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Friday, February 12, 2016

Lightnings and Regulations



I began with a question. It was a simple question, nothing that should have led to trouble. As my uncle used to say, ‘Don’t start trouble; there won’t be trouble.’ If she’d followed my uncle’s maxim, she’d still be here, wouldn’t she? I began with the question: “Just what do these lightnings and thunders signify? What are the atmospheric voices saying?”

“It’s the anarchists, sir,” she said. “Anarchists taking to arms, suddenly, within our ranks and in our pews.” She held out a sheaf of reports and files that I chose to ignore.

I said, “What do you mean?”

She said, “We have become so warped, so wrapped up in a theological manhunt, a witch-hunt to discredit and divorce our own, that we have come close – very close – to forcing Congress to approve their application for refugee status. We cannot prosecute them for possible future thought crimes. There’s no way to do it.”

“We may not be able to prosecute them, “ I said, “with the legal system as tied up as it is with the blood struggle, but we can…no. We must…ask for these serpents with beguiling human heads to be stricken from the Book of One. The Throne is there, and the Voices and Thunders have approved our budgetary requests. Our credit with headquarters has never been better. So why is this so difficult?” I fumed.

“Because they haven…”

I interrupted her, unwilling to let her continue even a half-hearted defense on behalf of our enemies.  “The drunken drum beat of bad news,” I hissed at her as I stared out the floor to ceiling glass windows of my towering downtown office, “will not be silenced without action from the ruptured saints. Old and New. We talk about morality, and we talk about error; we read about it in the newspaper. But we must begin to take more stringent action. There is no doubt that both the worm and the tide have turned. Now we will drive them out; all that is required is that we act, without hesitation and without mercy.  Cut fast. Cut deep. This much is clear.

I paused, but not for long enough to allow her to speak. “I will personally pile a crisis of unimagination upon the friendly liberals who are causing our problems. With weapons, and gas-masks, and an organized army, if that’s what it takes to cast them into the lake of fire, with anger.”

“Oh,” I continued, gesticulating with my arms in frenzied motions through the space around her head, “They have a sort of power, power to form a high-altitude, high-minded attitude. They claim, without warrant, the same victor’s crown that we wear – but we are not powerless. Our religion is power, and we are not powerless. Their attitude is one of intellectual conceit; with their questions, and their study, and their so-called science. But we have lightnings. Yes. Lightnings and regulations. And we have judgment. And so, we will take proactive steps to clear-cut them from the pews. Slash and burn them from our rolls.”

“But, Sir…” she whined. I sent her a withering look and she retreated.

“Are you one of them? Have you adopted their sensibilities?”

“No, sir.”

“Have you been caught up in smoke, captured in mist, lost in the fog of their delusions?”

“No, sir.”

“Are you loyal?”

“…yes. … Yes, sir.”

“Completely, unquestioningly loyal? There are a lot of traitors these days. Benedict Arnold has sown his spores and multiplied a harvest of fungal infections. They are selling our secrets, airing our dirty laundry, revealing our nakedness. Are you certain of your place in this institution?”

“Sir?”

“Are you ours? Body and soul?”

“Yes, sir. Yes.”

I did not believe her, so I tossed her through the floor to ceiling glass windows of my towering downtown office. 

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