I know at least one reader has put forth the theory that the reason they aren't allowed to discuss the Rapture at Nicholae High is because Nicholae High is now an eeevil global community school. I would be inclined to agree with said reader were it not for the fact that there hasn't been a turnover in staff--everyone still has their jobs--and they keep acting like this is an old rule, part of a long tradition. As said before, Ellanjay knows nothing about public schools. But then again, you can make a long list of things Ellanjay knows nothing about.
This chapter begins with a brief interlude with Vicki's friend, Shelly. Shelly immediately has my sympathies because she's acting like someone who's been traumatized, which makes sense when you hear what she's been through. The whole world should be acting like Shelly but again, Ellanjay don't know anything about suffering.
Basically, a girl named Joyce explains what happened to Shelly.
"She was babysitting for the Fischers. You knew them."
Vicki nodded, moving towards the girls' locker room.
"One of the kids starts crying just when the parents get home. Shelly goes in to check in on her, and the kid's really wailing. She picks her up, and that gets the little guy crying, so she picks him up too. Now she's got two squalling kids in her arms as the Fischers come in the door. She's about to explain that they just then woke up when both kids disappear and the parents too. Mom and Dad, poof, clothes in a pile right where they stood. The babies, gone with their pj's draped over Shelly's arms."
It's hard not to feel real sympathy for Shelly, the only character who acts like someone who's genuinely lost her grip on the world, which makes sense. She has lost her grip on the world; the world has been turned upside down and inside out for her. The rules of reality that she's always known have been ripped to shreds. Yet everyone seems shocked that she's shocked. :eyeroll:
Anyway, meanwhile Judd is in psychology class with Mr. Shellenberger. The psychology part should be enough of a clue that according to Ellanjay, Mr. Shellenberger is one of those eeevil intellectuals who value reason over Christ. But the chief problem with Ellanjay's works is that the eeeevil intellectuals end up making a better case for their beliefs than Ellanjay's protagonists.
Anyway, here's Shellenberger's talk with Judd. Note that he doesn't actually tear Judd's beliefs to shreds, just says that if it brings you comfort, more power to you.
"It's not surprising that you find comfort in ascribing these losses to something divine. It has to make you feel better that your family is in heaven with God."
"I wouldn't denigrate that. You will outgrow it, but I'm sure it is of great comfort to you now. It may be years before you will be able to differentiate between the very real confidance you feel from the defense mechanism your mind has provided."
Shellenberger subscribes to Nicholae's electromagnetism theory. Since Fred has already pointed out all that's wrong with that theory, I'll spare lecturing you about the sheer amount of wrong packed in it.
Anyway, meanwhile Vicki has to face down the eevil Mrs. Waltonen, who we can tell is eevil because she has short hair and teaches in a public school.
But for obvious reasons, no one can focus on gym so they have a discussion on what happened and while Vicki rolls her eyes at all the non-God explanations, I have to say the explanations they're offering make about as much sense as hers. The students bring up a scientific experiment gone wrong, aliens, and a few even venture that maybe the disappeared aren't gone for good, again which makes sense considering what happened. If they were disappeared so quickly without reason, who's to say they're not going to return someday.
Well separation of church and state is brought up and Vicki gets up on her high horse.
"That's what I thought," Vicki said, knowing that she had heard something about this, maybe from her dad, whom she had ignored. "So when did it get turned around to protect the government from religion?"
Once again, Ellanjay's ignorance and their pride in said ignorance is showing. Because protecting the government from religion is entirely what the Constitution intended. Why do you think there's a clause saying that there will be no religious test required to be elected? The government and religion don't belong together and bringing them together only brings misery. It's like mixing horse manure and ice cream: it doesn't do a thing for the manure but it really ruins the ice cream.
But then again, this whole thing is so Ellanjay can rack up street cred by claiming that their protags are modern day martyrs, persecuted for the faith. Except they're not.