We turn now to Oliver Young’s sermon, across town at Marshall’s church. And here we see a major dog-whistle: the idea that someone who is charismatic is obviously evil.
Oliver Young was a real showman; he could work an audience right down to each tear or titter and time it so well they became just so many puppets on a string. He would stand behind the pulpit with incredible dignity and poise, and his words were so well-chosen that whatever he was saying had to be right.
You know, you can be an eloquent speaker and still be right. They’re not mutually exclusive.
Marshall had heard a lot of this little song and dance before
Wow, way to be condescending. This is your pastor, dude. Maybe a little respect? If you hate the guy so much, why go to his church?
[Shawn] had a definite positive influence on [Sandy’s] life […] Shawn seemed a gentle soul with a real gift for refereeing.
Why does so much happiness come from evil? And if it causes happiness and peace, how evil is it, really? Oh, right, cosmic black and white, any happiness not from Jesus is only temporary because God in his infinite wisdom has decreed that most of humanity will be tortured for eternity.
So what do I do now? Marshall wondered. For the first time in who knows how long, my whole family is sitting together in church, and that’s nothing but a miracle, a real miracle. But we sure picked one heck of a church to be sitting together in, and as for that preacher up there…
Shouldn’t he be a little more grateful? It feels like a throwaway line. “Oh yeah, family, together, right. So back to being judgmental and accusing people of being in league with Satan…”
Oliver Young was standing by the front door in his usual spot, greeting all his parishioners, shaking hands, coochy-cooing the babies, being pastorly.
Wow, seriously, the venom here is just nasty.
Marshall takes advantage of his turn in the receiving line to grill Young on his potential connection to Langstrat, Brummel, et cetera. Young is pleasant enough, doesn’t deny his connection once pushed, but claims that “what you are trying to pry into is protected by professional ethics.”
Marshall stepped away from the conversation, and it was just as well. It could only have gotten hotter from that point, and it was getting him nowhere anyway. Young was cool, very tough, and very slippery.
It was a conversation, in a rather inappropriate venue. What did he expect, exactly?