Monday, April 4, 2011

Unintended Hilarity

First up, we have this quote from an 11-year-old author:

"I, Sullivan Alexander, have been prompted to create a Christian Star Wars. My ambition is to add some nutrition to the science fiction diet many kids my age enjoy. I, as a Christian, believe God can perform miracles any time and at any place. I do not like immoral books or shows and can promise that in this series there will be: no prejudice, no pornography, and no Pantheism."

Am I the only one freaked out by an 11-year-old promising that his book will not have porn in it?

I think my reaction is supposed to be, "Oh, wonderful! Books for my children that are sexy free!", but my reaction is a combination of wild laughter and, "Why is that tween talking about pr0n?!"

Seriously, why is that preteen, really still a child by any measure, promising that his book does not contain pornography? Does anyone expect porn from a book written by a barely pubescent child? Does Star Wars contain porn?

I really think this is the result of a very frustrated young scifi lover asking his parents if he can see a movie or read a book or watch a tv show, and them saying:

"No! It has porn in it!"

"Um, really, porn? Okay, what about this one?"

"Porn!"

"It says it's for readers ages 8 to 12."

"Prejudice! Everyone is calling everyone else the n-word!"

"All right then, what about this?"

"N-word!"

"It's the Lord of the Rings. Everyone in it is some form of white. Including the undead."

"Pantheism!!1!!eleventy!!!"

"Fine. I guess I'll just have to write it myself."

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Our second bout of hilarity comes from John Piper, who has a whole list of reasons why fundamentalist Christians are awesome:

1. They are humble and respectful and courteous and even funny (the ones I've met).

For what definitions of "humble", "respectful" and "courteous"? Oh, I see. The ones you've met. Not the ones I've met.

5. They know that the Bible calls for some kind of separation from the world.

Or a theocracy. You know, one of those.

6. They have backbone and are not prone to compromise principle.

"WHAAAA! Gays have rights! WHAAAA! I can't make secular atheist muslims believe what I believe!"

7. They put obedience to Jesus above the approval of man (even though they fall short, like others).

Really? You're going with this? Hmmmm . . . let's see what Jesus had to say about . . . taxes:

Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him.

Do churches pay taxes in the US? What's that, no? Huh. Okay, how about what to do with wealth:

Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

I see people do that every day . . . what, they don't? Well, maybe that's unfair. Let's see what Jesus had to say about praying:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Fundamentalists always pray in private . . . Do they even read this book?

Their "social action" is helping the person next door (like Jesus), which doesn't usually get written up in the newspaper.

Or, you know, campaigning for certain candidates, picketing abortion clinics and writing laws to bring about the theocracy.

They tend to raise law-abiding, chaste children, in spite of the fact that Barna says evangelical kids in general don't have any better track record than non-Christians.

Mmmm-hmmm. well, in spite of the fact that all evidence says otherwise, I'm Superman. Nice to meet you.

They resist trendiness.

13. They don’t think too much is gained by sounding hip.


C'mon now, how many times have we heard fundamentalists using out of date slang to try to connect with the people? How could we forget "surfing the tube*"?

16. They are not breathless about being accepted in the scholarly guild.

That's one way of putting it.

Oh, John Piper, if you were a comic, you'd be brilliant!



*Which really sounds like some sort of euphemism now that I think about it.

14 comments:

  1. The language of that whole "mission statement" doesn't sound like that of an eleven year old. I don't know any pre-teens that talk or write like that. Methinks he had some help.

    And John Piper, ugh, don't even get me started.

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  2. I have to admit, I'm both intrigued and disturbed by the idea of a "Christian Star Wars". Will the Saints have lightsabers? Instead of doing the little hand-wave, will they just pray that the stormtroopers won't realize that these actually are the droids that they're looking for? How does he suppose this is going to work?

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  3. @MM-- Stormtroopers in roman armor, with kicky little leather skorts!

    Seriously though, based on data sets I've seen for porn useage, and how high it is in red states, I'd be shocked if this poor kid hasn't stumbled upon mom or dad's struggle stash. Which is quite sad, really.

    Also, my anecdotal evidence is that all of evangelic christians I've encountered wore a shiny aspartame coating over pure snake face.

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  4. I honestly don't know, though I don't want to mock an 11 year old geek in a fundy Christian family. Kid's got it hard enough.

    I will say from the stiffness of the prologue/blurb on the website, that he needs to back away from the King James and . . . well, read a few things he probably isn't allowed to, like early (whoever wrote Ank Morporkh and all that) and Douglas Adams to loosen up his style a bit, then move on to Tolkien for the soaring poetry, then write a lot just to get his own voice going.

    All of which cannot be accomplished by 11.

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  5. "Stormtroopers in roman armor, with kicky little leather skorts!"

    Okay, I take it that. I would buy that book.

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  6. the most eloquent hypocrite that ever lived

    graveyardofthegods.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=11341

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  7. Ahem. I take it back. Not "that". Yeesh.

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  8. @PF-- yeah, I really hope for his sake that he either breaks the chains and picks up some good, gritty, dirty, existential crisis causing literature.

    I could see this being a piety stunt, unfortunately. Especially if this kid is homeschooled. Which is also sad. I sincerely hope that this not some absurd marketing gesture in the hopes that he'll be the next whomever-that-guy-that-wrote-"Eragon,"-is, but you know, with more jesus.

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  9. Oops, extraneous "either," ten point deduction.

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  10. you're thinking of Terry Pratchett. whom this kid will NOT be able to read, considering the plethra of Gods in Discworld [there's the Goddess Anoyia, who is the goddess of things that get stuck in utensil drawers, like that one thingy that you don't know who bought it or what it's for, maybe it's supposed to be something for flour? but it ALWAYS catches the drawer so it won't open! she's my favorite :D]

    feel sorry for the kid :(
    Star Wars has IMPLIED porn - the scene in Jabba's Palace, with the slave girls.

    it does NOT have "Pantheism", and Jedi aren't really "religious" in the sense of "believing in and worshipping a God", they're closer to buddhist sorts of religion - but it's STILL not "Pantheism" when there's no actual deity!

    as for prejudice - that's fucking everywhere. we're WORKING to stamp it out - but this is one of those places where you shouldn't be trying to remove the mote in someone else's eye, because of that LOG in yours - since most fundy Christians *are* prejudice. extremely so. perhaps they aren't RACIALLY prejudiced [although many ARE] but they're sure as fuck prejudiced against almost everything else - Christians Not Like Them, People Of Other Religions Entirely, Atheists, Secularlists, Humanists, "Liberals", Feminists, "Gays" [LGBTQI], etc, etc, etc.


    that other guy? WTF *IS* that?

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  11. also - that's Dennis Markuze up there, the link leads to a forum where he's asking to BURN PZ Meyers...

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  12. Yeah: no chance he'd be allowed access to Terry Pratchett (imagine if he read Small Gods!) or Douglas Adams (he of "how well this hole fits me, thinks the puddle" fame), but he might (possibly) get away with Tolkein due to it being "High Fantasy": elves and wizards in a far-away land is okay because it makes it clear that it isn't real. It's when the author puts it in a more modern setting (JK Rowling, for example) that the moral guardians get their knickers in a twist, due to their apparently pathological inability to distinguish fiction from reality. Unfortionately, I'd never recommend LotR as a starting point: the flourid prose is wonderful, but unless he's as geeky as I was the pace won't be fast enough to engage him. The Hobbit might work though: it's a little faster.

    But let's consider something else: "I, as a Christian, believe God can perform miracles any time and at any place"

    How does that influence your characters? Can they really ever be in danger if god is prepped and ready to perfom his miracle-fu at any moment? If George Lucas had written A New Hope with this mindset, how would it have ended?

    Obi Wan: "Use the force, lu- oh wait never mind. God blew the death star up and saved the day."
    Luke: "Yaaaaaay!"

    Random Rule Of Fiction 7498: A subtle god, manipulating and bending seemingly unrelated events to his will, can be interesting, especially if set up as part of a big reveal. An overt god is little more than an expected and predictable deus ex machina.

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  13. i was mostly thinking it'd be a sort of D&D-type thing, where people walk around and act like Clerics do in the game - healing and etc. those ARE miracles, really, even if D&D terms them "divine spells" - there's no real difference between a spell and a prayer in the REAL world, and no real difference between a miracle and magic in a fantasy world. so, yeah.

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  14. I'd like to see St. Assisi go all dark side with the force lightning shooting out of his fingers.

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