The H Word … March 26th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3996)


THE

Image result for gif letter h

WORD


“Go to Hell”

Even folks who are very particular about using profanity will often favor this pronouncement. Matter of fact, they believe it to be their Christian duty to warn lost sinners, deviants and the depraved that there is a “devil’s hell.” And if these unfortunate and misguided souls do not decide to comply to the common appeal of salvation, they will certainly spend all of eternity suffering within the confines of this dungeon of torture and despair.

Hell is a hell of an idea. What’s even more surprising is who ended up being one of the greater promoters of the location.

Yes—Jesus probably talked about hell more than any other religious teacher who ever walked the face of the Earth.

The Old Testament doesn’t have many references to such a place, and really relegates it to one single word: Sheol—meaning “grave.”

It was Jesus who came up with the lake of fire, outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the bizarre inclusion of this city ablaze being eternal.

Even if you are able to affix your mind on the possibility of there being an afterlife where those who are evil are sent to receive their retribution, it hardly seems likely that someone—even if they spent one hundred years on the planet, killing, maiming and leaving their puppy out in the cold in the winter—well, it just seems a bit bizarre to think that person, for a hundred years of evil, should receive an eternity of fire and brimstone.

Yet we kind of like the idea.

It’s not so much the notion that there is a hell, or that some people end up there, but rather, the advantage we gain in our self-righteousness, by imagining who we think should be there and how painfully they should be slapped around for mistreating us.

So I will tell you that even though hell is a promo that came from Jesus—and I am very fond of his work—I do choose to believe that this isolated concept was conjured during his “blue period,” and I do not favor it.

Is it not punishment aplenty for each one of us if we go through life without living?

Is it not agony to take this gift of time and sleepwalk through it without giving?

For that lack of tenderness, foresight and rebellion, there certainly will be a grave conclusion.

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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3980)

Sitting Ten

“Stay back, lady!” Pal leaped to his feet, alarmed.

Karin shouted, “I’m a reporter! “

“We are young men,” said Pal.

“Dangerous young men,” added Iz. They stood shoulder to shoulder, gazing at the intruding female.

Karin halted her progress and softened her voice. “So I heard.”

“What do you want?” demanded Pal.

Karin slowly inched her way forward. “I want to report your story. I want to find out why you two boys are in the desert together. If you don’t mind, I want you to tell me why you’re dangerous. And I also want to give you some water and food,” she said, motioning to the supplies she had laid to the side.

Pal and Iz gave each other a quick glance. Water and food—always good. Iz spoke up. “Just leave the water and food and go.”

Karin shook her head. “No deal. I didn’t come out here to be your delivery service. I told you—I’m a reporter. I want to know what’s going on.”

“Nothing,” spat Iz.

“So why are you dangerous, then?” Karin moved a few steps closer.

Pal backed away. “Because we want to be left alone,” he replied.

Karin reached out with open hands and said, “Okay. Give me my story and I’ll leave you alone.”

“Here’s your story,” said Iz. “Two boys…”

Pal interrupted. “We’re not boys, Iz.”

“Right,” said Iz, slapping his forehead with his palm. “Make that ‘Two Macho Men, Left Alone and At Peace in Desert by Reporter’.”

“I don’t know,” said Karin. “I can tell you—it’s not really a page turner. How about this instead? ‘Two Muscular Manly Men Tell Their Intriguing Story to Attractive Reporter and All At Once, the World Understands’?”

Pal shook his head. “The world will not understand.”

Iz jabbed his friend in the arm. “And listen, lady. You’re not that attractive.”

Karin feigned an offended gasp. “Now I see why they say you’re dangerous. Your tongue just killed my ego at fifteen paces.” She paused to see if the boys would laugh. When they didn’t, she eyed them with deep contemplation, then continued. “Just let me ask you five questions.”

“One question,” said Pal.

“Four,” countered Karin.

“Two!” shouted Iz.

Pal displayed a toothy grin. “I guess that means three.”

“All right. Three questions,” Karin agreed.

“And no funny business,” said Pal, crossing his arms.

Karin chuckled. “Listen, fellas. I live in the Middle East. What’s funny?” She carefully eased her way into the thrown-together encampment and sat down beneath a palm, staring at the two young gentlemen in front of her. She crinkled her nose. Although she was a good four feet away, they reeked of sweat and grain. She motioned for them to be seated.

Pal refused. “So what is your first question?”

Karin said, “I’ll make it easy. I’ll give you all three questions at once. Why are you here, what are you trying to do, and I guess my friend down there in the jeep? He wants to know where in the hell his grenade is.”

Pal jerked his head and shot a look at the vehicle. “Is that him?” he asked Iz.

Iz squinted to see. “I can’t tell. At this distance, Army men all look the same.”

Karin eased her way to her knees and interrupted. “Well, are you going to answer my questions?”

Iz could not take his eyes off the soldier. “What does he want?” he asked Karin.

“He wants his grenade back,” she replied quickly. “He really doesn’t want to be blamed for killing and mutilating people because he was careless with his weapons. You can certainly understand that.”

Pal shook his head. “We’re not trying to kill and mutilate anyone,” he said.

Karin sensed a moment of vulnerability, so she went on the attack. “Well, listen, dude,” she said. “That’s what grenades do. Maybe you should have thought of that before you stole it and came out here, flashing it at people.”

Iz continued to stare at the soldier, with his back to Karin, and inserted, “We just want to be left alone.”

Karin spoke back harshly. “If you’re not careful, you’re gonna be just left dead.”

Pal eased his way a bit closer to her. “Listen, lady. No one will die. We don’t even know how the grenade works.”

“Shut up, Pal!” screamed Iz.

Karin laughed. “Oh—and that’s good?” she asked. “That you don’t know how a grenade works?”

Her question quieted Iz and Pal. Iz made his way over and sat down by the reporter. Pal stepped closer but remained standing. It was all so crazy—not what they had envisioned. They were horrified by their plight.

Karin gave the moment a chance to simmer, then asked, much quieter. “Why are you here?”

Fighting back tears, Iz tried to explain. “We had become friends, but we really were not allowed to be friends. Our families are separated, our countries are at war and our people hate each other.”

Moved by Iz’s admission, Pal came over and sat down. “If we try to be friends, excuses will be made why it is a bad thing. So we’ve come out here in the desert, where we can be friends without interfering with the war that the grown-ups like to have.”

Iz leaned forward and emphatically concluded. “They can have their war. We just want to be together and be left alone.”

Karin was reasoning in her mind the whole time the boys were speaking. She knew she needed to do something, or the situation could easily go awry. She spoke gently but firmly. “It’s not that way, boys. There are lots of Arabs and Jews that get along together. For God’s sakes—they work in the same companies and factories. I’m sure there are lots of Jewish and Arab boys that are friends.”

“Do you know any?” Pal asked sincerely.

“Now that is a trick question,” said Karin. “Just because I can’t offer a name doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”

Iz leaned forward. “But aren’t you a reporter? Aren’t you supposed to have answers?”

“Okay,” said Karin, drawing a very deep breath and releasing it slowly. “Let’s say you guys are right. Let’s say your families won’t allow you to be friends. Here’s my question. Is it really better to live out here—pardon me—starve out here, to be with each other, than to be with your families, safe and sound, knowing they love you, in your own communities?”

Iz sadly shook his head. “You just don’t get it, lady. What you’re saying to us is to give up our love and friendship just so our families will think we’re all right and will include us in the home. Why can’t we be included…together? Why don’t they make an exception because they love us?”

Iz’s speech touched Karin. “Hell if I know,” she responded. “That’s just not the way it works right now. And you’re not going to change it playing in the desert, dehydrating yourselves and smelling like a three-day-dead goat.”

Pal was surprised. “Do we smell that bad?” he asked.

“No,” replied Karin. “It would take four baths for you to smell like the goat.”

Iz shook his head. “Very sorry. I guess our manly body parts are much more mature than we thought.”

Karin winced, considered a retort, but opted to move on. “Well, I guess you’ve answered question two–‘What are you trying to do?’” she noted. “Or is there more? Are you boys trying to send a message to the Israelis and Palestinians?”

“Yes, we are,” said Iz. “Leave us alone.”

Karin looked around in all directions. “It appears you are alone.”

“Then good,” replied Pal. “But we also can do without reporters.”

Karin pretended to cry. “You mean you don’t want to be famous?”

“No,” said Iz. “Famous is our worst fear. The less people know about us the better.”


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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3966)

Sitting Eight

By midday, Iz and Pal had developed a brand-new game. They called it, “Your Book, My Book.”

They mentioned the various names that were in the Talmud and the Koran, and were shocked to find out how many were the same. Abraham was in both, as was Joseph, Isaac, Ishmael, Noah, Adam, Eve, Moses. Yes, they were all there.

Iz’s book had some other different names and Pal’s mentioned both Jesus of Nazareth and Mohammed, but it was really quite surprising. Kind of freaky.

They also realized that the two of them looked much the same. By now they smelled the same. They both believed in God. Both had never touched pork and had strict families. They came from desert Bedouins and they both really, really liked Hershey chocolate bars with almonds.

Aside from Iz being shorted by circumcision and Pal not really having a country, they should be brothers.

It made them wonder if anyone had ever thought of it before. They were so preoccupied with their new game that neither noticed the arrival of a guest—a slender, lanky young man with dark brown skin, curly hair and pieces of coal for eyes—piercing but still permitting some of the warmth of childhood.

Iz did not recognize the stranger but Pal knew him.  He spoke quietly. “Hello, Talsan.”

The young man stood tall, staring off into the distance. “It is hot, my little brother. You will sicken yourself in this heat.”

“I drink as much as I can,” said Pal, continuing his calm tone.

Talsan chuckled. “In the desert, by the time you think to drink, it is already too late.”

He sat down next to his younger brother.

Iz spoke up. “I am Jubal,” he stated. “Amir’s friend.”

“So,” asked Talsan, “are you the trouble-maker?”

Pal interrupted. “No, I am the trouble-maker. No, I mean—there is no trouble. We are just enjoying being together.”

Talsan shook his head. “Papa is worried. He has talked to the elders.”

Pal quickly shifted to his haunches. “Why did he talk to them?”

Talsan raised his voice. “Because he wasn’t going to talk to you out here in the desert, running from family and Allah.”

“I’m not running,” said Pal. “All my life I’ve done whatever I was told to do, even though there were questions exploding in my mind.”

“Questions?” scoffed Talsan, “what questions?”

Pal paused as if deciding whether to continue the conflict. “All right, Talsan,” he said with intensity. “Answer this. Why do we live in a religion, in a culture, that speaks so highly of family, friends and love, but then teaches us to hate these people walking nearest to us in the village?”

“We do not hate them,” Talsan spat. “They hate us. We are merely protecting our lives.”

Iz jumped in. “I don’t hate you. I don’t hate Pal. I don’t hate your father. I would just like to live—and have some fun.”

Talsan laughed scornfully. “Now I know you are a boy. Fun is out of the question. We are to become men and take our place—first at the universities and then, in leadership of our communities.”

“Without fun?” asked Pal.

Talsan heaved a deep sigh. “Papa has explained all of this to you. It is time for you to come home. He will not pursue you. He will pray for you but he will not come to you. It is a shame and a disgrace that you would wish him to defile himself by chasing his son down in the desert.”

“I don’t want him to chase me,” shouted Pal. “I want him to leave me alone and let my friend, Iz, and me, start a new life. Maybe a new town.”

“Or even a country,” piped in Iz.

“Iz,” said Talsan. “Listen to yourself, little boy. Our country has existed for thousands of years, filled with tradition and rich spirituality.”

Iz interrupted. “But how can it be spiritual when it is so full of hate?”

Talsan shook his head. “Do you hate the lamb when you take the wool? Do you hate the chicken when you collect its eggs? Do you hate the animal when you spill its blood to provide meat for your table? What you call hate is merely the way of nature. Things that are alike seek their own. In the process, they reject different species so as to keep purity within the ranks.”

Pal screamed at his brother. “You make no sense! Is this what they teach you at the university? These are just weird stories that don’t mean anything. My friend, Iz, here, is not a chicken. And I’m not an animal stuck in some herd. Talsan, you cannot tell me that you believe this.”

Talsan drew a deep breath. “What I believe has no power if it cannot change what I see. All of my wishes for peace and love are meaningless when I live in a world of bigotry and intolerance. I don’t want to change the world. I just want to keep the world from changing me.”

Both boys squinted at him, confused.

Talsan grabbed Pal’s arm, pulling him to his feet. “You will go with me,” he stated.

Pal collapsed, forcing his body to the ground, as Iz grabbed the grenade.

Talsan spied the weapon extended in the young boy’s hand. “So this is your answer to violence?” he posed. “How are you any different than anyone else? You would kill me to maintain your little society?”

Pal, lying face-down in the ground, spit back, “Talsan, I don’t want to kill you. You are my brother. I just don’t want you to decide my life.”

Talsan released his hold on Pal’s arm and stepped a few paces away, then turned and said, “I will tell Papa that your mind is deranged by the desert sun, and that you are under the power of some evil spirit. This should comfort him.”

He continued. “My little brother, I do not know what you’re doing. I do not know what in the hell this ‘Iz and Pal’ business is all about, but you are skin of my skin and blood of my blood. I will not hate you because I do not understand. This is where I am different from Papa. I pray you will change your ways, but I do not want you to starve and die of thirst. I will have food and water delivered here every morning until you decide to come to your senses. You are a childish idiot—but that should not be a death sentence.”

Pal stood to his feet and gingerly gave his brother a hug. Talsan nodded at Iz and concluded, “I do not hate you Jews. I just don’t believe that God chose you any more than He chose me.”

“No argument from me,” said Iz simply. “And thanks for the food.”

The boys perched in silence and watched as Talsan made his way down the hill. With each step he took they realized they were growing further and further away from their families and communities. Soon there would be nothing but the sand under their feet and the love they had in their hearts.

Still, it seemed like enough.


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1 Thing You Can Do This Week (to be of greater value to the people around you)

1 Thing You Can Do This Week (to be of greater value to the people around you)

 

STAY OUT OF POLITICS

Totally and completely.

Politics is not patriotism.

Politics is not a willingness to be civic-minded.

Politics is not an awareness of the issues.

POLITICS IS A PARTY

Yes, politics is a party with a limited guest list. The only way to get on that list is to agree with the terms of the party and to drink up the punch and suck down the appetizers.

Politics has become a sport.

Politics has led us to believe that lying is natural and often needful in certain situations.

Politics creates clumps of people who feel they’re superior by either a name or a color, and eventually use that arrogance to shut out the other half of the country.

Politics allows you to believe that you can be against abortion but for free expression of gun privileges, despite the carnage.

Politics leads you to believe that you should be ferociously involved in the environment and taking care of every wooly bear that is nearly extinct while simultaneously contending that abortion is not killing.

Politics makes you contradict your own heart.

Politics makes you support people simply because they are not as crazy as the alternative.

Politics is being willing to compromise faith, do away with truthfulness and ignore the needs of some portions of society simply because they favor the other camp.

THE DEVIL’S RELIGION

Politics is what the devil would suggest if he were starting a religion.

The minute you stay out of politics and make it clear that you have no intention of indulging in the verbal nastiness that accompanies it, you will suddenly become a trustworthy human, thinking for yourself and knowing there are things more important than who the next Supreme Court Justice might be.

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Jesonian … September 11th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3892)

I think you’re right, Johann.

Turning the other cheek can be scary on many levels. Some people think it’s ridiculous–they contend that if you don’t fight back, you’ll be destroyed.

But here’s the problem with fighting: nobody fights to lose.

Did you hear that? That means if a discussion becomes an argument and ends up being a fight, the individual who is trained the most to be violent and has the greater stamina will win the day.

Do we really want that?

Some years ago I stumbled on a fist fight in an alley in a large city. A little crowd had gathered because two men who were obviously over-soaked in alcohol had decided to square off.

The whole affair lasted less than thirty seconds, because within fifteen seconds of swinging at each other–and mostly missing–they were so out of breath that they had to crumple to their knees just to gain air.

God forgive me–I laughed.

We want to come across so tough, yet are we actually willing to fight? And if we decide to fight, are we going to get ourselves in shape at a level of anger to win?

There are three things for certain:

If you’re going to destroy an eye in someone else, you have to be willing to lose one yourself.

If you’re going to kill the enemy, you must be prepared to die.

And if you’re going to get physical with your retaliation, you must have the skill to overcome the person that is coming at you.

Johann, Jesus said this was unrealistic. Who has the time, in the middle of trying to live a joyous, giddy and peaceful life, to go into the gym and train to be a killer?

So sometimes, instead of punching back, you lay back, and see if conversation can return instead of taking something to blows.

It is scary.

It’s scary for the person who has to do it, and it’s very scary for the person who is facing such courage.

Turning the other cheek is not an option. It is the only doorway available for most of us humans who don’t want to spend our lives lifting weights and punching bags.

*****

If you like the mind of Jesus without religion, buy the book!

                $7.99 plus S&H

*******

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Salient…July 23rd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3743)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

Make a statement. Avoid questioning.

And by questioning, I mean the assumptions that other human beings draw about you based on very little information.

For some reason, we, as people, feel no need to apply facts when it comes to deciding who somebody really is, since they haven’t clearly stated their position one way or another.

This quick-to-the-punch evaluation can be based on facial expression, body language, race, gender, sexual orientation or whim.

If you don’t make a statement about things in life, you leave it to others to come with the questions, or to question for themselves and then form conclusions–which more than likely will be far from true.

Yet, because we have become so politically correct, afraid to voice an opinion for fear of being offensive, answers like “I don’t know” or “that’s a tough one,” or one I personally disfavor, “I guess it depends on the circumstances,” are prevalent.

Make a statement. Avoid questioning.

Let me give you some examples:

  • I do not believe in killing anything unless I plan on eating it.
  • I also decided not to judge anyone at any time unless I’m wearing a long, black robe and have a gavel in my hand (so far no offers).
  • Every week I evaluate my compassion, success and motivation on whether I end up giving more than taking.
  • And I freely admit that I’m a bigot. I favor one race. The human race.

So there you go.

Because I make statements, you don’t have to exhaust yourself coming up with a list of inquiries or challenging me in your private thoughts, developing your own profile about me.

So here is your salient moment:

If you’re not afraid to make a statement about what you believe, then you won’t have to field so many questions about what truly and honestly is in your heart.

 

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Catchy (Sitting 43) Unorthodox… April 8th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3636)

Jo-Jay hearkened back to a little piece of wisdom her late husband, “The Duke,” had once imparted to her. He was a kind, wealthy man, but was also notorious for being shrewd, and sometimes considered unscrupulous.

He told Jo-Jay that when you run out of legal means to achieve your goals, “just make up new laws.” Therefore, when Jo-Jay discovered she had depleted options in the American legal system, to prosecute Michael Hinston, Thomas Underwood and Bishop Merrill Handerling for the wrongful death of Prophet Morgan and her kidnapping, she decided to start her own jurisprudence.

Years before she had taken the bar exam but had never courted the profession. So Jo-Jay, with the help of a few friends, put together an elaborate ruse. They crafted, paragraphed and printed off legal documents that would pass muster at the Supreme Court, and sent them off to the three suspects, compelling their presence at a deposition.

She found an abandoned office complex, located between Dover and Felton in Delaware near the Bay. It had been built several decades back by the Meteoric Insurance Company when they were speculating on becoming highly successful, and needed a top-notch facility. But shortly thereafter, the company went bankrupt and left the property to the courts, which found no interested purchaser. There were two reasons: number one, it was too far for the general flow of commerce, and number two, there was a rumor that it was haunted by the spirit of a 41-year-old woman who mysteriously died in the ladies bathroom from an onslaught of dysentery. The property had gone to seed. Grass was growing up through the sidewalks, and there seemed to be a huge gourd blocking the front glass doors.

It was perfect for Jo-Jay’s purposes.

She rented it for four hours, to the bewilderment of the bank. She offered them so much money that they just didn’t have any desire to question her. Her plan was simple–she would set up her team in the front lobby (having “de-gourded” the door) and question the three people she felt were responsible for her tribulations in the Amazon, and also the death of the young prophet.

When the day arrived for the deposition, Jo-Jay and her cohorts arrived early. To keep the opposition bewildered, they had opted to dress up in costumes. They had wanted to use the style of the old Broadway hit, “My Fair Lady,” but the only costumes available were varieties of characters from the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Jo-Jay laughed and grabbed a leather jumper, as rest of the members selected their favorites.

So when Hinston, Underwood and Handerling arrived, each with an attorney in tow, their looks of bewilderment were well worth the price of the staging.

They sat down carefully on chairs which had been arranged in a small circle, so that all parties faced one another. They had barely settled in when Jo-Jay began.

“I’m going to do this deposition a little differently than what you may be used to,” she commenced. “Rather than boring everyone in the room, or forcing some of you to leave while others are questioned, I’m going to fire the questions, and if any of you have answers that are suitable to my desires, I will give you fifty points. The first one of you to reach five hundred points will be able to leave.”

Jo-Jay paused and looked around the room. Good. Baffled as far as the eye could see.

She quelled a wry smile and continued. “So basically what we have here is the need for cooperation, and the sooner you become agreeable, the sooner you’ll be able to get out of here.”

At this point, as if on cue, all three attorneys raised their hands. Jo-Jay chuckled, unable to hold back her glee. “I thought you barristers would have some questions. But here’s the good news–I’m not going to answer them. You see this fellow here?”

She pointed to a very large man covered in tattoos. He was about six-foot-six and weighed at least 350 pounds. His face looked like someone had replaced his countenance with sandpaper and his arms were the size of Vermont maple saplings.

Jo-Jay continued. “This is Helio Reece. There are two things you need to know about Helio. Number one, he knows more about this case than anyone else so he will know when you’re lying. And the second thing is that Helio becomes very violent when people lie to him.”

Once again, the attorneys moved to object. Helio took one step forward and the raised arms retired.

Michael Hinston couldn’t help himself. “What’s with the costumes?” he asked as he gazed on frills, leather boots and boas.

Jo-Jay looked down at herself and replied, “What costumes?”

She then pointed to the stenographer, who prepared to take notes. There were two other people in the room. They were not wearing costumes, but instead, were dressed in the military garb of the Green Berets. They, too, were large, intimidating, and stood to the right and left of Jo-Jay as if guarding Fort Knox.

Jo-Jay looked down at her papers as if scanning them, and said, “Well, I think that does it for the preliminaries. Let me begin. Question one–for anyone who wants to gain the points. Do you personally know anything about the death of Prophet Morgan in the deserts of Nevada?”

She leaned back and put a pencil to her mouth, as if waiting for a confession. Michael Hinston, Thomas Underwood and Bishop Handerling looked at one another. No one answered, so Underwood decided to speak up.

“I hope you know that I am the director and founder of the CLO–the Christian Liberty Operation. It is not our position nor our history to be acquainted with crimes, or for that matter, threatened with punishment.”

Jo-Jay leaned forward. “So I’m taking from your response that you’re either saying you know nothing, or that killing Prophet Morgan was a new enterprise for your organization.”

Michael Hinston jumped in. “What he’s saying is that none of us–at least I don’t think so–know anything about the unfortunate demise of this young fellow.”

“How about you, Bishop?” asked Jo-Jay, swirling in her chair and pointing at him.

The Bishop craned his neck, looked around the room and replied, “I never liked the young man. He was a false prophet. A false teacher. There was nothing but false about him. But I learned a long time ago not to take my personal opinions and turn them into action. I have found God to be the best avenger against those I consider to be evil.”

Jo-Jay frowned. “Bishop, don’t you ever get impatient? For you see, the problem with waiting for God to hurt people is that He has developed a reputation for love and mercy, and He just might overlook some damnable sort that you felt needed to be obliterated.”

“This is ridiculous,” said the Bishop. “I don’t see how this could be legal.”

He turned to his attorney, who glanced over at Helio and just quietly shook his head with a nervous twitch.

Jo-Jay pointed at Michael. “How about you, Michael?” She glanced around the group. “I should make it clear to all present that Michael and I had a previous history. Matter of fact, I think when we were back in college we got drunk one night and he fingered me. Or was it that I jerked you off? I forget. Could you answer that question?”

Michael stared straight ahead, refusing to speak.

“Ouch,” said Jo-Jay. “I guess he forgot. But Michael, could you tell me if you know anything about the death of Prophet Morgan?”

Michael stared at her and replied, “I’ve already answered that question.”

Jo-Jay lifed her pen with a flourish and scribbled on her tablet. “Well, I would say there are no points for that one. Seems like it could be a long day.”

One of the attorneys gained speech. “May I see the pending indictment, and also the document demanding that we come for this deposition?”

“I sent it to all of you,” said Jo-Jay, offended.

“I know,” he replied. “But…well, it’s been a while since I looked at it, and this is highly unorthodox.”

Jo-Jay leaped to her feet and pointed at the attorney. “Yes. Let’s talk about unorthodox. Let’s talk about a young man named Jubal Carlos, who was arrested in Las Vegas for no reason whatsoever except to silence his voice and keep him from sharing a message. May I insert myself, and say that I was abducted and dumped in the middle of the Amazon jungle because I was getting too close to discovering the identity of an operative named Joshua, who at least one of you probably knows intimately. And then we can certainly all agree that the tragic death of Prophet Morgan was at the hands of someone who wanted to stop his efforts–and also discredit the new “Jesus Awakening.” I call that unorthodox. I call it unorthodox when people feel the need to hurt other people just because they don’t like the way they believe.”

The Bishop rose to his feet. “I will answer your question, Madam, but you won’t like it. In my job, my position, there is more than preaching, teaching and loving little children. That’s a luxury Jesus had when he was on Earth because he was not trying to sustain a kingdom. Each one of us here has a kingdom. You are threatening them. Not only are you personally attacking us, but you’re asking us to use whatever means we can find to defend our faith. Yes–we are defenders of the faith. Like the Knights of the Round Table, who found the need to pick up the sword to protect King Arthur and the glory of the Church. We not only preach a Gospel, but we keep it from being destroyed by secularists and heretics. I don’t expect you to understand this. Apparently you summarize life down into tiny teacups that fit your thinking, but there are barrels and barrels of problems in this world which sometimes require drastic action.”

Jo-Jay replied with her own fire. “So are you saying, Bishop, that you took some drastic action?”

Thomas Underwood also stood to his feet and countered back at Jo-Jay. “No, ma’am. He is saying that even though the death of a human being is a nasty bit of news for the family, for the good of mankind and the cause of righteousness, it can be a blessing–a gift, if you will–ordained from the heavens.”

Jo-Jay sat back in her chair, aghast at such arrogance.

Michael Hinston spoke up again. “I’m not saying I agree with these two, but I will say that people who step too far out of the box often find that there’s only oblivion beneath their feet.”

Helio looked over at Jo-Jay and asked, “Do you want me to hurt them?”

Jo-Jay waved her hand, dismissing the notion. “No. Much as I hate to admit it, these three ignorant and arrogant sacks of shit really don’t know anything.”

“So are we free to go?” demanded the Bishop.

Jo-Jay replied. “Yes, but I will leave first, with Helio and my staff. The two armed guards will then take you to your limousine, where you may depart at your leisure.”

As quickly as it had begun, it ended. Jo-Jay slipped out the door and climbed into a large black van, and they zoomed away. After about five minutes, the guards received notification from Jo-Jay that they could release the suspects.

Michael Hinston, Bishop Handerling and Thomas Underwood stomped out of the lobby in anger and frustration, followed by their helpless attorneys. As they departed, they noticed there were construction workers everywhere, and police cars. It was alarming.They quickly made their way to their vehicle.

“What time is it?” Handerling asked his attorney.

“11:58,” said his mouthpiece.

They got into their car and started down the long lane toward the road. They were just about to turn onto the county road taking them to the highway when they heard a rumble that shook the earth around them. Looking out their back window, they viewed the office building imploding in a huge cloud of dust which gradually made its way across the meadow and surrounded their car. Coughing a bit from the intrusion, one of the attorneys spoke.
“They blew up the goddamn building.”

Hinston corrected. “No. I think they imploded it.”

Bishop cited, “It’s 12:02. Well, whatever–it’s gone.”

Thomas Underwood rubbed his chin and said, “Gentlemen, I think we’ve been hoodwinked. I don’t think anything legal went on back there whatsoever.”

The third attorney chuckled and said, “You could be right. But we’ll never know. They destroyed the evidence.”

 

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