I Don’t Get It

Found this article over at STRANGE NOTIONS. I was an atheist until I read Lord of the Rings.

Wait. What?

I have heard this statement before. I do not understand it. Tolkein has God, and Christianity in particular, so far buried in his tome it fails to produce even an intimation of an afterglow of the cross in one’s eye.

I never played DnD before I read Lord of the Rings. Now that is a statement I understand. I never got into fantasy before I read LOTR. Got it. I became a Christian after reading LOTR.

Wait. What?

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7 responses to “I Don’t Get It

  • malcolmthecynic

    Tolkein has God, and Christianity in particular, so far buried in his tome it fails to produce even an intimation of an afterglow of the cross in one’s eye.

    I think you’re getting this book confused with literally every other book ever.

    • bensira587

      Literally every other book ever?

      I don’t deny there are Catholic themes in Tolkein’s work. I just find it hard to believe they shine with nearly enough radiance (I would say as dim as possible before dark) that one can claim to have been converted by it.

      Lewis’ Space Trilogy, yes. R.A. Lafferty’s Past Master, yes. Maybe Miller’s Canticle. But, LOTR? Maybe it could inspire a dedication to monarchy or something.

      • malcolmthecynic

        Dim? You simply are missing it if you think it’s dim. The Catholic themes are absolutely central to the work.

        • bensira587

          Not enough to knock an atheist off his horse. Not a real one, anyway.

          • malcolmthecynic

            Wait. So now, reports of atheists leaving atheism because of the LotR are seriously going to be No True Atheists?

            Come on now.

            I don’t really know what to tell you except to posit that if tons and tons of people are all talking about how spiritual and Christian the Lord of the Rings is, you might be the one missing something. It’s absolutely stuffed with Catholic themes and imagery. God is a major part of Middle Earth mythology.

            I suggest you read Tom Simon’s “Writing Down the Dragon”, especially his essay “The Terminal Orc”. You might be able to find that on his blog bondwine.com as well.

            Alternatively, take a look at “The Silmarillion”.

            • bensira587

              Wait. So now, reports of atheists leaving atheism because of the LotR are seriously going to be No True Atheists?

              Absolutely. I stand by that statement 100% as a former TrueBlooded Card Carrying Atheist. This isn’t a new stance for me, I dismissed probably 99.999% of atheists as sheep in wolf’s clothing for years as an atheist.

              You can write off more than fifty percent of so-called atheists as just people angry at God.

              You can write off most of the other half as being looney mystics rivaling the most esoteric uttering of ancient prophets. [See: Neil deGrasse Tyson’s belief that we are most likely in a nested Matrix, i.e., we are a simulation of a simulation of a…] Meaning such people have no grounds for rejecting God. Or most of those rejecting God come up with bat-shit-crazy replacements that makes you forget all about their reasons for rejecting God in the first place.

              Another bunch for just being followers of no real intellectual make-up.

              And, also, I used to consider only Objectivists to be real atheists when I was an Objectivist. I now consider them religionists as well (with their idol messiah) and disqualified.

              So my statement isn’t quite as “No-True-Scotsman” as it may at first seem. There is a theological theory (can’t remember where I read it) that Hell may actually be empty. Well, there are very few actual atheists.

              There are, however, countless Idolators.

              So, yes, I find it incredible for someone to claim that LOTR turned them from atheism. He buries his lines too deep.

              I am not the only one thinks Tolkein’s work lacking in Christian salt. My favorite author, R.A. Lafferty, also had this same view. He likens it to a modern church that has no Christian symbols upon its face – no cross.

              Also, counter-fact. Tons and tons of people may claim this of LOTR (its supposed impossible to miss Christianity) but I also seem to find it strange that no one ever seems to be offended by this. You would think in this day and age such a bright and clear tone of Christianity would be ballyhooed and scorned.

              And yet I find it loved of atheists (and I do know a few real ones) and idolators who seethe with Body-Snatcher venom at anything Christian and especially anything remotely Catholic. Riotous lesbians and feminist fire-eaters enjoy it. Why? Because they don’t see the cross much as one may very well miss it from the church that hides it from view.

              I’d love to investigate further but I have a problem with that. I read LOTR because it was something I had to read. I found it a laborious read, ponderously long journeys reading like a travelogue. It took me months and months and months and months to slog through that thing. I mean seriously, I wished I had a crack to pipe to get me through the thing.

              If you are going to put religion in your text, I prefer it a little more front and center.

              • malcolmthecynic

                I read LOTR because it was something I had to read. I found it a laborious read, ponderously long journeys reading like a travelogue. It took me months and months and months and months to slog through that thing. I mean seriously, I wished I had a crack to pipe to get me through the thing.

                *Shrug* No accounting for taste.

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