Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Misadventures of Vicki Byrne

Much as I like to tease Fred about the rate he's going through the books, I do envy him a little. He has the ability to take a couple of pages and make good hay out of them; I don't.

The truth is there really isn't much to make from Left Behind: the Kids. While the kids series is occasionally jaw-droppingly awful, most of the time it's really dull.

Take the first two chapters of Left Behind: the Kids #5. No seriously, take them. :rimshot:

What goes down in these chapters is Judd wakes up and finds Vicki gone. Vicki has apparently decided to hitch-hike to Michigan to witness to her disappeared brother's friend. Why? I don't know. This came completely out of nowhere and feels completely wrong given the events. Shouldn't the roads still be clogged with wrecked cars? The book doesn't say how much time has passed since the events took place, but if we follow the adult books chronology, it shouldn't have been more than a few weeks. Wow...

Well fear not, readers. Vicki is neither hacked up by a serial killer nor does she escape to a better novel, unfortunately. Instead she is picked up by a trucker with the handle name Deacon, and he makes arrangements for her to return to Mount Prospect.

Anyway we find out that the middle school and high school have been renamed Global Community Middle School and Nicholae Carpathia High School respectively. Got to hand it to Nicky Alps: he works fast.

Anyway Bruce Barnes calls and there is finally discussion about the kids living alone, which I can say, it's about time someone had that discussion. I understand social services would be too swamped to help them, but surely Bruce would know of someone in his congregation who could take them in.

Sorry to do three chapters at once, but I lack Fred's snarking skill.

Anyway, Vicki reflects.

She wanted to apologize, but the words would not come. Bruce had taught the kids about having to deal with their old selves, their sin natures. Now she was discovering what he meant. Vicki had endured Lionel's and Ryan's bickering, passing off as childishness and blaming it on their ages. But she and Judd should have known better. How could they let their old natures take over after all God, and Bruce, had done for them?

Well given that Zod has slaughtered their families, maybe they shouldn't show so much fealty towards him.

Also, it's high time someone addressed the way Lionel treats Ryan. Even though they are both saved, Lionel still acts like an ass towards Ryan, apparently because Ryan didn't grow up in the church and therefore isn't as readily knowledgeable about the gnosis as Lionel.

But still you have to weep a little when you read it, because once again, they are being brow-beated for being kids which is why I want to tell readers of these novels to sin your hearts out. According to Ellanjay you're damned no matter what so you might as well have some fun before you end up going to hell in a handbasket.

Anyway Bruce plays his role of Alpha Male Preacher

"I feel a tremendous responsibility for you all," he said. "I know you don't want me to. You want to be independent and not answer to anyone. We're all that way. But it's nothing but pride and selfishness. The Bible says that as your pastor, I am also your shepherd. That doesn't make me your parent, but if you want to be in the church and in this little group, your responsibility is to respect my authority over you."

That probably means they are not to do their own reading and research into the Bible even though the Protestant tradition is built on self-inquiry into the Bible, but if the kids start perusing that silly scholarship stuff, why who knows what could happen? :gasp: :pearlclutch:

Anyway there's more discussion about Carpathia and his one-world everything, but that's about it. Four books in and still nothing happens. :whimpers: This is going to be a long snarking.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our Heroes

Well we're on the last two chapters of the first four books of Left Behind: the Kids. Fear not, I already have the collection with the next four books at the ready. I'll be able to continue to provide the highest quality snark for you.

Anyway, Vicki still doesn't believe that Nicholae Carpathia is the anti-Christ because she's a woman with girl parts. Okay, so Ellanjay doesn't say that; instead they say its because he's so smooth and charming, clearly an informed attribute because we never see him demonstrate any of those qualities. BTW, why was Vicki calling Judd on the telephone when they live in the same house? I guess chalk it up to Ellanjay's hard-on for telephones again. Oh and there's some debate about names and titles with Bruce and they settle on Kids Tribulation Force which is supposed to be better than Junior Tribulation Force how? Anyway, that's the sum of that chapter, so on with the next one.

So apparently Bruce has everyone tell their story and rather than talk about the family members they lost, these self-centered idiots only want to talk about themselves and where they were on their faith journey.

I suppose we should be grateful Ellanjay opts to summarize so we don't have to hear every dot and tittle of Judd's story again. But we do get this:

And yet Judd loved to get to the grace part. He never grew tired of telling the wonderful news that he had been given a second chance. God's grace extended to him despite his rebillion and failure the first time around. He realized he ahd been more than fortunate. He could easily have been killed in an accident during the Rapture, as so many others had.

And all those people killed in an accident during the rapture are now in Hell, being slowly roasted alive thanks to the disaster that God caused. Such a ringing endorsement of his mercy and grace. :eyeroll:

Then Beth Murray, the lawyer Bruce hired to help Talia, decides to tell her story. Atheist and agnostic readers in the audience, have your blood pressure medicine at the ready, because there is so much wrong to deal with.

Her story was a new one to Judd. She said she had been an atheist, "but in actuality, describing myself as an agnostic would have been more precise. I worshippped at the altar of education, achievement, and materialism."

[long scream]

Sorry about that had to do a little primal therapy before I could tackle this passage.

You must remember that all other beliefs, except for Christianity, are disingenuous in Ellanjay land. Atheist, Agnostics, or Muslims and Hindus or any other practitioners of any other belief systems, do not genuinely have different ideas about God or the nature of the universe: their religion is about sticking their fingers in their ears and going "La-la can't hear you..." This is because Ellanjay is incapable of grasping the simple fact that someone can be passionately and sincerely wrong.

Next we meet Buck Williams the ruggedly handsome thirtyish reporter. And before y'all get onto me about referring to him as ruggedly handsome and thirtyish, I only did because that's how the book refers to him. Even in the Kids series, everyone bows to the greatness that is Buck and Rayford.

Anyway Bruce begins talking about vial judgements and bowls of wrath in his ongoing effort to shoot what little suspense the book had in the back. Major case of what editors would call MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) but it's clear this book was never touched by editors. My personal opinion is that all this stuff about the suffering and chaos of the Tribulation probably wouldn't shock someone living in say, the Congo, or Afghanistan where chaos and suffering is pretty much their daily life. About the only thing that would change for them is that there's no children so the rebel groups will be even more at war with each other. Other than that, it'd be pretty much the same.

Anyway, Buck introduces himself:

"First," Mr. Williams said, "I go by Buck. Calling me Mr. Williams makes me feel too old, and calling me Cameron makes me think you're making fun of me the way kids did in grade school years ago."

Now this is an interesting bit of past information we get from Buck: apparently he was made fun of in school. Now let's have a little fun and speculate on what he was made fun of for. My guess is for being a loser-virgin-cowardly-reporter-who-never-actually-does-any-reporting.

Anyway Buck lists all the checkmarks of the anti-Christ: seven-year-peace treaty, one world religion, peace and love, and he enjoys buttered scones with tea. Oh, wait, sorry about the last part. I must have gotten bored.

Anyway, Bruce tells about the meeting between him and Nicholae and all of Nicholae's hangers-on that we witnessed in the adult books. It goes pretty much the same way as the adult books with all the same problems. Like why didn't Buck try to stop Carpathia from shooting these men. Again with the others, you can say they were under his mind-whammy but Buck wasn't. The only answer I can come up with was because Buck was more concerned with saving his own skin than with the lives of others. Our Hero, boys and girls.

Anyway, now that Buck's done with his story and they all have concrete proof of who the anti-Christ is, and they've agreed to keep it secret so as to let the rest of their congregation suffer horribly under an oppressive dictator, they pray and that's the end of the book.

I'll see you all next week when we start with Left Behind: the Kids #5.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

An Insult to Martyrs

Well you'll be happy to know we're nearing the end of my edition of the book. My edition is basically the first four books shoved together so after next week, we'll have done the first four books of Left Behind: the Kids. Woo-hoo! Only thirty-six more to go. Let's take a few moments to give some kind words to Fred, who's condemned to a Wandering Jew-like existence given how long it's taken him to get through two books of a thirteen book series. I'm kidding, Fred, I love you. I wouldn't even be doing this snark if it weren't for you providing me with the inspiration.

Anyway, Josey has decided to kneel before Zod and Vicki is not sure what to do. That's because in Ellanjay's world, Christianity isn't a beggar telling another beggar where they found bread, but a case of possessing the correct gnosis or secret knowledge. Josey will be lost forever unless she demonstrates proper knowledge of all End Times philosophy.

Anyway, here's Josey's prayer. Read it and weep: Josey is about to have her conscience surgically removed.

"God," Josey whispered, her voice thick with emotion, "you know I've been looking for you for years, and I'm glad to hear you've been looking for me too. I know I'm supposed to start by telling you that I know I'm a sinner and that I need you. Part of me always wanted to do good and be known as a nice person, but I knew myself then and I know myself now. I've never been able to be the kind of person I know you would want me to be. Thank you for dying for my sins and for forgiving me. Forgive me for not being ready when you came for your people. If you will accept me, and I believe you will, I offer you the rest of my life."

I have to admit, Josey's prayer did get an emotional response from me that wasn't disgust at the writer, which is rare when it comes to Jenkins' prose. Josey, who, as I said before, was seeking something bigger than herself, has accepted a small-minded tyrant who will hold every sin, no matter how small, as a mark against her. Not to mention, you have to remember that both Ellanjay and their god have little value for women, especially those who demonstrate any kind of questioning nature, such as Josey with her interest in New Age Philosophy. I expect it won't be long before Josey becomes an obedient Stepford wife who spends her time silently praying for her black sheep of a husband.

Speaking of Tom Fogarty, he and Judd are at the hospital now getting word on a fellow cop and the news is not good. In fact, the news is delivered by the most insensitive nurse on the planet. It's clear Ellanjay have grown up in a plastic bubble and have never heard anyone actually speak. Basically what the nurse says, sounds like something off of an autopsy report written by someone with a hard-on for ammunition porn. Don't believe me? Here's a sample
"You sounded like you wanted the truth, young man. I'm giving it to you. This patient took--" she began reading--" 'a high-speed, hollow-point, nine-millimeter shell to the cheek-bone from less than six feet away, fired from a Beretta service revolver.'"

Do I need to explain why this dialogue is awful? Every single bit of it is clumsy and awkward and reaks of what Turkey City Lexicon would call "I've suffered for my art and now it's your turn."

Anyway, the cop that they were visiting dies and not surprisingly, Tom has some very pointed questions for Judd. This isn't surprising at all--it's a very human response to a tragedy--but Ellanjay have no answers except "The Devil Made them Do it" or in other words, the worst thing you can possibly say to someone who's suffering, "It's God's will."

Judd tries to frame it as a lesson which Tom doesn't take well at all. In fact his response is every human's response to that kind of framing and reading it makes you cheer for Tom and hope desperately that he escapes being converted, because, as you recall, in Ellanjay land, conversion doesn't make you a more humane, caring individual; it makes you even more of a self-centered jackass than before.

"Explain that one to me," he said, "if you know the mind of God so well."
"I never claimed that, Mr. Fogarty, but it's sure a lesson, isn't it?"
"Yeah? What's the moral of this story?"
"Don't wait. If you're curious about God, don't put off finding out about him."
"So a great young cop dies to warn me to find God? I don't think so."

Again, right now, Tom is being Huck. He is resisting the idea that other humans were created to serve as moral lessons for him to learn; he is saying that if others go to hell, than he will go to hell.

Again, I really like Tom. He has more a knowledge of human suffering than Judd "I'm too sexy for my parents" Thompson and Bruce "Bible College" Barnes. He even apologizes for taking out his anger on Judd and asks that Judd not lose his faith because of him.

Next chapter, it's Sunday again which means the Static Quartet and the Tribulation Farce are all gathered along with the nameless extras. But Bruce has already told the Static Quartet and Tribulation Farce that he thinks Nicholae Carpathia is the anti-Christ, but has decided to keep this from his congregation and let them suffer under a brutal dictator because they are not worthy of the gnosis or secret knowledge. Read this next passage. If your blood pressure doesn't rise, then you're officially a corpse.

When Judd heard Bruce's message that Sunday, he realized the point of all the secrecy. Bruce outlined from Scripture what he believed were the characteristics of the antichrist, and anybody with a brain could see he was talking about Carpathia. But Bruce was careful not to use his name or the name of the organization he ran. Judd decided that Bruce had big plans and that he wanted to survive in order to carry them out. He wanted to expand his ministry, to branch out and teach small groups in homes all over America and maybe the rest of the world. If he said from the pulpit exactly who he thought was the antichrist--and if he were right--his life would be worthless.

Our hero, everyone, more concerned with expanding his church than possibly witnessing and through said witnessing, preventing the suffering of millions.

Not only is Ellanjay the anti-Huck, they're also the anti-Shadrach, anti-Meshach, and anti-Abednego. For those whose knowledge of the Bible is rusty, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were three Jews who refused to bow down and worship an idol of Nebuchadnezzar and for their troubles, were thrown into a furnace. Yet God spared them and through them, they were able to convert thousands to the Lord. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's example has served to inspire countless people of faith the world over but I think an even better example can be found in Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian faith. Stephen believed so strongly in his faith and was so willing to die for said faith that he preached before the Sanhedrin itself and for his efforts, was stoned. Yet as he was stoned he prayed to the Lord to forgive the Sanhedrin.

Sorry to be so long-winded but Bruce Barnes is a coward, more concerned with filling pews, than with true witness for God. He is the anti-Stephen.

Anyway, Bruce pulls out the TV and they and the rest of the congregation watch a videotape of Carpathia. Once again, Bruce keeps pussy-footing around the issue, going, essentially, "Now I'm not saying Carpathia is the antichrist, but if I was..."

"I am on a crusade to see the peoples of the world come together. I do not seek a position of power or authority. I simply ask to be heard. I hope my message comes through in the article as well."

Now I'm assuming though Ellanjay want to use this series to convert the young unconverted, these books, like the adult books, will end up primarily in the hands of children in RTC households. Therefore, these books are primarily reinforcing the catcechism they're already learning and chief among these is "He's bringing peace and love. Don't let him get away."

Again, Ellanjay have a faulty understanding of human nature. Right now, the world is reeling from the loss of their children. They are right in assuming that this would be the perfect time for some dictator to take over, but they make the wrong assumptions about this dictator. This dictator would come to power with promises to find and bring back the children and initially the world, which is frightened and not thinking clearly, will agree to whatever they want. The dictator would probably pick some ethnic group to pick on, maybe the muslims because that's in right now, or maybe they'd go for that old-fashioned standby: the Jews. In fact, picking on the Jews would make sense; after all, they had been spared by the nuke attack. It wouldn't be that hard to start scape-goating them and accusing them of a new blood libel involving all the children in the world.

Or the dictator in question might choose to avoid human scapegoats and blame the aliens. Use the old "there's an outside threat but if you trust in me, I'll keep you safe" bit. Either way, my message is, in short, Carpathia makes no sense. People wouldn't want to hold hands and sing kumbayah after such a tragedy; they demand action and answers.

Carpathia responded, "I would say that is the perfect way to attack a pacifist, one who is committed to disarmament not only in Romania and the rest of Europe but also globally."
"In other words," Bruce interjected quickly. "he doesn't believe in war and weaponry."

And you know who else didn't believe in war and weaponry? Hitler...oh wait...Again, no one points out that Carpathia is hardly a pacifist because Ellanjay thinks that all pacifists are wolves in sheep's clothing. The trouble is that Ellanjay overlooks the wolves in wolves' clothing that are responsible for most conflicts, not the sheep. As Fred puts it, Ellanjay must be terrified whenever they're in Amish country.

The rest of the chapter is more the same with nonsense about the ten rulers and mention of the Trip-and-Die guys. Since again, I just wrote another War and Peace of posts, I'll sign out now and let my readers, the few, the proud, begin a discussion.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why Josey and Tom Fogarty are better Christians than the Protagonists of this series.

Warning! Long Post ahead! If you don't like long posts on the nature of God and why Ellanjay's doesn't measure up, go play with a piece of tinfoil or something. Sorry for writing the War and Peace of snarks, but there were things that needed to be said.

Thing is I really like Josey Fogarty and to a certain extent, her husband Tom. Josey is so far demonstrating a more Christian attitude than the so-called RTCs in this book and her husband, Tom, while he's a terrible cop for reasons I've already discussed, again he's a better human being than the rest of the RTCs. That's why I am dreading the inevitable moment Ellanjay is setting them up for, when they get saved. Why? Because in Ellanjay's world getting saved means you give up your conscience. I cite as an example Exhibit A: Ryan Daley who stopped caring about his parents' fate when he said The Prayer.

It shouldn't be this way; becoming a follower of Christ should make you a more caring human being, not less, but once you become an RTC, you stop seeing human beings as human beings and start seeing them as people for whom you can sell product to.

Josey is desperately seeking something greater than herself. Even she admits that the New Age stuff she'd been following doesn't bring her any comfort nor does it explain what had happened to all the children.

Vicki asks why she didn't go to church and Josey gives this response.

"I believed what everyone was saying. People said the church was full of hypocrites, that institutionalized religion caused more problems than it solved, that God was in all of us and that we could find him for ourselves. It just seemed to me that the closer I got to finding the god within me, the farther I felt from a real God, if there was one. Then someone invited me to a Bible study. THat wasn't scary. It didn't sound like church. It was just a place to read about the Bible and talk about it."

It's not hard to read this passage and feel your heart ache for Josey. Josey is seeking something bigger than herself but unfortunately the god Ellanjay's self-inserts are going to sell her is a small-minded petty tyrant who hates all the people Ellanjay hates.

Not to mention, Josey makes good points in this passage. It's hard to defend organized religion when just by looking down the pew, you know that for all his high-minded promises to God, Mr. Johnson won't stop drinking, and while Mrs. Ellison will spend good money on herself, she won't give a dime to help the poor, and that for all its virtues, the family of God comes across as the most hypocritical, petty, small-minded family of all. It's not tough to find reasons to quit associating with fellow Christians, but as the old saying goes "The Church is a waystation for sinners, not a country club for saints." The hypocrites and all the other bad people only prove how desperately we need God. To quote G.K. Chesterton, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried."

Judging by the last part of the quoted passage, it appears Josey did meet a true Christian. This soul, who remains anonymous thanks to Ellanjay, appears to understand the true meaning of Christian hospitality. True Christian hospitality entails extending a welcome but leaving it up to the other person to accept, not trying to cajole or threaten them into heaven. This anonymous soul, who is on my favourite character list and who deserves a name, also isn't threatened by intellectual inquiry into the Bible. Ellanjay and his ilk are desperately frightened by this. They think if one finds out that Isaiah is likely the work of three different authors or that the Psalms weren't written by David that the whole edifice of Christianity will collapse. This anonymous soul on the other hand knows that authorship doesn't matter, that these works have endured because they speak to the truth of human experience on earth and that as long as they do this, they will outlast whatever scholarship can be dug up on them. Did I mention I really like the soul who invited Josey Fogarty to a Bible study?

But her husband Tom is worried about her, which is understandable. He is worried that she is making a decision out of fear and that she'll agree to any promises if it means she'll see her children again. This is a justifiable fear because that's what Ellanjay sell: fear-based Christianity otherwise known as "Do what I say or the children get it."

Again, Tom maybe a terrible cop, but he is a better human being than the rest of the Junior Tribulation Force. With his worries about his wife, he shows that he cares about another human being beyond their potential sales value, and he demonstrates more interest in the missing children than Trib Force Junior does.

"I don't know what to think, Ryan. One of my partners, Eddie Edwards, I think he's really intrigued by all this. He thinks he has it figured out because so many people who talked about the Rapture were among those who disappeared. But there were a lot of people missing who never talked about it. What about them?"

Ellanjay keeps forgetting that the majority of the missing are children who aren't likely to know of the Scoville-Darby works unless they grew up in RTC households and considering that when compared with the world's population at large, there will be a lot more "Pagan" or "Satanic" children disappeared than Christian, it's safe to assume that most of the missing never talked about it. Not to mention all the raptured fetuses and babies who couldn't talk about it.

Meanwhile, Bruce and Lionel have a discussion about Talia and wonder whether her conversion was genuine or not, and I roll my eyes all the way into the back of my head as they continue to insist that conversions shouldn't be motivated by fear when in Ellanjay's universe, that's the only thing that motivates conversion: fear. The only difference between God and Satan in these books is that one is bloodier and more violent and therefore wins.

Anyway, two of Fogarty's colleagues were shot and Judd decides to go with Tom to visit them at the hospital. While on the way, Judd tries to chalk another on his fuselage.

Anyway, so Tom demonstrates again that even though he is unsaved, he has better knowledge of God than Judd.

"Fair enough," Fogarty said. "I'll tell you exactly why. I was raised in a church where I was taught that God was love, but also that if you died with one sin on your soul, you went to Hell. I couldn't make that compute. I quit the church as soon as I was old enough to make my own decisions. I still carried around in my head the belief that there was a God, but that he was a God of love. Not an angry judge, not a crabby parent. Not someone who would create a person and burn him up later."

And the world cheers for Fogarty to resist the legalistic, small-minded RTCs. Fogarty may not know all the ins and outs of God, no one can, but he already believes that God is bigger than he is; that is an accomplishment that Ellanjay can't brag about. As Fred has said before, Ellanjay is the anti-Huck, more concerned with one's own salvation than with the real sufferings of other people. Right now, Fogarty is playing the role of Huck, saying that if God is going to send his fellow man to hell, he'll go to hell too. Too bad, my conversion sense is tingling and I have a feeling he and Josey will become robotic RTCs, blissfully unconcerned with other people's suffering.

Judd wanted to argue. Bruce had taught the kids that hell was a judgment for sin and that had to do with justice. But God didn't want anyone to die and go to hell. He had given the world so many chances to be saved that there was no reason anybody had to go to hell.

Oh really? Well what about tribes deep in the Amazon jungle who haven't heard of Christ? What about all the Indians in the New World before the white man came over? What about the profoundly retarded who lack the means to make such a decision? I'd like to hear Judd's opinion on these people.

But Tom is not easily convinced of this God of love stuff Judd is selling and why should he be? He's been a cop for a long time and anyone who knows anything about cops knows that they see the very worst of humanity. As he puts it:

"I quit thinking of God as someone who made sense. In fact, I don't know if I believe there is a God at all anymore. How could there be a God, in charge of everything, who would allow the things I've seen? People bludgeoned and mutilated, usually by someone they love and trust. I've seen parents murder their own children, children murder their own parents. I've seen people go through things that no one should ever have to endure. Where is the God in that?"

Tom Fogarty has some real questions that deserve answers, not more verses parroted by Judd, and the answer to his questions, I'm afraid, is I don't know. No human can fully understand the workings of another person's heart, but I cling to the Martin Luther King Jr. quote that goes "The arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice." I cling to the belief that though evil is oft so strong, it will in the end be defeated, not by bloody violence, but by love.

Judd doesn't have any answers which isn't surprising. Nothing in his rich-boy upbringing prepares him to answer for the kinds of things Fogarty has encountered. His response is essentially murder makes God sad but God has temporarily given control of the world to Satan so for now things are only going to get worse. I'll let you all point out all the things wrong with that in the comments. This review is getting long enough as is.

"I'm glad for you that you have something you believe in," Fogarty said. "If it works for you, fine. If it works for Josey, I'll be thrilled. Nobody that wonderful should have to go through what she's going through. It's been a long time since I've seen her come to life the way she did around you kids today. She rarely smiles anymore, but the way you saw her today, that's the way she used to be all the time. But parents aren't supposed to outlive their kids. It's too much to ask of a mother to have her children disappear. And it's happened all over the world. And you want to tell me the loving God of the universe did this on purpose? For what?"

Never have I cheered so loudly for a fictional character. Again Tom is demonstrating more of a knowledge of the character of God than Ellanjay could ever hope to obtain. With his line about "parents not supposed to outlive their kids" he shows he knows what Ellanjay refuse to admit: that Zod slaughtered all the kids. Again, gone is gone. It doesn't matter if they were wisked away like Ellijah or killed in a car accident; the feeling remains the same.

Judd gives the most bone-headed response to this.

"To convince you once and for all," Judd said.
"Convince me of what?"
"That he's real. THat he was willing to give up his Son and that he will give you chance after chance to believe that he is who he says he is. He said he would rapture his church, and he did. He's oging to come back again in seven years or so, and that will be the last chance of all for anyone who will still be alive."

Of course, the response everyone is thinking of right now is what about Ryan's parents? He didn't give them chance after chance; he killed them before they could even have a chance.

Judd then tries to sell his bill of goods with the bonus fact that God is going to kill three-fourths of the world's remaining population and Tom gives the response we're all thinking:

"This is your loving God doing this? Wiping out three-fourths of the world after already taking away all the believers? I don't get it."

And with that, I'll leave you until next week. I bet you can see why I like the Fogartys, Tom and Josey, so much: they're among the only humans we've encountered thus far. Once again, I extend the offer that if any of y'all once to write fanfiction for this series, go ahead. Email it to me and I'll post it on this blog. I am particularly keen on fics about Ryan's parents, especially if you have the common courtesy to give them names, and more stuff about the Fogartys.