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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Even more religion!

Alot of people are commenting on Amy Sullivan's well-written but kinda narrow take on why the Left Behind series is popular. (My guess is that badly-written pulp crap has always been popular and always will be.) My favorite comments section that I've read on this so far has been at Matthew Yglesias's. This one comment from a GeorgeO was dead on:

Oodja has the rest of it right. The Christian right can only claim that there are no Christian films by (a) ignoring the small films, and then (b) ignoring the big films they don't like, which is basically all of them. Kevin Smith made an overtly Christian movie ("Dogma") that also tried to be silly and hip. Fundamentalists threatened to burn him at the stake. Scorsese made a movie about Jesus ("Last Temptation of Christ"). Fundamentalists ranted and raved. Hell, even "Jesus Christ Superstar", whose only sin is being a bit too cheesy, gets slammed. What the hell do these people want, an endless series of shot-for-shot remakes of "The Ten Commandments"? Haven't they ever heard of videotape?

What fundies are looking in for a movie isn't just something, anything with Jesus in it. The politics of Left Behind are not incidental to their popularity with religious conservatives, they are essential. It's more fun to read a book that's practically a checklist of religious conservative pet beliefs than to read the actual Bible, which has unfortunate things in it like compassion for the poor and the meek inheriting the Earth and other things that upset their belief system.
That and it's badly written crap and therefore has a mass appeal outside of the fundie circles. I worked with a girl who was devouring those books--lapsed Catholic, living in sin with her boyfriend. Not really the target "Christian" audience.

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