Oh and I was wrong: I thought Vicki was being sent to an Adult facility but apparently she is being sent to live with you guessed it, Bruce "Useless" Barnes. Oh and if you're wondering she and Chaya will be living together in Bruce's house and the heretic in me wants to write some femmeslash, but I'm too lazy. I'd like to remind y'all I'm still accepting fanfiction for this series. It doesn't have to be Vicki/Chaya femmeslash; frankly I want fics about Ryan's parents.
Anyway, they talk about the news how there's theft and violence everywhere which is surely a sign of the End Times. :eyeroll: Uh, tribbles I hate to break it to you but fastforward to 2011, US is involved in three military quagmires and theft and violence is pretty much all over the evening news and Jesus still hasn't come back.
But then again, this is another failure of imagination on Ellanjay's part. They occasionally mention violence but it's always in far-off places; so far the only one who has experienced real suffering as a result of the Tribulation is Vicki. (I'm not counting Ryan because he immediately forgot about his dead parents when he became a Christian. I'm not kidding; there hasn't been a single mention since his conversion.)
Judd tells his friends about the fact there's little money in his father's bank account and they decide the best thing to do is for him to go to Israel with Bruce. Yeah, I don't get it either. Anyway they get to Israel in time for Nicky Chittagong to announce the new temple. Moise and Eli are there as well, and I'm starting to wonder if they have some sort of Tourette's Syndrome only one that causes them to shout random bible verses rather than the usual swears.
In the second chapter, we finally get some mention of Ryan. At last! I was starting to wonder if he had managed to escape the books and he and Tom and Josey and Verna and Hattie were hanging out together drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes and talking about their lot in life.
Okay basically Ryan spends his time hanging out among the stacks of bibles and reflecting on how everyone ignores him. Okay, maybe he doesn't use the exact word, "ignore," but he seems aware that he's a background character and doesn't complain too much about it.
Meanwhile Vicki meets up with Chloe Steele, who's worried about her dad. Why I don't know. Since Rayford Steele is Tim LaHaye Mary Sue surrogate, he's destined to survive to the end of the series.
Anyway, she and Vicki gossip about guys. Apparently her dad's relationship with Amanda White is progressing faster than her relationship with Buck Williams. I could make a joke about this being the case with two virgins but I don't think I will. Anyway, here's what she has to say.
Chloe shook her head. "My dad says he may be married before Buck and I are."
"Your dad? Marry who?"
"Amanda White," Chloe said. "She knew my mom. It took my dad some time, but they're getting serious."
Okay that last part screws with the chronology in so many ways. Granted Ellanjay have been playing coy about just how much time has passed since God slaughtered all the children, but they make it sound like Rayford and Amanda have been dating for months, not days.
"Buck hasn't proposed?" Vicki said.
"No and I'm not going to push him. The night he left for New York he told me he wished I could come with him."
"Why didn't you?"
"That would be inappropriate," Chloe said sarcastically. "Anyway, being apart has helped me love him even more."
Oh this passage is begging for some dirty jokes specifically about Chloe dating Rosie Palm and her five sisters, but I don't think I will mention that. I'll just say that in Ellanjayland even hip college students are into Victorian-style courtship.
What are the manly men up to? Well they're busy making a website as a means of distributing the Underground. They're still printing up paper copies but now they have a website to post Bruce's ramblings on. And we get some criticism in there.
"Everybody has their own interpretation of the Bible," the message read. "Stop trying to scare people into believing what you believe."
Pretty half-hearted critique. I would have pointed out that this interpretation that Bruce clings to didn't exist before some Darby guy put it together in the 19th century and point out how it ties God's hands and denies the power of his love. But that's just me. Ellanjay have existed in an echo chamber for so long, I don't think they know what criticism sounds like.
Bruce naturally compares himself to Jesus and they watch some footage of a temple sacrifice. Because those eeevil Jews with their stubborn "La-la-la...Can't hear you" denial of Christ have decided to start sacrificing animals again, Zod has started turning the blood from the animals into water.
"The Jews who didn't believe that Jesus is Messiah have gone back to sacrificing animalsto show their devotion to God," Bruce said. "What they're doing is rejecting the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. They're doing it their own way and that's displeasing to God.
"But why does it have to be blood?" Ryan said.
"Blood is the symbol of forgiveness," Bruce said. "In the Old Testament it says there is no forgiveness of sin without shedding of blood. That's why Jesus had to die. By turning the blood to water--something powerless--God is showing his disapproval of the sacrifices in the new temple.
Okay, there's a lot of wrong in here to unpack and I'm afraid I'm not able to do it all. I lack Fred's knowledge of theology and I lack a knowledge of Jewish law and customs. I'm just going to end this post by saying that I don't believe my God's hands are tied by blood or the lack therof.