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May 21, 2022 3:25 PM
Jesusland Bruce on the honesty planet
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"Wait, really? Did this world have a global flood a few thousand years ago? Do you know where your world's Eden is and what happens to anyone who tries to get in? Do you have miraculous healings?"

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" - I have never heard about a flood a few thousand years ago. I don't know of a place called Eden. We - don't have miraculous healings that I've ever heard of?"

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"Okay that's really weird, because everywhere on the Earth I came from had stuff like that, even before Jesus. Maybe God just--doesn't do anything here for some reason? But that doesn't explain why I'm here." 

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"The explanation that jumps to mind, young man, and I don't know if I'm right, is that God might be powerful in your world. But here? Maybe not so all-powerful."

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There are probably tons of good arguments against that but Bruce can't come up with any of them because he just had the thought that maybe when people in this world die they just don't exist at all anymore and apparently hope is actually more painful than despair.

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"I think it might be a good idea to start at the beginning here," says Cathy. "This young man is from a world that, it sounds like, is different from ours in several ways. Some of those are going to be very relevant - and important - for the effort to put out the fire in Hell. Let's - and I know we're all really excited by all this new information - take a step back and let him explain more about his world and all of the ways it's different from ours."

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Bruce nods, takes a deep breath, realizes he's still on the floor and gets unsteadily to his feet. "Okay. Yes. Okay. In the other universe, six thousand and two years ago God created the universe: the crystal sphere of the stars and everything inside it. Which is the Earth and the sun and moon and the seven other planets. Heaven always existed. Hell was created before the universe unless it's in the center of the Earth in which case it was probably created at the same time as the Earth, scientists are still trying to figure that out. Angels--God's servants and messengers--always existed but sometime around when the universe was created some of them, led by Satan, rebelled against God and became demons and Hell was created to imprison them. Demons are evil and want to drag everyone down to Hell with them."

Bruce pauses to see if everyone is following along so far.

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They look fascinated.

"This all sounds pretty different than our universe, which is billions of years old," Jim says. "Go on."

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"Billions? Wow." That's fascinating but also he's feeling dizzy again and has to grope for his train of thought. "Uh. Anyway. Uh. Humans! After God spent six days creating the sky and the earth and all the plants and animals He created humans, first a man named Adam and then a woman named Eve, and they're the ancestors of all humans. He created them in the garden of Eden, where every kind of edible plant grows including the Tree of Life whose fruit prevents people from dying, and the weather is always perfect, and He said they could eat anything in the garden except the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Uh, Adam and Eve didn't know right from wrong, they were just instinctively perfect without having to think about it. And then Satan told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge they would know Good and Evil and become like God, so they disobeyed God and ate it, and that was Original Sin. It contaminated all their descendants so all humans--in my world I mean--are innately sinful and inclined to do things they shouldn't. And for their sin Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden of Eden and had to work to grow their food and couldn't eat from the Tree of Life which is why humans get old and die.

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They listen, wide-eyed, and gasp with shock at 'they disobeyed God and ate it' and at 'cast out of the garden of Eden'.

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They're very gaspworthy moments! "And then they had kids and their kids had kids and after several generations God saw that humanity had become exceedingly wicked so He decided to start over. He found one family of good people, Noah and his wife and his sons and his sons' wives, and he told them to build a giant ark and take some of every kind of animal on it and once they were inside He flooded the whole earth with forty days and forty nights of rain, and all the people and animals not on the Ark died, and then He let the water drain away and the land reappear and Noah's family repopulated the Earth again."

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"That's - I actually don't have any idea what to say about that," says Jim, "which is bad because millions of Americans are tuning in and looking to me to contextualize this."

       "Well," Carol says, "I think we might need to stop this God before he kills again."

"Yes, you're right, Carol, we might."

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It's like they're going through every question Bruce has ever asked and been told it was a stupid question, every emotion he's ever concealed because it was an evil emotion, every thought he's ever tried to stop having in the middle of having it, going through them and just saying them out loud on TV in voices with a manageable amount of fear and no guilt at all. 

They're wrong, of course, they're just as wrong as he is.

He has no argument to convince them because he has no argument to convince himself.

What does it even mean for a position to be right if there's no convincing arguments for it?

He has to convince them anyway because not going to Hell is more important than being right. 

Why does that thought feel like a handful of worms and the sight of the newscasters feel like a faceful of sunlight?

He should say something true and important but everything true feels stupid and everything important feels meaningless.

"Look, is there any way I can convince you not to do this? I don't want you to be hurt . . ." He doesn't know if that's true but he wants it to be. "God is good, really, I just haven't explained right." That's definitely true even if he doesn't believe it.

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" - well, I'm definitely relieved to hear that," says Jim. "I admire the courage of our men and women in uniform but I'd rather they not have to go up against God if they don't have to. And I want the fire put out as quickly as possible, and that'll definitely be easier with God's help."

"I do think there's still a strong case for accountability here," Cathy says. "Even if Hitler had reformed and become a good person after 1945, I'm not sure we'd have been wrong to put him on trial for the genocide. But I guess it's less urgent if he's not going to do it again."

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This is still a huge fucking mess but maybe the "God is good" bit will get somewhere if he runs with it. 

"God created all the beautiful things in the world and then created humans to enjoy them. God heals the sick and feeds the hungry and makes the sun keep shining. When bad things happen it's because humans are wicked."

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"Just clarifying - when you say God created all the beautiful things in the world, do you mean your world, or our world, or both? And same thing with - God heals the sick and feeds the hungry and makes the sun keep shining -"

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"Well you said you didn't have any miracles in this world so I don't know but definitely in mine. People pray for healing and if their faith is strong they instantly recover, or for food and they get manna--uh, spontaneously materializing breadlike stuff."

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"- so that's good," says Cathy, "but I mean, usually, if you murder some people and cure others, it doesn't balance out, like, we don't let heart surgeons do a little murder on the side."

"I agree with you about that, Cathy," says Jim. "One law for everyone, that's the American way."

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They're all like him and it's the worst possible thing--

. . . actually maybe it's just these newscasters and everyone else is totally different. Well, these newscasters and the President and his staff and the blasphemous medical thing guy. But maybe it's like half of people.

"Um, so I just realized, I've been answering your questions but if there's a lot of people watching this broadcast they might have different questions, or be thinking about this differently, and I don't know anything about television broadcasting even in the other world but do you have a way to find out what kinds of opinions the viewers have or take more questions from other people? I definitely do want to keep talking to you too I just don't want to totally ignore everyone else."

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"Sure! I'll ask our technical team if we can let some more listeners with questions through."

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"Hi, there, this is Gladys from Omaha and I want to know what it means for faith to be strong? I would like to stop having cancer."

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That's--not actually good but much better! "You have to love God and believe that He's good and believe that He can and will heal you, and then you kneel, ideally in a church but I guess you don't have any churches yet so at home is fine, and ask that God heal you if it's His will that you be healed. You'll be able to tell when it's worked; you'll glow gold and feel amazing."

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"Well I've been watching this program so I know the good part and the healing part, but I'm not sure how to go about loving somebody who's set my Roscoe on fire and hasn't even come by to explain himself and maybe drop off a fruit basket. How do you go about that part, young man?"

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This is the WORST and he should have never been BORN

"I don't know, I'm sorry, I don't know, but back where I came from everyone except me can do it so it's probably easy and I'm just defective, please try to be better than me, I'm sorry."

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"Um, this is Tallulah from New York and I just want to ask—can you explain again from the beginning, what people need to do so they won't deserve to be on fire forever, because I'm not sure I understood the first time, and it sounds important—"

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