We open with the priest Yerik visiting Rayford and company.
“We are honored, sir,” Rayford said. “Would you join us for fried vegetables and fresh fruit?”
“Thank you, no. Ma’am, have you ground your meal yet today?”
Irene shook her head. “I’m sorry.”
“No matter. You did not expect me. Nonetheless, I pray the Lord’s blessing on your house.”
This is why we can’t have replicators. If we had replicators in Evangelical paradise, women would be free to leave the kitchens.
Yerik invites Rayford and friends (not Irene… again, kitchen) to go and see King David. In which case, maybe it’s a good thing Irene was not invited. Hide your wives. Hide your daughters.
Speaking of which, since Irene and Rayford live together, does that mean David and all of his wives still live together? Does Bathsheba go back to living with Uriah the Hittite? That seems like it would be awkward.
Speaking of awkward, Raymie meets Qasim, the would be Junior God Squad team member and he’s basically a dick to the guy. He starts be criticizing that Qasim’s robe seems really short for him to be a real true Christian. Yeah…
He spoke quickly and explained that he liked it that way because it allowed him to move easier. “Especially when I have to run, which is often.” This was followed by a rollicking laugh. “So, how can I help you fellas?”
Raymie cocked his head and studied the man. “We are a close-knit group,” he began slowly. “And we don’t apologize for being devout followers of—”
“It’s not like I’m a stranger,” Qasim said. “Me and Zaki here have been buddies for ninety years.”
Yes. Even in Evangelical paradise, Evangelicals still feel like they’re being persecuted. I suppose it’s part of the ethos now. You can just imagine Raymie sneering, “It’s Merry Christmas” to some store clerk who wished “Happy Holidays.”
Raymie continues to be a dick. Asking him about his work at the Home for Orphans whose Parents Jesus Killed. Qasim says he plays with the kids, leads them in songs, tells bible stories, and says the prayers with the kids. I wonder if they teach all the bible stories.
“Hey, you know King David, our ruler? You know about the story of when he raped a guy’s wife and then had the guy murdered? But then he was really, really sorry about it, so God killed his son instead of him and now he rules us all!”
Raymie continues to be a dick. He finally asks if Qasim has said the magic words and become a real, true Christian.
Qasim shrugged and pursed his lips. “I hardly remember; it’s been so long. I mean, I don’t recall my life at all before I was a believer. You know, with Jesus being here and in charge and all that since I was a baby, that made it easy.”
“But at some point you had to have—”
“Seen my need, as my dad calls it? Sure. Born in sin. Separated from God. Needed a bridge. Prayed the prayer. Got saved.”
That sure seemed to Raymie a passionless recitation of the steps to reconciliation with almighty God. “I’m going to have to pray about this, Qasim,” he said. “And the rest of us will discuss it. We’ll get back to you.”
Well, sure you’re ‘saved’, but are you really saved? If only there was an omnipotent, omniscient deity currently living on Earth that could communicate with us telepathically.
We flash back to Rayford and company who are walking to Jerusalem. The priest stops to explain that they can’t enter by one gate and that they can’t leave through the same gate they entered because reasons. And Gentiles can’t enter in unless they cut part of their penis off, but it’s also okay if they are real, true Christians.
And it’s been eight chapters, so we need to introduce a love interest for Kenny, the last not dead person in our group besides Rayford. What happens, I wonder, if Rayford wanted to remarry? Does Irene stay? Does she move out? Is she cool with her former husband having “the distraction” of human companionship and human intimacy?
Why is this all so creepy?
Would anyone want to marry Rayford? Probably not.
So we meet Ekaterina, a Greek love interest for Kenny who has this bizarre thing with his parents, insisting they address him as a professional and he addresses them as Mr. and Mrs. Williams, even though his mom and dad are no longer married. They are just living together in non-sin now because they are married (and gay married) to Jesus.
Seriously, this shit is creepy.