Here is an open letter to the handful of critics who object to “all that religious stuff” in my Bell Mountain series. I write with all the respect I can muster for their opinion.
Dear Ignorant Peabrains:
It has probably escaped your notice that, except for the little corner of our own present age occupied by radical secularists, there has never been a human culture without “religious stuff.” There has never been an atheist civilization. So if I’m going to write realistically about human beings, even in a fantasy, “religious stuff” must be included in their way of life. To leave it out would be to amputate a big chunk of who they are.
Yes, I knew we find hardly a trace of “religious stuff” in contemporary fiction of all kinds. That’s because those works are produced by only a microscopic portion of the general population. Those works also conform to certain conventions that no one ever questions.
One of those conventions is to ignore the religious dimension of human life. Whether one is producing a sitcom, a movie screenplay, a detective story, or any kind of fiction whatsoever, one leaves out “religion.” After all, eternal truths and immutable moral laws might offend some thin-skinned dork out there. The American Library Association, the teachers’ unions, and Scholastic Books won’t like it: that’s for sure.
I’ve chosen to ignore that particular convention. The civilization I write about is inhabited by people for whom religion is an important part of daily life. That is, the lives of my fantasy characters conform to a virtually universal characteristic of the human race. In that respect my fantasies are more realistic than the goings-on at any Democrat dum-dum on TV.
I daresay my Bell Mountain fantasy world, for all its faults, is a far sight better than the prison-world you’re constructing for America, in which the devouring state is the god and crooked, mad, and wicked politicians are its prophets–where “diversity” means a coerced uniformity of opinion, and “inclusion” means the exclusion of everyone and everything that won’t conform.
Do us all a favor, and exclude yourselves.
25 comments on “An Open Letter to My Critics”
Lee..right on the money, let these hollow, insensitive pseudo-intellects take a long walk on a short pier and contribute something constructive to humanity. We certainly don’t need, require or desire or like ANYTHING that they might have to bring to the table!
You should see the books they do like!
Hello My only comment was that this article would, I believe, support your contention that religon has been proved essential to the real progress and success of socities.
Happy is that people whose God is the Lord. And then there’s Detroit.
Bravo, Lee! To be sure, I relate more to life in Ninneburky or Lintum Forest than life in the world these days. For the most part, with the exception of certain scofflaws, the populations in your Bell Mountain Series love and live the Lord! We love your writing, Lee, and wouldn’t wish you to change a thing.
To expand on Dave’s comment, the beliefs of any civilization play a significant role in its development. Many civilizations, over the years, have served more than one god and been hindered by trying to please the sometimes conflicting requirement of these “gods”. The monotheism of the Bible has led to a productive and stable society when it was practiced.
Unfortunately, many places that formerly lived by these standards have since abandoned them and have suffered the consequences. I submit the US as a perfect example. We had a much more prosperous and productive society in my parent’s day than we have now and the decline has followed closely the abandonment of Christian principles over the last fifty years or so.
With regard to the American Library Association, Teacher’s Unions or Scholastic Books, I would submit the thought that these organizations have shoved their philosophies down students throats with as much zeal as any religion out there. Even in my grade school years 1959-1966, they were pushing an environmentalist/humanist agenda.
I distinctly remember being taught that by the time I grew up there would be no trees at all unless drastic action was taken. Now I ask, what drastic action can grade-school children effect? The answer is: none, but implanting such notions in an impressionable child sure helps to further such a political agenda in the next generation.
I was force fed this misinformation at least 55 years ago and the last time I looked, there seem to be plenty of trees. Roughly 1/4 of my yard is covered with them, which makes for at least four different species, and I live in the desert. The last time I visited the Midwest (four months ago, as of this writing) there was so much greenery that it was stunning. Simply stated, I was lied to as a child. While I’m all for responsible forestry, it would seem that the predictions made in the sixties were greatly exaggerated and meant to invoke fear in children, as opposed to being practical and practicable notions of how to use natural resources.
Returning to novels which contain characters whom pray and whom place their trust in their Creator, how does this become offensive when it is overt and respectfully written? Why should this be offensive, but somehow the humanist propaganda found in so much literature is not? Nothing is being shoved down anyone’s throats by works of fiction which depict characters, some of whom are worshippers of a Singular Creator God?
If an observer can deduce what we worship by the state of our culture–well, maybe he’d better keep it to himself.
It would seem that our culture currently worships sex and measures goodness by one’s willingness to never object to the sexual conduct of another person.
Well, that certainly ought to generate a beneficial code of ethics!
Beneficial if one’s horizon extends only to the immediate moment. The level of promiscuity seems to be quite high. Some disease will find a way to prosper from this situation and we’ll have another epidemic of STDs, just like the ’80s. The difference is that nowadays, the bacterial STDs are becoming quite resistant to all known antibiotics and are, in some cases, completely incurable. A new generation of neuro-syphilitics would definitely not be a good thing, but I could see it happening if the current trend towards promiscuity continues.
Right on, Linda! People who object to “religion” seem to be unaware that they are as religious as anyone else. Only problem is, their religion is
That’s one thing I’ve realized more and more as time progresses. Instead of the word religion, I will use the phrase “belief system”, but my point is that everyone possesses such. A belief system can be Christianity, it can be some self-help guru, a secular theory or an established religion. For my purposes, I try to align my beliefs with the source of Christianity, the Holy Bible. I find this to be the safest and most reliable course.
The most important thing, frommmy point of view, is to not place my trust in humans, but keep it centered upon the One True God and His Son, Christ Jesus. Over the years, from the earliest days of Christianity, some men have tried to gather followers and tried to insert themselves between man and Christ, but this always leads to disappointment.
We have one leader, the Christ (Matt 23:10) and “it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans”. Psalm 118:8
Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is”.
All our actions are based on our thought and ideas which are based on our beliefs. Cornelius Van Til called it presuppositionalism, that from your starting point everything else will follow. According to the Bible, man is basically a religious being, not a social one, or rational one. Atheists don’t really believe there is no God, they are actually saying “NO!” to God. Everyone believes the sun will come up tomorrow by faith because they cannot prove that it will.
They say they’re rational, but we know what that’s worth.
Every civilization has a religion, a belief system if you will, which permeates it. The belief system which seems to get most of the press in modern America is about as sterile as it can be and seems to be predicated upon absolute acceptance avoiding anything which could be twisted into a cause for offense.
Franklin stated that he and the other Founding Fathers had given us “a republic, if you can keep it”. Obsessive avoidance of possible offense doesn’t seem like a very respectful way to treat what the Founding Fathers gave us to work with.
Actor Richard Dreyfuss is a well educated man whom is quite fluent in the Constitution of the US. He has a website, https://thedreyfussinitiative.org which encourages that Civics be reintroduced into the school system and I think he may be onto something.
I’m not a super-patriot, flag-waving sort of guy, but in my own quiet way, I am fiercely proud of what the US was based upon. Equally, I am saddened by what the US is becoming, with two political parties which seem to be trying to outdo one another in the worship of self-interest at the expense of the ordinary citizen.
I would encourage anyone and everyone to take time to learn why the US broke free from Great Britain and the nature of the abuses which led to the unique structure of our constitutional government. The Boston Tea Party was about much more than a bunch of guys dressed up like Indians. It was about standing up to an unreasonable tax which sought to exploit the productivity of the American colonies while giving nothing back in return.
Liberty, which allows us to live and worship as we each see fit was the goal and many died for that very cause. It’s horrifying to see this given away without so much as a whimper of protest.
“Dear Ignorant Peabrains:” – a good way to disarm them right off the bat, Lee.
I just can’t get the hang of “winsome.”
To begin with ATHEISM IS A RELIGION so says 28 separate Supreme Court decisions. It has a creed and a “god,” if you will. It is no more “proven” than any OTHER religion. IT IS A MATTER OF “FAITH” to its believers as is every OTHER religion. So if one makes an argument AGAINST RELIGION basing it upon atheism, well, that’s just plain stupid.
The late Fr. Thomas Hopko of blessed memory once said, “The dichotomy in the ‘religious argument’ is not between faith and reason, but between faith and doubt.” Both faith AND doubt are human reactions. Reason, on the other hand, is a matter of knowledgeable facts and in that case, FAITH WINS!
When Dr. Francis Krick, the co-discoverer of the DNA molecule – an atheist by the way! – was asked if DNA could have “arisen spontaneously” as evolutionists believe, he said that IT COULD NOT because it was so complex. The probability of it doing so was WAY beyond the acceptable standards of probability utilized by science. Krick was then asked, if it could not arise “spontaneously,” WHERE DID IT COME FROM? He responded that ALIENS had brought it to earth. “But Dr. Krick,” shouted a member of the audience, “WHERE DID THE ALIENS COME FROM?” And that, my friends, is the real question.
“Aliens done it” is their regular fall-back position. It does an excellent job of exposing the total emptiness of their argument.
WHat you write (books, blog, piece for the news, Chalcedon) is making an important contribution in frustrating the secular elite by bringing the Christian dimension to everything.
Thanks, I’ll try to live up to that.
I’m glad for your work, grateful to God for it
Why do secularist critics of your books even care? They are jealous! Plus, their conscience condemns them for not believing in God.