Shadowed: Chapter 7: Our Whole Lives

At Paul’s request order, the driver takes the Apostle family back to Ranold’s “appropriated” car.

“Our whole lives are in that car,” Paul said.  “Let’s risk it.”

Let’s risk Jae’s and your and my lives, dude!  And losing our kids!

Honestly, what could possibly be in that car that is worth risking your lives for?  All you have is whatever you packed to go to Europe in Silenced.  And what Jae and the kids packed to spend an extended vacation at Grandma and Grandpa’s.  What precious cargo is in those suitcases besides easily-replaceable clothes and toiletries?  I mean, presumably, Paul has been carrying his wallet and Jae has been carrying her purse all this time.

And if there was something so incredibly important that you couldn’t live without it, why didn’t you take it with you when you ditched the car to collect Jae and get picked up by the underground?

Paul is just the worst covert agent ever.

Guess I’m wrong, though, because it’s all just fine.  And back in the underground’s car, Paul and Jae have the following whispered conversation:

“Any reason the kids have to know about your mother?”

She shook her head.  “We’re going to have to tell them about Berl.  They deserve that.”

But they don’t deserve to know their beloved grandmother is dead?  I don’t get it.

And it’s not like this is something they’ll be able to fudge over forever.  This is already on the news and will always be findable.  What are Brie and Connor going to think when they grow up a bit and realize their newly-minted RTC parents lied to them about the death of one of the few people in their lives to show them genuine affection?

Again, though, I guess we’re supposed to assume that it’s fine.

Anyway, they arrive at the underground, which is apparently literally underground, just like the Midwest one.

Bizarrely, given the crazy entering and exiting procedures in Italy, the D.C. underground has twelve entrances, each guarded.  Which seems terribly conspicuous, but then, I’m not a super-spy like Paul.

As they travel down to the “complex,” Jae reflects on her children’s lack of religious education:

Jae wasn’t sure either Brie or Connor even had a concept of God.  How she would have loved to begin their education about Him with the story of God’s sending His only Son to Earth.

Jae certainly has specific and strong opinions for someone who has read a tiny fraction of the Bible.

How could they be expected to understand Him when it was likely that within a day or two of finding out their parents were God followers, they would learn of His fearsome power to kill?

And to kill their beloved uncle in particular.

She also thinks about how, in Atheistopian schools, “God was simply never mentioned, never acknowledged.”  Which seems a bit odd for a world that has outlawed religion entirely because of how religion almost destroyed the planet and all.  But it does sound rather like America’s public schools today (or at least, how America’s public schools should be).  So I kinda wonder if Jenkins is trying to make a dig at our evil, secular schools, though this seems more subtle than what we generally see from him.

Oh, and don’t worry—in the next chapter, we will see exactly how religious instruction for children is handled in the underground.

Finally, the Apostles meet up with Jack Pass.

Paul hadn’t known what to expect, but certainly not a fortyish man, pudgy and balding.  He saw zero resemblance to Jack’s late older brother, under whom he had served in the Special Forces years before.  Andrew Pass had been a military cliché: crew cut, trim, ramrod straight, all that.

And, as we all know, no former serviceman could ever lose his hair or gain weight!

I’m sure we are supposed to be most taken aback by Jack’s dreaded weight, but the only thing that even mildly surprises me is that Jack is as young as he is.  Because Andy Pass had a thirty-something daughter and had been a father figure to Paul, so there’s apparently a larger-than-average age difference between the brothers.

But who cares about that kind of detail.  I mean, the man is pudgy.

Good thing Paul is here to take over.  Otherwise, a non-skinny person might have been left in charge!

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Posted on January 23, 2015, in Shadowed. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Well of course God was never mentioned or acknowledged in Atheistopian schools. They were talking about how religion had been outlawed in those history classes, not about how the Truth and the Personal Relationship with God was. Everyone knows all those pesky religions are false and you don’t get to God through religion. Which is why the wall of separation between church and state totally shouldn’t apply to evangelical Christianity, didn’t you realize?

  2. “Our whole lives are in that car.”

    “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” Matthew 6:25

    What are Brie and Connor going to think when they grow up a bit? Probably “Beep boop, praise God”.

    • It’s funny how atheists seem to understand this issue better than RTCs, who, we are so often told, aren’t supposed to care about material possessions.

      I didn’t think of it while writing, but I am now reminded of the line in Firefly (though, let’s face it, so many things in life remind me of Firefly!) where River tells Simon she’s sorry that he “gave up everything” he had to rescue her–his career, his money, everything he had ever owned. His reply: “Everything I have is right here.”

  3. It must be fun teaching kids about the history of Europe without ever mentioning religion.

    • “Subsequently, the Crusades just kinda happened…”

      Weren’t we told in book 1 that children were indoctrinated to think of religion as the source of all the world’s ills? That must be even trickier without mentioning it. Like how it must be tricky to completely forget about books when chess strategy books are still being printed. Or to know the names of your new seven states when no one uses them. Or et cetera et cetera bad writing.

  4. Headless Unicorn Guy

    Paul is just the worst covert agent ever.

    That happens when you think you’re the Next Ian Fleming and have no idea whatsoever, only that you always wanted to write James Bond.

  5. Jack pAss. Hmmm.

  6. How she would have loved to begin their education about Him with the story of God’s sending His only Son to Earth.

    Apparently as soon as Jae converted, she immediately had all relevant knowledge downloaded directly into her brain. It feels very creepy. Concepts like the Trinity are confusing even when you’ve known them all your life, let alone when you are exposed to them for the first time. But none of that seems to be a problem for Jae.

    “God sent His only Son to Earth. And the Son is also God. But not some separate God, He’s the same God as His Father. And God is eternal. So the Son is equally old as the Father. And there is no Mother. How does a word like “son” even mean anything in this context? Ah, no matter. I can’t wait to teach my children the story of the son who never had a mother and was no younger than his father!”

    How could they be expected to understand Him when it was likely that within a day or two of finding out their parents were God followers, they would learn of His fearsome power to kill?

    Indeed, that is quite a conundrum. God’s tendency to kill lots of people might pose an obstacle to those trying to understand him. God wants all the little boys and girls to love him. It’s just that all that mass-murdering tends to get in the way. Now obviously, asking God to tone down on the genocide a bit would be silly. So what are we to do?

    She also thinks about how, in Atheistopian schools, “God was simply never mentioned, never acknowledged.”

    It’s kind of hard to understand what Jae means here, since religions other than Christianity are so regularly ignored in this book. Does she mean that the Abrahamic god is not mentioned in schools, or that gods in general are never mentioned?

    If it’s just the Abrahamic god not being mentioned, that sounds kind of silly. “World War III was caused by religions, such as the worship of Osiris.” “But no one has worshipped Osiris in thousands of years. How could Osiris-worship cause a war so long after the practice ended?” “Well, there may have been other religions, but we don’t talk about those.”

    If it’s gods in general that are never mentioned, how do you explain religions without mentioning any gods? “World War III was caused by religions, but I’m not going to teach you what that means since it’s against the law to talk about it. Remember kids, never do that thing that caused the war, even thought you don’t know what that is.”

    This is reminding me of the game Paranoia, where The Computer has outlawed communism and also suppressed any knowledge of communism. Leading to people forming secret communist societies without any idea of what communism is. (As far as they can figure, it involves wearing fur hats and saying “comrade” a lot.)

    • A while back I saw, possibly on this site, where an Evangelical ex-Catholic filmmaker was claiming nobody had ever really told him about Jesus before he started hanging out with Evangelicals. And he’d apparently gone to Catholic school and everything.

      So we can probably assume Atheistopian schools do in fact spend time talking about historical Christianity and its influence on world events, because Jae’s original opinions and prejudices have been fully replaced by the opinions and prejudices Jerry Jenkins thinks a good modern Evangelical woman ought to have, which means she’s not going to give anyone any credit for acknowledging God unless they’re RTCs just like her.

      • Yeah, that was this site. Look at the Late One Night review, the intermission post.

        And the trick is probably in Jae’s claim that the schools don’t “acknowledge” god. We might take assume that mentioning the idea of god and what people historically believed about god counts as acknowledging. But newly borg-ified Jae means that the schools should acknowledge that the living god exists and that he is the perfect lord of all and his will is revealed through the literal truth found in the Bible (if you read it properly, imbued by the holy spirit. You’ll know you’re reading it properly when you come to the same conclusions as Jae.)

        And any school that doesn’t acknowledge god like that is a sign of Christian persecution.

    • And the son was always there, but was never mentioned until more than halfway through the book, and then basically took over as the star of the story, like Alex P. Keaton or Steve Urkel.

  7. It’s specifically mentioned in Silenced that Jae has never read the Gospels. Paul had taken those discs with him to Europe. Yet she has John 1 down pat.

    It takes some guts to still be impressed at God’s sacrifice, though, considering the circumstances. I mean, look what happened. He sent his firstborn son down to earth, and what did the people do? They freaking killed him! Killed his firstborn son! Can you imagine what that’s like?

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for January 30, 2015 | The Slacktiverse

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