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.
(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.
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. 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.