Lawrence O’Donnell Tells the Truth About the Book of Revelation

Last night, Lawrence O’Donnell ripped into Glenn Beck and Christianity while setting the record straight on Thomas Jefferson:

The transcript below is adapted from the MSNBC website and may not be verbatim:

I’ve gotten to Beck as no one has before, thrown him off his game by going where none of his television critics have gone before. To his preaching, to the religious components of his fact-free presentations on FOX News and his radio show.

This, Beck cannot abide because Beck has enjoyed the convention that we must never talk about another person’s religious beliefs. That convention is most strictly observed by people who know the least about religion. The more religious education you have, the less trained you are to observe a phony zone of sanctity around this subject. With 12 years of formal religious education behind me, in which matters of doctrine and faith were debated religiously by nuns and priests, I don’t have the fear Beck thrives on, the political media’s fear of discussing religion. Without that collective media fear, Beck’s act would have collapsed a long time ago.

Beck has been telling his audience the breakdown of the nuclear reactors in Japan may be signaling the end of the world. he said ‘I don’t know if this is the end of the world.’ He is now enraged that I have told you the truth, that it is not the end of the world, that I know it’s not the end of the world. He’s enraged I would dare to suggest that the Book of Revelation has nothing to do with what is going on in Japan or in the world today, and that I know it has nothing to do with it. He is much more enraged that I have said good and thoughtful Christians do not believe the Book of Revelation, just as no good and thoughtful Christian literally believes everything in the Bible.

… Though Beck is constantly citing the genius of the founding fathers, he will never tell you that one of those geniuses, Thomas Jefferson, considered the Book of Revelation, ‘merely the ravings of a maniac no more worthy of explanation than the incoherences of our nightly dreams.’ Jefferson went on to say ‘I do not consider them as revelations of the supreme being, whom I would not so far blaspheme as to impute to him a pretension of revelation, couched at the same time in terms which he would know were never to be understood by those to whom they were addressed.’

That’s how wide opinion is on the Book of Revelation. I called it a work of fiction. Jefferson called it blasphemy. Beck calls it the word of God.

O’Donnell talks about Beck’s viewers, but I think a good portion of that holds true for church-goers in general. The longer you attend church, the harder it is for you to call pastors out on their bullshit, even when you know they’re lying.

That’s why you rarely hear stories about people questioning what the pastor said or challenging him on his literal interpretation of the Bible.

It takes someone outside that system to ask the tough questions. To shake you up. To challenge you to the point where you have no alternative but to accept that you’ve been taught a lie.

This is why religious dogma is something we must fight against. We have to help Christians discern between what’s actually true and what their Bible actually says. When you’re in the Church Zone, you can’t always tell that there’s a difference and churches are betting on that haziness.

  • Andrew

    Surely, realising that part of the bible is clearly untrue would automatically discredit the rest? There are many who take parts very seriously but ignore rules from the same person/page.

  • http://brickwindow.wordpress.com Brick Window

    It sounds like O’Donnell is speaking from a Christian (Catholic) perspective, and it is shocking to hear him admit so much of faith today is about cherry-picking.

    I am interested in hearing how different types of Christians respond to this, if they do at all.

  • Ben

    I love a lot of what he said. Of course, I can’t help but nitpick at his characterization of Jefferson, who I’d say shouldn’t properly be called a Christian at all.

  • keystothekid

    I agree with Ben on the Jefferson thing. Also, shouldn’t we loathe O’Donnell’s Christianity? Maybe not as much as the crazy ass-backward views of Beck. But, isn’t O’Donnell basically saying, “hey, this part of the Bible isn’t popular anymore, the most omnipotent being in all of existence must have just goofed on that part. Forget about it.”

    I’d say there’s a positive to both sides of Christianity. The best part of Beck’s view is that most civilized people realize he’s a lunatic and he’s showing just how bad religion can be for the world.

    As for O’Donnell’s point of view, taking and leaving what you will from the Bible, he’s most likely a much better person. His belief is most likely in the more contemporary loving and forgiving God, and that’s probably much better for the world than a bunch of nuts believing as Beck does.

    I suppose you could always argue that if Christians realized how ridiculous it is to cherry-pick their beliefs and they all had to abide by the zaniness of Beck, there would (hopefully) be a lot less of them.

  • Bargain

    silliness

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    I have conversations with other comedy guys and there is a heated debate whether Beck is a Poe or not.

    Me? I don’t think he’s a Poe – just a meglomaniacal recovering addict.

  • Emily

    I am a “good and thoughtful Christian” who believes the bible in it’s entirety. I don’t pick and choose what I want to believe out of it. And I still love you as a person even after you have attempted to make “Christians like me” feel foolish. I don’t feel foolish. I feel a burden for this nation.

  • Douglas Kirk

    Coming up next: O’Donnell debates Ann Coulter over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin…..

  • http://rrlane.blogspot.com Rich Lane

    I don’t have any problem with him sticking it to Beck, but I find it conflicting to enjoy an obviously hypocritical position. If O’Donnnell doesn’t take the Bible as the source of his beliefs, then where do they come from? His argument as a Christian lacks as much merit as Beck’s.

    Maybe I being overly critical though. I’m just tired of these guys who make their shows about how much they get under each other‘s skin. Olbermann did this continuously, and the loathsome Ed Schultz tries vainly to get a feud going with someone a FOX to cash in on the side-taking. I hate FOX, and about the only one on MSNBC I can watch anymore is Maddow.

  • Claudia

    That was a great commentary. Would I agree with everything in it? No, but I agree with the vast majority and think that this is about as good as it gets in terms of mainstream media commentary about religion. I especially like the fact that he pointed out this unwritten rule about not questioning religious beliefs and then made a point to trample all over that rule.

    Lawrence sounds like a cultural Catholic to me (he’s an Irish-American). Someone too educated and intelligent to believe or follow the religion of his youth, but with an emotional attachment to the cultural associations. Funny how we easily accept that you can be “Jewish” and atheist at the same time, but we don’t make the same allowances for, say, Irish Catholics, many of whom I’m betting are atheists as well.

  • Ron in Houston

    Hemant

    A lot of pastors from mainstream Protestant denominations don’t take a literal interpretation of the Bible. You’d be surprised how many will privately admit to it. Obviously they are more careful publicly since many congregations will still have some literalists.

    I don’t know that O’Donnell is being hypocritical since he’s freely admitting that he picks and chooses his theology. Admitting that means that he’s probably more of a “cultural” Catholic.

    I often wonder how many people attend church for sociological/cultural reasons or perhaps because of fear of Pascal’s wager.

  • Ron in Houston

    @Claudia

    We apparently think alike. We both came to the “cultural” Catholic conclusion.

  • http://shadowgm.diaryland.com Bob

    Also, shouldn’t we loathe O’Donnell’s Christianity?

    Oh, yes. Because nothing recommends atheism to lapsed Catholics (such as I) than knowing you secretly loathe me.

  • VorJack

    If O’Donnnell doesn’t take the Bible as the source of his beliefs, then where do they come from?

    Well, if he’s Catholic, then from Church tradition, bolstered by the Bible interpreted through the lens of traditional Church teachings.

    I don’t know that O’Donnell is being hypocritical since he’s freely admitting that he picks and chooses his theology.

    Everybody picks and chooses their theology. Some just admit it.

  • Claudia

    @Ron in Houston, great minds, and all that ;)

    **/preening**

  • Raised Godless

    I don’t know that O’Donnell is being hypocritical since he’s freely admitting that he picks and chooses his theology. Admitting that means that he’s probably more of a “cultural” Catholic.

    I’m not even sure we should necessarily go this far. I noticed he spoke of what Christians do, with the picking and choosing, without being specific about himself in this case. He spoke of his own religious education, but not of where that’s led him. Since it’s so often true that non-believers cite religious study as a catalyst for their loss of faith, it’s possible O’Donnell is in this category as well.

  • derek

    Although, O’Donnell is still admitting he is a Catholic, just not as a literalist. It’s a nice step forward for a mainstream media host to open up dialog about the absurdities of some religious believers such as Beck.

  • Digitus Impudicus

    If O’Donnnell doesn’t take the Bible as the source of his beliefs, then where do they come from?

    From what I can tell, protestants tend to see the Bible as the source of the church’s teachings, so it must be without error, while Catholics tend to see the Bible as the result of the church’s teachings. So errors and omissions in the bible are not that big a deal for Catholics as it is not the original source document anyway; the living church is. If the Church decides to change the Bible or ignore part of it or add stuff, it is OK since they wrote it in the first place.

  • Ottawaanon1001

    Oh, yes. Because nothing recommends atheism to lapsed Catholics (such as I) than knowing you secretly loathe me.

    One of the problems I tend to see with the religious is that they have a hard time telling the difference between attacking a belief and attacking a person. Loathing Christianity is not the same as loathing a Christian.

  • Tristan Lawksley

    What baffles me is this… How can any good Christian not be a literalist? The Holy Bible is supposed to be the ‘Word of God’ and followed strictly. At what point did it become acceptable for a Christian to suddenly decide that only parts of the Bible are worth following, and worth ignoring?

    It smacks of self-preservation.

  • http://www.newbspeak.com Newbs

    Man, I guess I like that this guy is going after Beck, but could he be any more boring and stiff? Watching that clip was a chore.

  • Ron in Houston

    @Tristan

    It’s actually funny. The Bible was not designed for mass consumption. Until the reformation only the priests had copies and they were in Latin.

    Part of the reason church leaders kept it from the masses was to keep folks in line by defining orthodoxy and to avoid wacky crap like the whole “End Times”/rapture BS that didn’t really get started until the mid 1800′s.

    A lot of people stereotype “Christans” based upon all the wacky ones that show up on the media. There are loads of “good” church going Christians that don’t take the Bible literally. Why they don’t go one step further is the question.

  • Steve

    @Tristan
    Again it depends on which sect we are talking about. Catholics are not literalists. They have always – since the Council of Nicaea – had official positions on what is true and not. That’s one advantage of having such a strict hierarchy. The Pope can always make an official deceleration on matters of doctrine and simply introduce new positions. Their teachings stem from the church, not directly from the bible.

  • s. pimpernel

    As one might expect, over at O’Donnell’s website he is not only catching “hell” from Beck supporters, but from many,many,”real” christians that say they take everything in the Bible literally, or, take Revelations as literally true, or say that the old testament has been refuted by the new testament, or all other type of BS arguments. They are all fighting among themselves as is predictable.

  • Defiantnonbeliever

    @Bob

    “Also, shouldn’t we loathe O’Donnell’s Christianity?

    Oh, yes. Because nothing recommends atheism to lapsed Catholics (such as I) than knowing you secretly loathe me.”

    Ummm, identifying with a thought as though it was you Bob? This is why so many feel personally attacked when their beliefs are attacked for veracity and one of the big flaws with religion and logical mistakes people make that keeps us from understanding and being logical about reality. I confess to have done so myself at times and it really irks me.

  • Richard P.

    Really Emily,
    Do you really…

    believes the bible in it’s entirety

    So out of curiosity, when was the last time you enjoyed a good old fashioned stoning?

    Lying hypocrite.

  • Claudia

    I am a “good and thoughtful Christian” who believes the bible in it’s entirety. I don’t pick and choose what I want to believe out of it.

    So, you believe (and presumably attempt to obey) the Bible in it’s entirety? How does that work, exactly?

  • Lin

    He had me smiling and nodding right up until he included himself in the “wide Christian opinion” on the Book of Revelation.
    My face when I realized he can say all that about the bible and those who cherry-pick it and still call himself a christian:
    http://myfacewhen.com/214/

  • Tristan Lawksley

    I tend to tell people that if you’re going to be a Christian then read the Bible for what it says, not for what you think or want it to say… Hell, it’s partially what the Bible said that began me down my path to Atheism.

    This cherry picking that some tend to do I think is just a way for people to distance themselves from the ignorance and fantasies they know exist in the Bible in an attempt to keep themselves and their religion accepted. Look at Fred Phelps… He’s a literalist fundamental douche-bag and hated by a lot of people. If all Christians were as literal and gung-ho as he is, Christianity would have become unacceptable a long time ago.

    @Ron & Steve: Thank you for the information.

  • http://www.casimirfornalski.com Casimir

    Oh, how I would love to see footage of someone yelling “You Lie!” during a church sermon.

  • John Small Berries

    This cherry picking that some tend to do I think is just a way for people to distance themselves from the ignorance and fantasies they know exist in the Bible in an attempt to keep themselves and their religion accepted.

    I’m not sure people cherry-pick with public acceptance of their religion in mind, Tristan. I think they do it mostly for their own convenience and self-preservation.

    Like you, reading the Bible was what started me down the path to atheism. But before I freed myself from religion’s manacles, I certainly picked and chose.

    For instance, despite numerous instances of “look[ing] on a woman to lust after her”, I certainly didn’t pluck out my eyes and cast them from me, as Jesus commanded. Not because I was afraid of how Christianity would be perceived, but simply because I didn’t want to be blind! (And I’ve never met a Christian who did follow that command; perhaps they were all thinking of the Christian public image, but I tend to doubt it.)

  • Tristan Lawksley

    For instance, despite numerous instances of “look[ing] on a woman to lust after her”, I certainly didn’t pluck out my eyes and cast them from me, as Jesus commanded. Not because I was afraid of how Christianity would be perceived, but simply because I didn’t want to be blind! (And I’ve never met a Christian who did follow that command; perhaps they were all thinking of the Christian public image, but I tend to doubt it.)

    Definitely a good point. I’d add the stoning of people close to you that could be a bit difficult to endure as well.

    What I was moving towards was homosexuality, mainly. I think most of us understand what the Bible says about it. Yet more and more I see homosexuals claiming to be ” Christian “, or choosing to say ” My God loves me the way I am. “, or they choose to ignore the Old Testament entirely — including what Jesus stated regarding the laws of the Old Testament.

    Then there’s the churches who are coming out in support of homosexuality and behaviors that are certainly frowned upon in the Bible. I see that move as self-preservation. As America becomes more and more accepting of homosexuality and equal rights Christians are going to have to make a choice: Change their views/books/opinions or become ostracized.

  • Ben

    Oh shit…modern day Catholicism is nothing more than naturalism shrouded in some sort “spirituality” whatever that means. My best friend is a theology teacher and we debate all the time. My friend says what O’Donnell says all the time. It doesn’t mean anything. He’s obfuscating for the audience to make it seem he’s a christian. If you have ever watched the McLaughlin group he cites Sam Harris as an influential writer. If you can’t understand that connection than you cannot understand O’Donnell’s criticism.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    You ever wonder why almost all the US Supreme court justices are either Catholic or Jewish?

    People are a little bit nervous about appointing Protestants with their devotion to scripture. Bush tired it but so many people complained for various reasons that he ended up appointing another Catholic instead.

    An atheist would be nice, but the Senate probably wouldn’t go for it.

  • Daryl

    Revelation has had a sketchy history. Some apostolic fathers found its authenticity dubious, as well as its implied anti-Roman message. And in the Reformation Martin Luther relegated it to a subordinate position in the canon. So it’s true that not all Christians believe it to be a running commentary on contemporary events. It’s just those that do (and there have been many, stretching back a millenium and more) tend to be loud, stupid and impervious to rational thinking, and therefore we notice them more.

    As to taking the bible literally or allegorically, the usual tactic is to interpret the text in a way not to admit that it is in error: ie, the goal is to preserve inerrancy. Literal and metaphorical interpretations are therefore applied in a piecemeal fashion. Biblical fundamentalism is full of this kind of thing.

  • http://jonbkennedy.wordpress.com John Kennedy

    I’m Jewish, and what he describes is very much in line with much of Judaism today. Only the Othrodox believe in the Divine Authority of The Bible. Other movements believe different things. It all depends.

  • Beryl

    I’m fairly sure that, for a Catholic, a belief in the inerrancy of all of the Bible would actually be heretical. As several commenters noted, for a Catholic, the Church, and not the Bible, is supposed to have primacy. Fundamentalism/literalism is a real late-comer to Christian theology–it’s mostly a 19th Century invention. Catholicism (and main-stream Protestantism, for that matter) have their own obvious oddities, but to suggest that they are the result of a relaxation of the rigours of “real, original Christianity,” which is assumed to be Fundamentalist, is to buy into the founding myth of Fundamentaism.

  • Roxane

    I don’t really think O’Donnell is being hypocritical just because his tradition favors a more nuanced view of this silly text than the literalists. The early Church Fathers, after all, spilled a lot of ink trying to reconcile the Old and New Testaments, and developed very systematic ways of reading the text on different levels. Most of us here may look back on their efforts and view them as a waste of time, but it produced a very different kind of xianity–one that, until the Reformation, could embrace such diverse believers as the hippie St. Francis of Assisi and the doctrinal hard-ass, Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida.

    I also think it’s probably a lot more powerful for the average viewer to see Beck taken on by another xian, as opposed to just a member of our own despised tribe.

  • Lion IRC

    Self-identifying as a theist is voluntary.

    Belonging to a church is voluntary.

    Church attendance is voluntary.

    Putting money in a collection bowl is voluntary.

    Paying attention to what is said by priests in church – the one you go out of your way to attend …is voluntary.

    How can you make an argument that people deliberately go to church to hear things they believe (know?) are lies?

    Preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, etc. don’t deliver one-sided, interior monologue sermons. They routinely address in their sermons many counter points and respond to the objections the congregation might encounter – just as the bible includes the words of Jesus’ opponents.

    And it is in their job description to be ready and willing to fearlessly preach in the face of opposition – even death. (“…rarely hear stories about people questioning what the pastor said…”??? That’s rubbish! These people have died for what they said.

    I am always amazed to hear atheists complaining about how few people “call pastors out on their bullxxxx, even when [they] know they’re lying” and yet those same atheists do so by gutless proxy instead of face to face…

    “…no, no… I’m not going to actually go into a church and ask a priest a sceptical “tough” question…I’m going to stand back at a safe distance …and demand that sock puppet Christians (who must surely know priests are lying through their teeth) go to their priests and do a little New Atheist ventriloquism act.

    “…We have to help Christians discern between what’s actually true and what their Bible actually says…” Thanks for the concern trolling but I’ll pass. If anyone needs help coming out of the closet – being told when to say and when – it’s all those free thinking, clear thinking, highly educated, enlightened, rational atheists.

    Have a look at New Atheist spokesperson Catherine Deveny (Global Atheist Convention) squibbing it – in a church – AND in front of her own children, by chickening out at the last moment rather than confronting a priest herself when she had the chance … …Poultry in motion.

    http://www.catherinedeveny.com/columns/2011/2/3/a-visit-back-to-my-own-church-20-years-on.html

    Excerpt
    “…When it was my turn the priest picked up a wafer and said: ‘The body of Christ.’ The expected response is ‘Amen’. Instead, I said: ‘I have three children and have never been married. I’ve used contraception, had an abortion, use the Lord’s name in vain, think transubstantiation is a crock and I’m an atheist. And I’m not sorry.’

    Actually, I didn’t say that. I wanted to, but I felt sorry for the priest. He looked tired and worn out…”

  • http://happyatheists.com Slickninja

    There a bit of cable theater going here but he really ridicules effectively the selectivity of modern Christians.

    Plus, bashing Glenn Beck? Win.

  • http://www.freethoughtoasis.org Jynx

    How can you make an argument that people deliberately go to church to hear things they believe (know?) are lies?

    While I cannot speak for the original poster of this claim, I have heard numerous Christians and ex-Christians admit to this fact. The answer is simple: Many people stay with organized religion in general (and their church in paticular) because of the community they are a part of.
    To put it bluntly, they decide the social cost of leaving the church is simply too high to either speak out against the teachings, or to physically abandon their church (where many of the neighbors and friends attend) to find another place to go.

    Preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, etc. don’t deliver one-sided, interior monologue sermons.

    Ummmm….actually….they do. While I certainly would never claim that all of them do, I have personally witnessed, read, etc. many sermons that either failed to voice any objections to their own arguments at all…or presented laughable straw-men a child could disarm.

    It simply isn’t the case that the modern, mainstream Christian church presents an honest accounting of the various philosophical positions standing in contrast to their own.

  • odgie

    O’Donnell talks about Beck’s viewers, but I think a good portion of that holds true for church-goers in general. The longer you attend church, the harder it is for you to call pastors out on their bullshit, even when you know they’re lying.

    Do you really think that anyone would listen to a pastor that they thought was lying?

    That’s why you rarely hear stories about people questioning what the pastor said or challenging him on his literal interpretation of the Bible.

    I’m not sure what churches you have attended, but having several close friends who are pastors I can tell you that this happens all of the time. And none of them seem to mind this. I can think of several reasons that you don’t hear stories about this, including the fact that it is such a common occurance that nobody considers it news-worthy. Or maybe the people that do it don’t feel the need to call attention to themselves. Of course, the reason that you and your readers probably don’t hear about it is that you don’t go to church.

    It takes someone outside that system to ask the tough questions. To shake you up.
    To challenge you to the point where you have no alternative but to accept that you’ve been taught a lie.

    A lot of us have heard your “tough questions” without being shaken up or “had no alternative but accept we’ve been taught a lie.” You really think that church members never ask tough questions of our pastors and leaders? Again, your ignorance on this point is only excused by the fact that you don’t attend church regularly.

    This is why religious dogma is something we must fight against. We have to help Christians discern between what’s actually true and what their Bible actually says. When you’re in the Church Zone, you can’t always tell that there’s a difference and churches are betting on that haziness.

    We’re well aware of what our Bible actually says, thanks. And your assertion that churches retain their members through some sort of “haziness” smacks of presumption. Your disagreement with something doesn’t automatically make it false.

    And while there is neither sufficient time nor space to elaborate on historical interpretations of Revelation, you might be surprised to learn that the whole preoccupation with “end-times” prophecy is a fairly recent phenomenon in the history of Christianity. One need not “cherry-pick” scripture to think that Glenn Beck is full of crap.

  • Lion IRC

    We’re well aware of what our Bible actually says, thanks.

    I know! Talk about concern trolling.

    I cant tell you how… “Alice in Wonderland” it is to be having an intense debate about scripture (exegesis, doctrine, theology) with fellow Christians – complete with duelling verses and religious qualification “one-upsmanship” – on one internet forum or IRC channel and meanwhile, on another forum, an atheist is telling you “what the bible says” and what going to church and listening to priests is really like.

    …Or having some newly-minted atheist counter apologist cut and paste PZ Myers Courtier’s Reply at you as a justification for their own inability to respond when they eventually find you actually HAVE, on the odd occasion, read what’s written in the bible.

  • odgie

    I cant tell you how… “Alice in Wonderland” it is to be having an intense debate… on one internet forum or IRC channel and meanwhile, on another forum, an atheist is telling you “what the bible says” and what going to church and listening to priests is really like.

    That’s why I rarely get involved in such things. But this guy is talking through his hat and I felt compelled to call him on it.

  • Nordog

    One of the problems I tend to see with the religious is that they have a hard time telling the difference between attacking a belief and attacking a person. Loathing Christianity is not the same as loathing a Christian.

    Yeah, kinda like when a Christian says, “Love the sinner; hate the sin.” Sounds like a Christian take on homosexuality, and we know how well that goes over around here.

    The more religious education you have, the less trained you are to observe a phony zone of sanctity around this subject. With 12 years of formal religious education behind me…

    So, by his own estimation, O’Donnell is very much “less trained” to comment in this regard.

  • VorJack

    @odgie

    … you might be surprised to learn that the whole preoccupation with “end-times” prophecy is a fairly recent phenomenon in the history of Christianity

    I would be surprised to learn that, since the Montanists were using Revelation in their end times prophecies as early as the second century.

  • Nordog

    Certainly the doctrine of “The Rapture” is of “fairly recent” vintage.

  • Nordog

    Saw this at Wikipedia, thought many here would get a kick out of it…

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/42/1992_Rapture.jpg

  • ACN

    I’m always amused by that sort of thing :)

  • odgie

    @Vorjack

    I should have been more specific. A concern with the “end times” is evident even in Paul’s letters but the dispensationalist view espoused by Beck, the Left Behind books, and televangelists is a comparatively recent development. You are right about the Montanists but they were certainly not mainstream or orthodox. And neither is Beck.

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil

    Isn’t America great? Think about it, a know-nothing moron like Beck can make millions appearing on national TV spouting complete nonsense. Where else could that happen?

    What is disturbing is that many do not regard him as an entertaining fool, but take it seriously. Even worse, those people can vote.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1562096147 Tony Marcum

    All this talk of Beck as if he created the Universe and all the “intelligent” debate about what something means. God will not be mocked and he’s not amused. 


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