Thursday, May 4, 2017

Christian award?!

One of the scifi novels I recommended yesterday, I read some reviews of it on Goodreads and people read it because it won an award for Christian fiction. What? The Star Curiously Singing was not even very much into Islam, which was the only religion there. Here's what I wrote in my review:

Not sure how this is a Christian novel, the reviewers seem to think it is. The future "what if" society is Muslim. Whether it's a fair or unfair depiction--well it's a future dystopia. You could easily create a similar "Christian" dystopia, change the terminology. Or any religion for that matter.

The idea that "A not A squared" is about the trinity is a bit far fetched because Christianity doesn't state "God is not God".

The idea of freedom and subjugation are ideas not exclusive to Christianity. I found the Islam superficial. I did not see any exclusively Christian themes.

I have not looked to see if Kerry Nietz has discussed the award or his faith. Even if he is a Christian, I'm not sure if I still feel that in this novel is Christian. I am sensitive to the Christian presumption in America as someone who is not Christian. I did not read it as Christian and am surprised to see this book characterized as Christian.

You could maybe argue that the oppressive structure of Islam necessarily lead to an oppressive and freedom restricting society, but honestly, even the Buddhists in Myanmar are persecuting Muslims so every religion can do those things. You can't have a free society if you don't have the freedom to not embrace the dominant culture. Religious freedom in America doesn't just mean Christian sects persecuted in Europe around the founding times of America. It includes all the religions. If everyone spent a year or two in NYC they would see that many religions can co-exist together in harmony. Life in a similar suburban enclave that sees itself as practicing the one true religion and lifestyle is perhaps comforting to those who fear difference. Most people are bored with that already, and know the diversity in the world is more interesting. There are more Christian terrorists than Muslim in America. Trump's ban of countries does not even target the countries where the Muslim terrorist came from. The problem is fundamentalism, literal thinking in the spiritual life, and worldly ambitions cloaked in religion. To the people who are threatened by difference--good luck with that.

I guess if bashing Islam is Christian, maybe this book is Christian... I wouldn't think that that was Christian.

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