Is Fiction How We Misbehave?

vampire diaries

Christians girls are an unusual breed. Most of us behave ourselves rather well. We don’t date jerks. We (usually) don’t drink. We don’t sleep around. Our parents don’t have to stress out over our behavior, and we’re in church at least once a week, if not more.

But, if other Christian girls are anything like me, we do have a little bit of a rebellious streak.

How does mine manifest?


On television, I like guys I would never tolerate, respect, admire, or hold any affection for in real life. Would I forgive Edward Rochester if he tried to deceive me in the way that he deceives and manipulates Jane Eyre? I doubt it. Would I find Lex Luthor as entertaining in my living room as he is on Smallville, or would I be absolutely terrified of him?

Then, there’s the fiction that I — and other Christian girls — write. I have an incredible talent for creating villains so charming, so enticing, so pitiable that most of my readers fall head over heels in love with them. I tested out this theory once, by having one particular character everyone adored do something that I thought was unforgivable. Guess what — they still loved him, although they also now felt sorry for him, that he’d have to deal with all that guilt.

Maybe part of the problem is that I love my characters too much to make any of them completely and utterly irredeemable. Even my villains hold a special place in my heart. I can’t just write a Mr. Tulkinghorn… my anti-heroes are tortured… brooding… solitary… guilt-ridden… in short, the man every good Christian girl loves to read about, because on the page, he can’t hurt her.

vampire diaries

My friends and I had a discussion about this once. When asked why so many “good Christian girls” like such things as vampire fiction, one friend answered, “It’s our way of acting out. We’re not going to get drunk. We’re not going to get pregnant. We’re not even all that rebellious. So the biggest, safest thing we can think of in ‘acting out’ is to like something that others are scandalized by – like vampires.” They’re old. They’re dangerous. They’re incredibly sexy. Vampires are the ultimate “bad boy,” and whereas we have no time nor patience for bad boys in real life, on television or in books, where they pose no real threat either to our virtue or our necks, we love them.

I’m not going to say this is BAD, because at least we’re not out there sleeping around or throwing up drunk in a gutter somewhere. Having fun with fiction is a much safer way of misbehaving. But technically, we’re not thinking on all that is good and noble and pure, either — and it does tell us something that good Christian girls sometimes forget – our hearts are rebellious. We live vicariously through fiction. No matter how good we are at being “good Christians,” we’re still fallen, sinful beings and our basic instincts are to rebel — against God, society,  our parents, and Christian culture. We’re still drawn to the rebellious bad boys. In real life, we value virtue in a man – we want him to be faithful, honest, trustworthy, protective, and godly. In fiction, we can forgive anything. It’s our way of NOT playing with fire. And however “good” we are in real life, we still need a savior.

31 thoughts on “Is Fiction How We Misbehave?

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  1. The “safe” aspect of fiction never occurred to me in regard to bad boy admiration, but definitely makes a load of sense. But how safe is it really? I think it still has enough impact on our psyche to spill over into real life as well. Dangerous waters.

    I suppose one thing that could be gleaned from these trends is simply a continued hunger for alpha male, strong, dominant personalities. Despite these villains using their power towards all manners of twisted and evil purposes, the concept of converting the baddies, or taming your own “dragon” remains utterly irresistible for gals. Because (of course!) if you “convert” him, all that power he’s been displaying can/will be used to protect you against all the other big bad wolves in the forest, right? Frequently, women will stay in abusive relationships because, despite all the abuse the partner will heap onto them, they’re often extremely possessive or “protective”.

    The manly men are becoming fewer and harder to find these days with the continued feminization of our culture. It’s really no small wonder that girls are becoming increasingly infatuated with these characters.

    1. It certainly can spill over into the rest of our life — we can assume that we can change someone from their bad boy ways, but we can’t. Only God can do that. I do think you make a good point about the alpha male — we want strong men, who can look after us, who are respected, who know what they’re doing, who get what they want. Bad boys usually fit this bill… and in a way, that leaves the hero even more lacking.

  2. Um, I think the critics meant that (in DW) Jack is only a supporting and recurring character, not a major star. And yes, Thomas is totally the man we all love to hate 😉

    Well libertarianism is gaining ground, but while I lack the more hands off approach to government, some policies have me raising an eyebrow and wondering if they’ve really thought through all the implications!

    Yes–I can tell you’ve seen the episode. Those were my thoughts as well. I could “get” having a lot of deeply flawed characters in season 1, because the frontier was harsh, and the Civil War left a lot of men “broken”. But I’d actually liked the contrast more “innocent” characters provided due to those circumstances.


    Yup–all I could do was stare at the at the screen during “shenanigans” and think “Her dad, if he was sober would kill her, and his dad–wouldn’t kill him but would Not Be Happy.” It just seemed really out of character and went against cultural context for both of them. And the writers managed to be somewhat realistic about the implications an interracial relationship would have even for a “fallen” woman like Eva. One like this could face an even uglier backlash, if possible. Not to mention the dangers of unwanted pregnancy. But I guess youthful passion aint real unless it’s instantly and thoughtlessly consummated!


    I don’t mind really, if series portray some hypocritical and false Christians, it’s when every single one of them turns out to be a fraud that I start to have issue.*grumbles*

    1. Ah, okay, sure — I was thinking of his stint on Torchwood.

      If you legalize gay marriage, what then? Can churches be forced to marry gay couples? Isn’t that a separation of church and state issue? If gay marriage is okay, what about underage marriage? and multiple marriages? And if everyone is just born that way, what about legalizing consenting relationships between thirteen year olds and pedophiles? Et., etc. Long term consequences.

      Yup, my feelings exactly — can we please have at least ONE decent, moral character to root for? Clearly, in all their Bible reading, they forgot about all the places in scripture that talk about fornication. The way they went about it, it wasn’t a one time thing — there was no sudden burst of passion; this has clearly been going on for awhile. So yeah, NOT HAPPY AT ALL. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with season two or not.

  3. I don’t like ANY baddies. Or perhaps more specifically I should specify: I don’t like any villainous characters. None of them are “heroic” or “good” in my estimation (not that they couldn’t be!). Then there is Mr. Gold who is an interesting dynamic because his redemption is right there for the taking but at every turn he rejects it.

          1. LOL! That’s why I revised my statement in saying I don’t like “villains.” 😉

            …and Castle has changed in my own opinion though I know not everyone feels that way. 😉

    1. Ahh Mr. Gold! He still has much character potential. The rest of the show seems to be slipping… getting a bit sloppy and formulaic perhaps? Really hope this trip with Emma and Henry can prevent his character from getting stale. Heaven forbid.

      1. I have to admit — I quit watching about five episodes in this season. It really started to bore me plot-wise, and never seemed to make any progress in the characters.

  4. Great post. Yes, I do most of my lusting after literary characters such as Darcy and Knightley. Villains can be attractive too. My sister and I are currently crushing on Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold on “Once Upon a Time.” He seems to be more fleshed out than the other characters on there.

  5. Yay! Good post! This is actually something I’ve thought about a lot lately. Though more in terms of what I write than what I watch.

    The thing is–I can’t really say I’ve “liked” many bad boy characters. I might consider them well acted, and well written, but Lex Luthor, after the early seasons, I never could really cotton too. And while I’ve found it entertaining (and need to catch up with the last episodes) I can’t really “root” for Damon, and have been increasingly having moral problems with Stefan. That said, I do agree with the points you made above. Because I do tolerate things onscreen and on the page that I never would in real life. Characters sleep around together, do legally dodgy things, underage or drunk driving, lying about crucial truths and so on, but–as long much of this isn’t explicitly portrayed–I keep watching. So do most of my friends. It’s a troubling truth. But when we’ve discussed it–we can never find a solution.

    Be stricter? Don’t watch anything where the heroes do morally questionable things you couldn’t endorse yourself?

    “There’s not enough stuff” one of my friends protested. And she’s right, if we put everything through a rigorous screening process we’d be left with, in my words “Saturday morning disney cartoons and some black and white sitcoms.” Or maybe “the hallmark channel and some lackluster productions” another friend suggested. In literature, we’d have to forget most stuff written after the mid 20th century, and all but the most innocent YA novels and stuff not aimed at the children’s market. And there’s the troubling issue that some feel content is creeping even into Christian fiction…

    * giggles at your anecdote about your much loved literary villain * Well I know what you mean, since as we discussed before, one of my most amoral characters (lying, identity fraud, blackmail, etc;) is also one of the most popular among my friends. I’m not certain what I did right! Or wrong 😛 ?

    For what it’s worth, I do think a lot of people don’t realize how rough it is to be a young culture going against the dominant culture. The lifestyle and principles of many Christian girls, including those who would hardly be considered “ultra-conservative” isolates them from most people their age. They dress differently, speak differently, have different desires and goals. To demand that we act “different” when it comes to our favorite fiction can seem like too much. There’s also the rather sore spot that (sometimes) it feels like young Christian men aren’t asked as much. As long they’re basically “nice boys”, you rarely hear about “So when’s that son of yours getting married.” “Don’t you think it’s immodest of him to be wearing that cut-off t-shirt?” etc;

    But are we being asked too much–or just not doing enough?

    There’s also the fact that I think sometimes watching/reading more risqué material is the reaction of many young Christians, especially girls, to an extremely sheltered upbringing. I don’t know how it was for yours, but I’ve known of homeschooled kids as old as 16 or more, who had never been clued in with the “birds and the bees” talk. Parents and other elders are highly squeamish about ever talking about the more seamy side of life–so Christian girls go elsewhere for answers. Given the candor found in the Bible about human sexuality, I really don’t understand this. Perhaps parents fear that simply knowing about certain sordid behaviors will lead to doing?

    Fantastic post, as always you give your readers a lot to think over!

    1. Great minds, etc., etc., right? 😉

      I always like the bad boys on television. Most villains are better-written, more complex, and far more intelligent than the good guys. I blame my INTJ-ness for a lot of the attraction. We admire intelligence above all else, even if we can’t approve of what use it is put to.

      Regarding TVD… oh, I have so much to say about the show this season, about its double standards, about its plot twists, about how much I am coming to dislike Elena now that she’s becoming just like Katherine, and about the fact that the only character I really, truly like anymore is Elijah, who has been MIA for months… but that’s getting off topic, so I’ll do all my ranting to the cat. I used to like Stefan, but not anymore. He’s worn out his welcome by being a jerk.

      I’ve thought a lot about where Christians do and should draw the line, and reached a lot of the same conclusions that you did – you have two choices: either give up all entertainment since the vast majority of it contains things that don’t fit in with your moral code, or accept that you’re going to like certain programs that aren’t perfect. My parents quit watching Castle because they weren’t comfortable with how casually sex was treated, in the cases they solved and in their personal lives. I didn’t stop watching, but it made me wonder if I should.

      Regarding my much-loved bad boy… at one point, I got so annoyed that I considered having him kill off the heroine in the last chapter of the book. I decided against it, but I wondered at the time if even THAT would wake my readers up. I… doubt it. LOL

      I like to read and watch paranormal/fantasy stuff. There is none in the Christian market – or at least, not much. What there is sometimes isn’t even up to par. (I tried reading one Christian novel about a vampire and it SUCKED, pun intended. It was just… badly written, badly contrived, just.. .bad.) So, I must turn to secular avenues to find things that I like to read and watch. I have to take the good and the bad.

      Christian girls do have a tougher time of it than most guys. You’re right, WE are the ones who get harassed about getting married, and then having kids… and what we wear, and what we watch, and what we listen to. What about the guys? Modesty-wise… I do think that’s more of a girl issue, since men are more turned on visually than women tend to be (although in our perverse, sex-saturated character, that seems to be changing – now women struggle with pornography too). Me? I like men dressed – preferably in nice suits. That to me is sexier than any oily muscled dude without a shirt on.

      That is very true, about girls searching out alternative ways to learn about sex in Christian households. The problem is – if they get it from the culture, it’s either wrong, misguiding, or downright off-putting.

      1. Well, we all know the true purpose of our feline companions is to provide a sounding board for our many woes–both those of fact and fiction right? 😉

        OK–see, what you say about TVD rings true for a lot of series–I start to feel that after a while, even by secular standards, there’s rarely a single moral character you can really root for in the bunch! I’ve enjoyed Castle but the content has made me hesitate to introduce it to my parents. That said I’ve read it’s actually rather popular among “conservative” viewers. I wondered about this for a bit–then concluded that this is due to the fact that despite the casual sexuality, there’s little religious “bashing” taking place, homosexuality, or jabs at the right wing. While this is refreshing, it worries me that a lot of us are sliding into “you take what you can get” mentality. There’s been cases where I’ve shut the door on once favorite series, and others where I kept watching when most other Christians I knew had given up on it. This issue seems to come up more and more with a lot of shows. Last Christmas I even found myself wondering if I ought give up Doctor Who, my favorite contemporary series ever–because all the pro-homosexuality content in the Christmas episode left a really bitter taste in my mouth. 😥

        My favorite genres have always been historical, sci-fi and fantasy, there’s little of the last two in Christian fiction, or in the canon of pre-20th century “classic” lit. Yes, I do return to the classics sometimes with stuff like the original Twilight Zone or Star Trek series. Entertainment which while not Christian per se, manages to be both intelligent, “adult” and classy, without engaging in pointless religious or political bashing. I do enjoy reading Elizabeth Gaskell, Dickens, Jane Austen and many more. Many of my favorite films are golden age Hollywood classics. But–as another Christian friend pointed out, as awesome as the classics are, “there’s something disconcerting about feeling very detached from your current culture”.

        * giggles * Your talk of male modesty brings to mind a conversation I had a while back with a friend, along these lines:

        Me: You know what bugs me about guys with those “ripped abs” six packs?

        Friend: …..uh what? Should I be worried?

        Me: They look like they have gills.

        Friend: Gills?

        Me: Yeah, like the abs, being in rows and all symmetrical and stuff, are just like gills or vents for them to breath through. Like when they show those hot beach guys emerging from the surf. It’s like they’re merboys are something…

        Friend: OK, I think I can kinda see what you mean.

        Yes, when I notice guys with abs, it’s for all the wrong reasons 😉 .

        But seriously, I suspect a fair number of girls are distracted by guys, even without the issue of pornography. Why else does the stereotype of girls swooning over muscular athletes date decades back to the “innocent” 1950s if not earlier? I’ve also read 18th and 19th century accounts of female attendees being quite taken, to the say the least, by male stars of plays and operas, who performed in costuming that revealed a bit more of the physique than was conventional. So perhaps yes, this is a bit less common than it is for men, but far from unknown. This is a bit like how some Christian advice directed at “young persons” ignores the fact that women can and do have a sexual appetite. It might not be considered as much of an issue, but it exists–and ignoring it is dangerous!

        As for me, I do not demand that gentlemen be spiffily dressed, but I would prefer comport themselves like well, gentlemen? 😛 It annoys me how in all but the most ultra-conservative circles, people see nothing wrong with guys whipping off their shirts at a slight rise in temperature “but it’s hot!”, wearing low-riding jeans that reveal more of their undergarments than we need see, or wandering around the house, and even answering the door in their boxers * face-palm *

        So I have to ask, is this much loved bad-boy your only bad-boy character? 😉 Or is to be far from the last? I’ve threatened to kill off my dubious hero as well, only to be met with cries of “But you musn’t!” “I’m gonna cry” and “You’ll ruin the whole novel if you do!”

        I saw on Charity’s Place that you reviewed, Hell on Wheels, glad you reviewed it, disappointed it seems to have a lot of the overly PC clichés I was dreading.

        1. The double standard of TVD bothers me – Elena can get away with anything she wants, because she’s Elena, but if anyone else does it, it’s bad. SPOILERS. Why is Katherine killing off Jeremy bad, when Jeremy and Elena did the same thing to Kol a couple of weeks ago? END SPOILERS

          I was once a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, but after awhile I felt convicted of owning it, because of the homosexuality/sexual content in later seasons. I kissed that series goodbye and have never looked back. I too am troubled by the increasing homosexual references on Doctor Who – it seems like we can’t go a single episode without that agenda being pushed anymore, and I honestly can’t recommend it to anyone anymore because it’s become so blatant. The Christmas episode really pushed it, but scattered throughout this season have been many, many references – everything from a horse that wants to be a girl to lesbian lizards. (This is also a problem I have with Sherlock.)

          Classic literature is really the only place you’re safe anymore – but on screen, even that can be “sexed up.” Regarding the golden age of Hollywood… they may appear clean on the surface, but they’re not in the subtext. More than once, watching an old movie, my jaw has hit the floor that they could get away with THAT implication or THAT undercurrent and no one on the censorship board even noticed.

          HAH! Gills! Me, I see a shirtless guy and think, “Oh, put on a shirt… you look gross.”

          Um… no, pretty much all my books have bad boys in them, from Pontius Pilate to my fantasy villain. I’m just… really GOOD at writing them. =D

          Hell on Wheels bummed me out, because starting out, I could ignore the clichés and political correctness and even the bashing of Yankees and businessmen… but once they started introducing the whores and throwing in more sexual content, I got frustrated. I’m not sure if I’ll even bother watching the second season.

          1. Yeah I know, the thought of having to give up on Doctor Who tears at my heart, but the constant references really bug me, and I think more than Sherlock, because while I’m not happy about it in the latter, I don’t mind it in terms of “acknowledging” if you will, that homosexuality has become part of our current culture, same thing with other crime dramas–but it bothers me that it’s creeping more and more into “family friendly” or “fun” shows. (As one person said, “If I wanted to watch pro-homosexuality propoganda, that’s what Torchwood is for.”)

            The thing is, when there’s “cultural context” for a guy being shirtless like Ancient Egypt or something, it doesn’t bother me because it’s the default norm. It’s when guys are ripping off their shirts to flaunt their manly manliness and “washboard abs” (or lack thereof in the more paunchy cases). It might not “distract” me, but I find it highly irritating.

            Actually, this is one of the reasons I DON’T usually read biographies of classic stars or directors, the films were more tasteful, but regarding the…proclivities of the people involved in making them, or what they tried to slip in–yeah not so much. The thing is, back then, the general public didn’t stand for it. In 1934, the “Production Code”, a set of guidelines involving themes and content to be shown on screen was established, which studios voluntarily followed until 1958. Was this code perfect? No, it was responsible for some of the somewhat silly conventions now seen in classic films, like all married couples having two separate but adjoining twin beds, and forbid stuff that was not a sin, such as most portrayals of interracial marriage. What’s interesting is that in the late 1930s, many wealthy couples started ordering “cute” matching, mini-beds…in imitation of what they’d seen at the movies. Proof of just how powerful the silver screen can be. That said, I feel that these guidelines were still useful for allowing intelligent, rather than prurient subjects to often take center stage.

            Nowadays, when I try watching a sitcom, I try counting the ratio of sexual jokes vs more innocent, casual humor. The results are not promising.

            Ha! I notice that in historical fiction about the 18th-19th century frontier, prostitution or promiscuity is rampant, but venereal diseases never are 😛 Despite their prevalence in medical accounts of the time. I mean syphilis alone (though it’s possible these were other STDS misdiagnosed as syphilis on some occasions) could cause joint swelling, eventual blindness, or death. Yet this rarely shows up even in the “grittiest” westerns. Ah well, is it bad that I’ll probably at least check out a few episodes of Hell on Wheels anyway?

          2. Ugh, Torchwood was… revolting, in every possible way. What perplexes me is that under RTD, a gay man, Doctor Who was actually cleaner than it is now, in terms of homosexual references. But then, Mark Gatiss is gay, so …? Either way, it has no business being on a “children’s show.” But then, this IS the BBC. Whichever side of a moral issue we are on, they’ll be promoting the other side. I’m concerned that Clara is going to be bisexual, because of a reference she made in the dalek episode about her first crush being on a girl. =P

            I was so embarrassed by The Philadelphia Story when I saw it, I returned it to the library and never watched it again. In some ways, I resent sneak attack sensuality much more than blatant stuff, although I’d appreciate it now and again if there simply wasn’t any. I can’t remember the last time a PG-rated romantic comedy came out. And why are all the new costume dramas rated R? It seems like it has gotten worse in the last five years or so.

            Oh, but no one wants to hear about sexual diseases! That isn’t fun! =P Now that I think about it, the only place I’ve seen that in the Victorian era drama was in “Murder Rooms.” Now that was a pretty good series. I’m sorry it only got a handful of episodes. Now, the BBC is doing Ripper Street — which is total crap.

          3. Oh man, when my Mom and I saw The Philadelphia Story we hated it. But my Dad thought it was really funny, and he said he’d found it really funny when he first saw it…at 8 years old. So–I’m not really sure anymore if I’m just so used to secretly dirty humor that I’m reading stuff into it. Or if my Dad is in denial or–what.

            I think our current warped culture has fried my brain. 😦

            It’s still a few months before Doctor Who returns, and I keep wavering back and forth over whether I should watch it. It is my favorite contemporary TV show, one of the few portrayals of a characters who’s not only brilliant but extroverted, possibly even an ENFJ (because you INTJs can’t have a monopoly on all the cool ones! * shakes fist * 😛 ). I discovered shortly before it became more popular in mainstream American culture and so for a while it felt like my special “secret” show. But–I don’t know if I can go on. And what upsets me even more is that this might be just a herald of things to come in more and more entertainment.

            Yeah I have seen a very few novels that mention STDs are part of past society, but in general it’s dismissed as something that would interfere with the “fun” of a romp * bangs head on desk *. There’s also the issue that while condoms existed in the past, they were icky, uncomfortable things that were far from full proof. In addition, there’s never been any flawless form of oral contraceptive–so unwanted pregnancies were an issue. As were messy abortions–I might not demand writers share my pro-life viewpoint, but moral issues aside, the technology didn’t even exist pre-1900s for the “clean” removal of a developing baby. Lower class women and whores resorted to things like lacing corsets extremely tight till it killed the growing infant, or ingesting poisons that nearly killed the mother as well. (Oh but wait, that might be suggesting mother and baby “share” the same human vulnerability–scratch that!)

            There’s also the fact that some past cultures demonstrated aspects that could be called “pro-life”, in many societies, a woman’s execution could be postponed if she was expectant. In Ancient Egypt abortion could result (depending on context) in a woman’s execution. People wanted children so badly couples saw no shame in resorting to adopt the offspring of slaves. (This puts Moses’ story into cultural context doesn’t it?) In Christian-influenced Europe, while it existed, abortion would have been frowned upon and condemned by the Church, not something shared with a knowing wink and nudge, as I’ve seen in far too many novels. (I think the worst case was a historical fiction novel I read set in Ancient Greece, where the teen heroine goes to seek a “remedy” for her pregnancy. The crone who dispenses herbs asks her why she doesn’t wait till its born, and then smother it. The heroine responds with “Once it’s born it’s a person. But before that it’s not.” Um yeah, the Greeks saw no issue with infanticide, usually practiced via abandonment of babies to die in the wilderness or in a designated part of the city. The babies were usually those deemed too sickly and ugly, and girls more often than not. But then–this doesn’t sound as neat and simple as the “pro-choice” viewpoint)

            Sorry for the rant, but I spend a lot of time reading/writing historical fiction so all these peeves tend to get to me!

          4. I’ve often wondered if I’m remembering that movie wrong as well – or if it really is as sexually hint-heavy as I saw it at the time. I’m probably not remembering it wrong. I recall squirming through North by Northwest with my parents when I was twelve or so – I still squirm my way through it (when I do watch it, which has been exactly one time since), because it’s so BLATANT.

            I’ll tune in to Who but I’m hoping the homosexual agenda won’t become even more of a problem in future episodes. It all but ruined an otherwise magical, delightful Christmas special for me. (This was kind of a rotten TV Christmas… lesbian lizard on that, death on Downton Abbey.) It’s one of the few things I haven’t cast by the wayside once it’s become enormously popular. Usually I love something until everyone and their dog loves it, then I run away screaming from the idiotic fans. Yet, I stick with the Doctor. And with Harry Potter.

            …. Eww.

            Generally, when I run amuck of abortion in a book, movie, or television show – I chuck it aside.

          5. To me the issue with Doctor Who is demonstrative of a larger problem, how homosexuality is becoming more and more prevalent in contemporary film/books etc; In fact, we’re getting to the point where media is criticized for its lack of LGBTQ characters. Not just the lack thereof, but the lack of “positive representation”, in a regular starring role. (In other words, Thomas from DA and Jack Harkness wouldn’t qualify because they’re only negative and recurring, respectively * rolls eyes *)

            And the sad thing is more and more polls show public opinion shifting in favor of gay marriage. I fear conservatism is dying 😦

            Finished seeing Hell on Wheels season 1 today, and found myself thinking of our earlier discussions. Overall I enjoyed it though I had issue with a few things. Within the first episode of season 2 though, I found myself extremely disgusted with the actions of certain characters. (If you see it you’ll know who I mean). Further proof, as you’ve mentioned, why non-Christians shouldn’t write Christian characters. They rarely do a convincing job of it. (Not saying it’s impossible if the writer has known some intense, sincere Christians, without being Christian themselves, but pretty darn hard to pull off.)

          6. Yup. Two pretty major YA book series have homosexual subplots and character-couples (Cassandra Claire, and Libba Bray). I read something the other day about how gay characters on television are up something like 20% from five years ago — which is silly, considering they make up such a miniscule percentage of the population. Thomas is accused of being a throwback to the “old days” when “homosexuals were bad guys.” And I admit, I hate Thomas’ guts. But I’d hate his guts just as much if he was straight as the day was long, because it’s not his sexuality that makes him a jackass.

            Jack Harkness is the HERO, so why would he be a negative? That makes no sense.

            The rise in tolerance toward the idea of gay marriage may not be a liberal shift — it could also be a libertarian shift, in which they believe all should be equal under the law and have minimal government interference in their private lives (which sounds fair, but doesn’t take into consideration the legal/religious problems you then run into).

            I’ve only seen the first episode of season two of Hell on Wheels, so I don’t know what’s coming up as the season unfold. I was, however, very, very irritated and angry at a certain sexual shenanigan that transpired. We had ONE moral Christian on the show, and now we don’t. WHY???

  6. But – in fact – I believe that this rebellious part of us is better to get re-directed to something otherwise more useful. It’s a pretty difficult thing, though.
    And yes you are right, it’s a small spot to remind us how much dirt there still is inside.

      1. While writing my fiction, I sometimes figure out that it’s difficult for me to picture a villain. 🙂 Only to deal with his bad deeds.
        Probably I spare my readers’ nerves.

    1. In real life, I wouldn’t have any qualms whatsoever about dating someone like Javert — he’s not evil, he’s just a classic ISTJ/INTJ personality type. Driven, passionate, focused, he sees the world in black and white. I’m a lot like that, so… I “get” where he’s coming from.

      1. In real life, I imagine I would rather admire him the same way from far away, in tears, just because of the fact he won’t be interested in me. I am too unsystematic.

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