fast, and the camera was horrible. Really awkward to control, and they used a semi-realistic scale between units and buildings so everything was constantly obscured by the scenery.

        I went in prepared for the game to be a propaganda vehicle so I could get past that, but the bad mechanics just made it very unfun to play no matter the wrapping. There’s the occasional burst of cleverness but it’s drowned almost into unrecognizability.

  7. “There are things here I don’t approve of. Clearly this must mean that the end of the world is coming.”

    When did Are We Living in the End Times first get published? Earliest date I can find is 2000. Well, we’re still here…

  8. Bars, nightclubs, strip joints, houses of prostitution, tattoo parlors, drug-shooting galleries—everything was legal.

    I’d just like to point out that while it’s been mentioned that bars, nightclubs, strip joints and tattoo parlours are all already legal, Vancouver has been piloting a safe injection site, Insite. It seems to be an effective way to not only reduce the harm of illegal intravenous drug use, but also helping people into treatment for their addictions, and reducing overall drug use.

  9. As a Catholic,I’m appalled by what LaHaye and Jenkins had to say about Catholics. I do not worship Mary. I do not worship that New Age earth goddess garbage(It’s a bunch of BS). Thank you for this site.

    • Thank you–this blog is my pleasure.

      I’ve always said that the Left Behind series holds Catholics in more contempt than even atheists. Weird in a way, but I suppose some people feel more hostility towards those who are Almost There but refuse to sign on completely, rather than those who never want to get anywhere near There in the first place.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, September 27th, 2013 | The Slacktiverse

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