I do not believe I have posted these before. The first two are from an interview Cranky Old Man From Tulsa, the other is from a talk he gave at DeepSouthCon in 1979 called The Day After The World Ended. The third is from the first book of Lafferty’s The Coscuin Chronicles: The Flame is Green
Q: My experience is that often if a story even touches on such things, the editor will freeze up and think he’s being preached at. You can write about, say, Hindu gods with no problem, but if you touch on Christianity, even if all the characters are doubters, the editor freezes. Have you ever found this to be so?
RAL: Yes, that’s very much so. But you’ve got it backwards. The preachers are really those of a religion that is not called a religion, which is secular liberalism. That’s really the established religion of our country, and of our world. It doesn’t allow too much opposition. Now people who go down the secular liberal line don’t want anything that challenges it. Hinduism doesn’t challenge it because it is too distant. Christianity does, even Born-Again Christianity and the emotional ones. They have something that the secular liberal world is lacking.
Q: What are your religious beliefs? Do you feel that your stories echo your beliefs soundly? Or do you try to keep these views from entering into your stories?
RAL: I am a Roman Catholic of what is considered an old-fashioned sort, as there are a number of modernities flickering over the Church right now, none of them very deep. I do not attempt specifically to put my beliefs into my stories, not to keep them out either. An exception is Past Master, because religion was the subject of that novel. But the belief is part of the person who writes the stories and it will be there naturally.
There’s a double standard in this area though. There is considerable preaching against preaching, and an amazing amount of decrying religion by the people of the most intolerant religions. Belief is religion. The most rampantly righteous religions in the world are the religions of secularism, humanism, liberalism, nihilism, scientism, inhumanism, and diabolism. We have those with hatred as the central commodity, those with perversions as central, those with disorder a s central, those with worthlessness as central. We cheap-shotting as a crusading religion. And it is out of these that militant preachers come. Certainly three quarters of SF is given over to the relentless preaching of those of the anti-religious religions. They are the ones who carry on the biggest feuds and the covert as well as open attacks and who recommend the boycotts. The longest work by an SF practitioner in recent years is a preachment for the worthlessness for the sake of worthlessness, and it will not accept anything but total worthlessness for everyone.
Cranky Old Man From Tulsa 1990
Science Fiction has long been babbling about cosmic destructions and the ending of either physical or civilized worlds, but it has all been displaced babble. SF has been carrying on about near-future or far-future destructions and its mind-set will not allow it to realize that the destruction of our world has already happened in the quite recent past, that today is “The Day After The World Ended”. … I am speaking literally about a real happening, the end of the world in which we lived till fairly recent years. The destruction or unstructuring of that world, which is still sometimes referred to as “Western Civilization” or “Modern Civilization”, happened suddenly, some time in the half century between 1912 and 1962. That world, which was “The World” for a few centuries, is gone. Though it ended quite recently, the amnesia concerning its ending is general. Several historiographers have given the opinion that these amnesias are features common to all “ends of worlds”. Nobody now remembers our late world very clearly, and nobody will ever remember it clearly in the natural order of things. It can’t be recollected because recollection is one of the things it took with it when it went…
The Day After the World Ended: Deep South Con 1979
“Things are set up as contraries that are not even in the same category. Listen to me: the opposite of radical is superficial, the opposite of liberal is stingy; the opposite of conservative is destructive. Thus I will describe myself as a radical conservative liberal; but certain of the tainted red fish will swear that there can be no such fish as that. Beware of those who use words to mean their opposites. At the same time have pity on them, for usually this trick is their only stock in trade.”
The Flame is Green: Chapter 5 Muerte De Boscaje