TF: That rabbi thing

Tribulation Force, pp. 386-388

“Want to take over?” Rayford asked his first officer. “I wouldn’t mind catching this special CNN report.”

“Roger. That rabbi thing?”

“Right.”

So no sooner do I make a point of complaining about Jerry Jenkins’ lack of storytelling economy than he demonstrates he’s capable of it, transporting us to Air Force/Global Community One, already in the air and headed for Baghdad and New Babylon.

We seem to have reached a point here toward the end of Tribulation Force where Jenkins realizes he doesn’t need any more padding to get to 400 pages in Book 2, so the pace is picking up a bit.

Rayford heads back into the cabin to find that Nicolae Carpathia and “other dignitaries and press were gathering around another TV.”

Someone turned on the set and tuned it to ICNN. “You know,” Carpathia announced to all within earshot, “our captain believes Jesus was the Messiah.”

Chaim Rosenzweig said, “Frankly, as a nonreligious Jew, I think Nicolae fulfills more of the prophecies than Jesus did.”

Rayford recoiled. What blasphemy! He knew Buck liked and respected Rosenzweig, but what a statement!

Rayford has spent the previous month studying the Bible prophecies of Tim LaHaye and the Rev. Billings. That prophecy scheme revolves around the rise of an Antichrist — a false Messiah — who will deceive the whole world into following him. And Rayford has already concluded beyond all doubt that Nicolae Carpathia is this Antichrist, this false Messiah who will deceive the whole world.

And yet every time Rayford sees this deception happening he seems surprised and bewildered.

That bewilderment is particularly strange on this particular afternoon. Nicolae, after all, has just come from signing a treaty establishing the peace and security of the nation of Israel. So as far as this particular day is concerned, the score stands at Nicolae 1, Jesus 0 in terms of fulfilling messianic prophecies.

Rayford settles in to watch that rabbi thing with Chaim and Nicolae and the rest.

Carpathia obviously considered this a good hour’s diversion, Rayford thought.

But it ought to be much more than a diversion for Nicolae. As the Antichrist, the impostor messiah, he ought to have a serious professional interest in Tsion Ben-Judah’s research project and broadcast. And he’s got to be kicking himself for dropping the ball on this one.

Think of it, here he is midway through his ascendancy as global messiah and now he’s got to contend with some rabbi going on TV and, in all likelihood, telling everyone that someone else is that messiah. He should have been out in front of this, steering the outcome and turning this broadcast into an asset rather than a bit of damage control he’s going to have to deal with later. Nicolae is probably also realizing that he should have started his people working on a similar research project years ago, reshaping both the popular understanding of messianic expectations and his own elastic biography to better support his messianic claims.

It’s simply inexcusable that Nicolae and his people allowed this angle to be overlooked. Someone ought to get fired over this screw-up — except, of course, that Nicolae hasn’t actually hired anyone yet. What’s he going to do, fire Steve Plank? That would leave him with only Hattie, Chaim and Rayford on staff, and running a global dictatorship with only three minions seems unmanageable.

The broadcast begins and:

Rayford found Dr. Ben-Judah a most engaging communicator. He looked directly into the camera, and though his accent was thick, he spoke slowly and distinctly enough to be easily understood.

The thick accent is due to Ben-Judah being an Israeli and a native speaker of Hebrew. He is reporting the findings of a research project commissioned by the government of Israel on behalf of the people of Israel. So why is he speaking in heavily accented English rather than in Hebrew?

This is partly for narrative convenience, the in-story rationale for which is the idea of a worldwide TV broadcast for ICNN’s mostly non-Hebrew-speaking audience. But as we’ll see later in this chapter, Ben-Judah has to be speaking English because many of his conclusions wouldn’t make sense in Hebrew. Key points of his argument depend on idiosyncratic English translations from the Hebrew. If his English speech is thickly accented with Hebrew, his Hebrew scholarship is far more thickly accented in King James English.

Ben-Judah … began with a promise. “I have come to the conclusion that we may know beyond all shadow of doubt the identity of our Messiah. Our Bible has given clear prophecies, prerequisites, and predictions that only one person in the human race could ever fulfill. Follow along with me and see if you come to the same conclusion I have, and we shall see whether Messiah is a real person, whether he has already come, or whether he is yet to come.”

This is what Tsion Ben-Judah was commissioned to do, so before we get further into the content of his message, we should ask why. We should step back and consider whether such a commissioning of such a project would be advisable or likely or something that could ever actually happen in the real world.

I don’t think it is.

Jenkins has done his best to portray Ben-Judah as a universally respected figure who is trusted by every political and religious faction in Israel. Even if we grant for argument’s sake that such universal trust and respect is possible in the fractious real world, that would only qualify Ben-Judah to serve, at best, as one of the co-chairmen of a committee trusted with this task.

And it would have to be a committee — a diverse collection of scholars from diverse constituencies. In the real world, that is the only way a project like this one would ever be funded or even permitted. To be supported or recognized as legitimate by the numerous factions with a stake in the outcome of this project, those factions would need to feel represented on that committee. They would need to feel like they or at least their people were participating in the study. Without such representation and participation, they would be suspicious and distrustful of the project. It would be viewed, from the outset, as “controversial” rather than as authoritative and objective.

To put one man unaccountably in charge would make that man controversial and suspect. Whatever trust and respect Ben-Judah enjoyed before the project began would be eroded long before his conclusions were announced. He would cease to be thought of as a respected, disinterested scholar, but instead as that quack who thinks he’s going to tell everyone else what to believe.

I don’t know enough about the particulars of Israeli Judaism or Israeli politics to provide specific details on who the various factions with competing stakes in this project might be or what their particular points of contention are. But we don’t need to know such specifics to appreciate that it’s foolish to expect these groups of people not to behave the way that all groups of people everywhere behave. If there was uniformity of opinion before the project began, then the project would not be necessary. If there was not uniformity of opinion before the project began, then it would need to be conducted by a representative committee, and the lobbying and politicking involving who did and didn’t serve on that committee would be fierce. This is how we humans operate.

Even with participation in the project by proxies of all the different concerned groups, there still would be no guarantee that the committee’s findings would be broadly accepted as legitimate. But without such participation — with nothing more than, “Let’s all trust Tsion, he’s a nice guy” — it’s guaranteed that his findings would be rejected long before anyone even heard what they were.

And then there’s this business of a live broadcast in which lone-wolf Ben-Judah’s findings will be revealed as a big surprise on international television. There’s no way the Israeli government would allow that to happen. And there’s no way they should. It would be irresponsible — putting lives and public safety unnecessarily at risk.

The government that commissioned this study certainly wasn’t expecting the result that Tsion Ben-Judah is about to announce, but they also could not have expected any result that would please all, or even most, of those who would be watching this broadcast. Some people are bound to disagree with him. A good many of his viewers are bound to be upset no matter what conclusions he announces. And this being Jerusalem — the holy city that has been the focus of centuries of unholy interreligious and intrareligious violence — it’s utterly predictable that some of those who will be most upset will be those who tend to get violently upset.

There’s a good chance, in other words, that some members of whatever groups are pleased by Ben-Judah’s conclusions will wind up getting shot by some members of some groups displeased by them. The broadcast of his secret conclusions is an invitation to violence and rioting. It constitutes an incitement. By airing the broadcast in this way, the government has basically hired Ben-Judah to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, or to yell “ready, aim, fire” in a crowded marketplace.

Scheduling such an obvious provocation at all would be madness. Scheduling it for the very same day as the treaty signing would seem like a deliberate effort to sabotage whatever sense of celebration and national unity that even might have produced.

This just isn’t something that could or would ever happen in the real world.

So yet again the reader is confronted with an impossibility. The authors are again telling us their prediction for the future — a prediction, they insist, is bound to happen, fated, prophesied and foreordained. And again we find that it cannot be believed.

It is yet another prophecy that we can know is false, yet another piece of evidence confirming that the Left Behind series is a collection of false prophecy.

Speaking of false prophecies, if Family Radio’s Harold Camping is correct, then this will be the final post in this series before the Rapture and the pouring out of divine wrath. (Camping’s End Times timeline is very different from Tim LaHaye’s, with only five months between the Rapture and the bitter, bitter end.)

According to Camping and his followers, Saturday, May 21, is Judgment Day. “The Bible guarantees it!” Camping says:

On May 21, 2011 two events will occur. These events could not be more opposite in nature, the one more wonderful than can be imagined; the other more horrific than can be imagined.

A great earthquake will occur the Bible describes it as “such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” This earthquake will be so powerful it will throw open all graves. The remains of the all the believers who have ever lived will be instantly transformed into glorified spiritual bodies to be forever with God.

On the other hand the bodies of all unsaved people will be thrown out upon the ground to be shamed.

The inhabitants who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until October 21, 2011 when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants.

Almost every bit of that is nonsense (apart from “each day people will die,” which will continue to be true up through Oct. 21 and long after that day as well).

Such ridiculousness is ripe for appropriate ridicule. I’m sorry I won’t be able to make it to Biloxi, Miss., on Sunday for “The Gulf Coast Atheist and Freethinking Association Post-Rapture Breakfast,” for example. And yes, I also have the obvious REM video cued up and pre-scheduled to post here 6:01 p.m. Saturday to coincide with Camping’s great disappointment. (The End will come at 6 p.m. sharp, Camping insists — local time, unrolling around the globe in hourly intervals. I’m not clear on whether or not it takes daylight savings time into account, so maybe I should reschedule that post for 7:01.)

But I also share Matthew Paul Turner’s take on this, that it’s important to be sure that we direct that ridicule at the appropriate targets — the ridiculous ideas and those who have profited from them, rather than from their victims. As Turner writes:

My jokes won’t be personal attacks on the May 21st believers. … Because there’s nothing funny about being misled, misguided, naive, and sheltered.

Because there’s nothing funny about kids believing and anticipating THE END. And while I know that the kids who believe in May 21st have what they consider to be “great faith in Jesus,” – trust me, they are scared. They’re nervous. Some of them aren’t sleeping. They’re asking lots of questions. They’re hoping that it isn’t true. But they believe it is.

And on May 22 … the May 21st kids will be facing their “day of reckoning,” waking up to realize that their parents, pastors, and theologies were wrong. Many of those kids will lose something that day. The questions that many of them will ask will get answered with lies and excuses and bad biblical reasoning. Some of them will be angry with God for not bringing about Judgment Day. Some of them will lose their faith and yet be unable to escape it. And some of them will go on like nothing happened and probably end up setting and believing in another “date”.

And there’s nothing funny about that…

  • Lori

     Wait, I think I missed something. I tend to skim a lot of the quotes from LB because the writing is just too painful. Am I understanding correctly that for the “wrath of the lamb” scene Rayford is the pilot of a helicopter in which Niki is flying? 

    Do L&J actually not realize that flying a plane and flying a helicopter are quite different skills and that it’s relatively rare for someone to fly both? 

    I don’t expect the two of them to have done any research themselves, but why didn’t they get  someone else to at least fact-check the basics? 

  • Paul

    The really anoying thing is ,there are real historical precedients the authors could have turned to.  Nicea or a hundered other thelogical councils  , the one thing these all had in common was that they were debates between the various groups and viewpoints.  Here the authors want us to belive that the rabi will be universally agreed with and listened to.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    Okay, I completely mangled my post trying to edit it. Let me try again.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    It’s basically the exact same excuse they will give for the existence of Earth. “What are the real chances of a planet with the exact conditions for humans just appearing by coincidence.”

    I’ve seen it argued that Earth is not the best kind of planet to support human life.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/05/obstinate_and_oblivious.php#comment-3837962

    The earth is actually a little bit too close to the sun, meaning that its “lifespan” as a habitable planet for complex life is shorter than it could have been if it had been just a little bit further out. . .

    And from the following post at that link (same author):

    It might also be argued that the “perfect” planet for life is actually a little bit bigger than the earth. The hypothesis being that bigger terrestrial planets retain more internal heat, leading to thinner crusts with a greater likelihood for life-supporting plate tectonics to get going. . .

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

     For that matter, I argued something similar myself, only not as scientifically.
    http://iamcoleslaw.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-has-happened-down-here.html

  • chris the cynic

    There are some pronouns whose antecedents aren’t clear, but it looks like Ray is not flying the helicopter at any point during the book.  Mac is doing all the chopper flying.  In fact, in this instance Ray is capable of recognizing that someone else is better than him at something:

    He envied McCullum’s ability to easily switch back and forth between copiloting jumbo jets and flying whirlybirds. Rayford hadn’t piloted a helicopter since his military days more than twenty years before.

    As these things go, that’s a fairly competent set up for the idea that Rayford might one day be able to fly a helicopter himself.  Assuming that the bit about Ray’s helicopter past is there to foreshadow a helicopter future instead of just being there to say, “Ray can fly copters too.”

  • Anonymous

    We got plenty of time for the crawfish boil, that’s at 3:00 PM. But we were also planning to watch the most recent two eps of Doctor Who and a whole bunch of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

    Pinkie Pie would help you plan your Rapture party!

    Twilight Sparkle would hit the books to try to save the world.  Applejack would just want to get the harvest done in time.  Rarity would remind you to hang your clothes neatly so they don’t get crumpled when you’re raptured out of them.  Fluttershy would look forward to meeting all her new locust friends.  And Rainbow Dash would fly straight up at top speed so she could kick God in the face.

    At the end, it turns out the apocalypse was just Princess Celestia pranking them all.

  • Gela Delgado

    [quote] You couldn’t possibly use “ass”, because that’s a swear word.[/quote]

    Which is really a shame, because the kind of story Left Behind emulates and the kind of character Rayford really ought to be, would pretty much *require* the use of the occasional swear word.  If Ray is the implied narrator and as angry as he’s supposed to be in that scene, is he really thinking “seat?”  Or is he thinking “You insufferable bastard, I’m going to knock you on your ass!”  This is a really good example of how the authors intrude upon and supress their own work to the point of defeating the story itself.

  • Hawker40

    “Do L&J actually not realize that flying a plane and flying a helicopter are quite different skills and that it’s relatively rare for someone to fly both?”

    Actually… many of the priciples (or at least controls) are the same.  All US Navy helo pilots are trained first on fixed wing aircraft before specializing in helos.
    Now, while Ray might have his rotary wing qualifications, his specialty is large multi-engine aircraft, and it would be unlikely that he’d be primary pilot for both Nicky’s helicopter and his private jet.  The priciples may be similar, but being good enough at both for a government leader is unlikely.
    (Of course, Ray is probably a ace fighter pilot, a member of the Air Force Thunderbirds, a qualified Astronaut and shuttle pilot…)

  • Anonymous

    As these things go, that’s a fairly competent set up for the idea that Rayford might one day be able to fly a helicopter himself.  Assuming that the bit about Ray’s helicopter past is there to foreshadow a helicopter future instead of just being there to say, “Ray can fly copters too.”

    Ask and ye shall receive…

    From Book #8…

    Rayford set the instrument panel lights at their lowest level and quickly saw he was off course. It was an easy fix, but so much for trusting his brain, even in a ship like this. Mac had once told him that piloting a helicopter was to flying a 747 as riding a bike was to driving a sport utility vehicle. From that Rayford assumed that he would do more work by the seat of his pants than by marrying his fully loaded himself to the instrument panel. But neither had he planned on flying blind over a deserted megalopolis in wee-hour blackness. He had to get to Kankakee, pick up Albie, and get back to the tower before sunup. He had not a minute to spare. The last thing he wanted was to be seen over a restricted area in broad daylight. Detected in the dead of night was one thing. He would take his chances, trust his instincts. But there would be no hiding under the sun, and he would die before he would lead anyone to the new safe house.

    The Mark, p 8

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

     Why would they [folks who believe the rapture will happen this Saturday] do that [plan their finances and etc out to the last penny so as to have nothing left by Saturday]…? So that the “left behind” cannot profit from them?

    Based on the interview, because it felt wrong – maybe wasteful, even –  to keep earning money and such when you knew that the world was going to end. So they’ve spent the past couple of months handing out tracts and trying to convince others to join them. 

  • Lori

     All US Navy helo pilots are trained first on fixed wing aircraft before specializing in helos. 

    Really? Did they change that at some point? I ask because one of my grad school classmates was a Navy officer who was a helo pilot. Just before he finished his Master’s he was informed that his next assignment would be Naval attache to a country in Africa (I won’t name the country since that would ID him). One of the requirements of that duty was the ability to fly fixed wing aircraft. The attache to country X effectively served as the attache to several other countries that didn’t rate their own and therefore needed to be able to fly himself and other US government personnel from place to place. 

    He was fine with most of duties of an attache, although somewhat concerned about the amount of socializing required in light of the fact that he and his wife had young children including twins less than a year old. The flight requirement was a bit of a fly in the ointment though. He had more than a dozen years in helos, including having been shot at, but said he had “no clue about planes”. Frankly he didn’t sound all that thrilled about learning either, but that may have been general disappointment over the fact that the attache job was not his choice. 

    Because he couldn’t fly fixed wing the Navy was sending him to a 6 month interim duty station to get up to speed, with his attache posting contingent on successfully be able to fly a plane before that assignment was completed. I’m sure that he did fine and is now wrapping up the attache gig, but it wasn’t a gimme. 

  • Anonymous

     “Detected in the dead of night was one thing. He would take his chances, trust his instincts. But there would be no hiding under the sun, and he would die before he would lead anyone to the new safe house.”

    For a pilot, he sure doesn’t seem to understand how “radar” works. 

    Also, if I was God, I’d be offended at how these books portray me as one half of the couple from a bad romantic comedy. Throughout the series, characters constantly obsess about lying to the Antichrist about their true allegiance. David Hassid ends up in a line of people swearing fealty to Nicolae, and rather than just go, “Oh, yeah, brah. Totes got your back, ya know? Bump it!” like anyone else would, he freaks out that somehow God will see him do this and retract his Jesus-stamp.  Because apparently an omnipotent being who can see your innermost thoughts will dump you should he hear you lying to his worst enemy to save all your friends and family.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

     I think I can *sort of* understand the charge.  It does after all by definition remove the mystery about a lot of things; and the new mysteries opened up by new discoveries are often so far above the average person’s level of thinking that they really can’t comprehend it. 

    I’ll freely admit being in that category.  I dislike the idea that it’s unlikely we’ll ever be able to travel faster than light, and I have no idea how to comprehend high end particle physics or string theory or any of that.  It’s beyond me.

    So that’s one area where something I want to be true has been, if not dis-proven by science, at least made very very unlikely… while simultaneously some of the newer more exciting and cutting-edge things out there that are still mysterious are just beyond me.  They require a certain devotion to even begin to appreciate.

    I’m not saying it’s a wholly accurate or even reasonable statement – I much prefer to have science in the long run… but I think by definition it does take some of the mystery out of things.

    Obviously this is very much a YMMV type of thing.  I’m one of those weird people who pretty much wishes he could believe in things like ghosts and ESP for example >.>;  I know they aren’t real, but I totally wish they were at least to a point.  (I did say I was weird right?)

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

     Could be that after  having learned to fly a plane all those years ago, hadn’t done so during the interim time period?  I mean you’d have to imagine if someone spends 40-80 hours learning to fly a regular fixed wing aircraft.. then 12 years in a chopper, they may not remember how to do the fixed wing aircraft by that point.

    (That’s a guess from a civvie though, I know I’d probably forget without refreshers of some kind >.>)

  • Lori

    It’s possible, but from what I remember he sounded as if he hadn’t ever know how to fly fixed wing and was a bit concerned about learning. Of course, my memory of his comment is rather vague since that was several years ago and it wasn’t even the most important part of that conversation. 

  • Anonymous

    Semperfiona:

    I think this reuse of the word “seat” probably traces back to the
    requirements of “Christian Literature”. You couldn’t possibly use “ass”,
    because that’s a swear word.

    I think you’re exactly right, although Rob Brown has also pointed out some G-rated options. The problem, it seems to me, is not so much that JJ didn’t bother to think of a synonym for “seat” as that he sacrifices any chance of a decent description in order to make Nicolae the victim of a bit of slapstick.

    This is meant to be a serious moment. “Nicolae sprawled on the ground” would have been a better sentence. But no, gotta make Nicky fall on his butt, and can’t say “butt” (or whatever), so “seat” will have to do. 

  • Rowen

     I love the movie Bend it Like Beckham, but there’s a scene where the daughter’s test results have come in, and the mother is praying for A level results (I know nothing about the English school system, so I figured this was kinda like the SATs here in the states). That scene has always felt weird to me cause it’s already been decided. Why not pray earlier? (Of course, she might have, but I don’t see why praying over the envelope is gonna do anything)

  • Rikalous

    “We are learning more and more about our brilliant young journalist,”
    Carpathia said. “He has never been forthcoming about his ties to my own
    pilot, but then neither has Captain Steele. I still do not mind having
    them around. They may think they are in strategy proximity to me, I am
    also able to learn much about the opposition through them.”

    Nicky keeps them around because he finds them hilarious. “These are the best soldiers God can come up with? Lucy’s right, this is going to be easy!” Oh, and the “ties” comment could be read to suggest he’s slashing them, if one was so inclined.

  • Rikalous

    Different strokes, I guess. Personally, I tend to find the explanations cooler than the mysteries. Oh, and given how much I identify with this XKCD comic: http://xkcd.com/877/, I don’t think you’re the weird one.

  • Rikalous

    Lemme try that link again: http://xkcd.com/877/

  • Rikalous

    So the good Mr. Camping says that a member of any religion can be Raptured, as long as they accept Jesus and the Bible? You can have a Model T in any color…

  • Anonymous

    You stay classy, Kirk

     
    No chance of that happening, I’m afraid.
    (Dunno if this image was posted, Disqus isn’t playing nice with the ‘find’ function)

  • Hawker40

    Just verified with a ‘helo guy’ (I work on a navy base with “Naval Aviators”): basic flight training is ‘single prop engine fixed wing’, then they go to advanced training (Helos).  Now, your classmate may not have any training in anything else fixed wing, and would need to take the ‘jet engine fixed wing’ and ‘multi engine fixed wing’ course(s) to take the duty assigned.

  • Lori

    Thanks! 

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

     Hehehe, gotta love XKCD >_>

  • Socks of Sullenness

    SP’sBH: I assume the local time issue is to help manage the flow of the raptured through check-in at heaven.

    I am a bit late in reading the post and replies – Possibly it will be all hands to the Pearly Gate, as in Kipling’s On the Gate – a view of check-in procedures that is far more concerned with humanity and frailty than L&J

  • Anonymous

    OT a bit/ Not going to  lie, I totally read this comic, http://www.jesusneedsnewpr.net/the-greatest-jesus-picture-ever/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

      Today’s comic is even more on topic for this conversation.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

     Lol ><;  That comic is so made of win.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charlotte-Griffin/100000268700809 Charlotte Griffin

    “It’s just impossible for someone who wasn’t inside that bubble to understand how deeply awful it is – it’s like living in a Lovecraftian horror story; with the caveat that none of it’s true, you’ve just been deceived to such an extent; and cut off from outside information to such an extent, that it certainly SEEMS like it’s true. ”

    I truly cannot imagine what it would be like, and I can’t express enough my admiration that you seem to have gone through that and come out a thoughtful, insightful person who broke out of the bubble in whatever way you did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charlotte-Griffin/100000268700809 Charlotte Griffin

    backside?
    tuchis?
    tush?
    fanny?

    The Antichrist cannot land on his fanny. That’s just not right. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charlotte-Griffin/100000268700809 Charlotte Griffin

    “Here the authors want us to belive that the rabi will be universally agreed with and listened to.”

    Sure, because that’s LaHaye’s own fantasy for himself.

  • http://twitter.com/ofnoimport Josh

    Would it be possible to get a static like to the beginning of the Left Behind critique?  Whenever I link it to someone I spend a half hour trying to guess what page the beginning is on now.

  • Rob Brown

    And that could lead to a song which initially seems like filler but which you quickly find to be one hell of an ear worm.

    “Rapture Wrap-Up”, mayhaps?

  • Rob Brown

    Ah yes, I’m surprised I forgot about tuchis (or is “-us”?).

    As for other words that would be bad choices in that particular sentence (such as “fanny” or “seat”)…

    -Derriere
    -Heinie
    -Bottom
    -Bum
    -Santorum dispenser (not that Ellenjay would use that one, of course)

  • Emcee, cubed

    (The End will come at 6 p.m. sharp, Camping insists — local time, unrolling around the globe in hourly intervals. I’m not clear on whether or not it takes daylight savings time into account, so maybe I should reschedule that post for 7:01.)

    Actually, since we moved the clocks ahead for DST (spring forward), to get the correct time without DST, wouldn’t we set the clocks backward, meaning that it would be 5:01pm, not 7:01pm?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Arse. Best word in all circumstances.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    *blush* D’aww. (~_~); thank you for the kind words.  Any credit really goes to my teachers though – while there were exceptions, most were intelligent, thoughtful people and they were all willing to subtly poke and prod at that bubble until it popped.  Also my mom, who divorced my dad and in doing so took me outside the bubble (and put me in public school).

    So yeah, it wasn’t so much anything I did – I just got lucky enough to have the right people at the right times to say the right things.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    *blush* D’aww. (~_~); thank you for the kind words.  Any credit really goes to my teachers though – while there were exceptions, most were intelligent, thoughtful people and they were all willing to subtly poke and prod at that bubble until it popped.  Also my mom, who divorced my dad and in doing so took me outside the bubble (and put me in public school).

    So yeah, it wasn’t so much anything I did – I just got lucky enough to have the right people at the right times to say the right things.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

      I concur with this (^_^) the UK has such wonderful words for… everything.  Bollocks is another favorite lol

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

    Pinkie Pie would help you plan your Rapture party!

    Twilight
    Sparkle would hit the books to try to save the world.  Applejack would
    just want to get the harvest done in time.  Rarity would remind you to
    hang your clothes neatly so they don’t get crumpled when you’re raptured
    out of them.  Fluttershy would look forward to meeting all her new
    locust friends.  And Rainbow Dash would fly straight up at top speed so
    she could kick God in the face.

    At the end, it turns out the apocalypse was just Princess Celestia pranking them all.

    Oh Vermic. So much win, I cannot count the ways. Take all the internets; they are yours.

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

    So. The seat/seat thing. There’s a phrase for that, which I now know thanks to the wonderfully grammar-obsessive blog Reasoning With Vampires.

    It is called Contextually Contaminated Connotations — look, it’s even an alliterative phrase! — and it is demonstrated here. And also here.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ALX3ONJA3OLB7H5VXBPOPZB3RM bria

    I read Tim LeHaye’s the mark back in 2000.  At first I didnt want to read it.  then I realized why.  There was no swearing, and the book revolved around the precept that christianity was a “good” religion.  When I deconverted a few years later, The Mark was one of the first book I sold to a half price book store.  Along with the bible, of course.  My mom wasnt pleased, and when I came back to get the bible I sold back, it was already sold, and it had only been a day.  I dont think it a coincidence.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ALX3ONJA3OLB7H5VXBPOPZB3RM bria

     You just implied Jesus himself was a false prophet. Bravo:)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ALX3ONJA3OLB7H5VXBPOPZB3RM bria

    I hope after HC’s lovely failure, people finally get their heads out of the sand and ask the Big Question, if HC is wrong, what else is wrong with christianity? perhaps a lot more than people will realize. 

  • Anonymous

    The overwhelming majority of Christian leaders and theologians disagree with Camping.  I wouldn’t base an evaluation of a theology or philosophy on a leader whose teachings are unrepresentative of the whole.

  • Anonymous

    The overwhelming majority of Christian leaders and theologians disagree with Camping.  I wouldn’t base an evaluation of a theology or philosophy on a leader whose teachings are unrepresentative of the whole.

  • gallantrose

    @Socks of Sullenness: Thanks for that Kipling link–I always forget how much I like him. What a sense of pacing he had!  And wasn’t he human….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

     

    I hope after HC’s lovely failure, people finally get their heads out of the sand and ask the Big Question, if HC is wrong, what else is wrong with christianity?

    There are a lot of problems with the way Christianity is practiced in this country (and others), as Fred’s posts frequently show. These problems can be criticized from a christian perspective, or from an outsider perspective, and both have validity and are useful for different things.


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