Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

why the christian fiction section of your store is the work of the devil

i have had this conversation with a couple friends and fellow book junkies. they were trying to argue the merits of christian fiction with me. i explained why the christian fiction section of the store - including separate bookstores - are completely and totally evil.

as consumers, we vote with our dollars. retail buyers notice trends, and order accordingly. editors select books according to both retail buyers and readers' dollars. agents select according to editors buying trends, retail buyers and readers' dollars.

with me so far?

now, imagine if christian fiction had no separate section, and these books were mixed and mingled with regular romance, SF, litfic, mystery, and etcetera. every time a book is bought out of the SF section, it makes a small impact on retail buying decisions for that section. enough little purchases can travel up the chain to influence the kinds of books written and produced.

when you, as a christian, choose to separate your buying power to your own separate section, you ghetto-ize yourself. you take your buying power out of the influence of the mainstream. all of the issues you care about, and all of the reasons you choose books, have now stopped influencing the buying decisions of retail buyers and editors and agents in the mainstream. with fewer influence from the moral crowd, the moral center of the section will change accordingly. books will get racier, sexier, and more violent. christian values will steadily and gently seep away from that section, as other influential buying groups (agnostics, liberals, gosh --queers--!) gently move the moral medium to new and exciting places.

by ghetto-izing yourself to - as one christian fiction enthusiast stated - "...protect yourself from ideas you don't need in your head", you end up hurting your cause with your dollar votes.

the separate economy you've created for yourself will actually diminish your influence on the mainstream, and encourage all the evil ideas you despise to flourish.

thus, separating your buying power away from the mainstream is a deadly and dangerous thing, and the work of the devil.

Here's a challenge for Christian Fiction enthusiasts. Go to a bookstore section not your own. Read the back of the book. Read an excerpt. By now, do you notice that you probably can judge whether or not this book will offend you or not?

If it offends you, don't read it. But, don't reject a whole section of the store just because you have to actually research your buying selections a little bit more, and risk exposing yourself to sex, gay people, and wicca.

You are doing the work of the devil, Christian Fictionists, by separating yourself from the rest of society.

I will not discuss the quality issues that arrive when buying decisions are made primarily by moral content than artistic content, but let's just say all my time freely wandering the store looking for books has confirmed this little prejudice. 90 percent of everything is crap, of course. in CF, this rule is probably more like 95-98 percent. C S Lewis is one tough act to follow.

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