Saturday, September 09, 2006

Venus vs. Mars

There has been an interesting discussion on-line regarding sex vs. violence, especially as it pertains to Christian fiction. The first place I saw bring it up was this post, linked by Terry Whalin. Dave Long at f*i*f has picked it up - be sure to read the comments for further discussion. Then John C. Wright enters in, although not directly discussing it regarding the CBA.

As far as my thoughts: I agree that it seems to be a weird dichotomy to promote more violence over sex. If the typical CBA reader is middle America, white, Republican (perhaps a member of the NRA), then it fits the stereotype of war-mongering prudes who want to make sure Janet Jackson stays covered up while bombing foreign countries back to Stone Age status.

However, I like what Wright says about the violence vs. sex aspect of things. Boys grow up dreaming to be heroes, fighting the bad guys and winning. Sex is best a private matter, between one man and one woman. It is easier to portray violence in a way that serves a positive end: the bad guy reaps what he sows and gets it in the end. With sex, it becomes an intrusion into that special bonding. It also can become titillating and tempting to those not strong enough to stand up to such mental description.

Our culture has the sex part backwards, with greater voyeurism and explicit sexuality flaunted from every venue. It is a precious gift that deserves to be respected, even in the novel.

Our culture is also fixated on violence. One needs only to look at the Matrix, Kill Bill, and a majority of video games to see what we are feeding ourselves as entertainment. As Christians, how do we respond? Will we continue to "push the envelope" in Christian fiction, with bad guys who decapitate their victims in their own kitchen? Will we find ways to be creative in showing the battle of good vs. evil that glorifies the Lord and is relevant to our culture? I don't necessarily have the answer, but that doesn't mean I can't ask the question.

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