NRA: Papa Don’t Preach 2 (a fanfic interlude)

The following is a work of fanfiction — a mash-up of two of the most appalling things I have ever read: Chapter 14 of Nicolae and Chapter 5 of the book of Numbers (which I quote from here in the New King James translation preferred by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins). This is my idea of how this passage in Nicolae might have read if Rayford Steele stuck to a truly biblical view on abortion. [Read more…]

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NRA: Papa don’t preach

Regardless of what one thinks about abortion, this scene doesn’t contribute to the conversation about it in any constructive way. It’s an exercise in tribal affiliation rather than an argument designed or intended to persuade. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins are writing here for an audience they assume already is — and must be — anti-abortion. Those readers do not need to be convinced that abortion is immoral, and LaHaye and Jenkins aren’t trying to convince them of that here. Their point, rather, is to convince those readers that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins share their opposition to abortion. The point is to convince readers that LaHaye and Jenkins are unassailably part of the anti-abortion tribe. [Read more…]

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NRA: Antichrist & Sons

The idea just doesn’t fit with the rest of the scheme. It doesn’t work with the End Times timetable. Rapture, Antichrist, Tribulation, Armageddon, The End. That all takes place in seven years. So even if the Antichrist gets busy gettin’ busy immediately after the Rapture, his oldest children would only be 6 years old when Killer Jesus came back to wipe out their daddy and all his minions. [Read more…]

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NRA: The creationist satellite dish

“Bruce’s installing that crazy mini-satellite dish made him think of a verse he once heard or read about shouting the good news from the housetop. Matthew 10:27 said, ‘Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light, and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.’ … Wasn’t it just like Bruce to take the Bible literally?” [Read more…]

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NRA: The underground church

Bruce Barnes wasn’t just a pastor, traveling evangelist and biblical scholar. He was also a master electrician, plumber, carpenter, excavator, architect and locksmith. And he could carry refrigerators and convertible sofas up and down the stairs all by himself. Unfortunately, Bruce never paid much attention to seismology. [Read more…]

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NRA: Rebuilding the post-Rapture church

This puts the Antichrist on a very tight schedule. He has a strict list of prophecies that are going to need fulfilling and that timeline is non-negotiable. Within three and a half years of the Rapture, the Antichrist is going to need to be persecuting a global church and he’s going to need to be desecrating a Temple in Jerusalem. And there, on Day One of the Great Tribulation, the morning after the Rapture, neither a global church nor a Temple will exist. [Read more…]

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NRA: Rayford the Spy

These two paragraphs can serve as a metaphor for, or a summary of, the kind of religion that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins are advocating in these books. It’s a faith that drives you to work for the emperor, faithfully and capably obeying everything the empire commands while enjoying the prestige and paychecks that come with such work. Yet at the same time it encourages you to imagine yourself as a rebellious and counter-cultural. So even though it leads you into complicity with “horrible atrocities,” you’ll be able to blithely take it all in stride. [Read more…]

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NRA: Marriage lessons

Rayford Steele reminisces about how he first met and fell in love with his second wife, Amanda. But this three-page trip down memory lane doesn’t actually tell us anything about Amanda as an individual and a human being. Instead, it’s just a mini-lecture on the generic virtues of a generic Good Christian Wife. Such a woman, the authors tell us, should have a “quiet, gentle” spirit; should avoid being forward, being a flirt or a “jabberer;” and should cook and clean as a cheerful, willing servant. [Read more…]

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