Monday, June 16, 2008

Andrea's response to Kelly

I take issue with you saying that just because something fit the novel it "doesn't make it right." If the author had suddenly introduced the idea of a personal relationship with the Savior through prayer and personal revelation--every reader would say, whoa--those ideas did not fit in the South at that time period. Jesus saves you but he also damns you--with an emphasis on the damnation. As a reader, I would completely turn off if the author did anything so ridiculous. Who wants to read historical fiction that isn't historically accurate? Since the Southern view of Jesus was pretty harsh--Lily needed something else. Just because we have different ideas doesn't make her finding love and peace and forgiveness "wrong." Reconciling yourself to a higher power is almost always "right" even if that higher power is far different than the "truth" that was ascribe to.

Also--worshipping Mary is not strange to the millions of Catholics in the world. Just because we have different religious ideas doesn't mean that those people are bad or even "wrong" in any real sense. They just hold to different ideas. Many people find in Mary a much more approachable God (or whatever they would label her) than the actual Christ figure because she doesn't do any judging--she's just about love. Which is why it fit for me--Lily needed love and lots of it. Also, we do many physical things to express our devotion--special clothing, taking the sacrament, a certain place where lots of standing and sitting occurs. Nothing quite like rubbing honey into a statue--but it is the same concept--tangible, physical reminders of belief.

Also--unless you read in the LDS genre (which I don't--doing so usually makes me cringe and feel embarrassed to be associated with people who write so poorly, publish such poor writing, and spend so much money to purchase and then read such poor writing), the religious ideas you are going to encounter are generally not going to match up with "truth" as we describe it. I don't think that should make us squirm or be put off from a book. Now, if the religious ideas are dark or in some way anti-truth, then that is different, but usually the religion found in literature is either strongly Catholic or strongly Protestant in nature and is easily recognizable as good. If Lily couldn't find the missionaries (thank heavens she didn't--then the book would have sold in Deseret Book--blah, blah, blech), then the next best thing was finding a type of religion that could actually help her, guide her, strengthen her, all the reasons we need religion.

And I can't think that is "wrong" or off-putting in any way. I think, instead, that it is a powerful example of how lucky we are to have a relationship with a higher power--what that gives us. Thought-provoking, but not squirm-inducing.

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