This is one of those things which, once you see it, you can’t stop seeing it.
The absence of God, and the non-acknowledgement of any kind of religious concept or practice, sets modern fiction apart from several millenia of story-telling. We visit the fiction shop every day, consuming books and stories, movies, television shows, video games, comics, etc.–and there’s hardly a trace of God in any of it.
In a lifetime of consuming fiction in its many forms, how many fictional characters do we “meet”? Tens of thousands, certainly–maybe even millions. How would you even begin to count them?
How many of these fictional characters pray? Go to church? Read the Bible? How many of them ever think of God, talk about God with other characters, or try to please Him, or avoid displeasing Him?
Yes, there is a category of books on the market labeled “Christian fiction.” In some of these, regrettably, “Christianity” is just slapped on, like a decal: the story could just as easily roll on without it. And we have “Christian” stuff that simply imitates the secular world’s popular arts–Christian rock, Christian rap, the Left Behind books and movies, and so on.
All well and good, but this is only a very small share of the market. Most people can go to the movies every week and watch TV every night without stumbling over anything “Christian.”
I wonder what’s the overall effect on our culture of a steady diet of God-free fiction. (Note that I’ve left out the sub-genre of fiction that is explicitly anti-Christian.) To what degree do people learn from TV and movie characters how to behave? There’s a frightening thought. Add to this our totally God-free public education, and flavor the mix with feel-good-about-your-all-important-self churches and quasi-pagan social-justice “mainline” churches, and you’ve got a popular culture that’s in deep, deep trouble.
But then who would ever worry about none of that religion stuff being in our entertainment media, anyhow?