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XXX: After leading the entire White Wing out of the Green Dome Church over the issue of Prophet Peter Two Feathers allowing Kim Zinter to marry Gabriel Shybear, the former Apostle, Klaus Hansen, declared himself the Prophet of the Reformed Green Dome Church.

XXX: It went without saying that forbidding interracial marriage was one of the reforms, but there were many others. Listing them made up the bulk of Hansen's sermon on January 10, 1943, the Sunday following just one week after the disastrous split in the Church.

XXX: Hansen said the curse of God lay upon all those who play cards. All who engaged in dancing were in danger of God's righteous judgment. Those who even listened to race music would face the fires of hell. He told his flock to let not one drop of Demon Rum pass their lips.

XXX: To prove they were indwelt of the Holy Spirit, he encouraged the parishioners to roll in the sawdust on the floor of the barn out on River Road, near the bridge, that was their new "temple". That was just as well, as there were not enough benches for everyone to sit.

XXX: The beautiful white Temple looking down on them from the highest point in town seemed to mock them by simply continuing to exist. Many got up to leave during the service, but what was most alarming of all to the new prophet, the plate came back largely empty of cash.

XXX: The former Deacon, now Apostle, Paul Bergin, went door-to-door in Greendome to the homes of the whites passing out hastily-mimeographed tracts promised eternal damnation to backsliders who were tempted to return to the mother church, but he got an earful for his trouble.

XXX: Many of the parishioners had weighed the peril to their eternal souls if they remained in schism, and they found the barn situation to be intolerably pathetic. The pressure mounted on Hansen to approach the Prophet of the mother Church and negotiate a healing of the breach.

XXX: Paul and Klaus approached the Temple office door, but it was opened by Gabriel an instant before they could knock. "How did you do that, son"?" "The Prophet saw that you were about to knock."

XXX: Inside the office Paul and Klaus saw only Gabriel, Dory, and Kim, and it was soon apparent both men knew only one of them by name, which was Kim. It came as no surprise that the former Apostle and Deacon could never be troubled to know anyone in the Red Wing of the Church.

XXX: "I want to talk to the Prophet." "Right there," said Dory, pointing at Robyn. "I see three kinds who broke into the Temple office and are running loose. Where's Peter Two Feathers?" "He's in a better place," Gabriel said.

XXX: "He's dead?" "No," said Kim, "but he blamed himself for the schism and stepped down." "He was absolutely right to blame himself but if he left you in charge he must have been demented in the end." "Why do you say that, Mr. Hansen?"

"Call me Prophet Hansen. I say that because of what it says in the scriptures, 'I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over men. They must remain silent." "Why are you even here?" "I came to negotiate an end to the breach."

XXX: "Then you're going to have to show me a little respect, Mr. Hansen, as I am indeed the Prophet of the Church of Green Dome, whatever Paul wrote about womenfolk notwithstanding." "Prove it." Kim reached into a desk drawer and withdrew a leather-bound green book.

XXX: "I know you've seen this before, Mr. Hansen. It's Prophet Mark Lange's copy of the Book of Green Dome. The very first one that was printed. The first few sheets on the inside cover are a Church document." She laid it on her desk and flipped it open.

XXX: The first entry on the inside cover said PASTOR MARK LANGE, PROPHET, SEP 1, 1866, followed by Lange's signature, and a mark of an individual unknown, in Hebrew script. Kim said, "We believe the Lord Yeshua himself made this initial."

XXX: This entry was followed by the First Decree, which read, THE PROPHET OF THE CHURCH SHALL CHOOSE, FROM THE WING OF THE CHURCH OF WHICH HE IS NOT A PART, ONE WHO SHALL HOLD THE OFFICE OF APOSTLE. This was dated SEP. 1, 1866, signed and initialed by Prophet Lange.

XXX: This was followed in turn by the Second Decree, which read, "IN THE EVENT OF THE DEATH OR RESIGNATION OF THE PROPHET, THE APOSTLE SHALL VACATE THE OFFICE OF APOSTLE AND ATTAIN TO THE OFFICE OF PROPHET, again dated, Sep. 1, 1866 and certified by Lange.

XXX: The next entry, in the same handwriting, read, CHIEF WANICA, APOSTLE, SEP. 1, 1866, followed by a ragged 'W' and again by Lange's initials. Kim said, "We hold the first day of September to be the the day of the founding of the Church of Green Dome."

XXX: Her finger moved down to the next entry, which read, again in the same handwriting, APOSTLE WANICA, DECEASED, NATURAL CAUSES, FEB. 27, 1906, followed by Lange's initials. Also for that day was PETER TWO FEATHERS, APOSTLE, FEB. 28, 1906.

XXX: This entry was certified by the signature of Peter and by Lange's initials. Kim's fingers moved to the next entry, which was in a different hand. It said, PROPHET MARK LANGE, DECEASED, SINKING OF REINA REGENTA, MAR. 6, 1917, and this was initialed by Peter.

XXX: A diagonal line was drawn through the remaining blank space to the bottom of the inside cover and this, too, was initialed by Peter. On the facing page, the first line read, APOSTLE PETER TWO FEATHERS, PROPHET, MAR 6, 1917 and this was signed and initialed by Peter.

XXX: On the following line, Peter wrote the text of the Third Decree, which stated, "THE PROPHET SHALL APPOINT, FROM ALTERNATING WINGS OF THE CHURCH, A DEACON TO SERVE THE SPIRITUAL AND MATERIAL NEEDS OF THE WHOLE CHURCH." And Peter had signed and initialed this.

XXX: The next line read PAUL BERGIN, DEACON, Oct. 9, 1931. This was signed by Paul, and initialed by Peter. Kim said, "On that day Prophet Two Feathers created the office of Deacon, originally to assist the faithful during the Depression. Is everything in order, gentlemen?"

XXX: Paul nodded agreement, and Klaus said, "It appears to be so." Kim then indicated the next line, which none of the men had ever seen. ANY OFFICE OF THE CHURCH SHALL NOT BE TERMINATED EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF THE DEATH OR RESIGNATION OF THE OFFICEHOLDER. Signed by Peter.

XXX: Kim said, "Peter told us he never had to think about it before, but that the Fourth Decree became necessary following the events of last Sunday. Let's go on." DEACON PAUL BERGIN, RESIGNED, JAN. 10, 1943, initialed by Peter. But Paul objected to this. "I never resigned!"

XXX: "I was there in the barn you call your temple," said Kim. "I'm White Wing, remember? Mr. Hansen introduced you as the Deacon of the Reformed Church of Green Dome. When I reported that to the Prophet he took that to be your official resignation. What did he say, Dory?"

XXX: Dory replied, "Peter said, 'No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.' How apropos. This was exactly what Lord Yeshua said about trying to love both God and possessions."

XXX: Kim nodded, and said, "That led to the next line." It read HASHMAL DORIEL, DEACON, JAN. 10, 1943. Dory had signed it, and Peter had initialed after. "The upshot, Mr. Bergin, is that in the eyes of Prophet Two Feathers you quit, and he chose Dory to replace you."

XXX: Kim proceded to the next line, which read, APOSTLE KLAUS HANSEN, RESIGNED, JAN. 10, 1943, also initialed by Peter. Kim asked, rhetorically, "Do we really need to go over the same argument for the resignation of the Apostle as it was the for Deacon? No? Then let us go on."

XXX: The next line read, KIMBERLY ZINTER, APOSTLE, JAN. 10, 1943. Kim said, "As you can see, last Sunday was quite the busy day, made even more busy by the fact that right after Prophet Two Feathers wrote that, he performed the wedding ceremony for Gabriel and myself."

XXX: Gabriel made the parody of a sniff and said, "And what a beautiful ceremony it was!" Hansen said, "The union of you and Kim Zinter is a disgusting thought. You're not only not cousins, you're not even of the same race. Hell, you're not even the same species!"

XXX: "That whole cousin thing was always just a Church tradition," said Dory, "not a dogma or even a doctrine. In fact, it was essentially just Mark Lange's personal preference. Note that it was not one of the four Decrees written in Mark's Green Book."

XXX: "Prophet Lange himself believed otherwise," said Bergin. "So there was terrible persecution, and his pilgrimage halfway across the United States to this place." "The founder was Chief Wanica actually," said Gabriel. "He took the Golden Gift from God with his own hands."

XXX: "Yes, the Golden Gift," said Hansen. "Let us speak of the Holy Relic." "I will get to that presently," answered Kim. "As you can see, the Tenth of January was a busy day, but now we're in the homestretch." And she advanced to the next item written on the page.

XXX: It read, PROPHET PETER TWO FEATHERS, RESIGNED, JAN. 10, 1943. That seemed to hold the attention of Bergin and Hansen. Kim said, "Note that it was signed by Two Feathers and it was certified by me. And you can see how I then closed out his rather eventful page."

XXX: Kim flipped the page over and showed everyone the first entry. APOSTLE KIMBERLY ZINTER-SHYBEAR, PROPHET, JAN. 10, 1943. And this was signed and initialed by Kim, exercising her apostolic authority under the Second Decree established by Prophet Peter Two Feathers.

XXX: Underneath that was the final entry in the Green Book, which read, HASHMAL GABRIEL SHYBEAR, APOSTLE, JAN. 10, 1943. This was signed by Gabriel and initialed by Kim. She said, "And all this to show we are not kids playing in the Temple office, but officers of the Church.

XXX: So now that I have done precisely what you asked, that is, to prove it, what have you and Mr. Bergin come to say?" Hansen replied, "We have come to discuss the reunion of the divided Church." Kim shook her head. "You went out from us, but you were not of us.

XXX: If you had been of us, you no doubt would have continued with us." "We didn't so much as leave the Church as the Church left us," said Bergin. "Two Feathers slipped into apostasy when he set aside the eternal Law of God that only first or second cousins are to be married."

XXX: Kim said, "Gentlemen, this racist streak of yours has divided the Church but it is all just a lot of silly nonsense over nothing, and God is not amused. There are no races. There is only one human race. The Bible and the Book of Green Dome acknowledge only ethnicities.

XXX: In scripture we read only of peoples and kindreds and tongues, not Whites and Blacks and Yellow Menaces and Red Men. The angels of heaven are called Black Beards and Red Beards and so on, but they are all the same race, and indeed they are the same species as humans.

XXX: We know this because they can still breed with us, and that will be true for many thousands of years." Gabriel and Dory nod their heads, affirming the truth of what Kim said. Bergin and Hansen had no clue they were literally standing the presence of a nephil and an angel.

XXX: "What are you talking about," blurted Hansen indignantly. "There are indeed races. I can see them with my own eyes!" "Then how many races are there?" "I say there are three races: Caucasian, Negroid, and Mongoloid." "Really? Are you sure those are not artificial things?

XXX: Because it would make the dark people in India and Pakistan the same race as blond people in Scandinavia. And what about the aborigines in Australia? They have Caucasian and Mongoloid genes, but they are as dark as Negroids. Jews look identical to Arabs.

XXX: Mexican people are a mixture of Mongoloid and Caucasian. Even our Lord Yeshua is a lovely dark brown." "Brother Klaus is right," said Bergin. "I see three races as well. They can be traced right back to the three sons of Noah." Kim, Dory and Gabriel all looked at each other.

XXX: Dory said, "The same thing happens with the colors of a rainbow, it all depends on who looks at it. Some see three colors, some see seven, some see even more. But it's really a smooth continuum, you know. And setting the borders is the biggest waste of time there is."

XXX: Bergin said, "We see evidence in the Bible that dark skin is the Mark of Canaan, who was cursed as punishment after his father Ham saw his grandfather Noah naked after Noah became the first man in history to pass out from too much wine."

XXX: Mr. Bergin, there are different levels of pigments in human skin and that is a good thing. A ginger like me would not fare so well on the savanna in Kenya. Traits like color, or the epicanthic fold of Asians, are a vestige of the isolation of human settlements long ago."

XXX: "We believe it is the will of the Lord that this isolation should end," said Gabriel. "And how were your services yesterday, Apostle?" asked Hansen. Your Prophet must have told you ours were a clown show, but how were yours?" "There were no 'services' such as you imagine.

XXX: "Unlike you, we dare not carry on while our union of Red and White people lies in ruins, contrary to the will of the Lord who brought us all together in this place. There were sung laments, and Dory led the congregation in a prayer for a quick reunion."

XXX: Hansen grew angry. "We came here seeking to negotiate, but all we've heard is blasphemy from three kids. So we just air our grievances and moonbeam theories and go home?" Kim said, "No, perhaps you were moved to come here by the Lord in answer to our prayer.

XXX: Let us cut to the chase. In every negotiation there is at least one point a party stands upon to the bitter end and refuses to budge. What's your non-negotiable, gentlemen?" "We have two. First of all, God's sacred law of cousin marriage should be the Fifth Decree."

XXX: "Easily enough done." Kim prepared a fountain pen and inked the following into the Green Book: MARRIAGE IN THE CHURCH OF GREEN DOME SHALL BE BETWEEN PERSONS WITH THE SAME GRANDPARENTS OR GREAT-GRANDPARENTS, ON PAIN OF EXCOMMUNICATION. JAN. 14, 1943. And she initialed it.

XXX: Hansen said, "Good. When do you divorce Gabriel?" "Never," Kim replied. "The decrees of the Church don't work ex post facto. Besides, Yeshua himself said if a woman puts aside her husband to marry another she commits adultery against him. That's the Lord's non-negotiable.

XXX: "Then here's our second non-negotiable," said Klaus. "We get our old jobs back." Kim pretended to ponder this for a while, though she had known it was coming for some time. She turned to Dory and asked, "Will you step down as Deacon, Dor?" And Dory nodded yes.

XXX: So Kim inked into the Green Book, DEACON DORIEL, RESIGNED, JAN. 14, 1943. Dory signed it, and Kim certified it. To complete the transaction, Kim wrote, PAUL BERGIN, DEACON, JAN. 14, 1943. Paul signed the Green Book, and Kim certified his signature with initials.

XXX: Following this, Gabriel assented to giving up hez office as well. Kim wrote, APOSTLE GABRIEL SHYBEAR, RESIGNED, JAN. 14, 1943. Che signed it, and Kim entered her initials. This was followed by KLAUS HANSEN, APOSTLE, JAN. 14, with his signature and her initials.

XXX: Kim pushed the Green Book a little away from her and sat back to look at her own page, which now was nearly full. She said, "I had a sudden thought of someone sitting here in 2043, reading this page, and wondering what it must have been like, this whole tangle.

XXX: "But we gave a little, so now we get a little. Let us address the topic of the Golden Gift, as I promised earlier." "Yes, lets," said Hansen. "I propose the Golden Gift alternate between the Red and White Wings, even as the office of Deacon presently does."


XXX: Hansen read this with some displeasure, and said, "Let the other shoe drop. What is your other non-negotiable?" So Kim wrote, HASHMAL GABRIEL SHYBEAR, EXTRAORDINARY LAY MINISTER OF THE LAST RITE, JAN. 14, 1943. And that left room on the page for just one more entry.

XXX: Paul read this last, and asked, "Where is the Golden Gift now?" "Gabriel has it," said Kim. "Now, to summarize, Gabriel performs all Last Rites. You and Paul have your old jobs back, and only cousins can get hitched in the Church as a matter of dogma, not just tradition."

XXX: "Yes," said Hansen, "and now that there won't be an more amalgamation of humans with animals, I'll bring the White Wing back to Temple for Sundays, as agreed." "Oh, you never know, Klaus. In a generation some of my kids might look ravishing to kids of either wing."

XXX: "We'll see," said Hansen, and both he and Paul Bergin beat feet from the office, concluding the sit-down. In the sudden silence, Kim looked at her husband and at her good friend and told them, "Now I wait for them to come back and kill me."

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