TF: "I wish I could be of more help"

TF: "I wish I could be of more help" April 4, 2011

Tribulation Force, pp. 362-366

We should step back here and consider what Buck Williams is doing. Or rather, as usual, what he is not doing.

A couple of weeks ago we wound up with a lively discussion of what we might do if we were in Buck’s shoes — faced with an imminent series of mass-casualty calamities that we knew were coming. Much of that discussion was about how we would try to get the word out, to sound the alarm, to warn as many others as possible in order to save as many lives as possible.

Imagine you knew of just one of the many disasters about to occur in Tim LaHaye’s Great Tribulation — the largest earthquake of all time, say, or the scorching sun or the poisoned water or the killer meteor. You know it’s coming. You have been forewarned. How would you go about forewarning others? (I’m assuming here that you’re not a monstrous sociopath, which is to say that you would, indeed, feel compelled and duty-bound to warn as many others as possible instead of selfishly worrying only about your own personal safety while disregarding the fate of everyone else.)

If you were in such a situation — with tens of millions of lives depending on your ability to make yourself heard and believed as broadly as possible — you would be frustrated and horrified by your lack of a larger platform, your lack of access to those in power who might be able to act to protect more people, to prevent mass death. If only, you would be crying — If only you had some prominent media platform to reach the masses. If only you knew of someone, anyone, who could somehow get you access to the president. Yet despite lacking those things you would press on — you would take to the Internet, call radio stations, write letters to the editor, leaflet, hang posters on every telephone pole. How could you not? Tens of millions of lives would be at stake.

Anyway, getting back to this week’s passage, world-famous Global Weekly reporter Buck Williams is sitting and talking to the president of the United States.

Mostly so far, the president has just been venting about his frustration with the consequences of his hasty and flagrantly illegal decision to surrender American sovereignty to the president of Romania. President Gerald Fitzhugh is not noticeably upset about the forced religious conversion, and the former commander in chief is only mildly annoyed at the forced disarmament that has left him outgunned by criminal white supremacists, but he hadn’t foreseen that losing his shiny new airplane would be part of the deal.

After four pages of ranting about Air Force One, the president suddenly remembers another aspect of the new one world government that bugs him:

“And this media thing! We agreed with him that our conflict of interest laws were a little restrictive …”

… So we abolished the executive branch and decreed that our courts would have no jurisdiction over him as our new global sovereign, because that seemed like a reasonable way to loosen up some of those regulations …

“… We make a little loophole for him and now look what we’ve got. He’ll have bought up all the newspapers and magazines and radio and TV networks before we can change our minds!

“Where’s he getting the money, Williams? Can you tell me that?”

Up until now, Buck has skated through this conversation with noncommittal responses like “I can only imagine” or “I don’t know what to tell you,” but here he is asked a direct question.

Cameron had a crisis of conscience. He had implied to Carpathia that he would not tell about the inheritance from Stonagal. And yet were promises made to devils required to be kept? Wouldn’t that be on the same order as lying to an intruder when he asks where your loved ones are?

Wait — that’s OK now? Because earlier in the story, when Buck braved a direct confrontation with Nicolae in order to save Hattie, he seemed certain that lying to the Antichrist would be a sin, even if it was the only way he could save the lives of Chloe, Rayford and Bruce.

But then again, after flying to New York to rescue Hattie from Nicolae, Buck instead just insulted her and then left without lifting a finger to help her escape the Antichrist’s clutches. So why should we start expecting consistency now?

Buck decides that keeping his promise to Nicolae is more important than telling the president about the Antichrist’s evil plans.

“I couldn’t tell you,” Buck said. He felt no loyalty to Carpathia, but he couldn’t afford having it get back to Carpathia that he had broken a confidence as significant as this. He had to hold on to his own ability to function — for as long as he could.

We have been told all along that Cameron “Buck” Williams is the apotheosis of contemporary American journalism, and here we see that is true. Given the opportunity to tell the truth, to expose secretive financial dealings and the manipulative abuse of power for evil purposes, Buck chooses instead to keep silent because speaking up might put at risk the access to power he now enjoys. If he were to lose that access, he tells himself, he would be unable in the future to learn even more secrets, and thus would be unable to learn and suppress even more truths. For Buck, access to the powerful has become an end unto itself and he will never allow truth-telling to jeopardize that all-important access.

Fitzhugh decides to share his deepest fears and suspicions with Buck — fears that Nicolae’s plans may go beyond just having a really nice executive airplane.

“You know what our intelligence people are telling us?” Fitzhugh continued. “That the eventual plan is for the heads of countries represented by the 10 members of the Security Council to actually report as subordinates to their ambassadors. That would make those 10 ambassadors kings of the world under Carpathia’s rule.”

Buck scowled. “In other words, you and the Mexican president and the Canadian prime minister would report to the U.N. ambassador of North America?”

I’m confused. Buck responds to this news from Fitzhugh as though it were news to him — as though it was the first he was hearing of Nicolae’s 10 “kings of the world.” But this already happened in the last book and Buck was there — the only non-brainwashed eyewitness to the coronation of those very 10 kings. He is uniquely positioned to tell the president very important, vitally necessary information. But he withholds that information from poor Fitzhugh — withholds that information and far, far more that he ought to be telling him.

What could possibly be more cold-blooded and cold-hearted than sitting here, knowing what he knows, knowing that sharing his information with the president could save tens of millions of lives, yet refusing to share this desperately important news? How about sitting there, deliberately misleading the president, conspiring to keep him lethally in the dark, while saying this:

“Sir, is there something I can do to help?”

President Fitzhugh looked to the ceiling and wiped his sweaty face with his hand. “I don’t know. I just wanted to unload, I guess, and I thought maybe you had some insight. “

Insight? Buck has a detailed schedule of the next 84 months. He knows exactly what Nicolae plans to do next and exactly how he will go about it. And he knows exactly what God plans to do next — the massive earthquakes, meteors, hail and blood and poison and deadly heat. A word, a hint, a suggestion to the president could help to save untold lives. But Buck isn’t interested in doing that. Or even trying to do that.

And this isn’t me reading some monstrous intent into Buck’s mute inaction. That monstrous intent is spelled out explicitly by the authors in a passage that serves as a kind of manifesto for the Tribulation Force:

“I wish I could be of more help,” Buck said, suddenly realizing what an understatement that was. What he wouldn’t give to expose Nicolae Carpathia as a lying murderer, the hypnotic Antichrist! And though Buck would oppose him, anyone without Christ would never understand or agree. Besides, Scripture didn’t seem to indicate that even Christ’s followers would be able to do more than simply bear up against him. The Antichrist was on a course foretold centuries before, and the drama would be played out to the end.

Nicolae Carpathia was going to swallow up the president of the United States and everyone else in his path. He would gain ultimate power, and then the true battle would begin, the war between heaven and hell. The ultimate cold war would become a battle to the death. Buck took comfort in the assurance that the end had been known from the beginning.

The course has been foretold and what has been foretold cannot be altered. The end has been known from the beginning and nothing can be changed. The “battle to the death … between heaven and hell” will be fought without any human involvement or agency in the fight. That which is fated is what will be and none of us can change that any more than we can change ourselves.

Buck Williams takes comfort from this fatalistic despair. I find it so appalling that I need to beg for time to begin to unpack and to articulate some of what is so viciously wrong with those two terrifyingly bleak paragraphs.

We’ll do that next week. For now, let me just leave you with a far more trivial complaint. Before we complain about this false prophecy that strengthens the hands of evildoers, let me first complain about the false advertising that strengthens the coffers of lying authors. Here again is the back-cover blurb selling readers on this book:

Rayford Steele, Buck Williams, Bruce Barnes and Chloe Steele band together to form the Tribulation Force. Their task is clear, and their goal is nothing less than to stand and fight the enemies of God during the seven most chaotic years the planet will ever see.

“Stand and fight” turns into “simply bear up.” Seems like bait-and-switch marketing to me.

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  • The Daily Show had this one pegged a few years ago. They had a correspondent in the snowing winter of New York or somewhere saying “This cold weather clearly demonstrates that the earth is not getting warmer and in fact may be cooling.” Then they had another correspondent in the tropics or south America or something saying, “This extremely hot weather in December clearly shows that the earth is getting much warmer very fast and global warming is real.” Then they had a correspondent in Australia or somewhere where it was currently night-time and he said “Well, all the darkness I can see shows that clearly the sun has gone out and mankind must adapt to a future in which we have no natural sources of light.”

  • Parisienne

    But the thing displeased Cameron exceedingly, and he was very angry.

    And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto New York that I might make a pact of kindness with thine enemy, for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. And truly, it offended me that thou should not execute thy righteous judgments upon the wicked, for if thou judgest them not, what hope shall I have then in all my uprightness? In all the years of my youth I have kept me from wine, and from the immoral woman, and shall it now profit me not in the day of your anger turned to mercy? Why should I have served thee, if not to see thy holy judgments on them which have not known thee?

    Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. And he was in great bitterness of soul and much ashamed by the revelation of the LORD’s great lovingkindness towards the undeserving of that city.

    Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?

    So Cameron went out of New Babylon, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

    And the LORD God prepared a telephone, and made it to come up over Cameron, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Cameron was exceeding glad of the telephone, for he perceived that the LORD favoured him yet more than those wicked which had lately repented.

    But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the telephone that it withered.

    And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Cameron, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

    And God said to Cameron, Doest thou well to be angry for the telephone? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

    Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the telephone, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

    And should not I spare the nations of the Earth, wherein are more than six million times a million persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

  • Anonymous

    Ah, the Discworld approach :) But seriously, I have to say that the reasoning of God in LB does make some kind of sense. Granted, the logic followed is not so much of the Father as of the Godfather (Nice family/planet/life/soul you have there. Be a shame if something happened to it), but it’s still a logic I can follow. And L&J seem to think this makes perfect sense for God to do. Of course, I agree with all your points on how such a God could serve his cause much simpler, better and nicer. But even if we try to see from L&J’s point of view (ARGH, MY EYES!) their whole justification of the Rapture as God’s ultimate cry for attention falls flat when they show the whole world not noticing them. Perhaps this is connect to their insistence that the world is filled with evidence for their warped views, so any other evidence like the hand of God comming down from the sky is going to be ignored by the heathens just as their awesome seremons are. But then what’s God’s point with doing these lethal miracles, if it’s not going to make a difference (and an omnicient God would know that).

    Probably, the only thing L&J wants to justify is their schadenfreude. Look, see the heretics ignore the clear miracles. They deserve to be smitten.

  • Anonymous

    LB III includes elements of the end of Tribulation Force, but also the plot wanders away from the book. For example, the GC minions seek to kill the Christians by planting anthrax in bibles … and Fitz twice attempts to assasinate Nicky.

  • Anonymous

    A belated reply to Lara: It’s an interesting point, and certainly food for thought. It’s easy to just criticise Bucky boy, but I must admit I haven’t really bothered to actively seek out global warming doubters to convince them.

    One distinction is that global warming affects everyone collectively; so convincing one person at a time may have a negligible effect. By contrast, in LB each person’s destiny is determined on an individual basis; if you convince a single person, you will be partly responsible for saving their soul.

  • Anonymous

    A creating entity would need the imagination that produced the duck billed platypus, the joie de vivre to create giraffes,

    I happened to watch “Oh God, Book II” yesterday. It turns out that the reason that giraffes were created with long necks was so that they could eat the leaves from the treetops. Whereupon the little girl asked Him why He didn’t just make the trees smaller.

  • Anonymous

    @ bificommander: Yeah, I agree that LB-God is sort of logical, but it’s the logic of a frustrated child. It doesn’t fit with the sort of person that L&J claim he is – i.e. the creator of the universe.

    The whole set up only makes sense in the LB-world because the human population are as strange and unbelievable as the LB-God. It’s hard to pick out how much of that is the result of the underlying RTC outlook, and how much is simply a creative failure by the writers. If there’s one thing Slacktivist has taught me, it’s that L&J couldn’t write believable or charismatic pond scum if they tried with both hands for an entire year.

    It’s not easy to write a phenomenally powerful and creative deity if you can’t appreciate the world that your deity has created. Take, for example, pond scum: amazing stuff! Sort of green and slimy, but full of billions of weirdly shaped little critters with funny tentacles acting out a whole tiny ecosystem.

    On the whole I’d guess that the reality gap – the whole set of weird and unbelievable characteristics of the LB-world – owes more to the need to maintain cognitive dissonance than it does to schadenfreude. In order to keep the RTC level of tension and ‘faith’, L&J have had to keep up this pretence that their God has already been revealed in blatently obvious ways here in our world. That means pretending that everyone else is either in wilfull denial, in petulant, aggressive denial or opposition, or is reacting in a completely inhuman way. The schadenfreude is definitely there as well, though, and is extremely ugly.


    @ aunursa: Hah! Good one, small child. I can think of answers to that along the lines of ‘because then the antelopes would have to share, and there wouldn’t be enough food to go round’, but I’m not sure how satisfactory they’d be. Did God come up with a reply?

  • Will Wildman

    Hastur, I would think. The King in Yellow combines the absolute inhumanity of the other Elder Gods with an overt spiteful malice directed towards us as a species that Azathoth and the rest seem to lack.

    I’m enjoying the original King in Yellow right now, before Hastur and other sothothic gods were added to the mythos, and the King seems to view himself as either the real Jesus or the Unjesus, with a reference to what a ‘fearful thing it is’ to fall into ‘the hands of the Living God’.

    Maybe I’m just weird, but in reading so far, I don’t really get the sense that the King particularly wants to end the world. He might want to rule it, but on a fundamental level he seems to want to relate to humans. I start seeing him as a tragic figure, almost, trying to reach out to humanity in a completely alien way, and perhaps accidentally making us frothingly delusional. Sort of like what might happen if humans learned how to communicate with chipmunks and then started filling their brains with quantum mechanics and history and atrocity and art – how hard would it be to keep on chittering properly with MLK and Hawking and Murasaki and Achebe in your head?

    (In short: yes, I have a bizarre sympathy for the King in Yellow. But not Hastur. Hastur’s just a twazzock.)

  • Anonymous

    Thor? Nah. The collection of myths I’ve got paint him as a pretty decent guy. A fierce temper, not too bright, and very stubborn; but also dependable, moderately kind, honourable, and friendly. I probably wouldn’t make a good friend of his, but I can certainly think of worse traits.

    Odin might be closer to the RTC god, though even that’s not a great match. He’s cruel, cunning, enjoys strife, and loves testing people.

    But he’s also a master poet, gave up his eye for knowledge, and is perfectly willing to defend to the death those that depend on him, none of which are traits RTC-god seems to have.

  • Apparently Woodward and Berenstein never existed in the Left Behind universe, or Buck would have known *exactly* how he could help. Not that he is ever seen actually doing his notional job, much less taking it to the next level.

    I just can’t get over how weak and pathetic Fitzhugh is–just about the weakest American President we’ve seen in fiction, ever. Where is his staff–and particularly his vice-president–to call bullshit? For that matter, where’s Congress, or the Supreme Court, or the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or any of a number of groups with the power to tell the President he’s not only wrong, but being played for a fool? Why isn’t this guy on the phone with (at minimum) Russia and China (both of whom I doubt are taking *any* of this lying down) to coordinate some kind of action against Nicolae? I can see if there’s some sort of Antichrist mind-mojo working to keep the world’s leaders from taking any individual or collective action against the new regime, but we don’t see it working consistently.

    The truly sad part is that many fans of this sort of thing consider the Left Behind series as a vast *improvement* over other End Times fiction. And, having read other books (including the ones L&J allegedly ripped off) they’re right.

    (sorry if this posts twice–I tried to post earlier but it never showed up)

  • Anonymous

    @alfgifu This, “All of which is, I think, pretty good evidence that this is not the same deity(ies?) that created the universe in the first place. A creating entity would need the imagination that produced the duck billed platypus, the joie de vivre to create giraffes, the sheer sense of fun and mischief to come up with a system like evolution that is constantly throwing up new beauties and wonders as time goes on. And that’s just living things: can you seriously picture LB-God messing around with quantum dynamics? Spinning stars into space to flower for uncounted millenia across the cosmos?”

    …is just lovely I’m not religious. But for the times I wish I could feel some connection to something divine it’s for a God like this. Who is an artist who delights in creation. The LB only delights in destruction. In petty tantrums and lethal snit fits and if you just didn’t make me so angry I wouldn’t have to hit you nastiness. I don’t see this Good watching in wonder and delight as early humans sketch outlines and shapes of buffalo and horses on the walls of the Lascaux caves, or sighing in happinesses as Caravaggio mixes his colors.

    One of my favorite things Fred ever wrote is “to create is too love”, and it’s true. As an athiest/agnostic I believe in the power of stories and the art we make. And that if you are a believer you owner what or whomever you believe in by your work. “The Taking of Christ” does, these books do not. And that is their biggest sin. For a rabidly Christian work they despise creation and the act of creation in writing well and effectively.

  • As a believer and a scientist (yes, my fundie friends–they are NOT mutually exclusive!) my response is that my God is much to big to fit in the mind of a fundamentalist. ;-) My God is infinite, as displayed by the magnitude and grandeur of the cosmos, and eternal, as displayed by the age of the universe. He also has a long-term plan for the physical world, as exemplified by stellar and biological evolution. Are there dead ends and ‘flaws’ in the plan? Perhaps, but any process is going to be subject to common cause variation. My God is flexible enough to see these as opportunities. God said, ‘Let there be light!’ and there was light–and it’s still shining today in the form of cosmic background radiation.

    The problem I see with most end-time eschatology is that human beings are trying to fit the intentions of a vastly superior being into their own agendas. I’m reminded of a conversation I once had with a hardcore dispensationalist, who tried to convince me that the European Union heralded the coming of the antichrist by connecting the number of stars on the European flag with the ten crowns described in Revelation. When I pointed out that there were many more nations in the EU than stars on their flag, he promptly said, “Well, some are going to drop out then!” In laboratory work, we call that cooking the data.

    My God does take delight in our achievements: I imagine He was giving humanity a big ‘thumbs up’ as we took our first steps on the Moon, and that He can appreciate the ways in which our art tries to connect with Him–be it the Michaelangelo’s glorification of both God and man with the Sistine Chapel ceiling or Andy Warhol’s commentary on our own commercialism with a painting of a soup can.

    While I would never disown any of my fellow believers, I do take issue with the way L&J are presenting Scripture. They seem to have put more care and thought into writing the putative Antichrist than into any of their protagonists, which says more about them (and much of way end-time prophecy is handled by fundamentalists) than it really should. A pastor of mine years ago commented on the whole thing thus: “Why are you always looking for the Antichrist when you should be looking for Jesus Christ!?”

    Jesus said that not everyone who calls him ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter Heaven. I’ve got a feeling a lot of people are going to be sadly surprised when the end does come.

  • Anonymous

    Did God come up with a reply?

    Yes, He said something like, “Touché.”

  • Anonymous

    Where is his staff–and particularly his vice-president–to call bullshit? For that matter, where’s Congress, or the Supreme Court, or the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or any of a number of groups with the power to tell the President he’s not only wrong, but being played for a fool? Why isn’t this guy on the phone with (at minimum) Russia and China (both of whom I doubt are taking *any* of this lying down) to coordinate some kind of action against Nicolae?

    To get the answers, you would have to read the political spinoff series, “End of State“, written by author Neesa Hart.

    “Why didn’t we know this was coming, Ed?” President Gerald Fitzhugh said. “Just what has the CIA been doing for the past ten years that we didn’t know this was coming?”
    Leyton cleared his throat. “We don’t know if we’ve been attacked yet, Mr. President,” he said. “I think we should reserve judgment.”
    “Of course we’ve been attacked,” the president barked. “We’re missing millions of people. The phone lines are down, airplanes are falling out of the sky, we can’t determine who’s minding the shop at 90 percent of our nucular nuclear power facilities, and we can’t get a definitive answer on who’s watching our missile sites. Not to mention the collateral damage to civilians. Did you look out the window on your way here? It’s a nightmare out there. If we haven’t been attacked, what in the blazes do you think has happened?”

    Airline pilot Rayford Steele [White House chief of staff] Brad [Benton], however, had another theory, a theory that had him literally shivering as he waited, agonized, for some kind of word from his [devout, loving, God-fearing] wife [Irene Christine]… His head throbbed, and he was gripping his pen so hard his fingertips were numb.
    Had the disappearances been limited to the U.S., the terrorism theory might have been believable… As it became apparent that the disappearances were worldwide, Brad began to suspect that he know what had really happened… In his mind, he could hear the echoes of Sunday mornings spent in his mother’s church in his South Carolina hometown…
    End of State, pp 4-7

  • Madhabmatics

    The Repairer of Reputations is awesome.

  • To get the answers, you would have to read the political spinoff series, “End of State”, written by author Neesa Hart.

    So, in order for the plot to make sense, I have to read yet another series by another author. This is the literary equivalent of dealing heroin…or worse yet, multilevel marketing.

  • Anonymous

    So, in order for the plot to make sense, I have to read yet another series by another author.

    Did I say that the plot would make sense?

  • eyelessgame

    Am I the only one who is amused by “Fitzhugh”? After “Stonegal” as obvious cognate for “Rockefeller”, the American president named “Hugh Bastard” seems kind of deliberate and on-the-nose.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Campus Crusade called that “Multiplying Ministry.” Sheep whose only purpose is to Save More Sheep, who in turn Save More Sheep. Without any clear idea what they were Saving them TO (as opposed to Saving them From — another example of “holiness being expressed in primarily Negative terms). It’s been called “Amway Without The Soap”, “Christ As Amway Upline”, and other Pyramid/Ponzi Scheme references.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    You are Predestined to Fail to Understand…

    This is the reason Utter Predestination ends up as an Epic Fail. If Everything is Predestined, why bother to do anything? “In’shal’lah…”

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Why make an effort to spread the Good News if the elect will encounter it because God Said So and thereby be saved, and everyone else is just screwed?

    Beats me too.

    Because it’s a notch on your gun, a star in your crown, to be the person who is fated to preach the word to the person who’s fated to hear it?

    “More Notches on your Bible” WAS the attitude I encountered during my time in-country in the mid-Seventies. The rationale of the time was that your Heavenly Rewards after being Saved (TM) were entirely based on How Many Souls You Saved (TM), i.e. how many others you got to Say The Magic Words. That THIS was the only thing God would reward you for; the more notches on your Bible, the more stars in your crown and The More Truly Christian You Were. Then “Can You Top This?” took hold, and things would get really desperate and crazy and ugly.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    When coin in Ellenjay’s coffer rings…

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Probably because most of the target audience’s consciences are in a similar state of arrested development. Thou Shalts, Thou Shalt Nots, Can You Top This?

    Scratch those itching ears!

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Oh, and I should mention at the outset that if Carpathia promised to bring back Firefly he’d certainly have my support in his buyout.

    Gorram Shiny!

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    As such, we get the attitude in the books and in real life end timers that the Christian duty is not to uphold good or oppose evil, but to railroad world events towards the prophetic time line. Hence Christians trying to get the Jewish temple rebuilt, despite the fact that those Christians believe that the end result of that is Jewish people being tormented and killed by the antichrist. Or gleefully ruining the environment in hopes that it will force God to save us from a dying earth. That sort of thing.

    I think I can top that with a blast from the past.

    From the age of The Gospel According To Hal Lindsay (predecessor of the current Left Behind Fever), in Four Words:

    Christians For Nuclear War.

    (“It’s Prophesied, It’s Prophesied…”)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    But the passage I’m referring to is a section where our authors put forth as proof that the end times are nigh certain quotes from “scientists and sociologists” that for a variety of reasons, both political and enviromental, these scientists believe that human civilization cannot endure in it’s current form for too much longer, (not past 2050 or so) before lack of resources causes civilization to collapse.

    Slack, Everybody? You know what that is?


    With out going into the truth or falsity of these claims, Lahaye and Jenkins view such an impending environmental collapse as a positive sign for the end times, not as a call to action.

    i.e. Grinning Apocalyptism — It’s All Gonna Burn.

    And with Secret Rapture, LH&J&RTCs get to watch it all from catered box seats in Heaven before anything bad can personally happen to THEM.

    (“It’s Prophesied, It’s Prophesied…”)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Anyone else wondering if the only thing Rapture Ready knows about Batman is the Sixties TV show?



  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    And it makes for such a boring story. So Buck can’t change anything.

    Because in Christian Apocalyptic, the only function of characters is to provide Roving POVs to Witness(TM) all the Apocalyptic Events on the Checklist go down, then break the fourth wall and lecture the reader how “What I just saw Fulfills Such-and-such Prophecy.”

    This goes for even the Speshul Author Self-Inserts (who are the ONLY POVs allowed in all sixteen volumes, even if they Witness the Events through over-the-phone idiot conversations).

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    My writing partner (the burned-out preacher-man) calls this “Socratic Atheism”, and claims a LOT of Hyper-Calvinists/Truly Reformed he runs into subscribe to it.

    Basically, if God is also a puppet of Utter Predestination and can will only what He is Predestined to will, then God is not God. Utter Predestination is.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    So he hams it up: furiously complaining in expletive-laden monologues…

    All carefully bowdlerized and sanitized so as not to offend Kathy the Christian Soccer Mom or any other Church Lady.

    (“Cussing in Christian Fiction” is one of those explosive mixtures, right up there with Evolution. Every Christian Writers’ list I’ve been on periodically blows up into a flamefest on that very subject. And nothing ever gets resolved.)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    The prophecies are all correct, but based on what an uneducated 17th century witch could understand about them. She’d have no idea what a car is, but she’d see it and try to describe it anyway. Her decendants made it their lives’ work to try and understand them in time.

    In Late Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsay took that idea about Revelation and ran with it. Did he ever run with it!

    Next thing you know, Demon Locusts are Helicopter Gunships armed with Chemical Weapons and flown by Long-Haired Beared Hippies, all the scrolls/trumpets/plagues of Revelation are nuclear weapons effects and aftereffects, and before you know it you’ve started a cult — Christians For Nuclear War.

  • Did I say that the plot would make sense?

    That, you didn’t. But then again, it already makes as much sense as dealing heroin does: a guaranteed market and a guaranteed profit, for just about the only product with less socially redeeming value (at least people are reading when they read these books! Excluding, of course, the people who just want to wait for the movies.)

  • And some of those times occurred during the Christian era: the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Black Death, the Mongol invasions…

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, so late to the party, but…

    Buck scowled. “In other words, you and the Mexican president and the
    Canadian prime minister would report to the U.N. ambassador of North

    I’m mildly impresed that L&J know that any country besides the USA exists on this here continent of ours.