Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A dose of religion for the season

Pacific Views: Why Huck Finn is better than Left Behind. - originally from the slacktivist

Huck had a choice in the book to turn his friend Jim in for being a runaway slave. Huck had been taught that not only did his society laws demand this but this was also a religious commandment. In order to be a good American and a good Christian he had a duty to turn Jim in. After tremendous debate with himself he says "All right, then, I'll go to Hell." He had chosen to protect Jim from years of misery at the price he believed of an eternity in Hell. (Yeah Huck!) This is one of the greatest scenes or lessons about morality in literature.

By contrast, the entire Left Behind series is about how some self-centered people run around to try to escape Hellfire when they have been warned unmistakably it's coming real soon now. I think most people and the authors relish it for the scenes of mass destruction of atheists, liberals and all of their favorite baddies.
The evangelistic impulse at its best is, like Huck, motivated by a concern for others. But in the twisted world of LB, the evangelistic impulse has nothing to do with empathy. It becomes, instead, a way to justify, and revel in, the destruction and damnation of others. L&J and their heroes are, like Jonah, willing to preach the good news to the Ninevites, but only because, like Jonah, they are hoping to see that city destroyed by fire and brimstone. - Fred Clark
I also have another post on Notebook which also concerns morality and religion and literature.

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