Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stephen King on parenting and Christianity in The Stand

Excerpts from Gene Edward Veith in World on Stephen King, the 30th anniversary of The Stand, and his Christianity...

Strangely, though, in King's novel, the fundamentalists are the good guys. In secularist eyes, conservative Christians are far scarier than Cujo or Christine or any of King's other monsters. But in his introduction to the novel, King called The Stand a "long tale of dark Christianity."

The Stand is filled with horrific violence, bad language, twisted sex, and nightmare-inducing imagery. It is not for children or for most adults. But Mother Abagail is a compelling literary Christian....

Then, referring to a recent interview with John Marks the online magazine, Veith cites a profound insight by King on how we're raised and how it influences one's religious beliefs:

"...we bear the scars all our life. Whether they're scars of beauty or scars of ugliness, it's pretty much in the eye of the beholder."

Noting that "King praised the moral teachings of Christ and commented on the existence of God", Veith closes:

So is The Stand an example of "dark Christianity"? Dark theism, maybe. But while King, at least in his novel, recognizes God's existence, His moral order, and the spiritual warfare between good and evil, Christ, while occasionally referred to, is noticeably absent. Bringing Christ into The Stand would mean a figure who took into Himself the disease that plagued the world, who died and rose again, and who redeemed the monsters.


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