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15960Re: [mythsoc] Re: A washingtonpost.com article from: chowlett@erols.com

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  • John D Rateliff
    Dec 6, 2005
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      On Dec 5, 2005, at 9:18 PM, Its a month...guess. wrote:
      > Goodness. I really don't give a rat's you-know-what about the man's
      > religious beliefs. I didn't even know he was Christian until I was
      > involved in a church a few years back. An now I couldn't care less,
      > he's just a prolific writer and isn't that all that matters. the man
      > write's fiction. If it has a christian foundation, so what? We all
      > write from what we know and that will show. It surprises me that it's
      > such a big deal in Briton that he's a Christian. I'm deffinantly not
      > one, but I can turn aside his excellent writing based on the man's
      > religious views.
      It's easy for us in the US to ignore it, because Lewis's reputation
      over here was mainly as an author and a scholar (if you ignore his
      appearance on the cover of TIME, and that was a v. long time ago and
      long since forgotten). In England he was mainly known as a
      broadcaster, and one almost exclusively focused on conservative (not
      to say reactionary) Christian issues. Some people have long memories,
      and they're not going to approach CSL's novels from a neutral
      position but based on what they've heard of him from the past, the
      cliches they've inherited from their parents and grandparents. For
      example, suppose Pat Robertson were a talented poet as well as a
      telvangelist: the number of people who'd read his poems a generation
      or two from now with an open mind, not caring about his calls for us
      to assassinate foreign leaders, is relatively few. Similarly, if
      Michael Moore were a talented painter, odds are that only people who
      agreed (more or less) with his political or economic views would be
      open to looking at his art; those who despise him simply wouldn't be
      interested. There are people even now who won't read Ezra Pound
      because of his political and social views (although oddly enough most
      are willing to overlook his having committed high treason during WWII).
      Or, to put it another way, Lewis makes it hard for a reader to
      ignore his religion and thus gets judged, for good or bad, by how
      much that reader agrees with him on theological detail. Tolkien
      worked hard to keep his religion off center stage and thus more
      easily appeals across a wider spectrum.

      > It's not like he wrote the bible!

      No, but when you have hyperbole such as Kreeft's saying LWW ranks
      alongside the four gospels, or claims such as Wagner's that CSL is
      "the most influential Christian since Martin Luther", it's easy to
      see why those who consider him an okay author get impatient and
      overreact. Annoying, but not surprising. It's certainly been my
      impression that Pullman's rants have ramped up in direct proportion
      to the recent puffing of CSL in connection with the film.


      > This isn't meant to be against the orignal poster. Just my thoughts
      > . . .

      Same here.
      And, for those keeping track, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer/
      Seattle Times had a pretty good article on CSL in this past Sunday's
      issue by Moira MacDonald. No new revelations or insights, but a
      fairly solid piece with no major errors either (only minor ones like
      referring to him as an Oxford "professor").

      --JDR

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