Pamela’s Prayer: Part 4

Later, after a montage of Freddy learning the ropes at Wayne’s Christian Film Emporium and Purity Mastery Hub, Wayne is all set to watch a new Christian film with Pamela.  Now, I will happily admit that I was a big nerd in high school, and really did go out to the movies with my parents for fun, but even I think that sounds like the most boring thing in the world, unless you are using the film for Bad Movie Night.

Pamela actually blows Wayne off!  Not because her father is a smug blowhard who drives her up a wall or anything, but because Jessica has a boyfriend and Pamela is sad.

But lo!  The next day, a teary Jessica shows up at Casa Buckland (which, not to be a jerk or anything, but it may just be the ugliest house on the planet).  And she tells Pamela a sad story:

Jessica:  Last night, we went out for pizza and then we took a drive.  We stopped and parked and made out and it was great.  Then he said our relationship had reached a turning point and if we really loved each other we should…  I can’t believe it happened.  If I had said no, he would have thought that I didn’t love him.  Oh, I should have known better after what he did to you.  I feel so guilty; what am I gonna do?

Let’s be clear: the movie in no way wants us to think that this might have anything, ever, to do with the word “rape.”  This is not about the dangers of date rape, but the dangers of dating a guy, or dating any guy, because he might, one day, guilt-trip you.  And hell, for once, I agree with a Christian film when it comes to sex: I don’t think it’s rape, either.  No matter her feelings of guilt now, Jessica didn’t say no at the time.  Jerry’s a manipulative dickweed, but he’s not a rapist.

And speaking of manipulative dickweeds, Wayne learns of the event that evening from Pamela…

Pamela:  She just wanted Jerry to love her, Dad, she didn’t want anything bad to happen.

Wayne:  What are you talking about?

Pamela:  Jessica…*sighs, sinks into chair*…went out with her boyfriend.

Wayne’s purity translator immediately alerts him that “went out with” means “had sex with.”  We know this because the music of sadness and regret begins to play as Wayne, too, sinks into a chair.

regret

You can tell by the look on Wayne’s face that he is coming to terms with the fact that Jessica’s entire life is now ruined forever, because she had sex with her boyfriend.

Pamela:  She feels so guilty, she won’t forgive herself.  What can I tell her?

Well, my first instinct is that she should make sure Jessica used protection, and if she didn’t, the window is still open for the morning after pill.  But I have a funny feeling that my first instinct is not very RTC of me.

Wayne:  The Pharisees brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus.

Consenting sex between a boyfriend and girlfriend isn’t adultery, Wayne.  Just so we’re clear.

Wayne:  They said, “The law of Moses says to stone her.”

“But not the guy.  Because guys can have as much sex as they want.”

Wayne:  Jesus knew what they were up to.  He said, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”  One by one, they all left.  Just the woman remained.  Jesus said to her, “Did anyone condemn you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.”

“And you should know that, since you’ve been standing here this whole time, Jesus!”

Wayne:  He said, “Neither do I.”  But then he gave her a command…

Pamela:  “Go and sin no more”?

Wayne:  *nods*

So, Pamela, give Jessica a command.  That should do nothing but strengthen your friendship!

Isis-sama asked about Wayne approving of a friendship between his pure daughter and sinful Jessica, who enjoys kissing boys.  But, to give Wayne credit (and I don’t like it any more than you do), he uses the nightly Pamela Prayer to ask Jesus to comfort Jessica.  Which, admittedly, is kinda sweet.

Still, though, I can’t help but feel that Wayne sees the silver lining in all this: Jessica now serves as a perfect object lesson for Pamela.  If you go out with a boy, you will regret it.  (It also doesn’t hurt this lesson that Wayne puts two and two together, realizing that Jessica’s Jerry and Pamela’s Jerry are the same Jerry.)

***

Next in our round of admittedly nice things, there is a snafu at the Christian Film Library and Kiss Prevention Center, as a film fails to arrive at its destination on time.  Wayne kinda scolds the pastor for not telling him sooner, but blows him off so he can attend his widowed mother’s birthday dinner.  Frederick, however, actually cares about the business, and after Wayne leaves, he grabs another copy of the film and drives it to the church, which doesn’t seem like a huge thing until you realize this necessitates a four hour round trip.

Damn, but that is some good brown-nosing.  Well played, Freddy.  Well played.

Wayne finds out the next morning, and, although Frederick tries to politely decline, pays him for the extra hours.

Wayne:  The pastor said four kids made a profession of faith after seeing the film.

I am so sure.

Wayne once again gives Freddy the Approving Nod.  Yes, he will do just fine for Pamela, just fine.

Yet somehow, I can only think that this is what is in Wayne’s mind…

***

Graduation time!  Jessica and Pamela enter together, and Jessica looks happy as a clam, so…I mean, honestly, she seems fine to me.  Looks like sex didn’t tarnish her forever, after all.  Go figure.

Pamela and Freddy catch each other’s eyes across the gym, and exchange nods and smiles.  Pamela turns back with the oddest little smile on her face.

smile

Is it just me, or does that look say, “Well, I could do worse…”

You guys.

You are seriously not going to BELIEVE what happens next!

(And the next installment will be up much quicker, I promise!)

 

 

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Posted on October 3, 2014, in Movies, Pamela's Prayer. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Oh. So Jessica’s father did fail in his duty after all. Not towards Jessica’s future husband obviously, but towards Jessica herself. Because someone really should have told her that it’s ok to disagree with something a man says. You’re allowed to have your own opinions, and you’re allowed to voice them, and your boyfriend won’t despise you for doing so. Or if he does, that’s a handy sign that he’s a bad boyfriend.

    “She feels so guilty, she won’t forgive herself.” And whose fault is that? Feeling regret over something you’ve done is one thing, crushing guilt over something that didn’t even harm other people is entirely another. That takes some serious coaching.

    If I harm myself, I feel regret. If I harm others, I feel guilt. That’s because I own myself, and therefore have no reason for guilt over things I do to myself. But I guess Jessica doesn’t own herself, and so is guilty of damaging someone else’s property. *sigh*

    At the graduation scene… I’m a little bit confused here: Have Pamela and Freddy even met each other yet? I mean, I would imagine that they know each other, given that they go to the same school and the time Freddy has been spending at the family business. I guess up until now they just haven’t had any interactions worth mentioning.

    Or is the nod at the graduation really the first time they notice each other? Because if so, it makes the whole thing so much more creepier.

    “Dad, um… I know you don’t approve of dating, but… Well, I met this boy and… He’s really nice and his name is Frederick and…”
    “Do not trouble yourself, my daughter. The way has been prepared for you.”

    • Not that Wayne couldn’t make it creepy for Freddy too, if he wanted to.

      “You’ve done some good work here, Frederick. I want you to know, you have my blessing to marry my daughter.”
      “Well… um, that’s mighty generous of you, sir. But actually, there is this one girl from school that I kind of… Wait, Pamela is your daughter? Oh… whoa.”

    • Yeah, my first thought on reading this post was also “Wait, is this the first time Pamela and Freddy meet?”

      Your interpetation of exactly what romance is blooming her is getting more accurate by the second. Freddy was introduced to us when he met and impressed Wayne. And now we have Freddy, without prompting, putting in a lot of effort to do something for Wayne, resulting in Wayne gushing praise on how much that means to him and kindhearted an act this was. If you’d replace Wayne with Pamela, you’d have the 1st act of a run-of-the-mill rom-com.

      I guess I stand corrected: This movie DOES give an answer Pamela’s question of how she’ll find a husband if she isn’t allowed to date any boys to find out if she likes them enough: The solution is that her father “dates” some boys to find out if he likes them enough, and then directs them to his daughter.

      If that’s the message the film wants to tell, it explains this scene where the first interaction between Pamela and Freddy is them throwing wistful glances at each other, long after Freddy and Wayne met. “See?” the movie says to its audience, ” that’s how things work out the best for everyone. Just let fathers pick out good, christian men for their daughters, and then the whole happily-falling-in-love business will inevitably follow. No need to show or portray it, it just happens automatically and with no possible problems whatsoever. After all, father knows best.”

      I’ll be very curious to see how this plays out next post. Because

    • Or is the nod at the graduation really the first time they notice each other? Because if so, it makes the whole thing so much more creepier.

      Nope, they both work in the Library, so they must see each other just about every day. Which you would think might mean something, but no…during the montage, they are shown briefly interacting at work, and that’s it. We never see them having a conversation about anything, or hanging out together at school, etc. But they definitely know each other.

      • I think that actually makes it worse. The soon-to-be-spouses have interacted, but the movie doesn’t feel there is anything significant about it that’s worth showing. Nothing about how their first meeting went, how well they get along, what they learn about each other and what they like about each other.By contrast, the movie DOES show explicitly how Freddy and Wayne first met, how they get along, what they learn about each other and what they like about one another (though mostly what Wayne learns and likes about Freddy).

        This movie’s ending will probably be sickening. I’m mostly waiting to see in what way. Will the movie keep glossing over Freddy and Pamela’s interactions, with just a few glances ensuring the audience that if the father does a good job of picking a husband the daughter will inevitably fall in love too? Or will they not show any real interactions, telling the audience that the father can basically order the daughter to marry the prospecitve husband.

        • I have a hunch that the whole idea is that the father has not merely the right, but the holy duty, to play gatekeeper. In Frederick’s case, he passes because he (wittingly or otherwise) speaks the shibboleth properly, such as expressly noting when he was saved. (Saved this, saved that…What happened to the Christ’s philosophy? At least, I hope your typical RTC thinks God is at least in part a philosopher…) As to the graduation glances, combined with Frederick’s earlier work and the film not bothering to look at his previous interactions with Pamela, I’m wondering if there’s a conceit that God expressly guided Frederick to Pamela as part of his respective Plans™ for each of them.

          That would actually fit in with the idea of pre-marital kissing (let alone pre-marital sex) carrying the risk of something being lost to the inevitable spouse. God’s ALREADY charted your Proper Spouse™, probably before he created Lucifer, as part of his Plan™ for you, and he’d prefer you not do anything that puts you at odds with the Plan™. The inevitable spouse is the pre-allocated spouse; they had God-given (and unrescindable) rights to all your kissing/sex before either of you were born.

          Finally, regarding the whole “cast the first stone” situation…Putting aside that it’s a rather spurious element of John’s gospel, I’m wondering whether “sin no more” was really a command, or instead an exhortation to the tune of “Don’t let yourself be stuck in your adultery habit; you really are better than that”. After all, the Christ had just said that he didn’t condemn her! And we don’t have THAT many details on what drove her adultery; if it was a desperate attempt to get SOME sort of worth from others (i.e. sex to make herself feel better), the exhortation hypothesis makes more sense.

  2. “She feels so guilty, she won’t forgive herself. What can I tell her?”

    I suppose it’s something that Wayne’s first suggestion is to propose a way for Jessica get forgivness, instead of kicking her while she’s down, or explicitly telling Pamela that’s just what happens to bad girls. But still, his idea is to fix the second problem by stressing the first part: Tell Jessica she should feel guilty of having ever done it, and telling her to never do it again, and then she can find forgiveness.

    Also, Wayne’s idea is to find forgiveness from god. But Jessica’s problem is that she doesn’t forgive herself. I’m not sure the best idea to help her with that is to first point out she needs even more forgiveness than she thinks. It’s the same problem I have with the alleged Good News evangelists have to share. “Good news! You’re such a horrible cretin that the most loving, just, perfect being in existence feels obligated to torture you for eternity, but if you beg that entity properly and live the rest of your life according to this long list of strict rules, you can escape that torment.”

  3. You guys.

    You are seriously not going to BELIEVE what happens next!

    Pamela and Jessica start making out?!?!

    • That’d probably make this movie much less awful. I honestly think that Pamela and Jessica would make a cute couple, but we’re not getting that in a Christian flick.

  4. “four kids made a profession of faith after seeing the film” – because obviously nobody ever does stuff just to look good to their peer group, and all professions of faith are entirely sincere and lifelong.

    • I just wonder how many of them had made the exact same profession the previous week.

      • Exactly. In RTC movies, it’s basically a routine that during each seremon, preaching, outing, whatever, multiple people get saved. If that were true, the RTCs would’ve won the culture war by now.
        In all likelyhood, these portrayals are partially based on wishful thinking, partially on the real number of people who typically come forward to profess their faith, but with not much of a fuss made about how many times they already re-re-re-re-dedicated themselves to Christ. I mean, why focus on the negative when you can just go HALELUJA, ANOTHER SOUL SAVED.

  5. Actually, I must apologize if this sounds victim-blam-ey, but it’s a bit strange that Jessica would date and get presured into sex by Jerry of all people. Last post, she was comforting Pamela after she dated Jerry and he turned out to be a manipulative bastard who tells self-serving lies to increase his (perceived) number of romantic conquests. You’d think Jessica wouldn’t be so receptive to going on a date with him, or believe his self-serving lies.

    Of course, the real reason why it’s Jerry is probably a combination of the movie not feeling the need to pay two actors to play bad boyfriends. That this makes Jessica look stupid doesn’t matter: That’s the whole reason Jessica is in the movie after all.

    • Actually, I know a girl in real life who knew this guy was a rapist, but she went out with him anyway.

      Maybe she’s an exception, but it wouldn’t honestly surprise me if things like that happen a lot IRL.

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