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. . . did not go to the beach.

Instead, I googled the phrase religious beach, and here are some of the things the search turned up:

Dollar-Stretching Luau Deals like this inflatable beach ball. They didn’t have a picture of the un-inflatable kind.

Information regarding religious beaches in Tel Aviv.

The Church of Religious Science in Redondo Beach, California, which worships in what appears to be a lopsided stack of straw sun hats.

The Cultural Sensitiv — I mean, the Religious Studies Department at Cal State- Long Beach.

Are the Beach Boys religious? Apparently nobody knows . . .

A towel to go with your beach ball. I think I might feel weird about lying on this towel. After all, when the Lord urged us to take up our crosses, I think He meant for us to take them up, not spread them out on the sand and append ourselves to them by mere force of gravity.

All the same, once you’ve appended yourself to said cross on said towel in said fashion, what do you do then? Why, you look for a good beach read, of course.

What are they saying about Thomas K. Murphy’s End of Grace, a novel in which Mormons, who convert deceased souls via posthumous proxy baptism, find their own dead being baptized into “an alternative church?”

Well, I don’t know who “they” are, but here’s what they say:

While Murphy set out to write a technological thriller, the setting he chose has positioned End of Grace closer to techno-religious novels like Dan Browns Da Vinci Code. It comes complete with well developed and likable characters, believable dialog, and a plot that is original, yet reminiscent of some of the great commercial fiction thrillers. The technology is definitely there, but like the real world, it’s a back-story, not the main character.

I confess that I never thought of the “real world” as a back-story before. It is always refreshing, however, to encounter fiction that comes complete with characters, believable dialogue, and an original-yet-reminiscent plot. No assembly required.

I do think that whoever wrote this press release might have engaged in a little sentence-diagramming, for the good of his or her soul.

Initially deemed a nuisance, Mormon leadership reacts with sinister professionalism when it’s discovered the baptisms have taken a toll on their tithing revenue stream.

From nuisance to sinister professionals . . . there indeed is a tragic unfolding of collective character.


Kirkus Discoveries, known in the writing world for its sometimes brutally honest reviews, called the novel “Prime beach reading with a modern-day religious twist.” Adding... “Interesting characters and a captivating plot make the novel a pleasure to read.”

Yeah, sometimes they’re brutally honest.

Ah well, all in a day’s beachcombing.

Al, quit kicking the machine.

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