I’m part of a group of women online that do book reviews, mostly Christian books. Currently a lot of the group is reading a book that isn’t published by a Christian publisher, but by a mainstream publisher. The book happens to have a couple of instances of foul language. It isn’t constant, or even often, literally a couple of words.
The ladies are currently in debate on why the book was allowed to be reviewed by a Christian group.
This confuses me.
Over the years I have almost come to terms with the fact that most people would consider me a liberal Christian. I personally think of myself as conservative. Funny, huh.
With the online group, I don’t see why the uproar over a couple of “bad” words. Don’t we hear those words daily? Walking down the street, in snippets of conversations from passerbys, in the lyrics of a song that might be playing over the intercom system in a store, on HBO or any other cable network, all these places are random ones where you might hear a “bad” word. Not to mention your child’s ball game, your work place, and even your own home wihen you or hour spouse gets angry and needs to vent.
So why the uproar over it being in a book?
Most books are filled with bad words.
Most movies are laced with bad words.
Why not books?
Enjoyable books are ones that have an element of realism. They are so alive and life like that they draw you in. If the conversation in a book doesn’t represent my life, how I live, how I talk, then I lose interest quickly. I have to be able to relate to a book to delve in and immerse myself. That is difficult to do if the book is full of gosh darn it, and golly gee willakers..
While that might have been fine in the 1950’s, in today’s culture it doesn’t represent how we actually talk. Neither do scenes that entail a man and woman who are in love, spending the night stuck together in an abandoned cottage, wrapped around each other to keep warm, and nothing happening. I can’t keep count of the Christian fiction books who have scenes like that. That is usually when I lay the book down and do not pick it back up.
It isn’t realistic.
Yes there are people who have the willpower to not let physical contact in those circumstances get out of control. Yet, these books never discuss how they control themselves. They never discuss what they go through, physically and mentally when the attraction is so great but you don’t want to give in.
One woman wrote that she tried to read book she could pass on to her teenage daughter. To me, I would rather pass on a book that addressed how you put a stop to physical contact when it is getting out of control, instead of saying ” his lips brushed mine, I shivered at the contact.” and then the next line is “A week later, I was walking to my car after work.” Why leave out the mental struggle of wanting to follow your physical yearnings, and wanting to follow your religious convictions? Why not show the struggle? Why not go in to the feelings, the warfare between what you feel and how you believe?
Aren’t these things part of life? Part of being a Christian?
These things are the things I want to read about. I don’t want a white washed version of romance. I want the nitty, gritty details. I want to know the characters are just as flawed as I am. I want to know they have to bite their tongues when they get angry. I want to know they have to push back the passion because they aren’t married and want to keep their relationship chaste. I want to know how the deal with it. I want to know the mental arguments they have with themselves justifying the different sides. I want to know that I am in the majority, not the minority.
I want to know that others deal with the same reality I do. Not the fictional version of it.