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Reply #27: Adding a chat with St. Peter about that war stuff [View All]

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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:29 AM
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27. Adding a chat with St. Peter about that war stuff
I was wondering what to do for my 1,000th post, and you provided the perfect thread for it.

This is an excerpt from the novel Jurgen (A Comedy of Justice), by James Branch Cabell. The protagonist, Jurgen, is visiting in Heaven, chatting with St. Peter. Jurgen asks the saint to explain a term he has just used:

"One thing I did not understand, sir: and that was when you spoke
just now of the War Roof."

"It is a stone roof, made of the two tablets handed down at Sinai,
which God fits over Earth whenever men go to war. For He is
merciful: and many of us here remember that once upon a time we were
men and women. So when men go to war God screens the sight of what
they do, because He wishes to be merciful to us."

"That must prevent, however, the ascent of all prayers that are made
in war-time."

"Why, but, of course, that is the roof's secondary purpose," replied
St. Peter. "What else would you expect when the Master's teachings
are being flouted? Rumors get through, though, somehow, and horribly
preposterous rumors. For instance, I have actually heard that in
war-time prayers are put up to the Lord God to back His favorites
and take part in the murdering. Not," said the good Saint, in haste,
"that I would believe even a Christian bishop to be capable of such
blasphemy: I merely want to show you, Jurgen, what wild stories get

(Mods, don't worry about an overlong quotation. The novel is in the public domain and I pulled this excerpt from the full text on Project Gutenberg.)
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