The recent storyline at GPF, in which a devout Christian tends to the wounds of a killer, and then sets her free, spawned quite a bit of discussion, much of it slamming the comic and the cartoonist. I was uncomfortable during the story, because it seemed to me that the Christian character was behaving just a little irresponsibly.
Contrast that to this article about the God-fearing woman who put a stop to Brian Nichols’ alleged murderous rampage through Atlanta. This account is simply AMAZING. She never backed away from her principles, and managed to save not only her own life (which she could have done several times, apparently) but also the lives of others. See, she stuck around… and around…. and around… she calmed him down, read to him about finding purpose in his life, and fed him breakfast.
And then, when she finally called 911, he was ready to turn himself in.
It’s not that truth is STRANGER than fiction. It’s that, in this case at least, it’s BETTER on all counts.
14 thoughts on “Truth beats the pants off of fiction, folks”
Thank you! You just expressed so well why the GPF storyline made me uncomfortable. He was, indeed, acting extremely irresponsibly. I was beginning to feel like a bad Christian for not liking the storyline.
That Ms. Smith was able to do what she did, on the other hand – wow. Just… wow.
Under most circumstances, it would seem that Akhilesh should be more prudent. Perhaps he is Guided… or perhaps he’s just naive. Time (and the cartoonist) will tell.
Consider carefully that Akhilesh did not know that she was/is a killer, and was performing as the good Samaritan would be expected to. He only considered that she was hurt and in danger of death, and applied his healing arts to the best of his ability.
I suspect that there is more to this than meets the eye…
Yes, it’s a bit religious–more than I liked, as well, but sometimes you just have to lend a hand.
Yeah, but she told him everything she did.
Yep, and he still absolutely stuck to his principles…
I’ve known only one person in the non-fictional world like that…
Funny, I would have said it reminded me of another fictional character
His name was Angie Massey…I’m sure he’s long gone now. He was very old when I knew him.
Was an orphan, who had no idea where he came from, had horrid scoliosis among many other problems. Had a wonderful attitude, totally ethical, and a man of faith in a true sense.
I met him ages ago at a Boy Scout camp, knew him for many years. Truly a totally honest, moral individual like Akhilesh.
I think I liked it better precisely because of that failure. It would have seemed a little too propagandistic if he had actually managed to convince her of turning herself in. It would have been *too* perfect. This way is much more interesting. Will Trudy feel that she’s burdening -and damning- Aki with her sins too? Will Aki feel guilt and doubt if he hears Trudy is killing more people?
This also showcased a weakness I have observed in some religious types -not all of them, mind you- the tendency to “follow their heart” over practical, legal, and even safety reasons. That is, the tendency to look for “signs from God” or asking God to “show them the way” instead of following that old saying: God helps those who help themselves.
OK. I don’t read GPF, and I have no idea of Trudy’s backstory. I don’t know who the UGA are. (Anyone who wishes, feel free to enlighten me.) But if she did in fact kill the guy who jumped her in the alley, then it was, in the context of that storyline taken by itself, self-defence. And while I’m not a Bible student or even religious, I know (because even though I don’t buy into the religion practised in his name, I respect his wisdom, and wish the church that bears his name followed his teachings more closely) that Jesus said, “Him that hath no sword, let him sell his cloak and buy one;” and, “If a man comes to kill you, rise up and kill him.”
So, taken in context of this storyline alone, Trudy appears to have been in the right … there may be backstory that changes that. I don’t know what her “future self” did/will do, but in this storyline, she was attacked without warning by a man who attempted to beat her to death, and more by good fortune and sheer desperation than by strength or skill, she somehow managed — just barely — to prevail and survive.
Akhilesh knows all she has done, or — apparently — will do. And perhaps knowing that, he decided that whatever demons she had in her past/future were hers to face, and that going to jail would not redeem her … but that giving her his Bible might. (Our prisons certainly seem to do an appallingly poor job of rehabilitating evildoers — in large part, it seems criminals go in, and harder, more bitter, more vicious criminals come out, determined not to be caught as easily next time.) Or perhaps he decided that she had done only what she had to, and needed redeeming most of all to herself for what she could not accept having done.
Either way, even taken out of context on its own, this was one of the most powerful storylines I’ve read in any webcomic.
Maritza had a good point. I think Aki would have tried to get Trudy to turn herself in if he had believed it would work. But he realized that a) she wasn’t ready to turn herself in, b) she wasn’t ready to forgive herself either, c) he couldn’t keep her prisoner, and d) he couldn’t let her leave without doing SOMETHING. So he did what he could.
I was rooting for Trudy to kill Akhilesh – especially when he made the ‘If you don’t take the bible, I’ll call the cops on you’ line. Still, I suppose there’s some redemption of sorts coming for Trudy. Interestingly the UGA folks they’re sending after her don’t seem to be in the mood for accepting rehabilitation – If she gets weak, I don’t suspect this will have a happy ending.
I hadn’t made the connection.
Now I feel foolish.
Both are pretty amazing stories.
Thanks, for pointing that out, Howard!
Yah, she could have driven off when he had her ‘follow’ him in the car. Didn’t he offer to hang her drapes while she was off visiting her daughter?
That whole case is surreal. Why a guy who was deemed dangerous to the point of them requesting a beefing up of security in the courtroom was left alone with one guard in a public building is beyond me.
[Sorry. Late to the party and all the guests have gone home, but.]
That’s pretty whoa. It’s also the first I’m hearing of it — has there been much coverage outside the Post?
The irresponsibility alone wouldn’t have bugged me for some reason — I know that fictional evangelists will do some incredibly strange things in conversion-fic, and I’ve come to expect it there. It was the irresponsibility combined with what I felt to be an incredibly stilted representation of Trudy’s spiritual conflict which just made it all scream “SCRIPT!!” at me at the end. Jerry Jenkins did a better job of hashing out the lines so often put into the prospective convertee’s mouth, and that really is saying something.
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