TPD pp128-131: Sunday Sunday Sunday!

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?

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One Response to TPD pp128-131: Sunday Sunday Sunday!

  1. Skyknight says:

    I think a lot of this scorn for being charismatic and personable comes from the concept of Satanel being the “prince of this world”. Christians (well, RTCs) are supposed to be persecuted non-stop precisely BECAUSE Satanel is influencing the non-RTC retinue to do EXPRESSLY that. The physical world is an almost unalloyed enemy camp, so RTCs would have to be fools to regard it to be even POSSIBLE for respect to come their way, unless impelled by angelic/divine decree. After all, there’s the whole concept of even DEMONS only doing things because God permits it (q.v. predestination?). Sounds a little redolent of “it is not given to mortal men even to direct their footfall” (or whatever the Rheims-Douay/KJV/etc. were).

    Basically, “sincere earthly respect” is an oxymoron when directed towards RTCs and proto-RTCs; either it’s illusory, or the forces of Heaven are forcing the issue on pain of smiting. In contrast, a true and proper preacher (as opposed to “pastor”? Or is this supposed to be a signal of Marshall’s apparently poor luck with church choices?) exhorts steadfastness (on the verge of, if not the same as, philosophical stasis) in the face of the world for his parishioners, and exhorts non-RTCs to join his banner (knowing that he’ll never convert more than a tiny fraction–and not because there are other preachers out there) before they find out what Or Else means.

    Although…with that bit of even demons needing divine permission for whatever they do, I wonder what RTCs would make of Asmoday (yes, THAT Asmoday) being alleged in some Jewish legends to *attend synagogue*, in part as a compare-and-contrast to his traditional adversary Solomon? (Who assisted with the minyan? Orobas, Sallos, Haures, Seere, Vassago, Andromalius…maybe Furfur and Gremory…I can’t think of any other demons who could be interpreted as genuinely on humanity’s side…Granted, those are all from medieval grimoires, not Jewish lore…)

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