NRA: Chaim is one of my Jewish characters

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; pp. 143-146

So far in this series we’ve encountered two named characters who are Jewish.

We know they’re Jewish because of the names the authors gave them: Chaim Rosenzweig and Tsion Ben-Judah. And because the authors have both men speak in what they say is a “charming Hebrew-accented dialect.” And because the authors keep mentioning their Jewishness so aggressively that I’m reminded of that old anti-prejudice PSA from the 1970s:

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For those who can’t watch video or who are too young to recite this from memory, here’s a transcript:

BOY: Yesterday Jimmy said I was prejudiced.

GRANDPA: Do you know what prejudice is?

BOY: No.

GRANDPA: Well, prejudice is when you react to someone because of their religion or their culture.

BOY: But I don’t do that.

GRANDPA: Who is Jimmy?

BOY: Jimmy’s one of my Jewish friends.

GRANDPA: Then you are prejudiced, because you think of Jimmy as your Jewish friend and not your friend.

I think of that every time our story comes back to Chaim or Tsion in these pages, picturing Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins saying with that same earnest innocence, “Chaim Rosenzweig is one of my Jewish characters.”

We’ve met other characters in these books without being told anything about their religious or ethnic background. In another book, that might mean it was possible that those characters could be Jewish too, but in these pages it means we know they’re not. If Verna Zee were Jewish, she wouldn’t be named Verna Zee, she’d be Rachel Mount Sinai. If Spiky Alice were Jewish, she’d have a thick Yiddish accent and she’d be constantly identified as a “spiky-haired Jewess.”

And more to the point, if any of those other characters were Jewish, readers would know because the function of Jewish characters in these books is to walk around being Jewish. As with Chaim and Tsion, their ethnicity would be their character — or what they had in lieu of character.

Plus the authors only need two Jewish characters because they only need to illustrate the two possible outcomes for Jews in their End Times mythology. So we get Tsion Ben-Judah, the rabbi who repents of his Judaism and converts to fundamentalist Christianity, and Chaim Rosenzweig, the “nonreligious, nonpracticing Jew” who rejects Jesus and embraces the Antichrist. (Spoiler alert: Several books later, Rosenzweig also converts to Christianity.*)

LaHaye and Jenkins are vaguely aware that this dichotomy is problematic. It sounds like they’re suggesting that every Jewish person who doesn’t reject Judaism and convert to Christianity is in league with the Antichrist. And that is what they’re suggesting, but they take great pains to explain that many Jews, like Chaim, pledge their allegiance to Satan’s servant for “innocent” reasons:

The irony of all this was that the sweet-spirited and innocent Chaim Rosenzweig, who always seemed to have everyone else’s interests at heart, became an unabashed devotee of Nicolae Carpathia. The man whom Buck and his loved ones in the Tribulation Force had come to believe was the Antichrist himself played the gentle botanist like a violin. Carpathia included Rosenzweig in many visible diplomatic situations and even pretended Chaim was part of his elite inner circle. It was clear to everyone else that Rosenzweig was merely tolerated and humored. Carpathia did what he wanted. Still, Rosenzweig worshiped the man, once intimating to Buck that if anyone embodied the qualities of the long-sought Jewish Messiah, it was Nicolae himself.

See? The authors aren’t saying that Jews serve the devil because they’re evil. They’re saying that Jews serve the devil because they are befuddled and deceived. And surely the use of adjectives like “sweet-spirited and innocent” ought to shield the authors from any charges of anti-Semitism here.

That had been before one of Rosenzweig’s younger protégés, Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah, had broadcast to the world the finds of his government-sanctioned quest for what Israel should look for in the Messiah.

Rabbi Ben-Judah, who had conducted a thorough study of ancient manuscripts, including the Old and New Testaments, had come to the conclusion that only Jesus Christ had fulfilled all the prophecies necessary to qualify for the role. …

Though Ben-Judah had been a student, protégé, and eventually a colleague of Dr. Rosenzweig, the latter still considered himself a nonreligious, nonpracticing Jew. In short, he did not agree with Ben-Judah’s conclusion about Jesus, but mostly it was simply something he didn’t want to talk about.

This is the other reason we know that Verna Zee can’t be Jewish: She isn’t friends with Chaim and Tsion. In these books, all the Jews know each other. Thus a rabbinical scholar was a “student, protégé, and … colleague” of a botanist. It doesn’t matter that these two scholars are in disparate disciplines, they’re both Jewish, and so of course they studied together.

That seems a bit absurd, but it actually helps to explain Ben-Judah’s idea of scholarship. Unable to find anything in his university library except for texts on botany, he was forced to conduct his “thorough study of ancient manuscripts” using only those texts available in the nightstand of every room at the local Holiday Inn.

This whole rehearsal of the history of Chaim and Tsion’s characters was prompted by Buck’s arrival in Jerusalem. According to Tim LaHaye’s End Times itinerary, Jerusalem ought to be the safest place on earth. It’s protected by divine intervention and by a treaty with the rest of the world that “prophecy” insists will be respected for three and a half years. But Buck didn’t flee to Jerusalem for a respite from the war zones he left in Chicago and New York, the authors sent him here with the idea that Jerusalem was an exotic locale for danger and derring-do.

Why is Jerusalem so dangerous? Well, the authors seem to think that Jews are Christ-killers who must now be out to kill the Christ-followers. The anti-Semitism here is nearly that explicit and palpable. This next bit gets pretty ugly.

Tsion Ben-Judah, Jenkins writes:

… had shocked the world, and especially his own nation, when he withheld the conclusion of his three-year study until a live international television broadcast. Once he had clearly stated his belief, he became a marked man.

… When Ben-Judah, with the cncouragement and support of the two strange, otherworldly preachers at the Wailing Wall, began sharing his message, first at Teddy Kollek Stadium and then in other similar venues around the world, everyone knew it was just a matter of time before he would suffer for it.

Buck knew that one reason Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah was still alive was that any attempt on his life was treated by the two preachers, Moishe and Eli, as attempts on their own. Many had died mysterious and fiery deaths trying to attack those two. Most everyone knew that Ben-Judah was “their guy,” and thus he had so far eluded mortal harm.

Like I said, in these books, all the Jews know each other. So Tsion isn’t just best friends with Chaim Rosenzweig, he’s also best friends with Moses and Elijah.

Jenkins muffles the message a bit here with an evasive passive voice — “he became a marked man,” “he would suffer for it,” “he had so far eluded mortal harm.” He’s careful to avoid mentioning any explicit subject or actor. They are intent on killing Ben-Judah because he has become a Christian. But who are they?

Apparently, they are the Jews. This chapter doesn’t suggest that Jews all want to kill Christians. It simply assumes that to be the case — to be something so obvious it doesn’t need to be said. “Everyone knew.”

The authors here may not be explicitly promoting the ancient blood libel against Jews, but they’re certainly presuming it.

That safety seemed at an end now, and that was why Buck was in Israel. Buck was convinced that Carpathia himself was behind the horror and tragedy that had come to Ben-Judah’s family. News reports said black-hooded thugs pulled up to Ben-Judah’s home in the middle of a sunny afternoon when the teenagers had just returned from Hebrew school. Two armed guards were shot to death, and Mrs. Ben-Judah and her son and daughter were dragged out into the street, decapitated, and left in pools of their own blood.

We’ve already seen what Carpathia’s role in this was — ignoring Rosenzweig’s plea to protect Ben-Judah, but not actively targeting the converted rabbi himself. These “black-hooded thugs” were local — people from the former rabbi’s “own nation” who were enraged by his talk of Jesus and had declared him a “marked man” because of it.

The Rapture took away all the real, true Christians as well as every infant on the planet, making it impossible to produce a purer portrait of the blood libel here. The authors did not have any Christian infants available for their monstrous “thugs” to slaughter in this scene, so they had to make do with the closest available approximation — two teenagers who were recent converts to Christianity.

Explain to me again how Tim LaHaye is a “staunch friend of Israel”?

- – - – - – - – - – - -

* I got the sense that this was not the authors’ initial idea. I doubt the authors had worked out a detailed character arc for Rosenzweig, but it seemed to me that he was introduced in the early books as a representative intellectual/scientist type who was duped by the Antichrist and therefore was doomed to death and Hell. Over time, though, I think the authors grew too fond of him to abandon him to such a fate.

This is quite common among people like LaHaye and Jenkins who believe in a crowded Hell where they expect the majority of the human race to be tormented for eternity. Every little bit they balk at the idea — at least when it comes to specific people they know and like, even fictional ones.

I wish more of them would explore that emotional conflict and the underlying logical conflict. I wish they would examine why it is they think that God feels less love and mercy than they feel, or how it could be that God is less loving and less merciful than they feel themselves inclined to be.

Please don’t mistake this for a squishy or sentimental, “soft-hearted” objection to this idea of Hell. The problem isn’t that Team Hell isn’t sufficiently soft-hearted, but that they seem to be denying the divinity of Christ, which is usually regarded as kind of a big deal, heresy-wise, for us Christians.

The argument for Hell is that God demands blood, and thus, in this view, God’s only role at Calvary was to sit in judgment, awaiting the payment of the penalty God was due. From this view, the response to those Christians who balk at the idea of Hell for someone whom they’re fond of is to note that if God was willing to subject God’s only begotten son to such torment, then who are we to imagine that our friends or loved ones deserve anything else?

It seems to me that logic only works if we deny that God’s place at Calvary was on the cross. It only makes sense if we regard Jesus as a sinless sacrifice to God — the paschal lamb without blemish that God demands, but not God. If Jesus is God, though — if God commended God’s love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, God died for us — then it seems like blasphemous ingratitude to imagine that our own merciful inclinations could exceed those of God. If we are reluctant to see Chaim Rosenzweig damned to eternal torment, then we ought to understand that God’s mercy and love exceeds our own, and that the God of Calvary would go — and has gone — to any length to save Chaim and all the others we care about, even unto death, even death on a cross.

In any case, I find it somewhat endearing that the authors couldn’t seem to bring themselves to condemn Chaim to the horrific fate that their theology insists must be in store for people like him.

Alas, such flickers of compassion are the exception and not the rule. The authors also seemed fond of poor Earl Halliday, but they still killed him off a couple of chapters ago and he’s now roasting for eternity in the fires of their Hell. But at least we have the case of Chaim Rosenzweig to show that the authors aren’t always as awful as they think they’re supposed to be.

 

  • DarcyPennell

    Maybe they were thinking of Ming Tsai the celebrity chef? I think his TV show started in the late 90s. Wikipedia says Ming is a common personal name. Of course Wikipedia gets things wrong, and Tsai’s name might be unusual, but it’s not as improbable as all that.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Ha, you remind me of the Spoony One’s review of Breaking Dawn Part I: “Dude, just let her be on top! PROBLEM SOLVED!”

    http://spoonyexperiment.com/2011/11/19/vlog-11-19-11-breaking-dawn/

  • Thomas Keyton

    YMMV there; I read it more (though not solely) as an untrained teacher and a pupil actively opposed to learning that particular technique under circumstances where both parties were at risk of regular mind-reading by Voldemort… and all that in addition to Snape’s unprofessionalism, just why was it so important for Dumbledore not to teach it? For plot purposes he could have been the instructor with Snape replacing him once he was a fugitive and much the same result would have occurred.
    Snape has many failings, but I think him capable of at least trying to overcome them on a plot-critical assignment.

  • Lectorel

    I see that. For me, it was possible to make sense of – Harry, for all his hunger for the idea of family, has experience that says the reality of family is disappointing, so don’t look to close. He investigates things which he thinks are a future threat, largely, which makes sense in the context of the risk/benefit analysis model I assume he uses, but I realize that’s me imposing my own understanding/issues/context on the story.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That has a real 18th-century feel to it. :O Now we have proof they want to go back to that era :O

  • Lorehead

    Well, chauffeurs of automobiles dates it at least to the Downton Abbey era, but that language is actually taken from the Social Security Act.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Yao Ming’s given name is Ming, as well. It means “bright.” The mistake that L&J make is giving a girl what is usually a boy’s name.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Yao Ming’s given name is Ming, as well. It means “bright.” The mistake that L&J make is giving a girl what is usually a boy’s name.

  • bekabot

    “When Ben-Judah, with the cncouragement and support of the two strange, otherworldly preachers at the Wailing Wall, began sharing his message, first at Teddy Kollek Stadium and then in other similar venues around the world, everyone knew it was just a matter of time before he would suffer for it.”
    — Jenkins & LaHaye

    “If ‘everybody knows’ such-and-such, then it ain’t true, by at least 10,000 to 1.”
    — Robert Heinlein

  • Lorehead

    As Fred has pointed out, he’s just a Jew for Jesus. Would he be the first Jew to convert to Christianity or Islam? Hardly. Do mobs of Jews go around murdering them and their children? Hardly. What everyone knew was that a lot of people would shun him.

  • aunursa

    I don’t know which is a bigger challenge for me…

    To convince Slacktivists to accept the fact that millions of Evangelical Christians are honest-to-goodness bona-fide fans of the Left Behind series — they find the plot intriguing and they absolutely adore the characters…

    or to convince Evangelical Christians to accept the fact that Christianity is not Judaism + Jesus. (For those interested, you can follow my extended debate on
    this conservative website thread.)

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Imo, Slacktivist being forced to have a downvote function at all is really terrible. I’m not saying I’ve always been perfect — sometimes I’ve gotten really angry and hit the downvote. But I have kept myself from using it for a little while now. I just pretend it’s broken for me and impossible to use at all.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Imo, Slacktivist being forced to have a downvote function at all is really terrible. I’m not saying I’ve always been perfect — sometimes I’ve gotten really angry and hit the downvote. But I have kept myself from using it for a little while now. I just pretend it’s broken for me and impossible to use at all.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I think a large part of what happened, is that JKR started out in the Roald Dahl method of children’s storytelling. She couldn’t just go back and pretend she hadn’t done it, when she started writing her characters as more complex human beings and her world as more shaded. Plus I think she enjoyed writing the Dahlesque stuff, and I know lots of people enjoyed reading it. So we have this clash between “Harry was terribly abused” and “Harry literally lived in a cupboard under the stairs and his aunt and uncle hate him so much they give him old socks for Christmas, and he saves the world multiple times.” Not to mention the teachers who should not be teachers, especially Snape. This clash plays out both in the story and in our analysis of it, and sometimes makes it well-nigh impossible to comprehend the story as a whole.

    I think it’s one reason it was so popular, though. Readers could be terrified by the Dementors (and imo, those are the most terrifying beings any writer has ever come up with) and then be distracted by Mrs. Figg. It’s very like what being a pre-teen and teenager actually is — everything happening so fast, and going from tragedy to hilarity in a heartbeat, and you have no clue why any of it is happening and no time to figure it out, and yet you’re supposed to decide your entire future RIGHT NOW. The world is totally cruel and unjust but maybe you have the power to change it, but how are you supposed to do it on your own, and now your best friends are falling in love and it’s just a pain, and wow that person grew up well and you think you’re going to be ill when you see them making out with someone else, ugh this teacher’s an asshole and picks on you, but you have to get a good grade in their class or your future will be ruined, better get ready for the big game!

  • Carstonio

    Given the sales figures for LB, one would expect them to be heavily influential on the larger culture. Millions of non-readers would have a passing familiarity with Buck or Nicolae like they do Bella and Edward, and catchphrases from the books would be among the pop-culture references on TV. Going further, one would expect evangelical Christians to be far more numerous and a dominant infuence on secular culture, Yet LB looks much more like a semi-underground phenomenon among a relatively small but devoted fanbase. That’s enough reason to be skepticial of the claimed popularity of the series. I’ve long suspected that large numbers of the copies bought are given away by missionary organizations.

  • Carstonio

    Given the sales figures for LB, one would expect them to be heavily influential on the larger culture. Millions of non-readers would have a passing familiarity with Buck or Nicolae like they do Bella and Edward, and catchphrases from the books would be among the pop-culture references on TV. Going further, one would expect evangelical Christians to be far more numerous and a dominant infuence on secular culture. Yet LB looks much more like a semi-underground phenomenon among a relatively small but devoted fanbase. That’s enough reason to be skepticial of the claimed popularity of the series. I’ve long suspected that large numbers of the copies bought are given away by missionary organizations.

  • aunursa

    They don’t eat animals; they still use animals.

    Irene had made butter from milk she had collected from a cow…

    Kingdom Come, p 2

  • aunursa

    I’m going to risk the wrath of commenters who hate my frequent citation of polls — by citing a poll. According to a 2005 Gallup poll, roughly 40% of Americans answer “yes” to the question, “Would you describe yourself as a ‘born again’ or Evangelical Christian?” That’s about 120 million Americans, which I would say is a pretty large segment of Americans.

    Left Behind has been a cover story in Newsweek, parodied on The Simpsons, and is going to be a major motion picture starring Nicholas Cage and Ashley Tisdale. I wouldn’t say that the series has had a significant impact on secular culture, but it’s much more familiar to a large segment of the American population than you give it credit.

  • Carstonio

    “Evangelical Christian” doesn’t automatically mean “Left Behind fan” or “premillenial dispensationalist.” One of my frustrations with journalists is they use “evangelicals” for fundamentalist Christians or politically conservative ones. The ARIS in 2008 had far different numbers than Gallup, with only 0.9 percent for evangelicals and born-agains, 3.5 percent for nondenominational Christians and 2.3 percent whose Protestantism was unspecified.

    I strongly suspect that the screenwriters working on LB will discard most of Ellanjay’s theology and ideology.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    The real rub is this:

    The irony of all this was that the sweet-spirited and innocent Chaim Rosenzweig, who always seemed to have everyone else’s interests at heart, became an unabashed devotee of Nicolae Carpathia. The man whom Buck and his loved ones in the Tribulation Force had come to believe was the Antichrist himself played the gentle botanist like a violin.

    That “had come to believe was the Antichrist” bit. See, because if you Come To Believe that, say, Obama is the Antichrist (or whatever rival political figure of the moment you pick) then anyone who agrees with them must ALSO be literal dupes of the devil, doing the literal devil’s work.

  • The_L1985

    I’d heard “tribbing” was short for “tribidism.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/Iain.Dove.Lempke Iain Dove Lempke

    This is less important than the main points of this post, but I’m just going to point this out:

    ‘Jenkins muffles the message a bit here with an evasive passive voice —
    “he became a marked man,” “he would suffer for it,” “he had so far
    eluded mortal harm.” He’s careful to avoid mentioning any explicit
    subject or actor. They are intent on killing Ben-Judah because he has become a Christian. But who are they?’

    NONE of those are in the passive voice. The passive voice gets a bad rap for concealing agency, which isn’t totally deserved, but that doesn’t mean that every sentence that conceals agency is passive. Each of those sentences, though is an active construction, with Ben-Judah as the subject; it’s just a rather weak verb.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Granted, Lovecraft was horribly racist. But for someone like him, that genuinely was shocking. It speaks to his own neurosis. But Lovecraft’s work was a product of its time.

    As another example of such, this was a period where humans were making discoveries about the scale of the universe they inhabited which dwarfed the previous conception they held of it. So much of human history has been based around the idea that we are the center of the universe, only to have astronomers start discovering that no, the universe is mind-breakingly bigger than we thought it was and we are but a tiny speak against it.

    You see that repeated in Lovecraft’s works as well, the idea that in the universal scheme humans are insignificant, tiny ants against the giants of the universe and only survive because we are below the attention of things which might be greater. The idea that there are certain beliefs about the universe and our place in it that we hold core to our self-identity, and that being forced to confront truths which contradict that can leave us shattered and unable to cope.

    I think that some of that is still relevant. Take the people inside the Evangelical “bubble”. That kind of horror, the horror of the truth blasting away the beliefs, can be a genuinely terrifying prospect. As much as we believe ourselves to be more enlightened now, there is always more to discover, not all of which we are necessarily comfortable with.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I was mentioning to some friends a little while ago that a twist I’d love to see on Lovecraft would be a story set in the modern day using the Lovecraft mythos, where, when the eldrich horrors from beyond the void show up, the heroes don’t instantly turn into gibbering madmen, because it is 2013, and as it turns out, the goat with a thousand young is actually only all that alarming if your head is full of turn-of-the-century sensibilities, and if you’re not the kind of person who freaks out at the idea of someone being biracial, you also aren’t going to go irreversibly insane from seeing a big octopus-headed dude.

  • ohiolibrarian

    Or would that be Rayford Fully-loaded-747?

  • ohiolibrarian

    Do people still have footmen? Do they still have parlor maids, scullery maids, and tweenies? Quite the aristocratic list of servants.

  • Alix

    Dude, I didn’t know I wanted that until right now. That would be kind of awesome.

  • Makabit

    There’s also a very famous restaurant owner named Tommy Toy. It was a not-uncommon Chinese family name in San Francisco at one time. It’s now usually romanized to something else–Choi, I think. As I’ve commented in the past, it’s not so much that the Chinese names are wrong (although they are), as that they seem to have been romanized sometime in the late nineteenth century, “Woo”, rather than “Wu”, for example normally means that your family’s been in the US rather a long time.

  • Makabit

    I used to work with a Chinese-American woman married to a Japanese-American man. The amount of condescension it is possible for people to throw at you when you say, “Mrs. Nakamoto speaks Cantonese, someone get her,” is amazing.

  • Makabit

    They went nuts, as I recall.

    People I know who worship the Norse pantheon were amused and pleased. They spend too much of their time shooing away racist gits anyway.

  • Ima Pseudonym

    Those brown things don’t look or smell ANYTHING like steaming mounds of produce, no matter how much melting butter you drench them in.

  • Ima Pseudonym

    Is “Apocalypturds” taken?

  • ngotts

    Well at least it goes against stereotype!

  • ngotts

    Ordinary goats cause enough damage when imported to places they shouldn’t be. A goat with a thousand young would be a one-ruminant environmental catastrophe!

  • ngotts

    I wish they would examine why it is they think that God feels less love and mercy than they feel, or how it could be that God is less loving and less merciful than they feel themselves inclined to be.

    Maybe they looked at the real world, and deduced that it couldn’t possibly be the creation of a loving and merciful deity?

    Please don’t mistake this for a squishy or sentimental, “soft-hearted” objection to this idea of Hell. The problem isn’t that Team Hell isn’t
    sufficiently soft-hearted, but that they seem to be denying the divinity
    of Christ, which is usually regarded as kind of a big deal,
    heresy-wise, for us Christians.

    I’d think much better of someone who found the idea of Hell morally repugnant, than of someone who objects to it because it “denies the divinity of Christ”.

    The argument for Hell is that God demands blood, and thus, in this view, God’s only role at Calvary was to sit in judgment, awaiting the payment of the
    penalty God was due…

    It seems to me that logic only works if we deny that God’s place at Calvary was on the cross. It only makes sense if we regard Jesus as a sinless sacrifice to God — the paschal lamb without blemish that God demands, but not God. If Jesus is God, though — if God commended God’s love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, God died for us — then it seems like blasphemous ingratitude to imagine that our own merciful inclinations could exceed those of God. If we are
    reluctant to see Chaim Rosenzweig damned to eternal torment, then we
    ought to understand that God’s mercy and love exceeds our own, and that
    the God of Calvary would go — and has gone — to any length to save Chaim and all the others we care about, even unto death, even death on a cross.

    This makes no sense at all. First, if God died, who brought him back to life? Meta-God? Second, since he’s supposed to be the “Ground of Being”, why didn’t the cosmos promptly vanish? Third, this God chappie is supposed to be omnipotent, so all he had to do was either make us sinless in the first place, or close Hell and forgive everyone anyway. Whence the need for all the extreme BDSM?

  • Makabit

    I have to confess to being utterly entranced by the pictures of the World to Come on the literature Jehovah’s Witnesses keep giving me at the bus stop. The little girl picking blueberries next to a bear, the parents holding up their toddler to pet the lion…it’s really cute and appealing.

    But yes, it does sound dull to a mind honed on the conflict and challenge of this world. Maybe it’s like retirement. I asked my MIL how she really felt about moving to rural Louisiana toward the end of her life, and she said she really loved the graciousness and slow pace, and the chance to relate to people. Perhaps the Millennial Kingdom is like that. You get over the troubles of the world, and sort of relax into the new normal.

  • Makabit

    It’s odd, really. Vegetarian food can be extremely good, especially if you can have dairy products. (Are eggs OK as well?) The food could be awesome. And yet, what do we get? Steamed vegetables drenched in butter. I mean, even roasting those vegetables would be a huge improvement.

  • Makabit

    I assume lots of people do love the books. I had a supervisor at a job about ten years ago who was very into them.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Eggs can be okay. Depends on the flavor of vegetarian. Lactovegetarians can have dairy but not eggs, ovovegetarians can have eggs but not dairy, plain vegetarians can have both, vegans can have neither, or so I understand.

  • Brightie

    Surely, even in LaHae-paradise, there’s SOMETHING to do? Cooking parties for the saved chefs to invent new vegetarian-not-vegan yummies? Artists exploring other kinds of art media to make increasingly pretty and complex pictures of approved Biblical subject matter? Musicians and poets collaborating on praise-hymns to God? Camping trips to enjoy the beauties of God’s creation? …Or is everything, literally everything even within the squeaky-clean and spiritually-veneered categories which remotely smacks of creativity or fun off the list?

  • Brightie

    *LaHaye

  • FearlessSon

    I recall reading a quote someone posted at some point about how in the Millennial Kingdom, people do not feel the same any more. They have no other desires, but serenely praising the Lord. Or something like that.

    They become perfect drones.

  • Brightie

    And then pairing them with balsamic vinaigrette, or peanut-sauce, or pieces of sun dried tomato and crumbled cheese, and serving them over rice or noodles or stuffing them into pita. Or making a stew of them and ladling them into a warm, fluffy, crusty bread-bowl. Or making vegetarian pizza. Or baking a fruit crumble…

  • Brightie

    I do know that there are real fans of the Left Behind series, some of whom aren’t so far into the evangelical bubble that they’ve never enjoyed secular media… and I understand why somebody could be attracted to the premise, maybe even find the movies livable (I used to), but to really, genuinely like the BOOKS? I couldn’t get through the first book of the kids’ series, when I was a kid. And that was when I was young enough to like the Hardy Boys!

  • Brightie

    Behinders?

  • Brightie

    No, Rayford is obligated to be the analogy for Tony Stark. He feels lust and made out with somebody who wasn’t his wife one time, which is as close as he’s allowed to get to being a player, and his job involves metal things that can fly. :p

  • Brightie

    Well, my first associations with “Jonas” are teenybopper pop stars and a barefoot platinum blond grim reaper who discovers that the gods he serves are really the badguys, but….

  • Brightie

    I do know some RTCs whose first point is a belief that “I will bless those that bless you, and I will curse those that curse you” still applies to Abraham’s descendants… but “because end times” does tend to come into the discussion somewhere along the line.

  • Brightie

    So… Ellenjay lean Calvinist? “Once saved, always saved,” “faith that fizzles was false from the first”?

  • Brightie

    Oh. Crap.
    Um. Why do these authors think God gave us brains capable of processing more than one desire/interest at a time, anyway? Oh wait… “Why do they think” may be an irrelevant question to be asking by this point. -.-


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