Friday, January 6, 2012

Right Behind: They Are Legion, Part Four

There really wasn't much left to do. I'd put most of my stuff in storage before Anna and I went camping, and it took very little time to load the last few bags and boxes into the Jeep. It would have been nice to stop and eat, but I didn't want to keep my family, and Mom in particular, waiting any longer than necessary. I could find a drive-through on the way...

I called again when I was on the road. I didn't stay on the phone for long; I didn't like talking while I was driving, and this seemed like a good time to stay alert. I just told them that I'd left, and when I'd call next. Tina told me to be careful, which was advice I didn't need.

The trip was remarkably uneventful, though. I mean, the end of the world is supposed to involve massive chaos, right? The highways should be littered with wrecks, city streets should be full of rioters or looters or partiers, and bands of cold-eyed survivors should be retreating to the wilderness with canned food and extra ammunition. Instead, I got... nothing. If anything, traffic was lighter than usual. But the roads were neither empty nor blocked with wrecked and abandoned vehicles.

From Sewanee, Tennessee to Grapevine, Texas is about thirteen hours by car. Call it fourteen, since you'll want to make stops for gas, food, and sanity. The easiest route goes up to Nashville, then swings down through Memphis, Little Rock, and Texarkana. I found an eighteen-wheeler doing a respectable speed on the highway, and settled in behind him. Eventually, he turned off, and I found another. Their presence was reassuring: it meant that an awful lot of our economy was probably still in place. I didn't need to be spot-welding weapons-mounts to the outside of the Jeep just yet.

I left the radio off. For a while I tried listening to one of my playlists, but it clashed with my mood and after a while I shut it off. So there I was, following the big trucks, driving in silence.

And realizing that my father was dead.

It didn't seem real. I couldn't make it real. Dad was a vibrant, living figure - he couldn't be dead. Not dead dead. He was still fixing up that old Karmann Ghia, for fuck's sake. No way he could die before he had it working again. It just wasn't possible.

I could imagine a world without my father in it, sort of, abstractly. I mean, I'd been in college in another state for three years, now. Yeah, I came home for summers and holidays, but holiday visits were just visits, and summers were always a shock. My parents were trying to figure out how to handle a kid who was basically out on his own, and I was trying to adjust to having parents again. So the idea of not seeing my dad wasn't all that strange. I spent a lot of my time not seeing him.

The idea that he wasn't out there, anymore... that it wasn't just that I wasn't seeing him, it was that he was really gone... That was something else altogether. I couldn't process it.

And after a while I gave up trying. I thought about Anna for a little bit, and realized that I should call her... and then realized that I wasn't sure if I wanted to. We balanced each other in some important ways, but her insistence that the disappearances had been The Rapture... and that we'd missed it... was strange and unwelcome. It made me realize that maybe I didn't know her as well as I'd thought I had. That maybe we weren't as... connected... as we'd thought we were.

But that was something else I wasn't ready to deal with. So I left it alone and kept driving, losing myself in the simple act of keeping the car on course. I wasn't thinking so much as waiting, letting my brain absorb the new information and giving it time to adapt, to formulate new responses.


  1. [Hi Mock. Saw this gem on the net. Carlos]


    Many are still unaware of the eccentric, 182-year-old British theory underlying the politics of American evangelicals and Christian Zionists.
    Journalist and historian Dave MacPherson has spent more than 40 years focusing on the origin and spread of what is known as the apocalyptic "pretribulation rapture" - the inspiration behind Hal Lindsey's bestsellers of the 1970s and Tim LaHaye's today.
    Although promoters of this endtime evacuation from earth constantly repeat their slogan that "it's imminent and always has been" (which critics view more as a sales pitch than a scriptural statement), it was unknown in all official theology and organized religion before 1830.
    And MacPherson's research also reveals how hostile the pretrib rapture view has been to other faiths:
    It is anti-Islam. TV preacher John Hagee has been advocating "a pre-emptive military strike against Iran." (Google "Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism.")
    It is anti-Jewish. MacPherson's book "The Rapture Plot" (see Armageddon Books etc.) exposes hypocritical anti-Jewishness in even the theory's foundation.
    It is anti-Catholic. Lindsey and C. I. Scofield are two of many leaders who claim that the final Antichrist will be a Roman Catholic. (Google "Pretrib Hypocrisy.")
    It is anti-Protestant. For this reason no major Protestant denomination has ever adopted this escapist view.
    It even has some anti-evangelical aspects. The first publication promoting this novel endtime view spoke degradingly of "the name by which the mixed multitude of modern Moabites love to be distinguished, - the Evangelical World." (MacPherson's "Plot," p. 85)
    Despite the above, MacPherson proves that the "glue" that holds constantly in-fighting evangelicals together long enough to be victorious voting blocs in elections is the same "fly away" view. He notes that Jerry Falwell, when giving political speeches just before an election, would unfailingly state: "We believe in the pretribulational rapture!"
    In addition to "The Rapture Plot" (available also at any library through inter-library loan), MacPherson's many internet articles include "Famous Rapture Watchers," "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "America's Pretrib Rapture Traffickers," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy" and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" (massive plagiarism, phony doctorates, changing of early "rapture" documents in order to falsely credit John Darby with this view, etc.!).
    Because of his devastating discoveries, MacPherson is now No. 1 on the "hate" list of pretrib rapture leaders who love to ban or muddy up his uber-accurate findings in sources like Wikipedia - which they've almost turned into Wicked-pedia!
    There's no question that the leading promoters of this bizarre 19th century end-of-the-world doctrine are solidly pro-Israel and necessarily anti-Palestinian. In light of recently uncovered facts about this fringe-British-invented belief which has always been riddled with dishonesty, many are wondering why it should ever have any influence on Middle East affairs.
    This Johnny-come-lately view raises millions of dollars for political agendas. Only when scholars of all faiths begin to look deeply at it and widely air its "dirty linen" will it cease to be a power. It is the one theological view no one needs!
    With apologies to Winston Churchill - never has so much deception been foisted on so many by so few!

  2. I thought of this story when I read the start of "They Are Legion."

  3. Thanks, folks. Both added some fascinating perspectives on this.


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