Laurence begins his reflection on the tale of the prophet Jonah by telling the story of Desmond Doss, which is also told in the current film "Hacksaw Ridge". Desmond Doss was called a Conscientious Objector for his refusal to bear arms in the Second World War. Serving as a medic, he preferred to be called a "conscientious cooperator". Jonah was a conscientious objector who refused to serve in any way. Jonah eventually cooperates with God's purpose, but continues to object, strenuously.
The Book of Jonah is a fiction. The storytellers take an almost-anonymous prophet from Israel's history and make him the anti-hero of a parody of a later generation's nationalistic theology.