NRA: Reach out and touch someone

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, pp. 56-63

Here we go with the big action sequence — complete with a high-speed car chase. This being a Left Behind novel, of course, the car chase is conveyed second-hand, over the phone.

This is action in Jerry Jenkins’ signature style. That means speed-dial, re-dial, 411, powerful people on hold and all the pulse-pounding voicemail excitement readers can handle. We’re talking more than a dozen phone calls in eight pages — plus a dollop of medieval anti-Semitism, a steady stream of gratuitous misogyny, and the destruction of yet another great American city.

The action is off the hook.

Buck Williams arrives at the Chicago Bureau office of his news company just as the city of Chicago is under attack. A missile strike flattened a hospital, killing hundreds of innocent civilians. A bomb — possibly even a nuclear bomb — has destroyed O’Hare International Airport. But Buck hasn’t gone to his Chicago Bureau office to report on any of that. He’s just dropping by to make some personal phone calls.

It tells us all we need to know about Global Community Weekly under Buck’s guidance that his arrival doesn’t even prompt his staff to pretend to look busy. They’re huddled around a TV, watching CNN’s report on the attacks on Chicago. CNN is reporting from the scene. The Weekly’s Chicago staff is watching CNN.

The only person in the office who actually seemed to be working when Buck arrived was Verna Zee. Buck promptly commandeers her telephone and kicks her out of her office.

We’re not supposed to like Verna Zee because she has sensible shoes, a vagina, and little patience for missed deadlines or insubordination. When her former boss disappeared in the Rapture, Verna stepped up and kept the office running throughout the crisis. Buck resents her for that, and apparently we readers are supposed to resent her as well. We’re expected to cheer every contemptuous thing Buck says to her, and to giggle when he walked behind her making silly faces back when she was his boss.

I don’t think the authors intended Buck’s ugly behavior toward Verna to serve as a model for how good, Christian men ought to behave toward their bosses. They only mean this to be a model for how good, Christian men ought to behave toward their bosses if their bosses are women.

Jenkins reintroduces Verna with a summary of Buck’s history with her. It reads a bit like something out of Brief Interviews With Hideous Men:

Buck had had innumerable run-ins with Verna Zee in the Chicago office. Once he felt she had overstepped her bounds and had moved too quickly into her former boss’s office after Lucinda Washington disappeared in the Rapture. Then, when Buck himself was demoted for ostensibly missing the most important assignment of his life, Verna did become Chicago bureau chief and lorded it over him. Now that he was publisher, he had been tempted to fire her.

Buck is relentlessly nasty toward Verna in this section. He starts off sarcastic and snippy — “I believe I asked you a question,” “None of your business” — and winds up threatening her with violence. Verna responds in kind, with sarcasm and impatience, but she’s also indispensably helpful to Buck throughout these pages. He could not have made all those phone calls without her busily taking messages for him on the other line. And each time she pops in to her own office to deliver one of these messages, Buck snatches it from her and yells, “leave me alone!”

So here, then, is a summary of the action in this section:

1. Nicolae Carpathia calls for Buck, Verna takes the message.

2. Rayford Steele calls for Buck, Verna takes the message.

3. Buck calls the hotel and gets Rayford’s message there, learning that Chicago is about to be destroyed.

4. Buck calls information to get the telephone number for the Land Rover dealership.

5. Buck calls the Land Rover dealership to get the telephone number for his car.

6. Buck calls his car-phone to warn Chloe, but doesn’t get through.

7. Nicolae calls for Buck, Verna takes the message.

8. Buck calls his car-phone to warn Chloe, but doesn’t get through.

9. “Buck hung up on the recorded message several times,” repeatedly calling the car-phone and failing to get through.

10. Chaim Rosenzweig calls Buck. They talk on the phone.

11. Chloe calls for Buck, Verna takes the message.

12. Buck calls his car-phone to warn Chloe, and Chloe answers.

And then Chicago gets destroyed.

Nicolae and Rayford were both calling to warn Buck to get away from the city before the attack. It’s nice that they were both concerned for his safety — even if neither was quite concerned enough to convey their warning in the messages they left.

Rayford’s message just told Buck to call the hotel to get the message Rayford left on the voicemail there. He apparently didn’t want to repeat that warning here lest some of Buck’s co-workers might overhear and their lives might also be saved accidentally.

Buck ignores Nicolae’s phone calls, and Verna just keeps dutifully taking his messages. It never occurs to either of them that an exclusive phone conversation with the global potentate right in the middle of World War III might be of some journalistic interest.

Buck never seems to think like a reporter, but we’ll cut him some slack this time because he just realized that he sent his wife to the very downtown hotel that he has just learned is about to be obliterated. He’s desperate to reach Chloe — to warn her to turn around and to take her and his beloved new car far away from the city. Unfortunately, he was so excited by the idea of his shiny new car-phone that he neglected to get the number for it, so he dials up the car dealer who is, of course, still open for business as the war planes zoom overhead. (Just like the information assistance operators are still at work — “the smoldering ruins of what city, please?”)

He asked for the sales manager and said it was an emergency.

Within a minute, the man was on the line. As soon as he identified himself, the man said, “Everything all right with the–”

“The car is fine, sir. But I need to reach my wife, and she’s driving it right now. I need the phone number on that built-in phone.”

“That would take a little digging.”

“I can’t tell you how urgent this is, sir. …”

That’s not really true. Buck easily could tell the man how urgent this is. He could pass on Rayford’s warning and explain that this was a matter of life and death. If Buck were anything like a decent person, he would realize that he’s actually obliged to do that. But instead, Buck says this:

“I can’t tell you how urgent this is, sir. Let me just say that it’s worth my developing a quick case of buyer’s remorse and returning the vehicle if I can’t get that number right now.”

Like his father-in-law, Buck just can’t resist the chance to bully the help. Buck is pleased with the cleverness of his bluff. The poor car dealer has no idea that it would be impossible for Buck to make good on his threat. The sales manager doesn’t know that he and the rest of his staff are about to die a horrible death as bombs rain down on the dealership and the homes of everyone they know and love. Suckers.

When Buck gets no answer on the car-phone, he starts doing that redial, no-answer, hang-up, redial thing, at which point Verna tells him that Rosenzweig is calling from Israel and “says it’s a matter of life and death.”

Israel, you’ll recall, still has a good 23 months or so left before it’s peace treaty with the Antichrist expires as prophesied, so really Rosenzweig is calling from the one place in the world where it’s not “a matter of life and death” at the moment. The deaths he’s calling to report have already occurred, but he has some plot developments to convey and some ancient anti-Semitic stereotypes to reinforce:

“Israel has been spared the terrible bombings that your country has suffered, but Rabbi Ben-Judah’s family was abducted and slaughtered! His house has burned to the ground. I pray he is safe, but no one knows where he is!”

Buck was speechless. He hung his head. “His family is gone? Are you sure?”

“It was a public spectacle, Cameron. I was afraid it would come sooner or later. Why, oh why did he have to go public with his views about Messiah? It’s one thing to disagree with him, as I do, a respected and trusted friend. But the religious zealots in this country hate a person who believes that Jesus is Messiah.”

This is, quite frankly, viciously racist. In this compact little conversation, the authors manage to squeeze in both the ancient sin of the blood libel — children “abducted and slaughtered” — and the biblically illiterate Christ-killer slur.

Nasty, nasty stuff.

And yet Tim LaHaye seems genuinely confused and offended whenever he is accused of anti-Semitism. He angrily points out that he has always been a true and loyal friend to Israel, helping to raise millions of dollars to support what he believes is Israel’s best interests in Washington. It infuriates LaHaye when others so often fail to recognize that as evidence of his deep, deep love for those Christ-killing Jews.

“The religious zealots in this country hate a person who believes that Jesus is Messiah.”

Tim LaHaye wrote that. Why would anyone ever accuse him of being anti-Semitic?

Buck gets off the phone with Chaim only to learn from Verna that he just missed a call from Chloe. As he redials the car-phone, he decides that Verna’s presence there in her own office is intolerable:

Buck had never been angrier with anyone. …

Yes, Nicolae Carpathia has killed millions of people in the past chapter and is about to kill millions more. But Verna, a female, dared to get sarcastic while taking phone messages for him. The latter, it seems to Buck and the authors, is a greater cause for righteous wrath.

Buck had never been angrier with anyone. He stared at Verna. “I’m coming across this desk to kick that door shut. You had better not be in the way.”

The car phone was ringing. Verna still stood there. Buck rose from his chair, phone still to his ear, and stepped up onto the desk and across Verna’s mess of papers. Her eyes grew wide as he lifted his leg, and she ducked out of the way as he kicked the door shut with all his might. It sounded like a bomb and nearly toppled the wall partitions. Verna screamed. Buck almost wished she’d been in the doorway.

Thanks to that previous scene with Chaim, this is, astonishingly, only the second-most appalling passage in this section.

Buck finally speaks to Chloe on the car-phone, only to learn that she has already heard her father’s warning at the hotel and is driving as fast as she can away from the city. When he reaches her, she’s being followed by a police car:

“I was speeding, and I went through a light, and I was even on the sidewalk for a while.”

And now, with the cop still behind her, she’s talking on the phone. Of course, back in 1997 when this was written, that was still legal.

“Chloe, listen! You know the old saying about how it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission?”

“You want me to try to outrun him?”

“You’ll probably be saving his life!”

After refusing to warn anyone at the Drake, or at the car dealership, or any of his co-workers at the office, or the rest of the Chicago area, Buck at last decides there’s another life out there worth saving.

“OK, Buck, pray for me! Here goes nothing!”

“I’ll stay on the line with you, Chloe.”

“I need both hands to drive!”

“Hit the speaker button and hang that phone up!” Buck said.

All those exclamation points! This is exciting! And it’s good to know that Buck’s speed-dialing and door-slamming frenzy wasn’t for naught. Even though it turned out Chloe didn’t need him to warn her after all, he still gets to serve the crucial function of staying on the line to pray during her car chase (just like Sally Field did in Smokey and the Bandit).

Unfortunately, we never learn whether or not Chloe would have outrun that police car. The chase is abruptly interrupted by the second horseman of the Apocalypse:

But then he heard an explosion, tires squealing, a scream, and silence. Within seconds the electricity went off in the Global Community Weekly office. Buck felt his way out into the hall where battery-operated emergency lights near the ceiling illuminated the doors. “Look at that!” someone shouted, and the staff pushed its way through the front doors and began climbing atop their own cars to watch a huge aerial attack on the city of Chicago.

That last paragraph isn’t terrible. It almost seems like it belongs in a better novel — one without multi-page accounts of pointless phone-tag saturated with sexism and anti-Semitism.

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  • Christian Identity is strongly associated with white supremacism and the belief that non-whites do not have souls and can never enter heaven. If someone doesn’t associate Christian Identity with white people, it’s probably because they don’t know what Christian Identity is…

    (That doesn’t mean that all white people are adherents to Christian Identity or that even all white supremacists are, of course, but it would be pretty hard for a non-white person to be comfortable in that circle.)

    Reading racism, a “Christ-killer slur” and anti-Semitism into a text
    which describes religious fundamentalists killing a person who disagrees
    with them is not “a very plain reading of the text”.

    I think the problem we’re having here is that you are unfamiliar with the storyline. I agree, if you take that line in isolation and have no knowledge of LaHaye or anything else he has written or portrayed, you could definitely debate about whether or not it is anti-Semitic. But once you look at the pattern of evidence, as Fred Clark has through this review, it becomes much easier to see the underlying bigotry take shape.

    Earlier in the last book, the Tsion BenJudah character argues that Jews consider Christianity as a faith to be deeply offensive, and that they consider the name of Jesus to be like an ethnic slur to them. He doesn’t specify only religious fundamentalist Jews; the way he states it, this is a belief that is shared by most Jews and nothing in the text really contradicts him. Later on, he suggests that Jews who do “accept the truth” and convert to Christianity are persecuted in Israel.

    Nowhere does LaHaye delineate between radical fundamentalist Jews and ordinary Jews; the Jews that hate Jesus so much that they consider his name a swear word and persecute Christians in their midst are portrayed as the vast majority in Israel, and men like Rabbi Ben Judah are one of a brave minority under siege.

    It’s difficult to read that and not get the impression that Jews are being portrayed as being the archenemies of Christianity and Jesus here. So when you reach yet another passage that portrays Jews kidnapping and murdering women and children because they converted to Christianity, it’s even more difficult to pretend that it’s not anti-Semitic.

  • Turcano

    Goddamnit.  I catch a missing comma, but not that.

  • everstar

    My best friend worked at a school where a young man, after getting in trouble with the behavioral staff, decided to show off for the young women in the hallways during his walk to the principal’s office and kicked in a window in which was embedded chicken wire.  His walk to the principal’s office was rather quickly rerouted to the hospital, as I recall.

  • Trynn

    Ugh, how did I NOT catch the fact that Buck was acting like a child to Verna? Oh wait, I *was* a child when I first read it… that seriously sounds like something the main character of a children’s novel would do because children like that sort of thing (being able to get back at someone they see as a “bully.” Problem being, Verna wasn’t a bully!)

    Also…. I watched Barefoot Gen. (I was supposed to read the book too, for a calss, but graphic novels aren’t my thing and give me a headache.) I didn’t shed a single tear, but I had a stomach ache for the rest of the day, and literally could not think about anything else, which was bad, as I had other classes/schoolwork to go to… It was a well done movie.


    Ugh, how did I NOT catch the fact that Buck was acting like a child
    to Verna? Oh wait, I *was* a child when I first read it… that
    seriously sounds like something the main character of a children’s novel
    would do because children like that sort of thing (being able to get
    back at someone they see as a “bully.” Problem being, Verna wasn’t a

    Only Buck could see Verna’s sullen obedience to his commands as a form of “bullying”.

  • PJ Evans

    Muslims live in every country. They’re a majority in many countries from Indonesia to Morocco. Islamophobes don’t seem to get this on any level, nor do they have any understanding that the extreme fundamentalists who cause most of the problems are as atypical of the religion as the extreme fundamentalist Christians who cause problems in the US, or the extreme orthodox Jews who cause problems in Israel. (And all of the extreme fundamentalists are more like each other than any of them are willing to admit.)

  • Joshua

    Back in the old days of this blog, people were a bit more polite to Victor. He’s never posted abusively at anyone, or about anyone.

  •  Most people who are identified as “islamophobic” think themselves that they have latched on to elements of Islam in their hatred, but for many of them, they’re actually just racist against Middle Easterners, and part of their racism is that they don’t understand that “Muslim”, “Middle Easterner” and “Arab” are not all synonyms. Which is why “islamophobes” go after Sikhs but not after Indonesians.

  • Akichan_am

    I can’t help but keep seeing Loretta as Eulabelle from the MSTing of Horror At Pary Beach (“just smile at the stupid white people”) and Verna as a sort of Lois Lane.

  • aunursa

    I don’t get the reference to “No. You’re reaching.”

    Invisible Neutrino was referring to me.

    Back in January 2011 we were skipping ahead to discuss the confrontation between Buck and Chloe that occurs near the end of Nicolae.  After inadvertantly revealing that she is a lesbian, Verna perceives a statement by Buck as a threat that he will expose her sexual orientation to her employer unless she keeps quiet about (IIRC) his Christian faith.  I dismissed I.N.’s interpretation as implausible, telling him “No.  You’re reaching.”  That comment bent him all out of shape, apparently because I was not allowed to question his assessment that if Verna believes that Buck is threatening her, then it must be the case that he is threatening her.  I.N. has been angered over my continued participation in the discussions ever since, occasionally repeating his demand that I apologize to him for my alleged insensitivity to the discrimination that people who identify as LGBT routinely experience.  Or something like that.

    What does this have to do with you? I.N. was drawing a parallel between my rejection of his determination of a threat against an LGBT character (I.N. has identified as LGBT) and your rejection of what I consider an anti-Semitic scene (I am a Jew.) I disagree with your rejection that the anti-Semitic nature of Orthodox Jewish zealots attacking Christian preachers.  But I’m not going to get all bent out of shape over it.  You’re entitled to to disagree with Jewish (and other) commenters regarding whether a particular scene/character/plot is anti-Semitic.  And I certainly won’t hold a grudge against you for 20 minutes, much less 20 months.

  • aunursa

    And the Jewish religion is inextricably associated with the Jewish race

    Jews are not a race.  There are white Jews, black Jews, Asian Jews, mixed-heritage Jews, etc.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I understand that! I was commenting on the bizarre fact that my arguments regarding the lack of anti-semitism in the paragraph Fred quoted were not accepted by any commentator in this comments section.

    It’s not that your comment was not accepted. People just didn’t think it was awesome. Get over it.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    “Likes” tend to cluster around comments that are funny. Serious comments seldom have many “likes”

    I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I recall frequently seeing heavily “liked” comments that were very serious.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Second, just ruining Hitler’s evening on general principle is a good idea.

    We have different understandings of what constitutes a good idea.

    My response to the hypothetical was “no, that’s stupid!”

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    nor do they have any understanding that the extreme fundamentalists who cause most of the problems are as atypical of the religion as the extreme fundamentalist Christians who cause problems in the US

    I get the idea that a lot of people don’t realise that extreme US Christian fundamentalists are, in fact, atypical of their religion.

  • Tricksterson

    “Nowhere does LaHaye delineate between radical fundamentalist Jews and ordinary Jews”

    This, I suspect, is because to him they are one and the same.  The idea that even among Orthodox Jews, those who actively hate Christianity are a small minority, much less the idea that Conservative and Reform Judaism even exist, would be alien to him.

  • Guest

    I feel like you’re describing where I work. It’s kind of eerie.

  • Lunch Meat

     I apologize for not using the correct term.

  • I do recall reading somewhere that Jack Kennedy didn’t carry money and would bum a twenty off his Secret Service detail to put in the collection plate at Mass.

  • jedgeco

    “and the staff pushed its way through the front doors and began climbing
    atop their own cars to watch a huge aerial attack on the city of

    Wait, someone help me out here.  Where is the “Chicago Bureau Office”?  I’d been under the impression that it was, you know, in Chicago.  Meaning that it would be in some tall building and not in what is apparently a one-floor office complex with attached parking.

  • Dash1

     That may be more “person who grew up very rich” or perhaps “Kennedy” than “President.” I recall an incident with one of Robert Kennedy’s sons, early on in his political career, when he was campaigning for his first elected office. He got onto a bus to talk to the people (or “gladhand,” if you like), and when the bus needed to move, the driver said, “The fare is [x amount].” Kennedy looked puzzled, but kept shaking hands. The driver had to say two or three more times, “the fare is [x amount].” Then it dawned on him, and he said, “You don’t know what that means, do you?”

    From what I understand, one of the other riders paid Kennedy’s fare.

    It contrasts with Bill Gates, who didn’t grow up rich. I recall hearing at some point that, given how much money he was making, it would not be worth his while to stoop over and take the time to pick up a bill unless it was for $500 or more. However, when he took the kids out for ice cream, he’d spend quite a lot of time searching for a 20-cents-off coupon he was sure he had put in his wallet….

  • AnonymousSam

    LaHaye apparently takes it personally that the Jews refuse to convert, as if they’re being obtuse or obstinate

    That’s exactly how he feels. He spells it out a number of times throughout the series that only pride, stubbornness and (in some cases) education keep a person from seeing the obvious truth. He affords a little extra consideration for Jews (because they’re the chosen people, don’tyaknow), but generally equates atheism, Judaism, Hinduism, Scientology and the Flying Spaghetti Monster as all “foolish unbelievers who deny God and the Rambo Christ who will pay for their transgression with eternal hellfire.” There’s even direct implication that various denominations of Christianity fit into the “insincere unbelievers” category.

    Even better, he also carries it beyond “you must say the magic words to be saved” and has the protagonists practically thumbing their noses at helpless, terrified people who genuinely want redemption, and that’s not even at the judgment day scene. Anyone who gets marked with Nicky’s global identification tattoo (where the Mark of the Beast comes in) is automatically destined for Hell regardless of what choices they make afterward. In one scene, there’s a terrified woman begging to switch sides and Rayford just says “Sorry, but you already made your choice” and walks away from her.


    You had the unutterable gall to claim that I, a QUILTBAG person, was overinterpreting that as a direct threat to Verna Zee.

    You decided my lived experience was less important than you being some kind of self-styled resident expert on the series.

  • Kadh2000

    Taken in just this particular piece, without relating it to the whole story, I agree that it doesn’t seem to be anti-semitic.  Unfortunately, while Fred is going over the book in small segments, you shouldn’t just read this section on its own.  You have to take it in with the context of the overall book.  The book does show a hell of a lot of prejudice.  This piece, by itself, doesn’t seem particularly biased.  Taken with the story as a whole, it is an example of that bias.

  • Tricksterson

    I would hope that he would at least pay them back.

  •  Agreed.

  • Dash1

     I may be being unfair, but I’m inclined to doubt it. When you have always had a lot of money, you really don’t think of $20 or so being a huge amount. (It’s not now for a Secret Service agent’s salary, but in the 1960’s, it was quite a lot.) It’s hard to imagine what life is like for those who do have to pay attention where their money goes.

    I do have fairly direct knowledge of a person from a wealthy family who had an interest in a subject an adjunct faculty member was working on. (Adjunct faculty get paid peanuts and have to watch even the photocopying they do on the department’s dime.) Person-from-wealthy-family asked for a copy of all the course material the adjunct was using. Did not offer to pay. Did not ask how the copies got made. (In fact, the adjunct spent quite a lot of time copying and preparing the material for Person-from-wealthy-family. Adjunct presumably didn’t tell PFWF to stuff it because PFWF was in the state government.)

    I don’t particularly blame PFWF. I don’t think zie had any idea what is involved in photocopying lots of stuff or that money can be tight for someone who teaches at the college level. It just wasn’t within zir experience. (Which is one reason zie probably shouldn’t have been making state policy, although I personally approve of zir political positions.)

  • This tendency of some people to be out of touch with the realities people of different life experiences or of modest means face is what particularly makes Jerry Jenkins a crappy writer.

    Instead of trying to put himself in the shoes of people who’ve just come to Christianity for the first time and had God’s fingers snapped under their noses as the motivation, Jenkins just blithely universalizes his own (and LaHaye’s) life experiences, fiddles around a bit to superficially acccord to “modern times” (like Rayford’s silly-assed joke about feeling his feminine side), and then blasts these books out believing you can polish a turd.

    It’s not so much “write what you know” as “learn what you want to write about”.

  • aunursa

    He spells it out a number of times throughout the series that only pride, stubbornness and (in some cases) education keep a person from seeing the obvious truth.

    I would say that LaHaye believes that only pride, stubbornness, and ignorance would keep a person from accepting Jesus as one’s savior.

    Typical Jew (in LaHaye’s mind): “Jesus?  Who is this Jesus you speak of?  And what does he have to do with the Messiah?”

  • The_L1985

    “Not all religious people go all the way their religion tells them to, and racial guilt by religious association is a fallacy.”

     Yes, it is.  Which is why racial guilt by religious association is racism.

  •  Agreed.

  • The_L1985

     Judaism is technically an ethnicity. All Jews are either descendants of the tribes of Israel, or of converts to Judaism, or are converts themselves.

    The Jewish religion is unusually ethnically homogeneous.

  • The_L1985

     Ah, but don’t you know?  College education makes you a Damned Librul who can’t accept Jesus nor understand the Bible.

  • Aaron Boyden

    For centuries, most Jews lived in places where they were tolerated at best, and among the conditions required for their neighbors to tolerate them was that they not proselytize.  Of course, conditions have improved, but over the course of those centuries, it became a Jewish traditions that Jews just don’t proselytize.  Thus, as you say, they are unusually ethnically homogeneous, since they have an unusually low rate of influx of converts.  Still, there has always been a certain amount of inter-marriage and just young people fooling around, and over enough centuries even a little bit of that can add up and have dramatic effects.

  • Tricksterson

    I think it’s worse than that.  To LaHaye Jews know who Jesus is and on at least some level know he’s the Messiah they just won’t admit it.  In fact this seems to be the default position for RTCs towards anyone who isn’t an RTC.

  • You’d think that given the fact that Christians and Jews have gone around and around on this thing for literally centuries, that RTCs like LaHaye would have the decency to just live and let live. It’s not like denying Jesus is the Messiah exactly has any kind of effect on whether or not you bleed when you’re cut.

  • PJ Evans

     Surprisingly, DNA analysis is showing that intermarriage is not that big a factor for some groups of Jews.

  • aunursa

    To LaHaye Jews know who Jesus is and on at least some level know he’s the Messiah they just won’t admit it.

    Touché.  The theological debates in the later books go something like this…

    Tsion: Hallo.  My name is Tsion ben Montoya.  You killed my family.  Jesus Christ is the Jewish Messiah in fulfillment of these 109 Biblical prophecies…
    Orthodox Jews: STOP SAYING THAT!!

  • The_L1985

     True, but from what I can tell (dating a Jewish guy), the Jewish religion seems to get treated as part of one’s heritage (birthright?), whether one is still practicing or not.

    I am fully aware that there are Jewish people with a variety of ethnic backgrounds; however, most people who encounter Jewish folk tend to meet people who are Jews by both religion and ethnicity, simply because they outnumber the others.

  • Newbiedoobiedoo

    Where that Tsion Ben Judah says that “the very name” of Jesus is like “an ethnic slur” the one that really leaps to mind is, TBJ is calling it just like the N-word. Like Christians are running around calling themselves the N-word, but you’d better not mention the very name of Jesus in the presence of an L&J Jewish person or they’ll think you’re getting all N-word on them. In comparison to real-world Jewish people like, say, Aunursa who sure looks to be perfectly able to say the name Jesus, talk about the person Jesus, talk to other people who have different beliefs about the person, and point out that TBJ saying “Jesus Christ” is itself a profession of faith, as Christ is not Jesus’s last name but a title, a translation of Messiah. All without Aunursa’s head exploding or without dancing with rage and then going off to whack someone for using That Word in his presence.

    One of the reasons we (human beings) don’t whack everyone who upsets us is that sooner or later everybody upsets somebody (even those who are not the Professionally Offended), and besides if it were OK for us, then someone could say it was OK for them to whack back. It’d be a pretty empty world. Hence all those anti-whacking laws.

    As for the Verna & Buck “is a thread in the eye of the beholder” please don’t kill me with sheep too hard if I timidly suggest something that is in-between. Verna took Buck’s comment as a threat, but I don’t think Buck was bright enough to figure out it was a threat against her until she took it as such, and only then ran with it because it was working. Usually when Buck threatens someone he gets in their face and says, “Rawr, you’re gonna be sorry, rawr” and this was more a “huh? I just tripped over a fat wallet of cash on the sidewalk? Sure, I’ll pick it up and not return it. Thanks a bunch.” At least that was the impression I got.

  • Newbiedoobiedoo

    Yeesh, that’s “is a threat” not thread. Now I really am going to get sheared.

    But yeah, basically, Verna took it as a thread and once Buck figured out that was how she took it, he ran with it because it brought good stuff for him. Most people, if they figured out they just scared the bleep out of somebody would be horrified, apologize, and say something dumb like “I didn’t mean it that way.” Which wouldn’t work, but Buck never took back what he said. So I think it counts, but I also think Buck may or may not know if HE think it counts, because he doesn’t care if it counts so long as it works. 

  • Newbiedoobiedoo

    “as a threat” NOT thread! Stoopid spellign stuf.

  • Victor

    You better smarten UP and check your spelling NOW! :)


  • Newbiedoobiedoo

    Yeah, I deserved that. *wears Bag-o-shame*

  • EllieMurasaki

    Ignore Victor, he’s harmless. I can’t tell from email notifs if you’re a registered Disqus user, and I can’t look because work hates Disqus; if you are, there’s an edit-post function.

  • ohiolibrarian


    If you are not familiar with Victor, he has stopped by for years now with his peculiar form of prose.  He’s harmless. Just enjoy being bemused and flummoxed by him.

  • aunursa

    TBJ saying “Jesus Christ” is itself a profession of faith, as Christ is not Jesus’s last name but a title, a translation of Messiah.

    I usually refer to “Jesus” not “Jesus Christ” precisely for that reason.

    The only times I would say “Christ” is (a) if I am quoting or speaking as a Christian (e.g. TBJ above), or (b) for linguistic resonance (e.g. when referring to the caricature of Judaism as “Christianity without Christ”)

  • Ross Thompson


    Typical Jew (in LaHaye’s mind): “Jesus?  Who is this Jesus you speak of?  And what does he have to do with the Messiah?”

    Sounds a lot like the end of every Chick Tract. “Wait, you mean The Bible says the Jesus is Lord? Gasp! I must convert at once!”

  • Dragoness Eclectic

     I disagree. I don’t see the anti-Semitism in that paragraph.  Enpoletus keeps asking where it is, and everyone else keeps moving the goalposts and pointing out the anti-Semitism and general anti-reality many other places in the books as a whole.  It may be anti-Semitic as part of an overall pattern in the Left Behind books (e.g. Orthodox Jews are always protrayed as hate-filled, murderous fanatics), but by itself, it does not show that convincingly.

    As enlightening as I find Fred’s posts in general, he does make mistakes now and then and overstate his case. I agree with Enopoletus in that this is one such case. Now it’s possible Enopoletus will turn out to be a troll, but that does not invalidate the point in this case.

  • Dragoness Eclectic

    FYI, Islam and Buddhism are both world-wide religions, with no racial requirements. Assuming that Muslims must be Middle Eastern (“Islamophobia is racist against Middle Eastern people”) and that Buddhists must be East Asian is, well, stereotypical to say the least. The highest population of Muslims is, in fact, East Asian, not Middle Eastern–and I’ve certainly met white Westerners of both religions.

    They are such poor examples to your point about Jews and Judaism as to be irrelevant.