Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Keep Your Preaching in the Pulpit

Ever since “Fried Green Tomatoes” took the world by storm back in the mid 90’s, I’ve been a fan of Fannie Flagg. But I wasn’t able to bring myself to finish “Can’t Wait To Get to Heaven”, it was just to preachy to stomach. In this addition to the Elmwood Springs sogga, Aunt Elner dies and goes up to Heaven where Neighbor Dorthy is God. Something about being told the meaning of life over a piece of pound cake rubbed me the wrong way.

Normally religion in literature doesn’t bother me all that much. As a kid the Chronicals of Narnia were some of my favorite stories, and they are so overly Christian they might as well be called the Gospil According to Aslan. My early faith may have been shaped more heavely by the words of C.S. Lewis than the apposil Paul, but I never cared because I always loved the stories.

Two of my other early favorites were Candid and The Pilgrams Progress. In those books the Christianity isn’t even symbolic, it’s just right there in the open to see and deal with. But I never felt like I was being told what to think or feel, I was just experiencing an epic tale. In the same way as I’ve never felt tempted to convert to peganism when I read Homor.

I’ve never had a problem with religions symbolism in fiction. Religion has always played a big part in human culture and often drives people’s thoughts and actions, so it should hold a place in the things we read and write. Many of my favorite books have had characters that were Orthodox Jews, or Budists, or Hindus, or Muslums. I like learning about different people whose experineces are different than mine, and containing religion in literature is an important part of that.

What bothers me is when one character gives another character a sermon, that is so poinient I know it’s really just the author preaching to the reader. That is what I can’t stand. And that is why I put down one of my favorite author’s latest book midstride. I didn’t even dissagree with the sermon, I just didn’t want to be preached at.

Joke of the Day
Jesus and Moses went golfing. When they got to a lot water hole, Moses laid his ball up before the water for the easy shot. Jesus looked at the pond and announced, "If Tiger Woods can do it, so can I." Then he hit his ball straight into the pond. He turned to Moses and said, "Part the water so I can get my ball."
Moses did as Jesus asked, and Jesus went down and got his ball. After retreaving his ball he did not lay it up for an easy shot over the water trap but instead announced, "If Tiger Woods can do it, so can I." He swung again, and landed in the water again. And again he asked Moses to part the water.
Moses was now feeling frustrated and encouraged Jesus to lay up for the easier shot. Jesus would not listen and again hit his ball straight into the pond. This time when he asked Moses to part the water, Moses said no. So Jesus walked out on the water to get his ball himself.
The group behind them caught up and looked out to see Jesus walking on the water and asked, "Who does he think he is, Jesus?"
Moses turned to the golfers and replied, "He is Jesus. He thinks he's Tiger Woods."

1 comment:

CKHB said...

Interesting how it makes such a real difference to have a CHARACTER teaching a lesson within the book, versus something that just sounds like the AUTHOR preaching...