False Gods

by S. M. Hutchens

Have you ever noticed that in productions of art, as for example in cinema, there are two basic forms of misrepresentation of Christianity? One is that of the careless and ignorant, who have some second- or third-hand idea of what it is, but freely and inaccurately invent things to amplify their hatred and cover their fault. The other is from those whose knowledge is more intimate and extensive, and whose opposition, grounded in proximity, is more clearly diabolical.

One of the best examples of the latter is Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter, a moral monstrosity who is nevertheless a better person than the Judeo-Christian God. Harris knows the object of his wrath, whereas anti-Christian authors like Margaret Atwood have to resort to caricature in fictions like The Handmaid's Tale, in which, unlike the far more plausible Harris, she makes no case against Anything Real, a design one has little doubt was her intention.

S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor.

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