Saturday, December 10, 2005

On the "Left Behind" series...

With the battle over the Christian interpretation of the movie NarniaHollywood’s adaptation of CS Lewis’ famous book for children – discussions about stories of other fictions that supposedly promote “Christian values” are hot again. Well, in fact, that has been a common theme since Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ mega hit.

Last night, I was too tired to do anything worth my time and thus decided to get myself to watch one of “Hollywood” adaptations of a major American best-seller: the Left Behind series. This is a series of books you can see everywhere in the US. It has been a best seller for years - some estimate that "more than 1 in 8 readers in America have a "Left Behind" tome stashed on their bookshelves". So it sort of picked my curiosity although I didn't want to spend time reading what I thought was bad literature.


The stories are based on a (scary) fundamentalist interpretation of the bible. Basically, the story goes like this: all “saved” Christians (i.e. those who go to church regularly) get snatched into heaven one day while those with weak faith get "left behind" to fight the antichrist during a seven-year tribulation of plagues, wars and disasters. Believe it or not, the book sold more than 60 million books.

What baffles me is not just that the whole thing was a bore; it is that so many Americans embrace it (if not the movies, at least the books). It literally demonizes everything that is not Fundamentalist Christian and right-wing conservative (except for a few Jews who accepted Christ). Everything else - including the United-Nations, the Europeans, Russia, Iraq, Muslims, the media, and “international bankers” - is basically working for the anti-Christ. This is no surprise since the author Tim LaHaye is the co-founder with Jerry Falwell, of the Moral Majority, a group that started the cultural war against anything that is not conservative and Fundamentalist Christian.

Needless to say that to me this is the antithesis of what Jesus's message. It continues to amaze me to see how so many people can actually not see how those "values" which promote hatred, fear and division and play to people's worst fears about global unity, disarmament, underground conspiracies and the likes are so much the opposite of Christ's clear message of love, peace and tolerance. (1 John 4- 16, Romans 12:20, Mark 12:28-29 are just a few examples)


You might think that the "Lef Behind" series was just written by a few morons for their own kind – but that means there are lots of morons out there (1 out of 8 Americans?).It is probably the same cretins who believe that “intelligent design” is a science.

The only good thing is that the low-budget movie adaptation is so tacky that it probably won’t be remembered long – and when I say “tacky”, I don’t mean in a fun kind of way like say, Ed Wood’s stuff, no, it’s just bad tacky!

[to be honest, it was so bad that after a few minutes, I fast-forwarded to the “key scenes” which were as bad as the rest - at least I didn’t waste my entire evening on the whole darn thing!]

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