Born Again Every Minute

« February 2015 »


In my mind, I tend to divide all of Christianity into three basic groups - the faithful, the assholes, and the dupes. The faithful are the good ones. They believe, but aren't judgy. Their belief motivates them to be decent people without taking that next step into thinking only faith can motivate people to be decent. And we all know who the assholes are.

The dupes are the sad ones. The dupes are the ones who fall for the merchandising. Dupes flock to megachurches. Dupes love stories about guardian angels. Dupes go to see Kirk Cameron movies. Dupes are the last people on the planet to cite "Footprints" without irony.

Dupes, being dupes, are easy to dupe. Which is why the only thing more SHOCKING to me than the revelation that the "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven" book turned out to be bullshit was the predictable failure of that news to make any of the dupes question their duplicity.

First, if you haven't heard yet, let me disappoint you the way I was disappointed - despite being nearly identical in premise, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven" is not "Heaven Is For Real". At least not yet. The book in question is a lesser light in the at-the-end-of-the-tunnel genre, telling the story of then-six-year-old Alex Malarkey, who was in a car accident, spent two months in a coma, remains paralyzed to this day, and who supposedly spent a bunch of that two months hanging out in Heaven.

I'm not going to get into what a traumatized six-year-old says to get attention. My beef is with the parent, and the industry, and the community, that unquestioningly sold and bought this story. The huge market for the theologically insecure who need an alternative "evidence" stream because they know the evidence isn't on their side, but can't decide to either let their faith be blind faith or abandon their faith entirely.

The "Heaven Is For Real" family is sticking by their story, of course, because let's face it, they've got a much bigger stake in things than the Malarkeys. Plus they know the dupe market will not be swayed, because dupes will never see the connection between Malarkey's recanting of his story and the larger truth behind it. As is evidenced by this somewhat representative comment. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"His original story may not be Malarkey. Kids at a young age tend to say what they believe unless they feel that it will get them into trouble. The fact that a number of years have passed and now he is recanting Is not detrimental to his original story since he probably doesn’t remember much about it now in his older age." - one "2bowdown", on The Blaze, in case that matters.

It really makes you wonder where all these Christian publishers got the idea of taking a bunch of comforting lies, putting them in a book, and selling them to millions of people with limited critical thinking skills.

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