Vicki mentions the "God can't allow sin in his presence" bit.
“That doesn’t seem fair. I only do one bad thing and I get the death penalty?”
Vicki explained God’s holiness. “Say you have a gorgeous new Morale Monitor uniform. You’ve just shined all the buttons, you have a pair of bright white gloves on, and then you find out somebody has worn your boots and walked through mud.”
“I’d be ticked.”
“Would you wear the boots?”
“Of course not. I’d shine ’em up.”
“Right,” Vicki said. “Now think about God. Every part of him is perfect. Would you expect him to allow anything in his presence that’s not perfect?”
“I guess not. But that would mean we’re all doomed.”
“Exactly, but stick with me. God knew we were all imperfect. He knew we’d do bad stuff, and that even one sin is enough to separate us from him forever.”
Y'know if God knows were imperfect because he created us as such, doesn't that make his whole "one mistake and you're out of the ballgame" thing reflect a little badly on him? But apparently his hands are tied by his own rules he created, so for the crime of not being perfect, he's condemned billions to Hell.
And people wonder why I keep bringing up comparisons to Lovecraft.
But Marjorie is still refusing to take the bait saying that if she had to choose between Jesus and Nicky, she'd choose Nicky. Vicki quotes the Gospel according to George W. Bush: You're either for Jesus or against him. Marjorie responds by saying that Nicky believes that Jesus was a great teacher which gives Vicki an excuse to dust off the "Liar-Lunatic-Lord" trilemma.
But in spite of this, the section ends with Marjorie continuing to praise Nicky, saying that he's gotten them through hard times. Once again, I can point out that given that Nicky's infrastructure has withstood several acts of Zod back to back, I'm going to have to side with Nicky as well.
In Israel, Judd and the others are collecting their flyers, when Jamal pulls him aside. Jamal has given up on the plan to assassinate Nicky, but Kasim hasn't so he asks Judd to follow him closely and when Kasim puts his plan into motion, stop him. That's all that happens before we're back in America.
What happens is Janie starts laying out her past before Marjorie and I start cringing because I can see Janie's upcoming lobotomization for TurboJesus coming and I can't stop it, no matter how many times I beg and plead. It really does break your heart as once again, a kid is being torn into and made to feel ashamed for being a kid, but then again, that's what happens when you follow the golden rule of RTC-ianity which is essentially "One mistake and you're out of the ball game."
There's another awkward cut back to Israel. All that happens is Lionel wakes up early, feels the need to pray but he doesn't know for whom to pray, talks with Hat Dude, and finally decides to pray for Vicki.
So both Janie and Marjorie want to pray and Vicki leads them in The Prayer.
“God, I believe you’re there and that you care for me. I’m sorry for the bad things I’ve done. Forgive me. I believe Jesus died in my place on the cross, and right now I want to receive the gift you’re offering me. Change my life from the inside out. Save me from my sin and help me to follow you every day of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Note again how it is the basic same prayer and that until Janie utters it, even though she's crying out to God and confessing her sins, she doesn't get the mark. Because The Prayer is essentially a form of spell-casting allowing you to untie Zod's hands (which he alone tied).
After saying The Prayer, Janie has the mark, which means she's now a lobotomized follower of Zod. But Marjorie doesn't. Dun-Dun-Dun.
Now, if we were in a series where the heroes weren't dumber than rocks, someone would smell a rat with Marjorie and take immediate action. But all that happens at the beginning of the next chapter is Vicki asks Marjorie to room with her, then tells Mark to call an emergency YTF meeting.
In Israel, Judd receives an email from Token Jew. I'm not going to disect since it basically says, "I'm sorry for your loss" and little more than that. But lest you think that the Tribbles are sipping non-alcoholic grape juice while the world outside burns, we do find out that they are suffering. Apparently the hole-in-the-ground is very hot during the summer. So our brave heroes have to endure this without air conditioning. :gasp::choke: You mean to tell me the apocalypse involves real suffering?!
But in the midst of this discussion, Mark and Vicki come in and the YTF have a discussion about Marjorie and come to the conclusion that she's conning them. They decide they have to get her away from the schoolhouse but at the same time, they know that once she's out of their hands, she'll rat them all out to the GC. So naturally they decide to imprison her indefinitely without trial because that's the only Christian thing to do.
Anyway, Marjorie is going a little over-the-top in this whole God thing, not that I can blame her: I'd probably do whatever I had to in order to escape the Tribbles. She manages to get her radio and gun back, but the YTF give her drugged lemonade, which she drinks and promptly passes out. Amateur mistake, drinking something given to you by the enemy, Marjorie.
They radio in a phony distress call then smuggle Marjorie in the van and drop her off.
Meanwhile, Judd meets up with Kasim. Kasim is poised and ready to shoot Nicky but asks Judd to get him a rifle with a scope. The chapter ends with Kasim opening the Bible to Revelation 13 which says that the beast will be fatally wounded. Naturally he's come to the conclusion that he's the one who is going to fatally wound said beast.