Blame It All on Saturday Night Live

Officials today are taking a page straight out of Saturday Night Live when Eddie Murphy and Jon Lovitz went out of their way to outdo the other in tales of agony.

“Well, the other day I poked my eye with a corkscrew and it really hurt.”

“Yeah, well I turned a corkscrew once and then twice, then spun it around the other direction. Ouch!”

“Really? Well, I dropped a sword on my foot and sliced off my little toe.”

“The little one? Ha, I was swimming and a boat propeller ran right through my thigh.”

“Yeah, well…”

The insanity today is American government and those who control the beast.

One day the country’s economy was booming with historically high employment, and all-time low unemployment among ever demographic. Taxes were low and companies that had escaped the country during the Obama Administration were returning and employing and paying high wages and doling out bonuses. For the first time ever America was energy independent and free from the choke-hold of Arab countries in the Middle East.

And then Covid-19. And then Mr. Biden won the election. And anything and everything Orange Man Bad had done must be considered verboten. Meaning it must be undone, no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT!

Now we truly know the power of executive orders. Who figured?

• Starting with gas prices which in some places were below $2.00 a gallon. But we must go green, so:

Mr. Biden derails the Keystone Pipeline, putting 52,100 of highly paid union workers out of a job and cutting off vital oil. He followed that up by stopping oil production on federal lands and outlawing fracking after promising time and again that he would not.

(Murphy: “So I peeled the skin off my earlobe…)

(Lovitz: “Oh, yeah, well I…”)

In the aftermath of that, Biden turned around in March and bought 1.033 million barrels of Iranian crude despite sanctions on Iran’s energy sector.

Then, yes, and then, Biden scrapped economic sanctions Trump had placed on Russia’s controversial firm building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany. 

No, that was not enough. Mr. Biden couldn’t live with himself without suspending oil and gas leases in the 1002 Area, a federally designated oil preserve of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), reversing a Trump administration achievement in opening up the area after decades of lobbying by Alaska officials.

Honestly. You can’t make this stuff up.

• Then there’s U.S.-Iran Nuclear Deal brokered by Mr. Obama — and next to Nixon opening the Bamboo Curtain — perhaps the most misfortunate (no, let’s call it by it real name, “Stupid”) foreign-policy decision in U.S. history. I mean, $150 billion was surreptitiously loaded onto a plane in the middle of the night and flown to the world’s leading promoter of violence; and this was after signing a deal basically allowing that killer nation to build nuclear weapons. 

When Orange Man Bad got into office he had canceled the agreement with a “maximum pressure” policy whose economic sanctions created economic hardship on an Iran government that wantonly and at will broke the agreement. The nuclear advances in Iran slowed for four years and the some of the citizens started calling for the end of the ayatollah’s rule.

But it was an Orange Man Bad policy, so it had to go.

Uncle not only lifted the sanctions because we all know the world’s leading financer of terror truly needs a nuclear arsenal.

(Murphy: “So I cut off the tip of my finger…”

(Lovitz: “Oh, yeah? …”)

Then Joe promised to return to a policy of partnership with Iran,

Next? Oh, there are so many choices. Hm-m-m… Let’s go with:

• That old bugaboo that keeps changing with the times, the ever-catchy “Climate Change,” a scary topic to so many… yet doesn’t even break into the Top 10 Concerns in any believable survey. Once “scientists” promised there was a impending Ice Age. Oops. Sorry, it’s Global Warming on the scale that beaches everywhere would go under the sea. Oops. Well, climate does change. It has since the beginning of time. God made it that way — kind of a balance, counter-balance sort of thing on this orb we call home.

Orange Man Bad had pulled out of the Paris Accord in which America and others would hamstring their businesses while the world’s two leaders of pollution mongers — China and India — need to do absolutely nothing for a couple decades. 

Hey, you might have noticed that America has clean air and water nowadays. No? Then where do you live?

Mr. Biden corrected this miscarriage of well-meaning and re-entered the country into the Paris pact.

(“So when I threw myself off the cliff, I tripped on a rock and hit my head on the way down…)

(Oh, yeah? …”)

Not happy with this simple solution to climate, Mr. Biden promised to jump all aboard the sound plan called the Green New Deal by promising to be carbon-neutral (that is, net zero emissions) by 2030.

There you go. We’ll be able to breath again, to fish our streams and lakes.

• Right-o, then there are the taxes. 

Mr. Obama had declared America had to face a future with a “new normal” of high employment and few manufacturing jobs.

But Orange Man Bad cut taxes, all taxes, and the failing economy had taken off like a rocket ship. Corporations that had abandoned America because of crippling taxes \started returning. Everyone who wanted a job could get one. Corporations gave out bonuses left and right. The upturn was phenomenal.

(“When I slipped a disc I decided to go skateboarding…”)

Well, Uncle Joe apparently thinks lower taxes is a horrible idea. His move? Raise taxes back up so they are among the highest in the world.

(“I did, too, then jumped out of a plane without a parachute…”)

Here’s the President’s declaration: Only people earning more than $400,000 a year will see their taxes go up.

Right. We all believed that for how long… nope, sorry, we didn’t.

• Ah, and then there’s abortion, considered murder by all those darned Christians. Orange Man Bad, claiming himself a new-born one of those, ended American funding of abortions around the world.

(“The paring knife wasn’t sharp enough to cut my finger nails, so I sharpened it…”)

Uncle Joe, a self-described “deeply committed Catholic” just like Nancy Pelosi, simply had to address this issue. We’re increasing the funding to Planned Parenthood, the leading abortionists in the country, and proposing using taxpayers’ money in-country to pay for abortions outright — the 45-year-old Hyde Amendment be damned.

( “Oh, yeah?…”)

Not only that but we’re reinstituting the funding of abortions globally. So many women are clamoring to cut out that troublesome glob of tissue on their tummies.

• And never would Mr. Biden forget the crowds and stadiums-full of men who feel themselves women and want to change sexes, or women who feel masculine enough to have their body parts snipped off, too. Orange Man Bad was really dastardly with this group.

(“Hey, did you notice how dull that surgeon’s scalpel was that cut off my?…”)

When Uncle Joe took the reins, that trans-denial thinking had to go. If a boy thought himself a girl, he must be allowed in the girls’ showers and bathrooms. No, more: he must be allowed to compete in sports on the girls’ teams. Hooray for equality and equity between the two races.

(“Oh, yeah?…)

Thanks to more progressive decision-making and executive order-signing by Mr. Biden, taxpayers will now foot the bill for “gender reassignment surgery” for active military personnel and veterans. Hold your breath. Some treatments cost upward of $200,000 under an executive order 

But what’s a couple hundred thousand dollars among friends?

(“Remember that spur on my ankle, my cleaver took care of that. Oh, yeah?…”)

There are so many other topics of irony and idiocy — like the overwhelmed U.S.-Mexican border and the never-ending control of gun ownership — but I’ve reached my limit of disgust for one session.

Oh, except that I can’t forget Covid-19. Early on, Orange Man Bad suggested hydroxychloroquinecould be an answer to the pandemic. Well, if it came from that horrible man’s lips, it must be bad. Such an idea must be canceled, just like him. So, with the help of the mainstream media, that thought was nixed. In fact, the FDA outlawed such treatment.

Now we find out that the Health Ministry in Mexico City reports a 76-percent reduction in hospitalizations when people were treated with — what? — hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. And similar results are reported in India.

So, does that mean Orange Man Bad’s advice could have saved tens of thousands of lives?

How dare anyone think such a thing! You never read that here.

Where are Eddie Murphy and Jon Lovitz when you need them?

Yet Another Headline Ripped from ‘Torn Asunder’

In case you missed it, here’s another disturbing headlines ripped from the pages of my end-times novel, Torn Asunder:

One headline unveiled: “Global Leaders Support Launch of Think Tank 2022 for the Realization of a Heavenly United Korea.”

Another boomed: “Pence and Pompeo Headline Launch of Think Tank Founded by Korean’Cultist’ Whose Church Says ‘Christian Era H

Another boomed: “Pence and Pompeo Headline Launch of Think Tank Founded by Korean ‘Cultist’ Whose Church Says ‘Christian Era Has Ended’

Yes, it’s true: the organizer is cult leader Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the widow of “Moonie” founder Sun Myung Moon. A billionaire, her followers regard her as the “Messiah” and the “True Parent to all mankind” whose goal is to unite all faiths in world peace and harmony.

I find it fascinating that this conference, “Rally of Hope: Think Tank 2022,” calls for “peace under Heavenly Parent.”

I hadn’t heard of this “Heavenly Parent” before. Sure sounds like what they call Dr. Moon, though.

The event’s headliners? You might be surprised to dscover they include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Vice President Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich, and numerous other delusionals from around the world apparently ready to put their names on anything whose title includes “Peace.”

So, here’s yet another reason to pick up a copy of Torn Asunder: simply to discover what lies ahead for America and the world and Christian believers and unbelievers and various misbelievers.

More and more real-life “proofs” continue happening that are described in the pages of Torn Asunder, published in early spring 2020.

A couple of other notables:

• The House of One, a religious structure being built in Berlin, will be the world’s first house of prayer for three religions, containing a church, a synagogue, and a mosque. It is situated in Fischerinsel, on the site where St. Peter’s, the first church in Berlin, once stood.

• The United Arab Emirates has unveiled plans for an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi that will unite a church, a synagogue and a mosque.

• The World Court.

• The rise into political prominence of LGBTQ+.

•Anti-Semitism gone amuck, even among America’s Congress.

And yet the populace continues to be hoodwinked. Amazing.

Going Audio

Now this is a strange experience for an author: hearing someone else read your novel aloud… for “publication,” or rather an audio version. 

You’ve slaved over (well, this is a desk job, really, so I’m not comparing this work to, say, a laborer in the salt mines or a woodsman sawing down trees, but you get the drift) your manuscript for weeks, months, a year even. You’ve sliced and diced and nuanced the dialogue; and maybe even sliced and diced a character or two.

You know your characters. I mean, know them — their upbringing, maturity or lack thereof, expertise or lack thereof, character strengths and flaws, and, importantly, their voices from accent to tone to inflection.

You’ve hollered along with your angry antagonist, wept with your distraught heroine, ducked bullets with your hero, maybe even yodeled with that woodsman sawing down the tree.

All of this was done in your own cocoon. Then perhaps you printed out your story and shared the tale (and your “new best friends” and “their worst enemies,” your characters) with your spouse, or writers’ group, or some unsuspecting friend.

But… but no one attempted to read your earth-changing narrative, the 90,000 words that poured out of your mind and tripped off your fingertips. No one — until now.

I say all this to report that I have aligned my future, in an “audio” way, with one John Tanner, a retired teacher in Michigan who has read 13 books and read them very well and is now tackling my The Last Aliyah, a contemporary geo-political novel which weaves the story of a modern-day Underground Railroad that helps Jews escape America for Israel. The circumstances that drive them away may soon become reality, but if you haven’t yet read it, wait awhile and you can listen to it while driving your car or raking leaves on your lawn.

The experience of hearing my words has been everywhere from “No! Really?” to “Now you’ve got it. Jacko, the retired Red Sox first baseman, does not take kindly to his interrogation at the hands of another, younger, black Homeland Security agent.”

Check John Tanner out at http://www.audiobookprime.com. Better still, check out my entire yet-unaudio’d library of novels and non-fiction at http://www.markalanleslie.com.

Watch Your Attitude

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, ‘Rejoice.’” 

— Philippians 4:4

Yet it seems like human nature is more inclined to complain.

When the Israelites wandered the desert they could rejoice they’d been freed from 400 years of slavery. But, no, they complained and wanted to return to Egypt.

The phone lines fill up for a Bangor, Maine, radio station’s Things That Tee You Off segment and for The Howie Carr Show’s Chump Line.

Would they fill up for Things That Bless You?

Did Jesus even once suggest “Complain” about this or that Roman intrusion, injustice, inequality, or other action?

Did the Apostles Peter or Paul or John — even when in prison or in exile — complain? No. Perhaps they saw their future.

Look at it this way: Just like Jesus’s crucifixion brought darkness on the earth for a time, His resurrection soon followed — joyful, elated, celebrating eternal salvation.

No matter the darkness we’re living through today, joy will follow — unspeakable joy and celebration and wonder.

So, with heaven in mind, we can withstand whatever anti-Christian, anti-semitic, woke evil that certain forces throw at us… even “oh, death, where is thy sting…”

Remember Psalm 118:15-17: “The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous… I will not die, but live and tell of the works of the Lord.”

Yet One More Story Torn from the Pages of My Novel, Torn Asunder

The House of One is a religious structure being built in Berlin. It will be the world’s first house of prayer for three religions, containing a church, a synagogue, and a mosque. It is situated in Fischerinsel, on the site where St. Peter’s, the first church in Berlin, once stood. 

In Torn Asunder, published last year, besides a One World Government and a Global Judicial Court, a Church Universal is created.

Discussing their planned feature article on the Church Universal, my Truth Publishing folks have this discussion:

Jake (the managing editor) said, “Meanwhile, humans have experienced exhilarating heights, tumultuous times, victories, defeats, deceptions of great magnitude. I believe we’ve entered a dangerous age, and Church Universal is a signpost.”

“It sounds so good,” Darek said, reading Church Universal’s mission statement: “‘Our deepest yearnings are to live in a safe and peaceful world that reflects divine love for every being; a world where people honor and respect one another, help the needy, and are caretakers of the earth and all its life; a world where religion no longer leads to hatred and violence but to dialogue, the celebration of diversity, and cooperative action for global good.’”

On the story in Jerusalem my heroes Darek and Jillian and colleague Ty drove by the Knesset, where Israel’s Parliament met, and passed the Bible Lands Museum and Science Museum to the brand spanking new headquarters of the Church Universal.

Their interview with Church Universal General Secretary Howard Alphonse Bliss, begins like this:

“Why create Church Universal in the first place?” Darek asked.

“Centuries of disharmony,” Bliss said slowly, sounding hurt by the thought. “Millennia, actually.” Then with a perky cadence, “Enough is enough. A major barrier between religions is that each has thought, ‘I’m right. Everyone else is wrong.’ This is an old trick of Satan we first read about in the Garden of Eden. And killing each other in the name of God and ‘what we think is right’ is absurd. I’m sure our Maker would have none of this. 

“And we found there were a number of us—from all religions—who felt the same way. Peace is a universal word, a universal concept, and, we think, the basis for a universal religion.”

“But,” Ty said, “how do you get around the fact these various religions have, for millennia, worshipped very different gods?”

“Whatever gods they’ve worshipped are enshrouded in myths, fairy tales, and stories written by men and, thus, with man’s errors,” Bliss said. “We feel we can’t truly know God, or the gods if there are more than one, because our minds are so limited compared to the great Mind that created the universe. And if we can’t know him, how can we define him? It’s best, we feel, to simply agree on the concept. There is a God, or gods, and he or she or they want peace for mankind.”

Jillian sat forward. “How do you marry this concept with the Muslims’ Allah ordering the destruction of people of all other religions unless they relent and worship him?”

“I don’t have to reconcile anything,” Bliss said. “I don’t have to resolve anything to which any of the religions lays claim. Truly, I don’t care to debate any point of any religion. My belief—and, yes, my life—are based solely on the idea of peaceful co-existence. A loving God would want nothing less.”

“What of Jesus’s remark,” Jillian interjected, “that ‘no one can get to the Father except through him’?”

Bliss shook his head slowly. “As I said, I care not to debate any particular scripture of any religion. What we’ve created here is a universal concept, one all mankind can believe in and follow without any of the trappings of existing belief systems.”

Darek and Jillian’s colleague Ty raised a finger. “I’m reminded of the old saying, ‘If you stand for nothing you’ll fall for anything.’ The leaders of Church Universal are mere men. So how do you expect Christians and Jews to turn away from the teachings they believe came from the mouth of God—or Muslims, Hindus, and others who believe in their gods?”

“Mere men, yes. But, we believe, men who are ordained and anointed by God to the task at hand,” Bliss said. “To your point, we believe in unity in cause even if there is not total unity in faith. Unity in cause is central to our duty as the Church Universal. And, again, our cause is peace. Ask any Christian if they want peace. Ask any Muslim.”

“The Muslim might answer ‘yes’ with their lips while firing a bullet into a Jew with the rifle in their hand,” Darek said. 

Throughout the interview Bliss is slippery as slime — a politician of the highest order. And this, too, is something we can expect in the not-too-distant future.

You can grab a copy of Torn Asunder through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Elk Lake Publishing, or be contacting me for a personal, signed copy.

35 Words To Live By

Begrudge no man his success if he harms you not. His reward will be buried with him when he dies.

Thank God for your gift — salvation — for you will carry it with you through eternity.

Inoculation Day

As Inauguration Day unfolds and we face a possible future of vile evil from our government leaders, the occasion should usher in Inoculation Day for believers in Jesus the Messiah.

That is, we need to inoculate ourselves against the anti-Christian bigotry, anti-Semitism, pro-abortion, anti-family, pro-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and laws and regulations about to befall America.

The 1st and 2nd Amendments will be under assault worse than ever and we could all list myriad other actions that will test our spiritual and physical lives.

And yet God offers us a free vaccine—an inoculation—against this avalanche of dread: His Word and our faith. Combine the two (and we must) and immerse ourselves in Scripture (and we must) and we will be able to overcome the next few months and years.

Forget the Word and relinquish our faith and we will surely perish.

The book of Nahum prophesied what was to happen to Israel and what I think we in America can expect soon and very soon. For God was an angry God then and we can anticipate America’s actions in 2021 to incite the same response. Portions to Nahum 2 and 3 tell the story:

“The one who scatters has come against you…

“Woe to the bloody city, completely full of lies and pillage…

“They stumble over the dead bodies! All because of the many harlotries of the harlot…

“ ‘Behold, I am against you,’ declares the Lord of hosts, “and I will lift up your skirts over your face and show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your disgrace…

“I will throw filth on you and make you vile and set you up as a spectacle.” The body of Christ must be prepared for this and we can because we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Nahum does encourage God’s people with a sentence we should all hold dear: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in

Thank you, Veterans!

For every military veteran of every conflict, war and time of peace: Thank you for your service, for putting your life, your health, your hopes and dreams at peril for this country and your countrymen.

Our debt can never be repaid in full and our thankfulness can never be spoken to the degree it measures up to your sacrifice.

May you be blessed this day and every day going forward. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you!

Do Your Homework!

The old charge from our Moms — “Do your homework!” — is especially essential today.

Why?

Simple. We’re living in a Post-Truth World. And it appears no holds are barred, no constraints used, no “wash-your-mouth-out-with-soap” reprimands.

People are empowered to make up their own truths, to tweet and meme and Snapchat and Instagram their fabrications out as if they were fact, without repercussions; to vlog outright and outrageous assertions; to spew venom on Facebook and even in radio and television ads.

And this 2020 political season proves it, going both ways.

√ Maine’s junior Congressman, one of very few Democrats who twice voted to dethrone Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and who voted against two of the three impeachment charges, is labeled as being Pelosi’s “puppet.” (Really?)

√ Maine’s senior Republican Senator Susan Collins, whose immediate family includes several elderly, is charged with wanting to destroy Medicare coverage for senior citizens. (Yeah, right!)

√ The President, known as Orange Man Bad, urged people to drink Clorox. (Believe this and you are truly a dope.)

By all appearances America has returned to the days of Yellow Journalism when newspaperman William Randolph Heart was able to even foment the Spanish-American War with lies and innuendo.

(“You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war,” Hearst wrote Frederic Remington when the famed illustrator told him all was quiet in Cuba and could he return home?)

And now, when the denizens of Twitter and Facebook have the power, without restriction (because it’s their business, right?) to completely shut down a news report on October 13 exposing the corruption of the presidential candidate they support… when YouTube can lawfully (again, because it’s a private business) cancel a video proclaiming an opinion with which YouTube luminaries disagree… when social-media “cancel culturists” can attack, shame and destroy an innocent person’s character… when 88-93 percent (depending on the survey) of the national media self-identify as liberal or progressive, what is a person to do to discover the unblemished truth?

In matters of theology, the answer is easy: Consult the Bible.

(Few may agree with me that after God and godliness, little else should matter, that politics should not be the be-all, end-all of our lives, that God is in control no matter what we think at any moment.)

But, what about other matters?

First, if possible, go to the original source. The Magna Carta, the U.S. Constitution, Uncle Lee’s letter home from the war front in Italy, whatever the source might be.

If the original source is unavailable go to the chronologically next-closest source. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, who drafted the Magna Carta. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas Paine and John Adams penned a lot about what this. Are Uncle Lee or Aunt Ruth still alive, or their personal journals available?

In today’s world, so much information is at our fingertips on the internet. For instance, we can watch a video of what the President actually said about Clorox.

When original sources are not available, research a variety of news gatherers and figure out which ones are trustworthy. Don’t just read the sources you know you’re going to agree with.

Just as “if something sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t,” so also “if something sounds too stupid to be true, it usually isn’t.” And the truth lies somewhere in between. (Well, except when Mr. Biden said he was going to defeat Joe Biden and that he was running for the Senate.)

To repeat my point: Do your homework!

Another Headline Ripped from “Torn Asunder”

Another headline was ripped from my novel, Torn Asunder, last weekend and this one is more unsettling than any of the others — by far.

The United Arab Emirates unveiled plans for an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi that will unite a church, a synagogue and a mosque.

Looking at a photograph of an architect’s rendering in the news story — at https://www.foxnews.com/faith-values/uae-plans-interfaith-complex-abrahamic-family-house — I was astounded at the resemblance to the Church Universal that appears as the headquarters in Torn Asunder.

The announcement of the Abrahamic Family House follows Pope Francis’ February visit when the pope and the grand imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, signed a declaration to form an interfaith council called The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.

This lofty Higher Committee had its inaugural meeting at the Vatican earlier this month and met again in New York City Saturday, Aug. 15.

Combine this with the Trump Administration’s historic Abrahamic Accord peace agreement, which appears to be the missing link the Vatican needed to launch the Abrahamic Faiths Initiative.

Keep in mind the Muslim faith declares “God has no Son and Mohammed is His prophet.”

Keep in mind Mohammed said, “The Last Hour will not come until the Muslims fight against the Jews and the Muslims kill them to the extent that the Jews will hide behind a rock or a tree and the rock or the tree will say: O’ Muslim, the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him…”

It seems difficult to reconcile these sentiments with Christianity and the Jewish faith.

A truncated version of my reporters’ interview with His Excellence Howard Alphonse Bliss, general secretary of the Church Universal in his headquarters (in a building much like that one they’re building in UAE), goes like this:

Reporter: “Why create Church Universal in the first place?”

Bliss: “Centuries of disharmony…. Enough is enough. A major barrier among religions is for each to think, ‘I am right.’ This is an old trick of Satan that we first read about in the Garden of Eden. And killing each other in the name of God and ‘what we think is right’ is absurd. I’m sure God would have none of it. And we found that there were a number of us—from all religions—who felt the same way. Peace is a universal word, a universal concept, and, we think, the basis for a universal religion.”

Reporter: “How do you get around the fact that these various religions have, for millennia, worshipped very different gods?”

Bliss: “Whatever gods they have worshipped are enshrouded in myths, fairy tales and stories written by men and, thus, with man’s errors. We feel we can’t truly know God, or the gods if there are more than one, because of our limited minds as compared to the great Mind that created the universe. And if we can’t know Him, how can we define Him? It’s best, we feel, to simply agree on the concept. There is a God, or gods, and He or they want peace for mankind.”

Reporter: “How do you marry that concept with the Allah of the Muslims ordering the destruction of people of all other religions unless they relent and worship him?”

Bliss: “I don’t have to reconcile it. I don’t have to reconcile anything any of the religions lays claim to. Truly, I don’t care to debate any point of any religion. My belief—and, yes, my life—are based solely on the idea of peaceful co-existence. A loving God would want nothing less.”

Reporter: “What of the remark by Jesus that ‘no one could get to the Father except through him’?”

Bliss: “As I said, I care not to debate any particular scripture of any particular religion. What we have created here is a universal religion, one that all mankind can believe in and follow without any of the trappings of the existing belief systems.”

Reporter: “I’m reminded of the old saying, ‘If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything. How do you expect Christians and Jews to turn away from the teachings they believe came from the mouth of God—or Muslims, Hindus and others who believe in their gods—when the leaders of Church Universal are mere men?”

Bliss: “Mere men, but, we believe, ordained and anointed by God to the task at hand. But, to your point, we believe in unity of cause even if there is not total unity in faith. Unity in cause is central to our duty as the Church Universal. And, again, that cause is peace. Ask any Christian if they want peace. Ask any Muslim.”

Reporter:  “The Muslim might answer ‘yes’ with their lips while firing a bullet into a Jew with the rifle in their hand. Isn’t this ‘cause of unity’ too simple for such complex theological, and political, disagreements?”

First, Bliss listed those who signed onto the United Religions Initiative in 1996— including Mother Theresa, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Bishop Edwin Swing, the Dalai Lama, the Sankaracharya of Kancheepuram, and Islam’s Grand Mufti in Cairo—then continued:

“The same God who made the hands of a Jew, made the feet of a Christian, the eyes of a Hindu, the heart of a Muslim, and the brain of a Buddhist. The Bible even says that, in God, there is no male or female, Jew or Gentile. We in Church Universal believe we are all brothers and sisters in God, created by the same Father (or fathers, or even father and mother, if you prefer).”

Reporter: “How on earth can you have a religion, Church Universal, without a specific theology?”

Bliss: “I do have a personal theology that guides my own life. But Church Universal is just that: universal. We can’t take sides and nit-pick about the particulars, or the semantics, of any single religion. Because of that, though I may have a personal belief on all sorts of topics, I won’t get involved in debates on any of them.

“But I want to emphasize that religious tolerance is not religious indifference. Tolerance values the right of another person to hold beliefs that you think are wrong. We are, above all else, tolerant.”

That sums up the fictional interview. Sounds like reality where “tolerance outweighs truth.” That’s the case, both in Torn Asunder and among those “higher minds” in the Higher Committee.

Kick-started by the Abrahamic Accord peace agreement, the Abrahamic Family House, set to be completed on 2022, is the first initiative by the Higher Committee.

God forbid whatever their next plans might be.

By the way, to score a copy of Torn Asunder or any of my other books, skip on over to Amazon.com and search for Mark Alan Leslie.