Arming the Enemy with your Pen
A fellow writer wrote me, worried that a story he is writing, where he portrays a false cult that worships a deceptive god, would be read by Gnostics and Leftists as encouragement to slander the Church.
He did not want to write something that would encourage the enemy. I understand his concern; believe me, I do. I saw my best friend in college go from a man interested in the anthropology of the occult to becoming a practicing Witch (technically, an Asatru) largely because of Tolkien glamorizing a world where spirits walked among us, where wizards were wise and magic was real.
I thought my answer to him would be interesting to my readers in general.
My suggestion is that you drink a beer (or, if you do not drink, eat a bag of potato chips) relax, and do not worry about it.
There are two reasons not to worry: one is happy, the other is sad.
The sad reason not to worry is that any story, and I do mean any story, which actually tells a story instead of preaching a sermon shows a good guy fighting a bad guy, and every reader, and I do mean every reader, is going to cast himself in the role of the good guy.
Because of this, when Progressive see a war flick from WWII, they see themselves as the Marines or the French Resistance, and the Tea Party as the Nazis.
When they read George Orwell, they see the Tea Party as Big Brother.
When they read Aldous Huxley, they see the Tea Party as Mustapha Mond, and themselves as John Savage, the sole remaining Christian in the world. (The author himself was a socialist, and saw no irony in presenting the utterly materialistic and elitist pro-eugenics, pro-orgy, and pro-euthanasia society as the byproduct of the free market.)
Progressives read Lord of the Rings, they see themselves as the Hobbits and Mordor as the Tea Party.
This is simply astonishing, when one considers that Lord of the Rings is more conservative than any possible American conservativism.
In it mood and atmosphere, the trilogy is ardently pro-Catholic Monarchist, which means that, even by British standards, it is so unimaginably conservative that it harkens back to the House of Stuart or Plantagenet, or perhaps even earlier, when Constantine was Augustus in Eboracum.
That any Leftist could see anything progressive, revolutionary, or egalitarian in its pages is a testament to the power of self-imposed blindness.
I was shocked to realize that Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame, when he made the dark SF dystopia movie BRAZIL that mocked the Left mercilessly for their bureaucratic welfare state — he thought the movie was mocking the Rightwing.
Again, when I read the children’s book THE GAMMAGE CUP to my boys, I was at first worried, because this was a Leftwing-flavor book from 1950 preaching a message of nonconformity. But then I laughed, realizing that the author had idiotically (for a Leftist) made the bad guys the materialists, the petty, and the collectivists.
In other words, the bad guys were Leftists, and the good guys where Christian who do not conform to the world, and the author could not see it.
And again, I am flabbergasted whenever a Progressive looks at Harry Potter, a boy who is as much a Christ-figure as Aslan, and at his enemies, either fussy bureaucratic petty tyrants, such as Dolores Umbrage, or conspiratorial bloodthirsty revolutionary tyrants, such as Lord Voldemort, as see themselves in the boy’s role as the foes, rather than the perpetrators, of the evil and despotism collectivism routinely and inevitably has as its sole end-product.
I know that the Devil appears as an Angel of Light to deceive the faithful. Does the Devil believe it himself?
Does he really look at the pearly gates and glass-bright golden streets of the New Jerusalem, and say “That is my home” and then sees the dark and flaming lake, walled on all sides by flame, and say “That is the throneroom and altar, of God, my enemy.”
Is that what the Devil sees? Perhaps so. Because the first soul he tricked into sin and damnation is his own.
The sole story where the Leftist cannot picture himself as the good guy is one where the Soviets are the black hats; which is why Hollywood makes no movies about the Cold War, except one promoting a moral equivalence between the two sides, as in a James Bond film, where Soviets are portrayed as merely the opposing team (see FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, or FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE), or as beautiful babes (SPY WHO LOVED ME), not as the horrific, hellish evil they actually were (see THE CHEKIST).
The happy reason is that Jesus Christ is the only reader you need to worry about. He is alive, and looking over your shoulder, and he will take you book and sit on his throne next Sunday, and read it. If he likes it, he will find the one soul in all the earth who needs to read your book. And then he will arrange for that one soul to read it, and be enlightened, entertained, refreshed, or even saved.
And then you will meet that one person in heaven, and sit down and eat and drink together the wine of joy and the bread of life.
And the people who thought your book was flattering them will be flung onto a lake of burning fire prepared for the devil and all his angels, and none of the happy souls in paradise will fret over winning their approval ever again.
Remember who you work for. Remember what your mission is. Keep your eye on the target, and remember why you became a writer in the first place.