Something from my past got dropped into my most recent lyrics project. Back in the days when I was dating the singer, I came upon her one day reading a rather beefy novel. Curious of most literature, I picked it up to have a read over the synopsis on the back cover.
"This can't be serious."
It was Left Behind. For those of you who don't know of this book, let me give you the condensed summary. One day, all the good, faithful Christians vanish from their everyday lives, resulting in chaos on a mass scale as machines lose their operators and so forth. Those who are LEFT BEHIND determine that the rapture has occurred, and that they, the unbelieving heathens have been LEFT BEHIND to face the coming apocalypse.
The book has sold very well in the United States, where there are numerous Christians who are puritanical, idiotic, and apt to take the Bible literally word for word. Reputedly, the book is well-written, and after the rapture a political drama ensues akin to a Tom Clancy novel whilst much ruminating is done on the nature of morality and the meaning of life. Be that as it may, the premise of this book still disgusts me to this day, and for all the window dressing it may have the book remains one thing only: a Christian exercise in mental masturbation. It is the elaboration of the fantasy that one day God himself will descend from the heavens to say: "You, you, you, and you... you're right; come with me to paradise. Oh, and you, you, you, and you... you're wrong; so I sentence you to damnation."
All this is yet still prime evidence of an unspoken, underlying desire of most fundamentalists: find a way to force anyone not like us to believe what we believe. The refusal to coexist with those with different beliefs, appearance, or ways of life is one of the most dangerous human urges we posses. Left Behind not only strokes this egotistical streak in fundamentalist Christians, it is a disservice and slap in the face to anyone with different beliefs. If a novel appeared in the Arab world that described Allah descending from heaven to smite America with fire and brimstone, we in the west would rightly call it a piece of hate-inciting propaganda. But how about when an exclusionary apocalyptic novel is written from a Christian perspective?
Well, then we call it a bestseller, apparently.
Posted on March 13, 2006 10:27 PM
right-on with your post, 'tis a narrow, exclusionist view of the world.Posted on March 14, 2006 01:40 AM
It's fiction, a story. One person's view of a particular subject. The same could be said of Michael Moore, L. Ron Hubbard, and other authors. So the story doesn't appeal to you, (nor me) which I'm sure is true of most people that don't buy into the doom and gloom of this series of books. The key is whether it is taken literally, or as a fictional story. Sadly, most fundamental Bible-thumping Christians will take it as a sign of things to come. These are the people with the bumper stickers on their car that say, "In case of rapture, this car will be unmanned." Fine, asshole...don't be surprised if I trade up for a better unmanned car if I'm left behind.
Leave them to their books Jesse. The author is probably rolling around naked in piles of cash by now and that alone makes Jesus weep.Posted on March 14, 2006 06:57 AM
Poor, poor Jesus... *consoles*Posted on March 14, 2006 08:47 AM
Okie doke. I'm a BOOKSELLER. I've seen and read (part of) these Left Behind books. First of all, they are utter crap. Second of all, they are utterly, crappily written. There are no redeeming values to these books. The authors couldn't find a decent bit of dialogue with both hands and a flashlight. Trite, boring, and horribly cliche. These are words I'd use to describe the author's style of writing. Most Christian fiction is the same way. I get a lot of galley copies (pre-release from the publisher)of different books and I was overcome by one of them because the dialogue, plot, and character sketching was so awful. The man was incredibly patronizing to his wife, and I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and it never did. Finally I gave up reading the piece of crap. A month later I saw it in, you guessed it, Christian Fiction. Ugh.Posted on April 4, 2006 12:21 PM