Symbolic Ghetto

There’s more than one; I try very hard to stay out of the Wymyn’s Pink Media Ghetto, because the only women worth reading are ones like Althouse and McArdle who don’t define their product by their reproductive systems. Usually.

No, what I’d like to point out right now is the Churchian ghetto, wherein dwell modern Pharisees and the Christians of whom the author to the Hebrews says, “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

Identifying members of this particular ghetto is quite easy. If you go to a “Christian” book store, 99.9999% of all the merchandise will be of this type. It’s also easily identified in homeschooling curriculum in which Bible verses are plastered everywhere, as if anything not dealing directly with religion or branded with Bible verses would be “unChristian.” (Such curricula contribute to the ghettoization of, and weaken Christians by, not training them to deal with mainstream life in which practicing Christians, as opposed to cultural “christians,” are a minority. In elementary grades students should in fact be shielded from the depravity of the world – but when the curricula is treating high school students the same way, we have a problem. And don’t get me started about places like Pensacola “Christian” College. Putting a Bible verse on it does NOT make it Christian, don’t you remember that even the Devil quotes Scripture?)

Another thing I ran across recently was this little gem, from the cover artist who designed the cover of Vox Day’s Throne of Bones: “They’re [Marcher Lord Press] a small indie publisher who focus on Christian speculative fiction. This particular book has adult themes that wouldn’t be appropriate for the typical Christian audience, so a new imprint, Hinterlands, was created for it.” Emphasis added.

The first thing I thought was, “oooh, BURN” – also the reaction of my husband when I read it to him. For those of you who haven’t read Throne of Bones, it’s basically a Christian challenge to Martin’s gore-and-nihilism-soaked Game of Thrones series. In ToB, the analogue to the Roman Catholic church are pretty good guys, as far as human institutions go, and not the Supreme Evil or anything like that. There are also real demons and stuff that are, you know, evil and demonic and not “misunderstood” or some crap like that. Now, ToB doesn’t shy away from battle scenes – ancient warfare was pretty bloody – nor from dealing with the fact that people want sex and painting married couples as happy and sexually attracted to one another. I’d say, having read both works, that the level of violence and sex in ToB is about equal to the level of violence and sex IN THE BIBLE. That’s right. The Bible itself apparently has “adult themes that wouldn’t be appropriate for the typical ‘Christian’ audience.” As proven by MLP’s having to create a separate imprint just for ToB so that the fainting infants of the Christian Ghetto don’t have to face a PG-13-verging-on-R-for-violence world.

Yeah. There’s things that Christians should avoid – porn of both the visual and written varieties *coughromancenovelscough* being one of them – and I personally dislike any movie or book with pointless sex in it. Others seem to be “desensitized” to the sexualized nudity in movies and highly sensitive to not even very gory violence, which weirds me out every time I encounter it.

I also don’t put much stock in the type of Christian who gets faint over books like Harry Potter. You think letting your twelve year old read about magical boarding school is going to make them turn into Satan-worshipping goths or something? Have ’em watch Paranormal Activity in the dark with you sometime. The months of nightmares ought to cure them of any such temptation. (I found the pilot episode of the TV show Supernatural to also be of quality scare-you-to-death-of-the-occult material.) Contrast the difference between fun fantasy worlds in which magic is just another kind of physics – or, as with LOTR, manifestations of angelic power – and calling-up-demons occultism, which is terrifying.

And, well, if you can’t take it, that’s okay. Nobody should force the alcoholic to have “just one glass” of wine with dinner. But don’t pretend that everyone else is an alcoholic in denial, and don’t train others to be weak when presented with the world, either. If they’ve never seen it/read it out of some holier-than-thou posturing, how will they have an answer when someone asks them about it? They’ll either figure this “Christianity” stuff is stupid and chuck it, or go cocoon themselves in the ghetto where they won’t have to deal with that nasty world out there. Neither of which is a good idea.

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About pancakeloach

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