TEoD: Chapter 24: Lunch with a WOMAN

Murphy humblebrags to himself as he stands in line at the Student Center for lunch.  He runs over his phenomenal workout routine in his own mind, then tells himself that…

I deserve a reward for doing my ninety pushups a day.

Ooooh, we’re all sooooo impressed, Murphy!

But ultimately, Murphy settles for Good Christian Self-Denial, and gets a tuna salad sandwich instead of a burger and fries.  Which, yes, is healthier in some ways, but manly man Murphy is denying himself quite a bit of protein and fiber.  But it’s okay—surely he has the Manliest Christian Shits of all.

I kinda feel like he might regret not getting the Manly Burger, because Summer Van Doren comes to sit with him for lunch.  They make small talk and Summer mentions that she’s originally from San Diego and enjoys surfing, like any “southern California beauty with blond hair” (Murphy’s thought) should.

Wow, a sexy blonde volleyball player from California who is also a surfer.  Could they possibly have carried this stereotype any further?

Summer also points out that good ole Pastor Bob has been talking about demons and the occult and presumably the evil of D&D and Marvel movies.  Which, again, I am sure Dean Fallworth will be delighted to hear—that their archaeology professor’s lectures are mirroring the sermons of the local asshat preacher.

And perhaps Murphy is subconsciously afraid of this, as he spontaneously brings Fallworth up in this conversation.  Like I’ve said in the past, for someone who seems to think he’s above it all, Murphy certainly thinks about Fallworth’s opinion a lot.

Murphy then notices Summer clocking his ring finger, which is bare now.

If she noticed [that he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring], she did not mention it.

Well, yeah, Murphy, because women don’t do that.  “Ah, guy I am talking to!  I have observed that you are not wearing a wedding band!  We’ll bang, okay?”

(Speaking of, Murphy is surprisingly nonchalant about dining with a human of the opposite sex.  I mean, I don’t care if he does, in some kind of weird Mike Pence-kinda way.  I’m just saying that for a man who claims to be in love, he sure is opening himself to temptation from this one-dimensional blonde volleyball/surfing goddess.)

Well, perhaps in a sick attempt to diffuse the RTC sexual tension, Murphy brings up the BTK Killer as an example of demonic activity.  (Brainy Summer, btw, hears only the very faintest of tiny bells ring at the phrase “BTK Killer.”  But then again, if there’s one kind of person Murphy loves, it’s someone he can lecture on any and every topic.)  See, Dennis Rader once said that demons in his head told him to kill.  Then again, he also blamed his own victims, so I guess I just wouldn’t look to a vicious serial killer for religious knowledge like Michael Murphy does. But that’s just me.

But we’re back in familiar territory now, with Murphy lecturing his poor victim on whatever cockamamie thoughts enter his head.  Yanno, serial killers, depression, voodoo, the usual.

“A number of Bible scholars believe that most demonic activity takes on more subtle forms [than becoming a serial killer].  Things like extended depression, suicidal thoughts, debilitating anxiety, and doubts about God.”

Yes, folks, if you have depression or even the slightest doubt about God, don’t worry about it, because IT’S PROBABLY JUST DEMONIC POSSESSION.

Wait, that didn’t come out right.

Actually, Murphy immediately backpedals and says that not all emotional problems (like, say having doubts about God), are actually caused by demons, but that demonic activity “just exacerbates” the problems, which “makes it very hard for counselors to distinguish between demonic attacks and psychological problems.

Boy, yeah, that is a challenge.  Here, let me see if I can help you: THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS DEMONS.

Then Murphy whines for a minute about voodoo that missionaries have to deal with, then he’s off to the races about Loye Pourner, USAF, who has petitioned for official recognition of Wicca in the military and is a lay leader and high priest.

Oh, sorry.  According to Murphy, he “claimed that he was a high priest.”  (Emphasis mine.)  ‘Cause you know those non-Christians!  Always claiming that they’re high priests or rabbis or monks or whatevers, in their fake made-up religions.  Totally different from really real things like DEMONS.

Apart from claiming to be a high priest of Wicca, Murphy doesn’t have much on this man, except for the vague accusation that “demons are smart enough to work within a culture to capture the thinking of people.”

(By the way, sure is classy (and loving!) of LaPhillips to use a real, living person, who was just minding his own business and trying to practice his faith, as an example of demonic activity in the United States.)

All of this leads Summer to ask a very important question:

“Michael, have you ever had to face a demon?”

Murphy says he hasn’t, though how would he know for certain, since a big part of his bit is that demons can show up anywhere and be disguised?

Anyway, Summer leaves for a convenient class, and Murphy thinks that not only is she hot, but she’s also “warm and well spoken and intelligent.”  How would you know, Murph?  You didn’t let her get a word in!  He then thinks about how Isis and Summer both share these qualities, but that Summer is RTC, so “they could connect on a deeper level.”  Again, deeper level, Murph?  You didn’t let her get a word in!

I’ll add that it’s an odd (yet appropriate for Murphy) way to assess romantic love.  Murphy seems to think it’s like a table of pros and cons.  And now Summer has one more point than Isis, so she wins!  Gee, I’m just shocked that the idea of falling in love with the whole person has no place in this world.

Are you SURE you haven’t met any demons, Murph?


Posted on December 24, 2017, in The Edge of Darkness. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Pastor Bob doesn’t merely claim that he’s a high priest. Pastor Bob has a certificate from the Evangelical Pope. Oh, wait, you say they don’t have a Pope? Then how…?

    Meanwhile the sexual/social side is sounding like those pickup artist fanboys whose self-image seems to depend on controlling the hottest woman in the room.

  2. “demons are smart enough to work within a culture to capture the thinking of people.”

    For example, one could wrangle tenure at a low-rent university, then subvert his Biblical archeology course that attracts students out for an easy “A” to push his deity of choice.

  3. Anxiety, depression and doubts about God are signs of demonic possesion, but somehow Murphy is sure that homicidal maniacs like Talon and MOAR ARABS that he tangles with on a daily basis* are clean? How does he figure that?

    *Or at least, closer to a daily basis than his schedule for teaching actual archeology.

    Fuck me, but even after retconning Isis into a supermodel, Murphy can’t wait to stick his dick in another woman, does he? I’d wish that Isis would walk into one of these chats and tans his hide, but the narration will probably make it out as just hystirical woman talk. Yeah, Murphy is now openly considering tossing Isis aside for a better religious sock puppet, but when has that stopped RTC writers. (Remember “Jae, I cannot tell you how offended I am!”?)

    • In a truly just world, Murphy will be left to jerk it alone in the dark and cry, while Summer and Isis hooked up. No wait, how about we have Summer, Isis, and Dean hook up, just to really pour salt into his wounds. Though, I dunno. I’m trying to figure out which would be more irritating. My first suggestion is a Lesbian relationship and you know how the RTCs feel about the gays!!!11 I could make the case that Summer and Isis are bisexual, but that probably wouldn’t change their minds too much.

      On the other hand, the Dean-Summer-Isis threesome spits on the nuclear family idea (because RTCs feel that must stand above all else), but the Bible has many examples of polygamous, one man with many wives relationships. Though in the Bible, usually the man, the great patriarch, controlled everything. He barked and his wives asked, “How high?” and he had no problem with showing favoritism and the unfavorite was expected to hold her tongue and just endure the emotional cruelty.

      So how about we go for polyamory with the Dean-Summer-Isis threesome: all parties :gasp: love and care about each other and :gasp: :choke: they share an equal partnership, so everyone has a say in how the household is run and the relationship is conducted, and there is no disparity in power with one guy ruling over everyone under his roof.

      Yeah, I think that sound you just heard, is the RTCs fainting. Because they really can’t envision anything without thinking in terms of power. For them, there’s a chain of hierarchy and certain people are higher up on it than others and as a result, have greater privileges while those under them, merely have to endure in hopes of someday moving up. RTCs will say that they believe we are all equal before God, but it’s always with the silent Orwellian rejoinder of “But some are more equal than others.”

      Just remember that for them, every interaction involves power, with someone lower down interacting with someone higher up. It may be one of the reasons they hate gay couples so much. Not only can no children result from the sinful act of fornication, but with gay couples, rather than a weak, womanly female allowing herself to be dominated by a manly, strong man, you have two guys or two gals getting it on or, in other words, two people of roughly equal standing on the hierarchy, making love to each other. :O

      • Yeah. Power is the key to this. And that I think is why they get so obsessed with the mechanics of gay sex: who is the penetrator (whom they may grudgingly treat as male, because after all there was that one time at summer camp) and who is the penetratee (whom they will regard as a weak feminine not-really-man, and who’s definitely their favoured stereotype for gay men)?

        Mind you, I’m not sure Isis will have time for this triad, what with saving the world and all.

        • Eh, Summer and Dean can hook up instead. So long as Murphy ends up jerking It alone in the dark, you can go in any direction you want with the triad. Because both Summer and Isis could do so much better.

  4. It sure seems like Murphy is planning to dump Isis and try to get with Summer instead. I kind-of hope he does so Isis can go back to being the badass she was pre-Stepfordization. In any case, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to start talking about serial killers with a woman you hardly know.

  5. Please please please let Summer go to Evil Dean’s office and plonk the hidden recorder on the table. “I must apologise, I thought you were exaggerating. He’s worse than what you described.”

    • I’d second that if I thought for a second Murphy wouldn’t come out smelling like roses through some supremely infuriating narative bullshit.

  6. How common is ninety push-ups? I struggle to do even one.

  7. About BTK, according to the Wikipedia page you linked to, Dennis Rader was a member of Christ Lutheran Church and a Cub Scout leader. He had also been elected as president of the church counsel, so probably he was held in high esteem by the church and thought of as a good man (at least, until the truth was revealed). It seems unlikely that his church would have put him in that position of power if they had some reason to doubt that Rader was anything other than devoted pillar of the faith.

    Obviously, Dennis Rader was not the embodiment of Christian virtue, but it does raise some questions. Like how were a bunch of Christians somehow unable to tell what kind of person Rader was, if Christians are supposed to instinctively be able to discern evil? And of course, if it’s that easy to appear to be good, what does it even mean to be good?

    Of course, Jenkins or whoever wrote this book, would probably be like “Because they weren’t true RTCs,” but that is circular reasoning. I don’t know anything about Christ Lutheran Church, but I wonder if it’s one of those churches that, while protestant, the RTCs who write and read these books would consider them someone suspect for being a little too much Catholic. The RTC subculture has a history of being virulently anti-Catholic–Tim LaHaye himself, had written several anti-Catholic screeds–but Roe vs. Wade has forced them into an uneasy partnership. They still hate each other, but both sides realize that they need the others’ numbers to win. Still, the hatred remains and occasionally, lips slip and words come spilling out.

    • Yeah, even level 1 Paladins get Detect Evil at up to 60′ distance, but only when they’re concentrating on it.

      http://christ-lutheran.org/ seems to be the relevant church. They have a Pastor Chad, but they also talk about feeding the homeless, so who knows? “9am Early Service is a contemporary service led by the Praise Band. 11am Late Service is a traditional service with music provided by the Choir.”

      I suspect the answer to why they didn’t suspect anything is some variant of the Missing Stair problem – that guy who everyone knows is a bit weird, but he’s One of Us so we all know how to deal with him, like skipping over the missing step on the staircase.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for December 29th, 2017 | The Slacktiverse

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