Silenced: Chapter 12: The Stepfordizing Continues
It is the day that Jae and the kids head to Washington—after school, Jae will pick up the kids, and they will blow this pop stand and never look back! At least not until Paul comes back.
The evening before, Straight was over for dinner again, and was still being a jerk. Sadly, Jae’s Stepfordization has progressed to such a stage that she believes the problem is her, as all good Christian women should. After all, Straight is “a wonderful man, a loving person. And he was smart. Wise, too.”
Had she offended him?
Well, yes, by being atheist in the first place. But yes, also, Jae—rest assured that if any relationship in your life is not picture-perfect, you are the one to blame.
So without Straight’s guidance, she continues into Acts 4.
Jae compares Paul’s job to the temple guard in the story, and finds herself “strangely pulling for the underdogs in the story.” Why she thinks this is strange, I don’t know. Regardless of your beliefs or lack thereof, it’s not strange at all to pull for the underdogs in the story. Look at how much trouble we’ve all had pulling for Joshua Jordan, a hero with all the money in the world, multiple homes, a private jet, a hot wife, and the accolades of an entire nation. Not so easy.
Then this weird thing happens:
And these people shared their lives and belongings—when was the last time Jae had heard of people taking care of each other like that? It seemed today it was everyone for himself. What was so wrong with people of faith, even if we disagree with them? They don’t hurt anybody. In fact, they help the needy.
Let’s unpack this. Lots to cover here.
First, it is clear in at least two different ways that Jenkins didn’t proofread this section. He leaves out several verses, only quoting up to Acts 4:30, when the part about early Christians living in a socialist hippie commune is in Acts 4:32-35.
And just look at those weird tense changes and perspective changes. Is Jae thinking the last three sentences? They aren’t italicized, as her other thoughts have been.
Backing out a bit:
…when was the last time Jae had heard of people taking care of each other like that? It seemed today it was everyone for himself.
Well, Jae, you’re a couple of hours away from moving in with your family, where your dad is giving you a job so you can have a nest egg of your very own, and where your mom and brother and sister-in-law want nothing more than to bond with you and your children.
And you live in a world where cancer has been cured and homelessness has been all but eliminated and mental health services are accessible to all and where people donate to “international humanitarian relief.”
I mean, I get that your husband is a self-absorbed jerk who can barely remember his own kids’ names, but that’s no reason to blame the rest of the planet.
Jae, of course, is shocked by Acts 9:11-12…
Straight Street? What were the odds?
Pretty good, when you have a writer who is grafting your husband’s life onto the life of Paul, almost word for word. And name by exact name.
And Saul regaining his sight? This was too much.
For there, we cut over to Paul, who is once again hanging with Enzo. I don’t know why he even bothered leaving the underground meeting room in the first place, considering it took eleven hours for that meeting to break up.
Enzo tells Paul a bit about the leader of the Paris underground, Chappelle.
Clearly, we can see where Jenkins got his inspiration!
Enzo prays with Paul, “exhorting and blessing him“:
“Try to help those who argue against you. Be merciful to those who doubt.”
Heh. Bit late for that, Enzo. Or have you never heard of a little place called Los Angeles?
Back in the good ole USSA, Jae and the kids have so far made it…
Indiana doesn’t exist anymore, Jae. Just so’s you know. You’re still in Heartland.
Looks like Jenkins forgot again.
In any event, this means the kids have conked out by about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, which seems a bit odd.
But it gives Jae time to listen to Acts 13, as Jenkins skips over some shit that Peter did and gets back to Paul, the really important one, who talks more about forgiveness of sins.
Ever since Jae had first heard it, she had been obsessed with her own shortcomings. How much easier life had been when she never thought about this!
Either Jae or Paul is Doin’ This Wrong, because we damn well know that Paul never thinks about his personal shortcomings. Then again, maybe this is all part of the RTC Male Master Plan: get the womenfolk so “obsessed” with their own flaws that they never question or blame you for your serial cheating and inability to interact with your own children.
Oh, and color me astonished that a Christian thinks that atheists never think about their flaws and how to correct them. Because all atheists live lives of criminal hedonism, don’tcha know! Raping, robbing, pillaging, kicking puppies!
Well, except for Jae, who has spent the past ten years forgiving Paul countless times for his myriad of narcissistic, cruel flaws, and raising their two kids essentially alone.
Sigh. Then Jae hops forward to Romans, where this text grabs her.
No wonder these people are willing to put their lives on the line for something they believe in! The Bible itself acknowledged that they might face death for this decision. Is it fair for a government, a world system, to tell people who they can and cannot believe in? Jae worried she was becoming sympathetic to the enemies of the state.
Well, she is becoming sympathetic to the enemies of the state. Or at least to some of them, though we have yet to see any underground Hindus or Jews or Wiccans. Guess they just didn’t love their faith enough.