Monday, January 16, 2006

In which I reveal certain ethical shortcomings and prove to be a misanthrope, part 1

I had a "moment of clarity" the other day. I was driving home from work and listening to a news story on All Things Considered regarding the escalating situation between the US/EU and Iran on all things nuclear. My first thought, "Wow, this sounds like an extremely volatile situation," was quickly followed by, "....That is just begging to be exploited!" And just like that, I received a revelation.

I quickily came to see that my life's goal, no, my life's calling is to become fabulously rich by churning out Eschatological fiction geared towards fundamentalist Christians (isn't that where all of it is geared anyway?). While possibly not the noblest of missions, I submit that, in monetary terms, my plan is virtually flawless. I base this on three fundamental (pun intended) premises:


1. Fundamentalists generally have poor taste in entertainment (as evidenced by the success of the Left Behind Series, The Prayer of Jabez, and Pat Robertson).

2. Fundamentalists are generally ignorant of the world around them (as evidenced by the success of the Left Behind Series, The Prayer of Jabez, and Pat Robertson).

3. Fundamentalists generally have a fair bit of cash available for discretionary spending (as evidenced by the success of the Left Behind Series, The Prayer of Jabez, and Pat Robertson).

Yes, as long as I can consistently pound out 300 pages of that lovable combination of violence, cultural egotism and self-absorbed religiosity, I can't help but become disturbingly successful! Sure, my books will be pure dreck. Sure the characters will all be one-dimensional and completely unlikable. Sure, I'll be writing about things that I have little to no knowledge about, but those are nothing but technical difficulties, mere irrelevancies! As long as my incompetent, one-dimensional dreck appeals to the base emotions of my chosen demographic, they'll eat it up!

Though still in early draft form, I've tentatively titled my first book AD 2007: The Year of Our Lord. While I'll be including an excerpt of what I promise will be a thriller "ripped straight from the headlines(!)" in my next post, let me first set the stage:

It is late January, 2007. After nearly a year of tense fruitless negotiations, the leaders of Iran have decided to defy the Americans and proceed with their plan to continue uranium-enriching experiments. They claim to want enriched uranium for "purely peaceful, domestic purposes" but the NSA has uncovered evidence to the contrary. After a leak to the hardliner Israeli Prime Minister, an aerial strike on Iran is ordered. Thousands of Iranians die in one fateful night and their leaders promise vengeance. As the situation deteriorates and the world stands at the precipice of Armageddon, The U.S. sends a crack squad of Navy Seals into Iran in a desperate attempt to gain some control of this spirally situation.

It is here that we meet our protagonist, Ryan Rand. Ryan is a former atheist who became a Christian during a long talk with Pastor Jack Golde, minister of Grace Valley Community Baptist Church. After his arguments were defeated and his worldview was shown to be worthless, , Ryan opened his heardened heart to Jesus. Now a member of the Navy Seals in Iran, Ryan has been captured and imprisoned by Iranian authorities. He still remembers that inspring talk with Pastor Jack, but in this dark place it seems like a lifetime ago. Ryan is about to learn that if faith is to be proven true, it must be tested by fire....in his case, gunfire.

To be continued...

9 comments:

Douglas_Coombs said...

I'm not fundamentalist, but know many who are. Your description of Pat Robertson as popular among them is ridiculous.

Dave said...

My bad. I guess I had forgotten that it's really the homosexuals and feminists who made Pat Robertson so wealthy and prominent. Silly me...

Catherine said...

Douglas Coombs is right actually, I think, Dave. You may be inadvertantly mixing up your conservative Christian Evangelical religious sub-cultures. I believe it is accurate that the true Fundamentalist would not want to claim him...

Dave said...

If the "true Fundamentalists" (how exactly are you defining who is and is not a fundamentalist?) aren't the ones who watch the 700 club and support Robertson, who does (notice I never said that he was popular with fundamentalists, only that he must owe his success to them)? Wouldn't you say that Robertson himself is a fundamentalist? If not, what "group" would you put him in?

Catherine said...

A concervative evangelical group, to be sure, and a charismatic one, but not a true Fundamentalist (which is a very specific group tending to be very Baptist but that's an over simplification).

Dave said...

Well, I wasn't exactly going for theological rigor in my post. I was using the term "fundamentalist" the way it is most commonly used in popular culture to refer to people of a very conservative, very reactionary (conservative and reactionary seem like an oxymoron to me, but I think it somehow fits) religious bent(whether Christian, Muslim, other). People like Robertson, Falwell, James Kennedy, etc. are often referred to as Christians fundamentalists in this sense of the word, whether or not they qualify under the strict theological definitin of the word. Maybe I should say that he is a fundamentalist, but may not be a Fundamentalist.

Also, according to Wikipedia, Robertson does belong to the Southern Baptist church. Not that I think you were saying that being a conservative baptist is all that it takes to be a capital-F Fundamentalist.

Catherine said...

"Fundamentalists" of any religion are those who (at least in their own minds) are rejecting the popular expression of the religion and going back to the "fundamentals" that it was based on -- which may or may not cause them to be concervative or reactionary. This, from Wikipedia may explain what the original commentor was saying:

(and its really his comment that I've been respoding to...I thought that part of your actual post was hilarious).

"Thus, many Evangelical groups may be described as "fundamentalist" in the broad sense, who do not belong in the "Fundamentalist Movement" in the narrow sense. Many Evangelicals believe in the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, a basic issue of difference in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy a century ago. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, for instance, was signed in 1978 by nearly 300 conservative scholars, including James Boice, Norman Geisler, John Gerstner, Carl F. H. Henry (founder of Christianity Today), Kenneth Kantzer, Harold Lindsell, John Warwick Montgomery, Roger Nicole, J. I. Packer, Robert Preus, Earl Radmacher, Francis Schaeffer, R. C. Sproul, and John Wenham. Very few if any of these men fit the definition of or identify themselves with today's Fundamentalist Movement."

Dave said...

Exactly. That was the (broad) sense in which I was using the word.

And again, just to clarify for Douglas, I never stated that Pat Robertson is popular among the fundemantalists (whether we are using the term in the broad or narrow sense). Only that what success and popularity he has can be attributed to certain groups of fundamentalists who watch and support him.

Catherine said...

Well Dave, if nothing else you got a good controversey going on your blog. That about the highest praise I can imagine. I hope someone will start a controversey on MY blog someday....