TF: Must be the clouds in my eyes

Tribulation Force, pp. 293-295

When Hattie excused herself to answer the phone on her desk, Rayford slipped his New Testament and Psalms from his pocket.

Those little pocket testaments are enormously handy for any Never Get Caught Without A Book situation. I've got a couple of those in my car for exactly that reason. Mine are from the Pocket Testament League — little 3-by-five bindings of the New Testament plus the Psalms and Proverbs — and I have sometimes done just what Rayford is doing here, pulling one of these out of my pocket to read during down time while waiting in line or for my name to be called by the receptionist.

Rayford's situation is a bit different, though. He's sitting across from the Antichrist's girlfriend and personal assistant and she's apparently on the phone with the Beast himself. So this doesn't seem like "down time" to me so much as it does time to desperately try to overhear everything you can in the hopes of learning more about the next steps in the Antichrist's evil plot for world domination.

He had been memorizing verses from the Psalms, and as his anxiety over meeting Carpathia grew, he turned to those favorites and ran them over in his mind.

It's nice to see a member of the Tribulation Force reading the Bible for some reason other than clarification of the prophecy check list. The Psalms, we should note, are one of the few sections of the Bible not completely repurposed and twisted by Tim LaHaye's prophecy mania. The law and the prophets, Gospels and epistles are all horribly distorted by LaHaye's secret-decoder-ring approach to the Bible, but the Psalms come through with their original meanings mostly still intact.

That's also why the Psalms are really the only thing Rayford can read out of his little pocket testament. You might expect him to turn to his favorite book, Revelation, but following the LaHaye/Billings/Scofield approach, he can't read more than a few verses in that book without flipping back to splice in sections from Ezekiel or Daniel and his pocket testament doesn't include those.

There's probably a marketing opportunity for some Bible publisher to sell a "Prophecy Pocket Bible" — one that includes all the passages that matter for LaHaye's prophetic mishmash without those distracting Psalms or Gospels.

And speaking of the book of Daniel, Buck Williams is still in a cab on the way to the airport, getting a crash-course on the history of the temple from Rabbi Marc Feinberg.

Feinberg, alas, isn't as much weird fun as he was initially when he arrived from central casting with good humor and a full magazine of exclamation points. The longer he talks, the more he reverts to the same bland voice as all the other characters and non-characters in these books.

Feinberg's lecture here on the history of the temple is further evidence that Bruce Barnes is doomed. This sort of thing is what Bruce is supposed to be for, the kind of thing Buck should be hearing in his nightly Tribulation Force Bible studies instead of from some stranger in the back of a cab. But it's clear by now that the authors have lost their enthusiasm for having Bruce play that role. Tsion Ben Judah — their shiny new Mr. Exposition and prophecy scholar — is waiting in the wings and Bruce's days are numbered (literally, if you're following the countdown in comments). Feinberg here is just a placeholder, a spot-starter filling in before Bruce's full-time replacement arrives in a few chapters.

Feinberg provides the kind of hurried history a local tour guide might give to a group of evangelical tourists from Texas arriving in Jerusalem for the first time. It seems impossible that Bruce hasn't already covered this background in their Trib-Force studies as an introduction to Daniel, but I guess their discussion of Daniel has been a contextless referencing of the 70 "weeks" with no consideration of the meaning or place of the rest of the book or of why it can only be understood if read interspersed with verses from John's apocalypse.

"The temple and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar," Feinberg tells Buck, neglecting to mention when this happened or what nation or empire Nebuchadnezzar was king of.

"Seventy years later a decree was given to rebuild the city and eventually the temple. The new temple, under the direction of Zerubbabel and Joshua, the high priest, was so inferior to the temple of Solomon that some of the elders wept when they saw the foundation.

"Still, that temple served Israel until it was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, a Greco-Roman ruler. About 40 B.C., Herod the Great had the temple destroyed piece by piece and rebuilt. That became known as Herod's Temple."

Despite being a broad ethnic stereotype, Feinberg still talks like an American evangelical. He skips directly from Antiochus to Herod as though the Maccabee Revolt and ensuing rededication of the temple never happened — presumably because books like Maccabees are regarded as pagan Catholic Apocrypha and therefore are ignored by Protestant evangelicals. Feinberg's use of "B.C." is also an odd choice of words for a guy who, just a few pages back, expressed contempt for the idea that Jesus was the Messiah, but his term for the date isn't as odd as his getting the date wrong — the usual date given for Herod's rebuilding is 19 BCE.

But as I said, Buck ought to know all about Nebuchadnezzar and Antiochus Epiphanes. All of that history — the Babylonian conquest, exile and rebuilding, followed by the subsequent conquest by the Greeks — is the stuff of Daniel.

This remarkable and strange book ranks just behind Revelation as the favorite of premillennial dispensationalist prophecy enthusiasts like Tim LaHaye and Bruce Barnes. But PMDs read Daniel differently than most Christians do. For most of us, starting in Sunday school, the book is most famous as the source of those memorable stories of heroic faithfulness in exile — the kosher diet challenge, the lions' den, the fiery furnace. Good stuff, but PMDs aren't interested in any of that. For all their obsession with the book of Daniel, you'll almost never hear them mention Shadrach, Meshach or Abednego. (That's a shame here in Tribulation Force, where one would think these stories would resonate for heroes now facing a similar dilemma of how to remain faithful under the reign of an ungodly New Babylon.)

For PMDs, the third-person stories in the first half of Daniel don't matter. What they're interested in is the first-person apocalyptic imagery in the second half of the book. The underlying assumption there is that this latter half of Daniel is wholly separable from the beginning of the book and can — and should — be read and understood apart from that context.

Both parts of Daniel are built on the framework of the history garbled here by Rabbi Feinberg: Nebuchadnezzar and Antiochus. The reign of the former oppressor provides the setting of the book, the reign of the latter provides its meaning. Daniel — this prophecy favorite — was written during the time of Antiochus the temple-desecrator, and his reign is what the story is all about. But the story is set several centuries earlier, during the reign of another oppressive imperial despot.

You're familiar with this approach if you've ever watched the television show M*A*S*H. That classic sit-com was set during the Korean War, but it wasn't really about Korea — it was about Vietnam. Vietnam was still too current, too raw and too polarizing to address directly when M*A*S*H was originally written and broadcast. The Korean War on the show provided a kind of surrogate or parallel that allowed us to talk about and deal with something we couldn't otherwise have discussed.

The authors of Daniel — it's a compilation of varying voices, stories and languages* — couldn't safely talk directly about their oppression under Antiochus Epiphanes, so instead they wrote about Nebuchadnezzar. And lest their readers miss the point, they added that whole latter half with its dreams and visions reminding us that empires come and empires go and that this latest oppressor and conqueror too will fall, just like Nebuchadnezzar did. The authors of Daniel look ahead, just as they look back, predicting the future rise and fall of more empires, more conquerors to come. They weren't wrong about that.

But what makes the book of Daniel apocalyptic is that the authors don't see this cycle of conquest as enduring forever. Some day, they say, it will end and everything will be made right and just and there will be lasting peace. That is the revelation that apocalyptic literature is always revealing.

The prophecy enthusiasts aren't wrong to view this idea as predictive — foretelling a future yet to come. But they miss that it's not only predictive. It's also prescriptive — we're not being told to sit around twiddling our thumbs waiting for that peace and justice to fall out of the sky. Nor is apocalyptic literature like the latter half of Daniel intended to produce an obsessive compiling of check lists and countdowns. Daniel, like Revelation, was written to be read, not to be deciphered or strip-mined for nuggets of prophecy that can be extracted from their surrounding context.

Such strip-mining is how the PMD prophecy maniacs approach the text. That's why even after spending weeks of daily study of Daniel, Buck still isn't familiar with the name Nebuchadnezzar.

Feinberg supplies an odd, but mostly accurate, summary of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE and then skips ahead to the present day:

"Today the Temple Mount, the site of the old Jewish temple, is occupied by the Mohammedans and houses the Muslim mosque called the Dome of the Rock."

Close. The mosque is near the Dome of the Rock, but the actual mosque is … Hold that thought. We'll get back to Feinberg's understanding of Islam in a moment.

Buck was curious. "How were the Muslims persuaded to move the Dome of the Rock?"

That's an excellent question. An excellent question that neither Feinberg nor the authors even attempts to answer.

I share Buck's curiosity on this point. I can't imagine any possible way that this voluntary relocation of an entire holy mountain could have occurred. But all we get as an explanation is this:

Buck was curious. "How were the Muslims persuaded to move the Dome of the Rock?"

"That proves the magnificence of Carpathia," Feinberg said.

Yes, but how did the magnificent Carpathia pull this off? Feinberg isn't saying and neither are the authors, other than a vague suggestion that Nicolae's mind-control mojo may be involved.

The authors are far more interested in what they seem to think of as an even more magnificent feat: Nicolae's persuading Pres. Fitzhugh to give him Air Force One. That feat will be explored in torturous detail over the next several chapters, but the voluntary relocation of Mount Moriah and Al-Aqsa is dealt with in those two dismissive sentences above.

(N.B.: If your story contains an impossibility as a plot point, it's best to avoid spotlighting the impossibility by having your protagonist ask, "How is that possible?" Like a trial lawyer, you want to avoid asking any questions you don't already know the answer to. Having Buck ask, "How were the Muslims persuaded to move the Dome of the Rock?" and then not answering his question doesn't reassure readers that they are in trustworthy hands.)

Feinberg continues to explain the "Mohammedan" occupation of the Temple Mount:

"The Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, is built right over Mount Moriah, where we believe Abraham expressed his willingness to God to sacrifice his son Isaac. Of course we do not believe Mohammed to be divine, so as long as a Muslim mosque occupies the …"

Oh my. Is Jerry Jenkins suggesting that Rabbi Feinberg really thinks Muslims worship Mohammed as divine? Or, more likely, does Jenkins have Feinberg say this because this is what the authors themselves think Islam is all about?

I'm far from being any kind of expert on Islam but, really, how do you get that wrong? "There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet." The Shahada. Muslims say this quite a bit. It's hard to miss.

This is not something it could be possible for Rabbi Marc Feinberg — "one of the key proponents of rebuilding the Jewish temple" — to misunderstand. The man's passion involves the Temple Mount, so there's no way he could be this stupefyingly ignorant of what that site's Muslim residents believe. He would have to be well-versed in Islamic belief and culture, and would likely know more than most Muslims about the history and significance of their holy sites in Jerusalem.

I just can't imagine someone supposedly so obsessed with the temple site misunderstanding Islam at such a basic, fundamental level.

But then I should have learned better by now. Tim LaHaye, after all, is obsessed with the United Nations, which he regards as a dangerous institution that will play an enormous, nefarious role in the future of humanity. And yet LaHaye knows almost nothing about the U.N. He doesn't understand what it is, how it works, what it's for, what it does or what it doesn't do. And he doesn't care to learn any of that.

The entire Left Behind series is proof that obsession need not produce curiosity — that it is possible to spend decades obsessing over and dreading and opposing an institution and yet still never bother to learn even the most basic facts about it.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

* Here's something that bugs me about the English translations of Daniel that most of us rely on. Daniel was written partly in Hebrew and partly in Aramaic, but our translations give little indication of where this linguistic switch happens or that it happens at all.

I'm not a Daniel scholar and I can't tell you what this shift means, but clearly it means something. One doesn't suddenly switch languages mid-text and then switch back several chapters later for no reason at all. Yet this switch and its meaning are blurred by English translations that impose a uniformity not present in the original. It's a bit like watching a version of The Wizard of Oz in which someone has colorized all of the Kansas scenes. Or like reading a French translation of "The Waste Land" in which the Sanskrit has been translated right along with the English. Conveying a bilingual text for a monoglot readership is an admittedly tricky problem for a translator, but I think it requires a bit more than just the usual single footnote.

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  • Hawker Hurricane

    @Hawker. Thou art a new lieutenant, not God. Thy knowledge of how things work is not comparable to the enlisted man instructing you, for he was doing this job while you were learning to make hospital corners. Thou shalt not confuse thine rank with thine authority, lest ye make a complete ass of thine self to an E-9.
    Posted by: Albanaeon
    ————-
    Or, for that matter, a passing E-2.
    What’s the difference between a Ensign (O-1) and a Seaman Apprentice (E-2)?
    The Seaman Apprentice has been promoted once.

  • Albanaeon

    @ HH, snort, but you have to admit watching a shiney get their butt respectfully chewed by a grizzled old chief is quite entertaining.
    Also,
    Thou shall not see thy removal from places where actual work is being done to an office of no importance two weeks after arriving at said workplace as a promotion. They comrades justly feared thy incompetence and were willing to sacrifice their own chances at said cushy job to prevent thou from causing any harm. Any pride thou dost display at said removal shall be mocked, openly if thou has not sufficient rank.

  • Albanaeon

    And
    If an enlisted saves the ass of thou new lieutenant, thou shall heap much thanks and praise upon the enlisted, for thou shall undoubtedly need them to do so again. Shortly…

  • Bryan Feir

    Thou art a new lieutenant, not God. Thy knowledge of how things work is not comparable to the enlisted man instructing you, for he was doing this job while you were learning to make hospital corners. Thou shalt not confuse thine rank with thine authority, lest ye make a complete ass of thine self to an E-9.

    Reminds me of this Schlock Mercenary strip, just after a fight nearly broke out between Lieutenant Foxworthy and Ensign Ventura:
    – Warrant Officer Thurl: Ventura, send me a summary of your work. Elf, walk with me.
    – Ensign Ventura: Yessir.
    – Lieutenant Foxworthy: Thurl, why did she give you a “yessir?” She won’t even listen to me but she outranks you!
    – Warrant Officer Thurl: That’s the difference between personal authority and position authority.
    – Lieutenant Foxworthy: I don’t get it.
    – Warrant Officer Thurl: I know. That’s why you’re in charge, but you’re taking orders from me at the moment.
    Of course, Thurl had also threatened to quit if he ever gets a commissioned officer position…

  • Hawker Hurricane

    Of course, Thurl had also threatened to quit if he ever gets a commissioned officer position…
    Posted by: Bryan Feir
    ————-
    IIRC, Thurl was also in charge of *payroll*. It’s amazing how polite people are to the person who signs the checks.
    Thou shalt not anger thy Disbursing Clark, if thoust likest to be paid for thine labor.

  • Albanaeon

    Thou shalt not anger thy Office Administrator, for they hold the keys to many treasures both valuable and useful, such as copy paper…

  • MercuryBlue

    Intuitively, ‘the morning star is the evening star’ is not necessarily true; we can imagine a world where it isn’t.
    Like, say, the world where Venus rises before the sun and Mercury sets after the sun and neither is close enough to the sun to be hiding in the bright light. Which is our world, some weeks.
    And because OTIC probably still doesn’t get it: a monotheist from an Abrahamic tradition and a monotheist from a sacred-feminine tradition (…there’s a better way to say that, isn’t there) do not believe in the same god. The reasons begin and do not end with the Abrahamic type probably believes in a male divinity and the sacred-feminine type definitely believes in a female divinity.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird, who is in need of an editing job so she will stop inflicting it randomly on the internet

    *sighs*
    Oh Slactivites, please forgive me, for I am about to be incredibly picky.
    Thou shalt not confuse thine rank with thine authority, lest ye make a complete ass of thine self to an E-9.
    Thou shalt not confuse thy rank with thine authority, lest ye make a complete ass of thyself to an E-9.
    Thy comrades justly feared thy incompetence and were willing to sacrifice their own chances at said cushy job to prevent thou from causing any harm.
    Thy comrades justly feared thine incompetence and were willing to sacrifice their own chances at said cushy job to prevent thee from causing any harm.
    Thou shalt not anger thy Disbursing Clark, if thoust likest to be paid for thine labor.
    Thou shalt not anger thy Disbursing Clark, if thou likest to be paid for thy labor.
    Thou shalt not anger thy Office Administrator, for they hold the keys to many treasures both valuable and useful, such as copy paper…
    Thou shalt not anger thine Office Administrator, for they hold the keys to many treasures both valuable and useful, such as copy paper…
    (Sorry – but it’s making me wince…)

  • Albanaeon

    Sorry Deird. I’ll try harder…

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    And here’s a brief news report from Page 9, only about 1 day late now. Please insert past tense for present as appropriate.
    Hypothesis the first: OTIC thinks (thought?) that all monotheists address their prayers, “To the One True God, You Know Who You Are.” Or perhaps thinks that monotheists relate to Deity as U.S. citizens relate to the U.S. Post Office: Every address has one and only one zip code, but all zip codes are governed by the same postal system.
    Prediction: Oddly enough, actual monotheists telling OTIC how they relate to Deity will fail to change OTIC’s mind here, but will rather be dismissed as “illogical” and “Then you’re not really a monotheist.”
    Hypothesis the second: OTIC is (was?) changing their handle every few times they post in a deliberate bid to circumvent those of us who have killfiled them because we find them damn tiring to read. Which is rude.
    Prediction: This will not cause OTIC to make friends and influence people.

  • hapax

    @Deird, if it makes you feel better, I remember writing a long letter to Marvel Comics* complaining about their inability to decline “thou” and conjugate verbs correctly in the THOR comics (“thee doth?” wtf?) and noting that it was ridiculous for a Scandinavian god to be using mock-Elizabethan English anyways, and if they wished to give his speech an appropriately archaic character, perhaps they should look to Anglo-Saxon constructions, an easy one being the intensifying and / or “transifying” “be-” treated as a separable prefix, and also moving gerunds and participles to the conclusion of every clause.
    Oddly enough, I never received a response. (That is, I never had a response outbesent.)
    *this was *decades* ago, back when comics had letter columns

  • Young Goodman Farson

    @hapax: That sucks. You at least deserved a No Prize for your efforts.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird, who is really in need of an editing job

    “thee doth?” wtf?
    *shudders*
    I got given a birthday card full of thous very badly mangled, and somehow managed to force myself to smile politely rather than sitting them down for an impromptu grammar lesson. I think the effort involved in that has left its mark…

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    “I’ll pray for you” is how some people say “Fuck You, Sinner!”
    Heh, yes. And with an infuriating smirk. Really, it’s the sort of RTC for “Bless your heart.”
    (That, or it’s an announcement of the intent to cast malignant free-will-destroying spells in your direction. While proclaiming piously that you don’t believe in magic, only prayer. Yeah, I don’t really see much difference between prayers-with-manipulative-intent and spells-with-manipulative-intent; not to get all OTIC, but the intent of each is the same: “I want something supernatural to take away your choice of who you are and how you’ll be.” I don’t have to be “what’s the matter, afraid it’ll work? *smirk*” in order to take offense at the egregious disrespect and hostility involved. Oh, hey there, pet peeve much?)

    Here’s one to guarantee I’ll mess this up, in the manner of calling out others’ typos:
    If thou wouldst perform Improv Shakespeare, thou shalt well and truly learn thy Elizabethan English, omitting not the pronouns of the second person, nor yet the archaic vocabulary. Shouldst thou propose to use “noisome” as like unto the modern word “noisy,” thou shalt learn the error of thy ways when thou art cast into the outer darkness where there will be a wailing and a gnashing of teeth, yea, and a great noisome stink.
    …I don’t go to Improv Shakespeare performances anymore. It’s better that way.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/allandrel Patrick J McGraw

    Yeah, I don’t really see much difference between prayers-with-manipulative-intent and spells-with-manipulative-intent
    The prayer requires a Divine Focus (which is reusable) and the spell requires Material Components (which are expended).

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a6452705970c Ruby

    Will Wildman: So far the only female character I’m aware of who isn’t tangential to a man is Hannah Palemoon, and without even knowing anything about her character arc there are so many kinds of wrong to sort through with her.
    Hannah Palemoon is a nurse, but that always takes second place to the fact that she is sweet on David Hassid, and holds out hope that he will come to reciprocate the feeling, despite the fact that his fiancee died the day he met Hannah.

  • Karen, who is thinking about resuming the Imperial Texas throne, if only because the current state administration is so dreadful.

    Thou shalt cover thine ass and thine undergarments while thou art at work, for thy muffin-top and thy plumber’s crack art an abomination before the Lord thy God, and an abomination unto thy coworkers, unless they be sick bastards which the Lord thy God will get around to smiting later. Dost thou not know that The Lord thy God called them “undergarments” because they goest UNDER? Thy coworkers desireth greatly not to know that thou thinkest that pink satin camo undies are in good taste, nor that thou art so devoted to Batman as to wear his symbol near thy naughty bits.
    Thou shalt not vent forth thine hot anger at the poor unfortunate admin who telleth thee that the person thou seekest cannot speak unto thee at this precise moment. The admin hath not the power to force the official to speak unto thee, and the admin is only paid minimum wage.
    I desireth not thy popcorn as a burnt offering; therefore thou shalt not leaveth it too long in the office microwave.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a6452705970c Ruby

    Thou shalt not, with feigned innocence of voice and manner, inquire of thine granddaughter when she shalt be wed and grow big with child, but hold these truths in thine heart: Thou hast already married grandchildren and great-grandchildren aplenty, and verily, the year is no longer 1806, and maids of nine-and-twenty need no longer be called by the name of spinster.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/ministerformagic Pius Thicknesse

    Oh, god. Popcorn sticks to everything. It’s great to eat when you first get it out of the microwave, but then the odor just lingers.
    Plus, it sticks to your teeth like glue and it practically requires taking a jackhammer to your teeth to chip out the kernel pieces.
    I had to quit eating popcorn because of such issues.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/susansw1 Susan Wilbanks

    I temped for a few months at a cancer research and treatment center, and even though I was on a non-patient-care floor, microwave popcorn was forbidden because the smell nauseates patients on certain types of chemo so badly, and the smell is potent enough to leach to the floors above and below.
    When we make popcorn, we throw about 1/3 c. of kernels in a paper bag, staple it shut (if you use just two staples, they’re ok for the microwave), microwave, then sprinkle with a little salt and melted butter. It smells and tastes far better than the prepackaged kind.

  • Coyote

    Thou shalt not assume that the person with whom thou speakest is male, simply because their hair doth not hang below their neck.
    If thou dost make such assumptions, thou shalt not vent thy anger, nor thy pity, upon the person who has enlightened thee. Neither shalt thou refuse to believe said correction, an it come from the person thou hast insulted.
    Thou shalt think of the person behind the counter as a human much like thyself, although they may wear an uniform or apron. Thou shalt treat them with the respect thou wouldst show an customer of thine own, whether or not thou considerest their generation beneath thine own in standards.
    Also, on the “I’m praying for you” discussion, Aye, times one thousand and one. The other day, I was helping out a customer, and she said what sounded like “Ma’am, ma’am… sir?” I corrected her.
    Me: *smiling* Oh no, ma’am, you were right the first time. I’m a girl.”
    Customer: I was saying ‘man,’ and then I said sir.
    Me: …Oh. Um, okay. I… am a girl.
    Customer: *turns back to rack without a word or gesture*
    After the transaction, she returned to exchange one of the nail files she’d bought for a different design.
    Customer: *long pause* I’m gonna say a prayer for you.
    Me: …*utterly lost for words* Okay…?
    Customer: *walks to the door, then pauses and turns there for a long minute. Shouts* I’m gonna say a prayer for you, man!
    Me: …
    *waits for the door to close, collapses in laughter*

  • http://profile.typepad.com/cityofladiesblogspotcom Rebecca

    3) Leviticus – Here’s where we start to get a little tricky. I’ve read that the Hebrew literally means a man shall not “lay layings” with a man as if with a woman. I’ve seen this described as less about the sex, and more about where the sex act takes place. I’ve seen this passage also described as a prohibition for the Jews from doing anything like their neighbors who did engage in many forms of sex as a celebration/ritualistic thing. I’ve also seen people say that if this prohibition is in effect, then it’s also ok to sell your daughter into slavery and stone your disobedient children. According to Jewish tradition, though, you wash in the mitzvah and send out a goat into the desert once a year, and you’re good, as opposed to being damned for all time. (I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOO over-generalizing here. There’s a lot more to it then this)
    The other thing is that “layings” apparently refers to sex already, and if that’s the case, what’s the reason for “as with a woman”? Mere redundancy? Or additional meaning?
    Notice how the French troubadour seems to think that the Saracens are a) polytheist and b) worship “Mahom”
    Ever read the Croxton Play of the Sacrament? Besides a communion wafer sticking to someone’s hand so that they have to cut their hand off, it also has (in my edition) the footnote which will never fail to be amusing in the many ways in which it is Wrong: “Mohammed, here assumed to the god of the Jews…”
    OTIC, every time you comment in this discussion, you just make yourself seem more stupid. Why don’t you stop?
    @kittehonmylap: Why yes, I have an opera performance this evening, why do you ask?
    Ooh, what is it?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/rajexplorer Raj

    ok, I’ve been miserably sick for a couple of days, but here are some responses based on some skimming I just did:
    {{{{{Lonespark}}}}} I feel your pain. I’ve been there.
    Karen, I can’t begin to say how fortunate I am to call you my friend.
    ————————————————————————–
    I don’t know how the whole commandments thing got started, and I’m too sick to do an extensive search, but here are my feeble contributions:
    If thou seest an Indian (i.e. person from India, not Native American) in a convenience store, thou shalt not assume that he worketh there. If thou makest that assumption, thou shalt believe him when he telleth thee that he worketh not in that store.
    Thou shalt not feature Classical Greek architecture in a movie about Hercules, the Trojan War, or any other aspect of Mycanaean history or folklore. History Fail is an abomination unto me.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/rajexplorer Raj

    That’s “Mycenaean”, not “Mycanaean”. Damned flu.

  • Amaryllis

    Sympathies to lonespark, and everyone else in that situation.
    @ Raj: hope you’re feeling better. Would you care for some virtual chicken soup, or a hot toddy?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a6452705970c Ruby

    Having just taken out the trash…
    Thou shalt not throw perfectly good pieces of furniture into the dumpster, but shalt instead donate them to charity or give them away; forsooth, thou art filling the landfills when others might use thine discarded treasures.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    When we make popcorn, we throw about 1/3 c. of kernels in a paper bag, staple it shut (if you use just two staples, they’re ok for the microwave), microwave, then sprinkle with a little salt and melted butter. It smells and tastes far better than the prepackaged kind.
    The staples, it turns out, are entirely optional – you get the same effect if you roll the top of the bag tightly. Also this method means you are eating far fewer toxic chemicals, which is also nice.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    Thou shalt turn in thy own original work, and accept thy crappy grade. Thou shalt not turn in a cut and paste from wikipedia. Thou shalt especially not do so in the area of thine professors particular expertise. If thou insisteth upon such foolishness, thou shalt be cast out into the outer darkness, where there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth, for the passing of the course is not for thee.

  • Tim

    The prayer requires a Divine Focus (which is reusable) and the spell requires Material Components (which are expended).
    No no no. Prayer restores HP to the entire party and costs no MP but has a chance of failure (and in certain versions will restore MP or give the party Regen as well), whereas Spells cost MP but have no failure chance.
    Also, Cleric ‘prayers’ do sometime require material components.
    Say, has anyone come up with a domain and portfolio for RTC Turbojesus and a PrC for his clerics and Paladins?