why the christian fiction section of your store is the work of the devil

i have had this conversation with a couple friends and fellow book junkies. they were trying to argue the merits of christian fiction with me. i explained why the christian fiction section of the store – including separate bookstores – are completely and totally evil.

as consumers, we vote with our dollars. retail buyers notice trends, and order accordingly. editors select books according to both retail buyers and readers’ dollars. agents select according to editors buying trends, retail buyers and readers’ dollars.

with me so far?

now, imagine if christian fiction had no separate section, and these books were mixed and mingled with regular romance, SF, litfic, mystery, and etcetera. every time a book is bought out of the SF section, it makes a small impact on retail buying decisions for that section. enough little purchases can travel up the chain to influence the kinds of books written and produced.

when you, as a christian, choose to separate your buying power to your own separate section, you ghetto-ize yourself. you take your buying power out of the influence of the mainstream. all of the issues you care about, and all of the reasons you choose books, have now stopped influencing the buying decisions of retail buyers and editors and agents in the mainstream. with fewer influence from the moral crowd, the moral center of the section will change accordingly. books will get racier, sexier, and more violent. christian values will steadily and gently seep away from that section, as other influential buying groups (agnostics, liberals, gosh –queers–!) gently move the moral medium to new and exciting places.

by ghetto-izing yourself to – as one christian fiction enthusiast stated – “…protect yourself from ideas you don’t need in your head”, you end up hurting your cause with your dollar votes.

the separate economy you’ve created for yourself will actually diminish your influence on the mainstream, and encourage all the evil ideas you despise to flourish.

thus, separating your buying power away from the mainstream is a deadly and dangerous thing, and the work of the devil.

Here’s a challenge for Christian Fiction enthusiasts. Go to a bookstore section not your own. Read the back of the book. Read an excerpt. By now, do you notice that you probably can judge whether or not this book will offend you or not?

If it offends you, don’t read it. But, don’t reject a whole section of the store just because you have to actually research your buying selections a little bit more, and risk exposing yourself to sex, gay people, and wicca.

You are doing the work of the devil, Christian Fictionists, by separating yourself from the rest of society.

I will not discuss the quality issues that arrive when buying decisions are made primarily by moral content than artistic content, but let’s just say all my time freely wandering the store looking for books has confirmed this little prejudice. 90 percent of everything is crap, of course. in CF, this rule is probably more like 95-98 percent. C S Lewis is one tough act to follow.


14 thoughts on “why the christian fiction section of your store is the work of the devil

  1. I enjoyed reading this. lol. Being agnostic and liberal though I’m glad they keep their nose out of our books. So I can read the amazing Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey without feeling like I’m being judged. Which in and of itself is an amazing work of literature. Let them ghetto-ize themselves, I’d rather them do that then start getting our books censored. I’m terrified that books will start have rating one day. Maybe your CF ghetto theory is what’s slowing that process.Sorry being in the real world has made me a cynic.

  2. I’m always on the side of the queers, in any moral sort of debate. If I thought this little post would actually change the world, I wouldn’t have posted it.Still, someone ought to explain the rudiments of this stuff to these folks that just seem out to lunch in the head most of the time…

  3. It’s impossible to explain anything to them that they don’t already believe. I’m going to button my lip. This is one of those subjects I step up on a soap box for and obviously I would be preaching to the choir.

  4. After having had the misfortune of reading the first Left Behind book some years ago at the urging of my family, not to mention enduring my dad listening to John Hagee at least twice a week, I find myself shuddering at how much damage certain strands of “Christian Fiction” and televangelists have done to people like me who actually are religious…but not of “their” sort. When I’m left thinking, “Hey, Catholics are Christians too!”…those stories just aren’t going to leave good impressions, no?Still want to know your stance on pet baptisms? Can Rover have a religious conversion experience or not?

  5. Yes! I’ve blogged about this. Recently a Catholic church in Houston was vandalized and they wrote some nonsense that added up to don’t worship false idols. It really affected me because I put up with that crap all during my childhood from my baptist friends.Again I’ll refrain myself, but you’re very right Larry.

  6. I’ve always wanted to take up writing Christian fiction for the ease of money-making. Every story is pretty much the same.Bible-believing Christian moves into town to run the local baptist church, but he finds out that the devil is working against him by closing the hearts and minds of the faithful. So, he has to use a tough love approach to save John Smith’s teenage daughter from the evils of satanist rock music and goth clothing, otherwise she could be lost to the devil forever.Meanwhile, one of the parishioners is under the influence of satan himself and is trying to stop the good reverend from rescuing everybody from hellfire by getting him kicked out of the church.In the end, the schemes of the demons are revealed and everybody loves the pastor for showing them the light. And John Smith’s daughter stops listening to devil music and is so thankful that her soul was saved in the nick of time.Now, where’s my royalties check?

  7. Logic doesn’t work with the type of people who read Christian fiction. They turned off the logic centers of their brains when they decided to believe everything told them by specific authority figures and disbelieve everything else.Not that all Christians are that way, naturally. Just some days it seems like it.I worked in a used book store several years ago, specifically over the children’s section. We shelved Christian children’s books in with the other children’s books, and boy howdy is there a lot of junk published as Christian. I feel sorry for all those little kids who are given books that tell them, for instance, that dinosaurs never really existed or that the devil made dinosaurs or crap like that. And it’s not even as if the artwork or writing is any good, either.Sorry, I’m beginning to rant.

  8. Oddly enough, the best “Christin” writer I’ve ever found, and one I read as often as I can as both an artist studying art and a reader enjoying the heck out of awesome fictions, is Stephen King.Yes, *that* Stephen King.When his characters face unspeakable evil, they often fall back on Christian values to survive, and there’s usually some martyr-figures.”The Green Mile”, “Regulators”, and the entire Gunslinger series, and many others are all so deeply seeped in American spirituality that I simply don’t understand why people don’t recognize him as the greatest Christian fictionist of our time.But, there is always the chance that I could be wrong. I mean, he does seem to present homosexuals as nice, human, and sometimes heroic figures. Anyone who shows gay people as human must not have the best interests of Christ at heart… *grumble grumble*

  9. Oh, and Larry, regarding pet baptisms:I’m a vegetarian, and a firm believer in animal rights. I don’t wear leather. I don’t like watching animals suffer.I think of animal souls like Stanislaw Lem’s planet, Solaris. We humans will never truly understand animal souls, yet, because we don’t adequately understand our own souls, much less things different from ours. Yet, they still move.

  10. Never thought of King that way. As for animal souls, it is something I’ve considered as a possibility, but it was interesting hearing the parish priest explaining how animals have souls, but not human, spiritual souls, in a RCIA class I attended years ago. Fascinating discussion, actually, although I don’t know if I agree with it completely. All I know is that one of my dogs has the capacity to bear a grudge if we awaken her from her nap, so it certainly is a possibility!

  11. One of the things I really like about the VERY OLD religions… Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Orthodox Christian, Hinduism… Etc. Etc.They all have had a long, long time to deal with difficult questions and debate them and come up with answers that are often still open to debate. The VERY OLD religions are usually smart enough to embrace sciene lest they get another Galileo moment. My faith of choice is still Catholicism, but I could actually see myself converting to any of the VERY OLD religions if it seemed to suit my community enough.

  12. Interesting you say that. I was raised Catholic, was a practicing Taoist as a teenager, was an Orthodox Christian in college, and am now an atheist with a healthy interest in old religions, particularly their ceremonies pageantry which can be quite beautiful. If you’ve never attended an Orthodox liturgy, I recommend that you do. It’s really something special with all the chanting and incense and icons. Amazing stuff.

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