Why I had to abandon the Bible and pick up a book about puppies.
May 11, 2009
Cain & Abel -Even for kids it’s still murder.
As most of you know, I recently wrote a novel about God and advertising. Maybe you’ve read The Happy Soul Industry; thank you very much. For those that haven’t -What are you waiting for -hell to freeze over? (Forgive that cliche’, however appropriate.)
So I was reading to my little girls last night before bed. We chose the Illustrated Children’s Bible, a text that was given to them last week at Sunday school.
“In the beginning God created heaven and earth,” reads that most famous of opening lines. A few more sentences in, “God said, ‘Let there be light.’” Have all of you read the Bible? The opening copy is pretty terrific. Unfortunately, the text grows clunky and wearisome and, almost as if to alleviate the boredom, horrifyingly violent. Within four pages, Cain murders his only brother, his “blood staining the earth.”
Dull and/or horrifying does not a good bedtime story make. I made an executive decision and switched from The Children’s Illustrated Bible to a book about dogs. This the children sparked to. Plus, I was reasonably sure a cavalcade of preening puppies would not give my children nightmares…not like that scary Bible.
In The Happy Soul Industry, God reasons the Bible too old fashioned and violent, which inspires Her (in my novel God is a She) to seek out an advertising agency ostensibly for new copy. That, more or less, is the premise of The Happy Soul Industry. It was odd, then, to experience my own children recoiling from the Bible. The God in my novel is right! The Old Testament is archaic. If God and Heaven are to be considered by new generations then a new campaign is in order.
Anyway, file this under art imitating life. And while you’re at it why not drag a copy of the novel in your Amazon shopping cart? The link is below.