Not being one to watch TV, I note with interest a new show coming based on the book “The Handmaid’s Tale”. It’s a disturbing story on several levels, the low-lights of which are:
- The United States is taken over by a “Christian Theocracy” via a revolution sparked by a staged attack which kills the President and most of congress.
- In “restoring order”, the constitution is suspended and women’s rights are taken away. For example, they are forbidden to read.
- More disturbingly, because of sterility from pollution and sexually transmitted diseases, a class of women known as “handmaids” are used by the ruling class in ritual sexual intercourse for reproduction.
Disturbing indeed. Where to start?
Firstly, the “Christian Theocracy”. Apparently the authour, Margaret Atwood is a humanist. So it may be fair to say that her choice of label for the tyrants isn’t one of deliberate contrast. But it is. Everything about this plot is outside of the Christian worldview that all of humanity is made in the image of God.
Secondly, this is a classic case of art reflecting life. Atwood describes her work as “Speculative Fiction” rather than “Science Fiction”. She believes the latter is something more in the realm of fantasy whereas the former is firmly in the realm of possibility. She puts her work in this category and she’s more right than she thinks.
Dystopia is now – there is a class of women “breeders” masked with the label “surrogate” and there are moves to expand this exploitation.
Christianity, the very thing she misunderstands with its high view of sex and children is the very thing which stands against this.
It’s been said that “The shortest distance between a human being and truth is a story.” It’s also the shortest distance to a lie. Especially if repeated in a culture which worships entertainment*.
Hence the need to guard and renew your mind. Hence the need to spread the word.