Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quick, everybody! Moral panic!

I want to take a minute to talk about Christian Fiction. It was Slacktavist's Left Behind reviewing that put the subject in my mind. Did you have a Jesus-enough upbringing to browse a Christian Bookstore at some point or another? Well, I did. & some of the books are kind of lodged in my head. Like Frank E. Peretti's books This Present Darkness & Piercing the Darkness. These books alternate between a small town congregation struggling against "evil" in one chapter-- then in the next, the same events are taking place but there are angels with flaming swords & crystal wings fighting against devils reeking of sulphur. I mean, while Pastor Hank is trying to convince people not to be swayed by temptation, or whatever, Tal the Captain of the Hosts is stabbing the Baal of the Demons & trying to clear the minds of the people from diabolical influences. They are kind of cute & hilariously quaint: the "evils" that the angels & the good people of the town are confronting are adorable straw men of New Age philosophy & liberal conspiracy. I mean, the wicked & cruel ACLU & their demonic patrons come to town just because the preacher man performed an exorcism on a misbehaving kid...who was, of course, genuinely possessed. In the sequel we find out that Transcendental Meditation (which as we all know is in danger of taking over the word to create a New World Order) will cause you to drown your baby as a pagan sacrafice to Satan. You know, that kind of thing. Pretty much what you'd expect. Except every so often you'd run into a book like Children in the Night by Harold Myra, which somehow is called a Christian book & is even published by Zondervan. Except...it isn't? At...all? I mean, themes of Mercy & "Light" are present, but this is a fantasy novel set in a lightless subterranean Underdark-- there is no mention of Jesus or anything like that. I mean, it is as Christian as Tolkien or Wolfe, sure, but no more. Still, there you have it! I'm not even going to mention Christian rock like Mortal or Christian metal like Seventh Angel. I wouldn't know anything about that.


Alicia said...

There was a YA book about a pair of twins that could astral project. Like, a brother and sister and after their parents died, they were separated? And one was sent to live with a Christian relative who was going to exorcise them? Did I make this up?

mordicai said...

I don't know, but remember how His Dark Materials ends with the angels being like "There! All done. Well, except you know, Astral Projection."