American Literature is Un-American

Things You Can Learn In A Christian High School Textbook, For Real (Part II)

"Ooh! Miss Hooper, read the one where they stone the lady to death at the end!" "Jesus, I wish you'd stop doing that."(Click here for Part I)
Welcome to Part II of our new series of visits to Christianist America, a parallel universe where the Universe is 8,000 years old, scientists conspire to destroy God, and the only way to save children from left-wing bias in public schools is to explicitly indoctrinate them with right-wing ideology. Every Sunday we’ll see what we can learn about the worldview of some of our fellow Americans. And we will point and laugh! This week, we continue dissecting a 10th-grade textbook, Elements of Literature for Christian Schools, (Bob Jones University Press, 2001), which exhorts readers to evaluate literature on the basis of “whether God — the Biblical God — is present and active, at least by implication, in its imaginary world.” Reading, like just about everything else, is fraught with peril, and a Christian reader must be careful, lest a good book tempt them away from The Good Book.

But first, what is the difference between public education and Christian education?

The Public School System has planned education primarily as a benefit to the State, as well as society in general… Christian education is primarily planned to benefit God, as well as the student… Christ stated: “He that is not with Me is against Me” (Matthew 12:30). Education that is not purposely for Christ is against Christ. For this reason God has warned His people: “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jeremiah 10:2).

The editors obviously faced a dilemma: while a textbook must survey literary techniques and genres, literature is just packed full of dangerous ideas. And so Elements follows up each selection with an “About the Author” note, where the editors try to inoculate young readers from dangerous thoughts.

Mark Twain: American Icon, Blasphemer

Twain’s outlook was both self-centered and ultimately hopeless. Denying that he was created in the image of God, Twain was able to rid himself of feeling any responsibility to his Creator. At the same time, however, he defiantly cut himself off from God’s love. Twain’s skepticism was clearly not the honest questioning of a seeker of truth but the deliberate defiance of a confessed rebel.

At first glance it seems weird that, if Twain is so awful (you know who else rebelled against God Almighty?), he’s also the first author to appear in the anthology, but maybe that’s deliberate. If Twain’s the guy who secular texts frame as the quintessential American writer, then it makes sense to give him a Godly smackdown right out of the gate.

Twain presents God as a mere clock-winder of the universe and man as insignificant. Twain also believed that morality and the Bible were human inventions, asserting that men are shaped by environment and education. He states that “to trust the God of the Bible is to trust in an irascible, vindictive, fierce and ever fickle and changeful master.”

Having denied God’s revelation to man through Scripture, Twain naturally denied the individual’s accountability to God… He claimed that man was “most likely not even made intentionally,” presenting as proof the imperfect nature of people.

Weird. That Twain fellow does not seem at all like America’s greatest humorist! What did Twain actually say? Oh yeah, he said Man

was not made for any useful purpose, for the reason that he hasn’t served any; that he was most likely not even made intentionally; and that his working his way up out of the oyster bed to his present position was probably [a] matter of surprise and regret to the Creator.”

Oh, right. That’s funnier.

Emily Dickinson: Too Big For Her Bloomers

We learn that Dickinson was influenced by a mentor who “believed in the immortality of the soul, not because the Bible taught it, but because he saw the principle of rebirth in the cycle of seasons.” Worse, just as Rick Santorum feared, education was her ruination:

During her stay at [Mount Holyoke ] she learned of Christ but wrote of her inability to make a decision for Him. She could not settle “the one thing needful.” A thorough study of Dickinson’s works indicates that she never did make that needful decision. Several of her poems show a presumptuous attitude concerning her eternal destiny and a veiled disrespect for authority in general. Throughout her life she viewed salvation as a gamble, not a certainty. Although she did view the Bible as a source of poetic inspiration, she never accepted it as an inerrant guide to life.

Now, class, what sent Emily Dickinson straight to Hell? She read the Bible and appreciated its language, but ignored its absolute authority. The main theme running through the author sketches in Elements is that most well-known writers Did The Bible Wrong. Ralph Waldo Emerson found truth in nature, but “Christians recognize that such observations are not ends in themselves. What we see in creation should turn our focus toward the Creator.” Walt Whitman wrote beautiful poems, but “we must, of course, be careful to evaluate their message in light of Scriptural standards.” (Oddly enough, the texbook doesn’t mention Whitman’s probable homosexuality — maybe the editors prefer not to open that can o’ worms at all).

No, You’re Not Christian Enough, either

Even writers who aren’t open troublemakers like Twain and Dickinson must be carefully watched for hints of dangerous scientific thinking:

John Ruskin’s personal religion emphasized a love for beauty and goodness and a thorough knowledge of the English Bible. However, his writings also show that he espoused empiricism, a philosophy which teaches that knowledge stems directly from man’s experience. According to this dangerous doctrine, we can only trust what is felt or seen. Although the study of Ruskin can help us better appreciate the visible world, we must remember that truth is not bound by man’s experience.

Yes, that is totally about evolution, in case you had any doubts. These guys will not even let someone agree with them. Elsewhere, after an initial suggestion that John Updike might be on their side because he “frequently writes about the breakdown of the family, forcefully presenting the consequences of America’s current lack of faith and fidelity,” we lean that “Unfortunately, his observations — though poignant — fail to acknowledge God’s provision of salvation through Christ and man’s individual responsibility to accept what God has graciously provided through His Son.” (For our money, David Foster Wallace’s take on the “Champion Literary Phallocrat” is some of the best bookish trash talk ever published.)

It was a pleasure to burn

When it comes right down to it, the editors seem to share the suspicions of the firemen in the film version of Fahrenheit 451: “Books make people unhappy, they make them anti-social.” Some of the author sketches are far longer than the actual literary selections, simply because there’s so much to warn about. A two-stanza poem by James Joyce gets three paragraphs of commentary, which warns that “Although a comprehensive knowledge of Joyce’s writing is not a necessary or even a healthy goal, a general awareness of his literary impact helps us better understand contemporary trends in literature” — particularly Joyce’s emphasis on the personal, the cryptic, and the obscene, a focus which the editors imply permeates 20th-Century literature. Even a fairly innocuous fantasist like Ray Bradbury, whose “powers of imagination are exceptional and admirable,” must be condemned, since such talents “are ultimately fruitless if not used in the service of God who bestowed them.”

In its mix of praise for writers’ technical achievement and nattering on about their spiritual shortcomings, Elements of Literature for Christian Schools seems almost schizoid, until you remember that its true goal is indeed dual: to provide a basic grounding in academic skills while also persuading young readers that “there is no writing in English that equals the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible.”

It’s a remarkably perverse achievement: a literature textbook that ultimately argues that literature is bunk.

Next Week: World History: It mostly happened in Europe!

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About the author

Doktor Zoom lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his pseudonym after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom

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445 comments

  1. bumfug

    "Hello, Orbitz? What's the best deal on 300 million tickets to the Dark Ages?… OK, just send the bill to 'God'. Thanks!"

    1. Antispandex

      How could this POSSIBLY lead to backward thinking and a regression of scientific thought, thence making Americans fall even farther behind other students in the industrialized world? Why, I haven't a clue.

    1. OneYieldRegular

      Speaking of which, there's an astonishing billboard in San Francisco at the moment presumably for use as a recruiting tool, which features a couple of cops and text beneath them reading: "San Francisco Police Officers – We make your day."

      1. Butch_Wagstaff

        If they were more honest, the billboard would read: "San Francisco Police Officers -We make your day…end badly."

        1. Biel_ze_Bubba

          I think the NYPD gets that poster — every single person (other than the gunman) who was shot in front of the Empire State Building was shot by the cops.

          And the NRA thinks this would go down well with untrained gun-toting citizens?

          1. Steverino247

            No shit! That's the point I keep making. These guys are trained, fire frequently for qualifications and they still hit the wrong people.

          2. Bezoar

            I'm probably wrong, but I just assumed the NY cops shot the bystanders because they figured they were somehow the bad guys? If That's not the case, they the old Al Capp comic strip showing Fearless Fosdick shooting all the innocent bystanders has come true.

      2. Negropolis

        Now, is SFPD better or worse than BART cops? I imagine slightly better, but probably a distinction without a difference. Seems like law enforcement is often the last institution in a liberal city to fall to enlightenment or at least self-reflection.

      1. YasserArraFeck

        "Lo, I say onto thee. This art a 44 Magnum, the handgun the most powerful in all of creation. It will cleave thy head clean off thy shoulders….." etc etc

    2. irishdave3

      But Dirty Harry IS God…he starred in Pale Rider, which is clearly a preview of The Prophecy…of the White Horse!

    3. actor212

      I'm sorry. It's from his 44th Magnum, not his 3:57

      And why is Jesus in a remedial reading class? These are the people he beats up on, according to the Christian Conservatives.

  2. Dashboard Buddha

    "Christian education is primarily planned to benefit God"

    Hold on here…he's God, Creator of the Universe and All Within. Why does he need help? It's like there's this dude in your town who is richer than fuck and insists that your taxes must be raised so his can go down.

    ….um, wait a minute.

        1. bobbert

          BTW, is that series any good? I've avoided it for years, because Frank's stuff other than Dune is so uneven.

          1. C_R_Trogloraptor

            I enjoyed Destination: Void immensely, liked The Jesus Incident a lot and I don't think I finished the third and fourth ones. The ecological concepts are magnificent and vintage Herbert but the story got too long and I think I just lost interest. If you've got the time I'd start them & see how far you go.

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      The one thing that drives former believers into the arms of agnosticism or atheism is this issue. If this god is what they say he is–omnipotent, omniscient, and all the other omnis–why does he need help? Why pray the rain to fall or the fires to escape my house? Why pray to end the Holocaust or stop the killing in wars? Is god blind? I've never had a good answer to that, and I think it is because there isn't a good answer to that.

      "…benefit God." Are they going to sell raffle tickets or put a can on the 7-11 counter?

        1. tessiee

          I've thought that, too.
          I mean, even supposing that God existed — and I don't think there's any convincing evidence that He/She/It does — why would he *want* to be worshipped?
          Think about it. If you were an all-knowing, all-powerful being, and the lesser beings kept showing up at your house to brown-nose you, wouldn't you say something like, "Yeah, that's very nice; now go find something constructive to do"?

        2. PsycWench

          And why are we supposed to do his will unquestioningly? Seems like a big control freak to me.

          1. AutomaticPilot

            Totally! When I was in Catholic school, one of the worst things you could be was a Doubting Thomas. Now the hubby and I affectionately refer to him as Questioning Thomas.

      1. Negropolis

        Yep.

        If god be god, why play this perverse game with humanity? And, if god is god, how could it lose even one soul to hell? Seems to me that if there is a true god, it'd not let go to the fire even the most vociferous denier. In fact, you'd think that would be the most perfect vision of true grace and true, all-consuming power. Do you think a real god would ever let even an atom of its creation be seperated from it for eternity?

        But, what the hell do I know?

      2. Doktor Zoom

        You might enjoy James Morrow's Towing Jehovah novels, which are full of theological goofery. I think my favorite is the second book, Blameless in Abaddon, where the UN puts God on trial for crimes against humanity. Nice CS Lewis parody in that one, too.

        1. BoatOfVelociraptors

          We are all products of generations of fuckery. Every Jew. Every Gentile. Every Amazon, Mayan, Asian and Russian. We were all fucked into existence. Hell, half of the old testament is detailed records about who fucked whom, winding up with a big 'ol begat chain at the beginning of the books.

    2. YasserArraFeck

      He doesn't need help, it just made fiscal sense to outsource his worship to Earth ("Third World" = "Third Planet"..geddit?).
      Outsourciness is next to godliness, after all

    1. Native_of_SL_UT

      I wonder if Stephen Kings The Stand will be allowed.
      Maybe if they change "Captain Trips" to "God's Plan?"

    2. Omophagist

      That's right, as apparently the translators of unauthorized versions of the King James Bible are burning in hell for all eternity.

  3. josephmax

    They don't even want to THINK about Twain's "Letters From The Earth", which was withheld from publication until decades after his death, as it was deemed too controversial by his publishers.

    "Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion – several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven."

    "Man prays to God and thinks He listens. Isn't that a quaint idea? He fills his prayers with crude and bald and florid flatteries of Him, and thinks He sits and purrs over these extravagancies and enjoys them. He prays for help, prays for favor, and protection, every day; and does it with a hopefulness and confidence too, although no prayer of his has ever been answered."

    And the most important Twain quote for Wonkette readers:

    "The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter."

      1. Butch_Wagstaff

        *drools* Just to get a glimpse of some of the ideas that he may have been toying with in his uncompleted stuff…

        1. Doktor Zoom

          In Lighting Out for the Territory, Shelly Fisher Fishkin writes about reading through a book that had once been owned by Twain…and discovering notes he'd made in the margins, which were previously unknown. Imagine what THAT must have felt like!

      1. Negropolis

        Because he's not reverent enough of authority. If there is nothing else this country has had a problem with, it's reverence of authority for authority's own sake. Had he sat back and kissed the ass of power long enough, he might have had a chance. Thank god he didn't.

      1. Katydid

        …the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms

        He was even prescient about gay rights!

    1. An_Outhouse

      twain rewrote the book of genesis. the garden of eden was located at nigara falls,ny. its a great read. check project gutenberg if you're interested. idon't know how to paste links from this damn tablet. eve's diary and adam's diary.

      1. Negropolis

        Basing it in Niagra is probably no more ridiculous than basing it in Missouri, or basing the revelation in another part of Upstate New York.

  4. DoucheWillis

    Just wait until the revised edition comes out with new chapters extolling Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck as paragons of American literature while calling F. Scott Fitzgerald a hedonistic lowlife.

          1. Negropolis

            But, Jesus said that man can not worship both god and money. But, who the hell is Jesus in the grand scheme of things, anyway, right? I mean, everyone knows the Old Testament is where it's at.

  5. Antispandex

    "Twain’s skepticism was clearly not the honest questioning of a seeker of truth but the deliberate defiance of a confessed rebel."

    Because we all know that if you are an HONEST seeker of truth, you will see things their way! Gee, I was wondering where all of this conservatard thinking came from. You know, I have to admit I have been wrong in many past comments. I was blaming all of this on home schooling…but, damn.

    1. tessiee

      "Twain’s skepticism was clearly not the honest questioning of a seeker of truth but the deliberate defiance of a confessed rebel."

      yeah, because I'm sure that people who aren't satisfied even when you agree with them, unless you're agreeing with them for the reasons *they* want you to, would welcome the honest questioning of a seeker of truth, right?

  6. josephmax

    Wait… the earth is only SIX thousand years old, having been created in 4004 BC.

    Blasphemer!

      1. not that Dewey

        ha ha

        'Let there be light,' but there is already light. It is saying, 'Let the earth bring forth grass,' but I am already standing on grass."

        "Everything is here already," the pictograph continues. "We do not need more stars."

          1. Butch_Wagstaff

            Nah. It's just violent rage-filled fingering of various keys. You might be able to pick out a word here & there but it's mostly frothy gibberish.

    1. Native_of_SL_UT

      Anybody who can write a decent fictional story possesses something called "critical thinking skills" which should prevent them from being acceptable in any form.
      These people need to not let these kids read any fiction at all, with the exception of the Bible, of course.

  7. Mumbletypeg

    Calling all atheists and Xtian school exiles*: The American Bible Challenge needs you!

    *No really, it needs more bible scholars. Some of the most knowledgeable quoters of The Holy Book have adroitly brandished their scripture-savvy here at teh wonkettz.

    ** and I don't think Being A Christian is required in order to participate.

    1. SexySmurf

      Don't bother; the contestants don't even get to keep the money! And they have to listen to Jeff Foxworthy's horrible "jokes" for an hour.

      (Great idea for a game show: five contestants sit in a room and listen to Jeff Foxworthy's horrible "jokes" and the last person to commit suicide wins a million bones.)

      1. LibertyLover

        Jeff Foxworthy is hosting this new contest show that will be called: How to think like a 5th grader?

    2. Butch_Wagstaff

      This is a real network and people actually watch it?
      Stupid question, I know. Of course, the answers are yes and yes.

      1. sullivanst

        Apparently not only was the first episode the most watched show in GSN history, they're also claiming it was the most watched show on cable (at least in its timeslot, but its timeslot was primetime). Fortunately, we are talking cable, so it's less than 1% of the population, but still

    3. Charlie_Foxtrot

      I'll only play Strip Bible Challenge.

      Is this going to be about what American evangelicals "know" is in the Bible? (I.e., matching the survey like Family Feud) Or what's actually in the Bible? (Like Jeopardy) Cuz there are a LOT of evangelicals who advocate literal interpretation of the Bible, and simultaneously believe Jesus said a lot of things that Ben Franklin wrote.

  8. Riggsveda

    There's nothing more dangerous than empiricism (i. e., "Who you gonna believe, me? or your lyin' eyes?") for exposing the lie of obvious mythologies aimed at controlling large swaths of the booboisie. What amazes me is that there are actually reactionary elements in the country who understand this.

  9. el_donaldo

    So they have an entire textbook premised on the notion that what's contained within probably isn't worth the time that would be spent on it?

    That's fucked up.

          1. Dudleydidwrong

            That was the view of the famous Pilgrims: "We want religious liberty for ourselves. But the rest of you, we're going to hang."

        1. Rotundo_

          I would agree, but historically, performance art doesn't pay well. By the presence of that miracle ingredient, cold hard cash, it sort of disproves the performance theory. Unless of course, it is the Kochs and the lot funding it as a form of performance art to disable logical thought and free will to the target audience of voters they seek to manipulate politically into slashing their own throats. Ummmm, I guess you may have something with that theory after all……….

  10. Doktor Zoom

    The one cut for length that I really regretted? Had to get rid of this, since it didn't really fit:

    Nonetheless, Elements contains a few surprises; the section on "irony" includes Sarah Cleghorn's 1916 anti-child-labor poem:

    The golf links lie so near the mill
    That almost every day
    The working children can look out
    And see the men at play.

    Perhaps when the text was published in 2001 the editors hadn't anticipated that a decade later Newt Gingrich, who loves traditional marriage so much that he's had three of them, would seriously be arguing that laws banning child labor are too darn restrictive.

    1. weejee

      Dr. Z, since this text is clearly part of an intellectual press-gang, does Fundaments Elements have the classic Jebus figure Billy Budd crying out "good-bye to you too, old Rights-of-Man" ?

      1. Doktor Zoom

        It is completely unsullied by Melville. And by Hawthorne, for that matter. Like Major Major's father and alfalfa, a person could make a good living on the royalties of writers not included in this textbook.

          1. Doktor Zoom

            Sadly, Probably Not.

            Add that to the scrapheap of things Twain didn't say, along with "history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes," "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" and "Wagner's music is much better than it sounds" (which Twain at least uttered, but attributed to his pal Bill Nye…not the science guy)

          2. C_R_Trogloraptor

            Argh! Dammit, I really try not to perpetuate false quotes! Duly Shamed, but thanks for setting me (and the record) straight!

            It cheers me a little to see that the Reader's Digest was involved in perpetuating the error and misinforming a vast number of people.

            So it might have been the otherwise unknown couple The Allens in 1909, but is probably best left to Anonymous
            Those people are responsible for everything, these days.

    2. Arborista

      Perhaps the irony is that golfers should choose to play so close to the ugly mill? Because we all know that Jebus wants the little children to suffer, right?

        1. MosesInvests

          Tall ships and tall kings, three times three.
          What brought they from foundered land beneath the flowing Sea?
          Seven stars and seven stones and one white tree.

          1. C_R_Trogloraptor

            I knew it! Was the "Rhyme of Lore" in the Gnostic Gospels, then?

            This is beginning to make sense.

          2. el_donaldo

            Hey, hey, hey. Don't mess with Tom Bombadil. That's Tolkein's tie to English folkloric remnants of Druidic nature mysticism. He may not fit the story, but he belongs there.

    1. Arborista

      They probably just need someone who can translate German texts dating from the Third Reich.

      But they'd need to add an update on Thomas Kinkade. And possibly Norman Rockwell?

      1. doloras

        I wonder if the wingnuts will start a touring "Degenerate Art" exhibition so that the proles know what it is they're supposed to hate. (Note cute saxophone player at the link. They'd probably label him "NObama".)

      1. Veritas78

        They should approve of the Cecila Restoration, then. Except she feels really terrible about it, and they wouldn't.

        I was sooo tempted to make that my new avatar, but I just couldn't. Hopelessly gay, I guess.

      2. Doktor Zoom

        I worked with a guy in college who seriously said, "Look, if Jesus wasn't real, then why do we have pictures of him?"

        I pointed out that we also have pictures of Darth Vader, but he didn't find that line of logic persuasive.

        1. Jukesgrrl

          That's hilarious.Reminds me of my high school world history teacher who told us that Vasco de Gama stopped his ship in Africa “to refuel.”Even the goofs in my class, who usually weren't even paying attention, took the opportunity to scream, “It was a sail boat!”and fall out of their desks laughing. I often wonder which one of the Republican candidates he's supporting these days.

    2. SayItWithWookies

      Well at least they still have Michelangelo, who was so appalled by his own sexuality that he died a virgin. And Leonardo, who might've done the same. In fact, the list of religious artists is sort of a reverse bell curve, with the peaks at the piously mad end and the romantically and hopelessly debauched end, like Caravaggio. It's nice to see religion use people it would otherwise ostracize to explain itself to its followers.

        1. Jukesgrrl

          He also killed someone. In a sword fight begun as an argument supposedly about the results of a game — of the early version of tennis, no less. And they thought McEnroe had a bad temper.

    3. CthuNHu

      The Sistine Chapel was simple white plaster, then prayers influenced God to make pictures miraculously appear on it.

  11. ChernobylSoup

    "Okay kids, turn in your math assignment. And you better not have shown your work… That would be taking credit for what God has done."

  12. LibertyLover

    What? Is there no condemnation of Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls? That's some good literary stuff right there.

      1. BerkeleyBear

        Second that. I love all of Fforde's stuff – although I don't get some of the literary references.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          I somehow had managed to get through a PhD in English* without ever reading Jane Eyre, and I'm pretty sure it was The Eyre Affair that finally gave me the kick in the pants I needed.

          (Actually, in Rhetoric, Composition, and Teaching of English, not a straight Lit degree…still, bad enough! I have also somehow never read the Scottish Play. Go figure)

          1. finallyhappy

            gosh. if you had gone to same girls' high school as me, you would have read Jane Eyre, all of Austen , Macbeth(and other Shakespeare but the copies used then were bowdlerized so we were asked to buy the Folget copies) and Dickens- no modern stuff though- might have made us wild women(and so most of us became- once we left )

          2. viennawoods13

            Hey I start teaching Jane Eyre next week. And the Scottish play in November. Good stuff, both of them.

          3. BerkeleyBear

            Yeah, the Eyre Affair's central joke was a little hard for me to follow, although I think I pieced it together in the end.

            The problem for me is, even with the books I know I've read, I never read them in the same way that an English major would, so I get lost once people start talking too much about the symbolic role of certain characters or the great meta meanings buried inside. I've always suspected those meanings were a lot less important to most authors than their critics thought (staying drunk and or ahead of the creditors seeming to be the main motivation of most authors whose bios I've read). But I know enough about academia to recognize a good effort at taking the piss out of a blowhard, and that sure seems to be Fforde's central interest beyond telling really funny stories, so I still get a kick out of that aspect of his work.

    1. GeorgiaBurning

      Only the Bible is Truth. Everything you read except for the Bible is a lie. Even these statements. Let them wrap their neurons into a mobius strip.

  13. Serolf_Divad

    This curriculum promotes drug use… because, honestly, how could you not want to go home and get high as a kite after being subjected to six hours of that crap?

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      You may have just hit on the explanation for the "meth belt" across the middle of dumbfuckistan.

  14. Designer_Rants

    Dr. Zoom, this is too much for me 2 weekends in a row. This awful confirmation of wingnut theocratic propagandizing, paid for by taxpayers, is just another devastating stomp to an already-crushed soul.

    Couldn't we just make fun of The National Review some more?

  15. CivicHoliday

    Only the most disciplined mind can read so much literature and gain so little insight. So props to you, textbook editors, for proving once again that mind-blowing levels of cognitive dissonance make for comedy gold!

  16. Fukui-sanYesOta

    An Analysis of the Photoelectric Effect and its Repercussions for Classic Physics
    Jebediah P. Einstein, Silas H. Hertz, Jim-Bob Maxwell

    God did it. QED.

  17. sewollef

    Hey Dok,

    Can I have a 250-word synopsis of this long, long post on my desk my 7:15am Monday please?

    This is way, way too long a read for a Sunday afternoon after eating up a storm at an amazing Yemeni restaurant in my nabe…. and particularly when there's now drinking to be done.

    Know what I mean?

  18. Arkoday

    Literature attacks = boring. I can't wait for the attacks on architecture when they get to blow up ungodly shit. Woo-hoo!!11! Hide yer' antique Buddhas! (Buddhae?)

  19. docteur_giraud

    I think I'd enjoy the pointing-and-laughing more if so many of them weren't elected to congress.

  20. Arkoday

    OK, so Jeebus and the kids are looking on… but I'd still hit that teacher in the drawing. I may be evil but at least I'm not a writer.

  21. jodyleek

    I'm continually amazed that fundie xtains hold such contempt for Islam. Replace
    God with Allah, heathen with infidel, and the Bible for the Koran and you've
    just written a textbook for the strict "Islamist" set.

    1. doloras

      I'm reviewing a book on fundie Islam in Cairo. Some of these shaykh's teachings almost seem sane until you get to the punchline. "Of course you're allowed to touch your own lady parts! They're a part of your body, God made the whole thing, God doesn't make trash. … Unless you're trying to get off. In which case, God hates you and all your kind."

    2. Veritas78

      Plus circumcision and halal stuff? These patriarchal monotheists were not big on new wackiness.

      Except the Mormons. Lotsa new wacky there. So American.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        "I think you guys are going to have to come up with a lot of wonderful new lies, or people just aren't going to want to go on living."

        –Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

  22. finette_

    More Mark Twain: "[W]hen a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn’t anger me."

  23. Arkoday

    “He that is not with Me is against Me”

    Damn, but this sounds familiar. (scratching my Bushy head, trying to remember)

  24. NYNYNYjr

    The picture above reminds me of Billy Madison. Idea for Christian movie: in order to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus has to go back and go to all school grades from kindergarten thru high school, which he skipped when he was a kid.

      1. RadioBowels

        I love how these clowns try to defend the indefensible:


        The Treaty of Tripoli
        Signed by John Adams

        "As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] … it is declared … that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries….
        "The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation."
        – Treaty of Tripoli (1797), carried unanimously by the Senate and signed into law by John Adams (the original language is by Joel Barlow, US Consul)

        Yet there is not a politician of note today would say anything remotely reasonable like this. Pussies really.

        1. Fukui-sanYesOta

          It's the US innit.

          Article X

          Whereas the traffic in slaves is irreconcilable with the principles of humanity and justice, and whereas both His Majesty and the United States are desirous of continuing their efforts to promote its entire abolition, it is hereby agreed that both the contracting parties shall use their best endeavours to accomplish so desirable an object.

          Treaty of Ghent, 1814

  25. GunToting[Redacted]

    It's bad enough that the fundies are hateful and evil… But they're so fucking BORING.

  26. Menardyg

    “whether God — the Biblical God — is present and active, at least by implication, in its imaginary world.”
    Stop ridiculing and deriding these fine people!
    They worship an imaginary friend in an imaginary world.
    What's the problem?

  27. LibertyLover

    I understand that Fundies are afraid about just about everything, but now they have to be afraid to read, too? What are they supposed to do all day? Sit inside a refrigerator box and sing hymns?

    1. Fare la Volpe

      I hear Russian Roulette is all the rage these days.

      Remember, kids, revolvers are for pussies — use a clip!

  28. gurukalehuru

    I don't get it. Instead of ragging on all the heathen, humanist, nature worshipping authors, why don't they just choose the works of authors who were devout Christians?

    1. starfanglednut

      I was wondering about that too. I think it's in case these kids end up somehow going to a real college. they'll have something with which to combat the liberal Indoctrination of a normal literature class.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Bingo– these textbooks are trying to accomplish a number of things, one of which is fostering faith in rightwing Jesus, and another of which is, where possible, providing a modicum of preparation for college entrance exams. Those two goals don't always work so well together, though.

        Also, even among the devout, like Ruskin, there are many who just plain fail to be hardline Christian enough for Bob Jones University. I haven't done more than some cursory googling, but it looks like (despite the wishful thinking in this piece) CS Lewis, for instance, accepted evolution and had little patience for the "Genesis is literally true" crowd.

    2. OurDailyBread

      Because most of those Christians were Catholics, and, therefore, don't count, except when it comes to opposing abortion.

  29. Doktor Zoom

    Just to see if anyone would be interested: I OCR'd most of the "About the Author" notes from the textbook, and am considering setting up a non-Wonkette site to collect that stuff and other background materials about my visits to Fundy world. Is that something youse guys would want to visit? (i.e., should I bother?)

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      They did dial down the lunacy (to '10') after people first got a look at those looney-toon texts, so maybe we should be dissecting whatever the hell they're presently passing off as educational. (On the other hand, I'm sure these fucknuts still believe what they published a decade ago … they're just "saving the good stuff" for later.)

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Oh? In this book specifically, or, like, in general, or..? (Sources! I need more sources! this silliness has me wishing for access to a fundy research library…)

          1. HistoriCat

            The textbook does not assume any prior knowledge in physics or chemistry … and does claim to impart an knowledge of same.

            I think I need a shower now.

          1. Doktor Zoom

            I did indeed! In fact, my first draft of last week's piece had actually cited that list's #11, (about the disclaimer) but that had to be cut because the draft was even more ridiculously long than what we ran.

        1. Katydid

          Have you tried Conservapaedia? The discussion pages are worth the price of admission. Take drugs first, though. And, yet, I would definitely visit.

          1. Biel_ze_Bubba

            Jeez, yes … that's a real trip down the rabbit hole.

            Best parts are where they discuss whether a "contribution" is real or a piece of devious satire — the fact that they have to discuss it at all should tell them something is seriously amiss, but it sails right over their heads. There's some sort of a meta-Poe's Law at work with these idjits.

    2. finette_

      I would! You can even steal my idea for a tumblr with salient quotes accompanied by appropriate images, e.g. Jesus on a dinosaur.

  30. Fare la Volpe

    "Sure C.S. Lewis was a pedophile who fell in love with a 6-year-old. But he molested her for Jesus."

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        Different Lewis entirely. (It's a little-known fact that Sacagaewa was 13 years old when those itinerant white guys picked her up.)

        1. Mumbletypeg

          Ha! I used to get those Lewis's confused at times, too.
          But as for Charles Dodgson — was it ever substantiated he actually made anything beyond wishful overtures at the girl[s] or merely suspected he was capable?

          1. doloras

            He took *photos* of the little girls in states of undress (innocent and fairylike rather than pr0n-licious). I've never heard any evidence of bad touching, but some would argue that the photos were bad enough.

      2. Fare la Volpe

        Gah, my bad. I've been mixing up famous Christard writers a lot lately. Anyway, yeah, guy who did Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was totally pedo for the real Alice, his boss' prepubescent daughter. He also wrote letters where he would talk about his many "child friends" and take pictures of them in varying stages of undress.

  31. BlueStateLibel

    Wait until the get a load of Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in an Idiot Christian Fundamentalist Court," that'll really piss them off.

  32. JCE1985

    So this is basically why we atheists consider forcing religious beliefs on children, "child abuse."

    1. SavageDrummer

      Well, there's also the literal abuse of children perpetuated by "men of the cloth"… But yeah, this is pretty bad…

      Basically mental abuse, because they're breaking the minds of children with complete rubbish lies.

    2. Tommy1733

      I am not an atheist but I totally consider this child abuse – deliberately shaping young minds to believe in nonsense and in place of critical thinking skills they are force-fed harmful doctrines. It truly disgusts me.

  33. MinAgain

    Why not skip literature altogether? After all, written ideas are dangerous (see Wonkette). You never know when a little truth is going to slip through the holy wall of censorship.

    1. BoatOfVelociraptors

      This is more true than you know. The word "secular" is spoken through hissing teeth in some "communities".

  34. GemlikeFlame

    Wait, what? The Authorized version of the KJV? The one that introduced a couple thousand misprints which included leaving out the not in the commandment about adultery?

    "Sorry, honey. KJV says I gotta go commit some adultery. Be back late."

  35. MonkeyMotion

    Hey Dok — Love your stuff, but dammit, any more of these Parts and I may slash my wrists.

      1. Butch_Wagstaff

        Hm. I may use this on some relatives of mine. However, I don't think they'd bother reading the text. They'd just see the kittiens and comment: "Awww…how cute!"

  36. smokefilledroommate

    Why don't they just forbid all non-bible reading? Very simple curriculum: No math, no science, just the goddamn bible all day every day–like Vacation Bible School without the "vacation".

    1. tessiee

      One of my best friends was raised like that: No books except the Bible, no music except church music, etc.
      Me: Who are you, "Carrie"?
      Him: Who?
      Me: Sit your ass down on the couch and watch this.

      After the movie, he said, yeah, it was basically like that, without the telekinetic powers.

    2. BoatOfVelociraptors

      Are you kidding? If they actually read the damned book they might come to the conclusion that a tribal set of documents concerned with begats and genocide might be… Quaint.

    1. C_R_Trogloraptor

      Er.. uh…*ahem*. A wise, powerful, extremely misunderstood individual who now is just trying to make the best of a crummy job after a scathing, unfair demotion?

      Whew *loosens collar, shaking*

  37. LibrarianX

    "A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring."
    Alexander Pope

  38. JustPixelz

    They are totally failing to teach American Exceptionalism. Traitors.

    This is exactly the kind of curriculum the Taliban loves, but with Mohammed playing the part of Jesus.

  39. LibrarianX

    "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!"
    Class M-3 Model B9, General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot

  40. smitallica

    I love how, to a Jesus Freak, "seeker of truth" means "someone who come to the exact same conclusions my parents and preachers have told me I came to."

      1. Butch_Wagstaff

        Don't panic, it does. But it also also has excerpts of Vogon poetry.

        I know, that was too easy for me..

    1. BoatOfVelociraptors

      It would traverse the publisher's desk in precisely the way that a Stonehenge would.
      Heavy lifting would be involved.

  41. C_R_Trogloraptor

    OT: The National Hurricane Center has shifted the track of
    Tropical Storm Isaac westward, which is good news for Florida in general and Tampa in particular. Storm has just passed Key West, which has dodged the bullet.

    Now the bad news: the newest model solutions have the city of New Orleans square in the crosshairs. Isaac is predicted to become a Category II hurricane when it enters the 25-30 deg. C. waters of the Gulf.

    Tuesday, the expected day of landfall, will be 7 years to the day of the Katrina disaster. I have a very uneasy feeling about this one. I hope that The Big Easy has made enough progress in the last years that we won't see the kind of widespread horror that Katrina brought.

    These are the times that I'm glad there's people in charge of FEMA now that are competent professionals and believe that Federal Government can work. No matter what happens next week, we're all going to be reminded of what happened the last time the nation put a Republican president in charge of FEMA.

    1. not that Dewey

      If they're going to use that commie metric system to report ocean temperatures, they deserve to be inundated.

      1. C_R_Trogloraptor

        It's those mooching National Hurricane Center people Rush was warning us about. He doesn't need any government drones telling him the temperature in their inscrutable foreign base-10 scale, he can just wade out and dip his probe in the water and READ THE MAPS HIMSELF DAMMIT!

    2. Callyson

      This sucks for New Orleans.

      There is one upside to Issac, though:

      It took a force of nature to bump Donald Trump from his role at the Republican National Convention.
      As recently as Saturday afternoon, Trump was scheduled to collect the Sarasota Republican Party’s Statesman of the Year award and then swoop down to Tampa for a day of wall-to-wall media interviews, meetings with top donors to Mitt Romney’s campaign and then, apparently per the presidential candidate’s request, a “surprise” publicity stunt on the convention floor. But these plans went by the wayside after convention officials canceled Monday’s events because of Tropical Storm Isaac

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-wont

      1. C_R_Trogloraptor

        Well, Thank FSM for small favors. Although the spectacle Trump would likely make of himself in Tampa might give Obama a significant poll bounce, I'm really glad I won't have to suffer through that performance.
        I think it was on Rachel's show that I saw a photo of Trump and that Obama Impersonator guy. He was probably going to pull one of his "You're Fired" shticks and I don't think I could handle that.
        From the Wapo article:
        “I believe that the Romney camp understands the value that Donald Trump brings to the campaign,” Cohen said,
        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA

    3. Blueb4sinrise

      How are the levees? After the Katrina failure, many thought that the repairs were less that adequate. When the Miss. flooded last year [?], I was worried that they had shored up for one disaster, then were gonna get whacked from the other side. Instead they flooded the poorer parish [ admittedly, that's what they said they would do ] .

      I worry for NOLA, but I think they're screwed in the short, mid, and long term .

      1. C_R_Trogloraptor

        I honestly don't know for sure and that's what really scares me. I do know that the USACE has been hard at work shoring them up and I think they closed over or fixed the Industrial canal that was a huge conduit for floodwaters last time. I understand that NOLA installed back up generators on those huge pumping stations, bolstered their disaster plans and better trained and equipped response personnel.
        Just heard the Mayor saying that there will be no "refuges of last resort" like the Superdome this time around, so if you're told to evacuate you had better Beat Feet.

        Long term: what with loss of marshlands, land subsidence due to groundwater and oil withdrawal and sea level rise, I don't see much of a future. Unless they want to put the whole thing on pontoons, that is.

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      Or poor Onan practicing coitus interruptus on Tamar and getting snuffed for his efforts (Gen 38) Good lesson for kids: "When you put it in, keep it in, or you'll die!"

  42. SigDeFlyinMonky

    And what would they do with Flannery O'Conner's "The Violent Bear It Away", what with a man of God running a still? And why no Dreiser? "An American Tragedy" would make a kick ass eighth grade drama club production, what with harlots and an execution for the final curtain!

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Don't be silly, ain't no Flannery O'Connor on this dirt back road!

      (A Good Text is Hard to Find.)

  43. Rotundo_

    Why does religion always fear literature and science? It always strikes me as odd that something based on faith and proudly displaying that faith, would find it so fragile that it cannot bear a thought not in compliance with it.

    1. tessiee

      One of my college professors said this. It was one of the wisest things I'd ever heard (at the time, anyway), and it's stuck with me ever since:

      "If your positions are indefensible, why hold them?"

  44. carlgt1

    bloody awful stuff, I'd hate to see what they have on Shakespeare. And such an insane quote as this is just one step away from burning books for Jeebus: "Although a comprehensive knowledge of Joyce’s writing is not a necessary or even a healthy goal…"
    Way to be dismissive of the literary canon, silly Freeper sheeple!

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Shakespeare's one of the few writers who don't get an "About the Author" note at all; Elements includes a couple of sonnets and a bowdlerized version of Romeo & Juliet (with all the good stuff about "Rosalind's quivering thigh" cut, of course).

      Other writers in the textbook who don't get a bio sketch: Poe, Robt. Louis Stevenson, Kipling, and Arthur Conan Doyle.

  45. dennis1943

    This is only the tip of the iceberg folks………..unless we avoid it,we'll go down with all hands ……..

  46. Fuck Toad

    That Updike review is the only good thing David Foster Wallace ever wrote, although it's kind of rich to read him attacking someone else for narcissism.

        1. not that Dewey

          "On the (nearly) lethal comforts of a luxury cruise"

          harpers.org/media/pdf/dfw/HarpersMagazine-1996-01-0007859.pdf

  47. C_R_Trogloraptor

    Thanks very much! I'm currently working up a Conspiracy Theory Scenario (for my own amusement and to flip out paranoid Wingnut internet searches.

    It involves secret orders direct from the White House, special substitute crews for the WC-130J Hurricane Hunter aircraft, midair transfers of Silver Iodide from modified KC-135 tankers, Chemtrail seeding (of course!) of an innocent Tropical depression, the HAARP array bouncing RF energy off the ionosphere,impacting along the desired path of the developing storm and creating a heated ionized path of least resistance.

    All because Obama wants to upstage the Republican National Convention with a Natural Disaster, so he can get Presidential Photo-ops looking concerned and helpful. And Win the Election.

    It's a work in progress. I'm not nearly as creative or barking mad as the genuine conspiracy theorists, so I have to make do.

    1. cheetojeebus

      Is the scientist behind it all (doing the President's bidding ) a bald guy with a pinky ring and a persian cat?

          1. C_R_Trogloraptor

            Huh. What's eating him? What's that van doing across the street? Who's this little fellow?

      1. C_R_Trogloraptor

        Oh, I will. Need to flesh out details, fill in the backstop and add a few more conspiracy theories. I've also got to think like a paranoid anti-government wingnut, which is the hard part.

        1. James Michael Curley

          Please provide a complete listing of the chemical process. Sounds like it could be more effective than Viagra.

    2. Arborista

      I just figured Piyush had a speaking engagement in another state & would be obliged to choose between speaking in FL or trying to look like a leader in LA?

  48. BarackMyWorld

    Say what you will about the Bible belt, but the eastern half of the state is basically named after sacrilegious Mark Twain, and the western half after socialized medicine advocate Harry Truman. So either there's hope, or we're good at sneaking shit in when the fundamentalists aren't looking.

  49. Callyson

    What, no Nathaniel Hawthorne? Did they think The Scarlet Letter was too racy?

    Then again, for them, it probably is…

        1. BoatOfVelociraptors

          . \ X ///
          ._ \ X //
          .__ X /

          Corset fix.

          Note to self, ASCII art on wonkette is a lost cause.

  50. finallyhappy

    Well, now I will not watch the GOP convention- Donald Trump's fabulous performance was cancelled.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Damn … that Amos 'n Andy routine promised to be YOOOOGELY tasteless.

      Someone in command at the GOP has figured out just how badly the party is fucking up, with all the assholery on display. This is an unfortunate development.

  51. Blueb4sinrise

    Okay, fine….if no-one else has done it by this time………..
    MOBY DICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Dudleydidwrong

    Keep up the good work, Doc. We need to be aware of the enemy.

    I can't wait for the curriculum on music and musicians. If they remove all the ghey musical geniuses it'll be a pretty damn slim syllabus.

  53. Negropolis

    Silly, Doktor. Everyone knows the Young Earth Creationists believe the earth and universe are 6,000 years old and not 8,000.

  54. Negropolis

    The Public School System has planned education primarily as a benefit to the State, as well as society in general… Christian education is primarily planned to benefit God, as well as the student… Christ stated: “He that is not with Me is against Me” (Matthew 12:30). Education that is not purposely for Christ is against Christ. For this reason God has warned His people: “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jeremiah 10:2).

    Christ on a cracker if that ain't some selective reading and cherry picking.

  55. OurDailyBread

    "I have encountered a great many truths that I have never experienced." I can't think of a name for this epistemological gem other than gibberish.

    1. BoatOfVelociraptors

      When you are stone cold drunk, you might have an encounter, but never recall the experience.

  56. Negropolis

    Writing "Christian' textboks is the ultimate concern trolling. These guys are annoying as movie critics but far more dangerous.

  57. frostbitefalls

    … And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie — I found that out.

    So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter — and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote:

    Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelp s has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send.

    HUCK FINN.

    I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking — thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper.

    It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:

    "All right, then, I'll GO to hell" — and tore it up.

    1. James Michael Curley

      Forty five years after I read Huck Finn the first time I read it again and discovered it is a remarkable, world shaking piece of literature. No superlative I have heard was wasted in describing it. Several months later I went back to read it again because I wanted to reconcile that I felt Mark Twain reached a certain point and just started wrapping things up to finish it. Then I reread the passage you excerpted and realized that the writing of it was as much a passage for Twain as it was for Huck. He did not set out to reach the conclusions he did, he achieved them by traveling to them in the writing. Then it was time to close the book and hope.

    2. HistoriCat

      And that excerpt is why Twain wrote the statement at the beginning of the book about not finding a moral in the book – as balance. Because this is the most amazing and profound contrast between conscience and societal norms I've ever read. It's what makes Huckleberry Finn the great book that it is.

  58. Geminisunmars

    Totally OT, but I have to express this somewhere. Mr Gemsunmars and I just watched "American History X". We hadn't seen it before. It was made in 1998. What struck me most was that that hatefull skinhead rhetoric was then shocking, and only spouted by the fringe nutcases, and now so much of it – the stuff about immigrants and welfare slackers, for example – has entered the mainstream and seems to be acceptable stuff to be discussed or "debated". In 14 years things have definitely not gotten better.

  59. tessiee

    I once had a friend who was like, "I like you, and I hate everybody else".
    Of course, we were three years old, so there's that.

  60. tessiee

    So, basically, the only thing that would satisfy these folks would be a book where all the characters went to church every few days, and spent every waking moment that they weren't actually at church services talking about church, God, Jesus, and the Bible.

    1. Arborista

      That would be an easy book to write- after the first few pages, it can all be Lorem Ipsum, because any reader will be incapable of staying awake after the third page.

    2. Biel_ze_Bubba

      " every waking moment that they weren't actually at church services talking about church, God, Jesus, and the Bible. "

      Avoiding reality is the only way they can avoid cognitive dissonance.

  61. tessiee

    As much as I don't want to imply that these dickweeds are anything less than 100% wrong 100% of the time, this piqued my curiosity, so I wandered around my living room looking at all my books, in search of one where the characters are religious, and you know what?

    I have a LOT of books, in a lot of genres, accumulated over a stretch of several decades, and the only mention of church/religion/etc. are the following:
    1. Marjorie Morningstar and Portnoy's Complaint, where Marjorie and the teenage Alexander Portnoy find Judaism, as enforced by their parents, too restrictive;
    2. The Earth's Children series, where Ayla and her clan-mates rely on the shaman for spiritual guidance;
    3. The Mists of Avalon, where Morgaine and the Merlin are trying to keep their Nature/Goddess religion from being wiped out by the Christians.

    So, out of hundreds?, thousands? of books, I have exactly ONE that prominently features Christians, and those Christians are paranoid, genocidal bigots. None of my many books even says, "I went over so and so's house, but she was still at church", or anything like that.

    Is it me, or is it all a big, mean conspiracy?

    1. viennawoods13

      Heck, I've got a helluva lot of books that feature Christians prominently. There's the Trollope Barchester series, all about Anglican Church politics. The novels of Robertson Davies always have strong undercurrents of Christian religion, not always portrayed as a good thing, but definitely important. Even in Anne of Green Gables, Presbyterianism plays a huge role.
      And yes, these are all good books.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        I honestly have never seen any fundagelical comments on Trollope — my guess is that they would find his treating clergymen as venal players of political games Most Upsetting, but who knows.

        Also, any fan of Trollope and science fiction / fantasy should read Jo Walton's Tooth and Claw, a charming little Trollope pastiche, loosely based on Framley Parsonage…except that the main characters are all dragons. But very Victorian dragons.

    2. Geminisunmars

      Barbara Kingsolver's "Poisonwood Bible". Great book. Shitty Xtians.

      Chaim Potok's books. As you might expect, Jews.

    3. C_R_Trogloraptor

      One that I have that immediately comes to mind is Zelazny's Lord of Light.
      I found the one devoted Christian character of Nirriti the Black – the old ship's chaplain who went to war over religion with an army of soulless zombies that he led in mass prayer services before battle – highly entertaining.
      I'm sure that I would be the first one in the door or the Fundie's mythological Hell, just for that alone.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Heh– or for that matter, the disillusioned Jesuit priest narrating Arthur C Clarke's "The Star"

  62. tessiee

    "(you know who else rebelled against God Almighty?)"

    *looks left*
    *looks right*
    Are you referring to…
    LUCY??

  63. TribecaMike

    "Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of vomit he had spewed after reading about these eejits."

  64. BoatOfVelociraptors

    Next, they might start monitoring volcanos. Those things totally screw with the agenda 21 chemtrails.

    1. C_R_Trogloraptor

      Volcanos are an essential element in the Climate Modification Chemical delivery system. Why do you think they monitor them?

    1. Negropolis

      They don't hate us because of our freedom; they hate us because we're encroaching on their intolerance!

  65. poorgradstudent

    At least there's the satisfaction that comes from them unwittingly hailing above everything else in English a work commissioned by an alcoholic homosexual.

  66. James Michael Curley

    Did it report on the story of the blasphemous, obsessed man who unsuccessfully tries to kill the Great White Keynote Speaker of the Republican National Convention?

  67. Oblios_Cap

    You've got to love the level of faith these numbnutz have – they're scared that reading a book will shake it.

  68. Incitefully_Joe

    “there is no writing in English that equals the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible.”

    Which is weird, because not only is the narrative implausible and riddled with as much lengthy tacked-on moralism as one is likely to find outside of Ayn Rand, but it's also rife with anachronisms and examples of seriously faulty research that were in several cases peculiar to that particular adaptation of the work and fail to appear in earlier incarnations.

    Not to mention the fact that it loses points for being an adaptation, rather than an original work. Admittedly, none of these are particular to the KJV; King James's contemporary, Shakespeare is guilty of at least a handful of these crimes against writing, but he had a much better handle on wordplay, and vastly fewer plot holes or internal contradictions within his narratives.

    But worst of it has to be the inconsistent writing style, which is so fractured and disjointed as to appear not only as though it were written by dozens of people filtered through an oral tradition and compiled from across several different historical eras, but seems to be telling three entirely distinct stories with fairly flimsy narrative linkage, and several entire chapters seem to literally be plagarized wholesale from earlier parts of the very same book. Honestly, if it didn't stand contrary to the stated literary ethos discussed above, I'd suspect that this whole thing was an avant garde experiment in fractured narrative. Unfortunately, the blunt, "tell don't show" storytelling method employs largely undermines this hypothesis

    tl;dr, at Very best, the King James Bible ranks somewhat below it's contemporaries, Ben Jonson's The Alchemist and Marlowe's Dr. Faustus in terms of literary quality, and far below a tremendous corpus of literary work out there.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      “If the artistry of Scripture is detached from the message and authority of Scripture and its divine origin is disregarded, literary analysis can promote unbelief”

      –"Introduction," Elements of Literature for Christian Schools, 3rd Edition.

  69. Estproph

    And as the flames climbed high into the night
    To light the sacrificial rite
    I saw Satan laughing with delight
    The day education died

  70. Nostrildamus

    People rail on Bob Jones, but he has some good ideas:

    [A] pope must be an opportunist, a tyrant, a hypocrite, and a deceiver…

    "I have grown sick and tired of the 'Praise God' sanctimoniously sighed and the 'Bless the Lord' blasphemously belched forth by the phonies and hypocrites, the deceivers and the deceived who appear on television like the '700 Club' and the 'PTL Club.'

    For a long time I believed that Billy [Graham] was doing more harm than any other living man.

    "I have no brief for Oral Roberts, whom I regard as one of the biggest religious phonies in America today."

          1. Roger

            Wee Todd came here to slip into the crowd unnoticed, and I just made sure that didn't happen. It's one of the things I'm effective at when I'm misspelling the wrong words.

            But, if you want someone lurking that has iranian centric loyalties and likes to advocate for violence, it's no skin off my nose.

          1. Roger

            This from the guy who loves violence muslim style?

            24 minutes ago @ Breitbart.tv – Soldier Found Guilty i… · 1 reply · +1 points
            "The whole town needs locked in the church and the church set on fire. IMO"

          1. C_R_Trogloraptor

            What's the World coming to?

            This Spelling issue is a slippery slope. Before we know it, we'll all be reading words like "More", "Butt Sex", seeing words properly capitalized and – think of it – only one exclamation point and no numeral one substitutions!

            That will be a sad day.

  71. WTE

    Great article though. More christians should read it however they are too blind to understand it. I myself an an athesist. I get accused by stupid fucking christians as being muslium. How dumb can they can get? I can even make one reply he is a trained monkey. Watch this for comic relief.

    Hey stupid fucking monkey roger. Reply to my comment

    1. Ricky Michael

      Wow, what an "interesting" website you have found. Lots of folks who hold your same questionable views here. Got to be a big boy on this site and be prepared for some really nasty responses.

  72. thefrontpage

    By the many powers given to me, I hereby officially decree that the following books be mandatory reading in every christian religious school throughout the United States, and I also officially decree that severe hellish penalties be enacted if this official decree is not followed:

    1. "The Exorcist"
    2. "The Omen"
    3. "Mark of the Devil"
    4. "A Clockwork Orange"
    5. "Fear of Flying"
    6. "The Story of O"
    7. "Emmanuelle"
    8. "Something Wicked This Way Comes"
    9. "Stand"
    10. "Salem's Lot"
    11. "Carrie"
    12. "Fifty Shades of Grey"
    13. "The Godfather"
    14. "Lady Chatterley's Lover"
    15. "Death in Venice"

    Thank you.

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