Praise the Lord and pass the Abolish the Death Tax bill

Channel 4 recently screened a documentary called God’s Next Army about Patrick Henry College, an evangelical Christian college in America. You can watch it over at Google Video. Why not download it using the Google Video Player thingy so you can still watch it when Channel 4 finds out?

Channel 4 also brought us Richard Dawkins and the Root of all Evil (why not get part 1 and part 2?) God’s Next Army lacks the pugnacious presenter, preferring instead to give the ropefloor to the college’s staff and students. The college aims to produce people who will take part in some sort of Christian version of The West Wing, where the staff of the White House will successfully battle to prevent gay marriage while engaging in snappy but incomprehensible dialogue. Luckily, it seems that evil contains the seeds of its own undoing.

While I was reading Rilstone on Dr Who (I am firmly in the “Fear Her was crap, less soap and more science fiction, please” camp), I ran across Helen Louise, a Christian wrestling with the idea of Hell. She’d linked to The Gobbledygook Gospel, which pretty well describes the dissonance at the heart of the evangelical gospel (but which then goes on to argue that God is like a big friendly dog: it takes all sorts, I suppose).

I also found The Shock of Your Life and downloaded the first chapter, which is about what non-Christians can expect when we die, told in the first person by a non-Christian who is about to be unpleasantly surprised. It’s sort of really bad Christian fan-fiction. The author gets special extra bonus points for juxtaposing a partial quote of the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats with an assertion from the narrator’s angelic guide that it’s not what you do that gets you into heaven; unfortunately the partial quote is one that leaves out the bit where Jesus says that it is what you do that gets you into heaven. It’s a good thing that Revelation 22:19 strictly only applies to the Book of Revelation itself, I suppose. One cannot judge the canon (geddit?) by the fan fiction, but I find myself slightly worried that this sort of stuff is being marketed to teenagers. Why can’t they read more wholesome stories about Snape having sex with Hermione instead?

3 Comments on "Praise the Lord and pass the Abolish the Death Tax bill"

  1. I get it! I finally worked out, after reading several articles on the 5 staff members who left/were sacked from PHC, what the difference of opinion was.

    As far as I can tell, they all agreed with the administration’s precise and narrow interpretation of the Bible. But the heretics suggested that students might read some other books too…


  2. I think I’ve heard of PHC before. Are they the group who are openly training kids in, effectively, how to infiltrate government at the highest levels with a view to taking over and forcing their views on everyone in the US? I think that makes the parallels with The West Wing somewhat inappropriate, given that the whole point of that series is that the guy at the top does have morals, and is prepared to stand up for them.

    As for Doctor Who, I agree wholeheartedly. While generally a big fan of the recent series, I was disappointed with the past two episodes. One of them hardly featured the two main characters at all, since they were busy filming another episode at the same time. The “alternative perspective” thing can work in established series – a couple of the later Babylon 5 episodes used it to very good effect, for example – but I didn’t think it worked there at all. And the overly soap opera episodes are indeed rather dull. Looks like this week should be much better, though. Fingers crossed…


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