News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Are We Under Attack from Satan, or just Gays?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Are We Under Attack from Satan, or just Gays?

The following article discusses the "Left behind" publishing phenomenonm. This series of books deals with the Xtian notion of the "end-times," supposedly outlined in the biblical book of "Revelation." The series itself has sold over 60 million copies worldwide, far outdistancing such counter-Xtian works as "The Da Vinci Code."

According to this author, the series is uniquely American and represents both the paranoia of the Xtian conservative branch of politics, as well as reflecting anxieties in the hearts of American Xtians.

The myths, however, upon which this series, as well as the main framework for the end-times genre (the Hal Lindsay books, the Omen cycle, etc.), although supposedly based on the book of Revelation actually originates in Vladimir Solovyov's great, but little understood work, War, Progress, and the End of History: Three Conversations, Including a Short Story of the Anti-Christ. The Polish poet, Czeslaw Milosz, has an excellent essay on this work, as well as the entire corpus of end-time scenarios in his work, Emperor of the Earth: Modes of Eccentric Vision.
Fundamentalist mind siege and psychic terrorism
by Michael Standaert

Katrina. Rita. Indonesia. London. Madrid. Gaza. Iraq. Sudan.
In the past year or so, the real world has been battered by natural disasters, terrorist attacks, war, and famine. Even as you read the prequels to the Left Behind series, you're drawn into a fictional world revealing the dark side of life and the coming judgment for those who reject God's redemption.

This vague and fear-filled quote is the lead from the latest monthly ‘Left Behind’ email newsletter from Tyndale House, publishers of the fictionalized accounts of the ‘End Times’, the Left Behind novels, written by Jerry B Jenkins and constructed by Tim LaHaye, one of America’s leading politically active fundamentalist preachers of the past 30 years. The first in a three-novel prequel series to Left Behind, The Rising: Antichrist is Born, [1] came out in early 2005; while the second, The Regime, is due out later this autumn. Since first appearing in the mid-90s, the series has sold over 70 million books, mostly in the United States.

The only other publishing phenomenon that compares to the success of the Left Behind novels in the past decade is the Harry Potter series, which had sold an estimated 250 million copies worldwide before the release of the sixth book in the summer of 2005. The Da Vinci Code has sold somewhere around seven million copies in the US and 15 million worldwide. But where both these books have a worldwide reach, the Left Behind novels are more specifically American. Before the release of the final book of the regular series, The Glorious Appearing, the Left Behind series had sold over 60 million copies in less than 10 years in the US, with another 20 million in spin-offs, mainly comic books and teen versions of the adult series marketed toward children.


1 In this most recent novel, we find out that the Antichrist character Nicolae Carpathia has been born form [sic] [b]the combined sperm of two Romanian intellectual, homosexual lovers and the egg of an ambiguously lesbian mother.[/b]

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