Narnia & The Sunday Times

kinnon —  December 11, 2005 — 2 Comments

Minette Marrin defends Narniates from the wicked forces arraigned against them:

There has for several days been a tremendous fluttering in the dovecotes of the liberal intelligentsia; this twittering and squawking has been caused by the dramatic appearance of Aslan, the Christ-like lion in CS Lewis’s children’s story The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; the multi-million-dollar Disney film of the book was released here last week to huge publicity. Several prominent members of the commentariat have felt moved to express their contempt and indignation at something that will give huge pleasure to millions of children. If it were not so repressive and censorious, this would be comic.

The problem for liberal intellectuals is that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, like the whole Narnia series, is overtly Christian, for those that have ears to hear, and therefore religious propaganda and therefore a bad thing. Young minds might be perverted by this insidious stuff. The flames of this indignation have been fanned by the fact that the film has been eagerly taken up by the American Christian right.

But don’t confuse her with a “True Believer” in all things Narnia. CS Lewis crafted stories that she now thinks are “crude, cobbled together in a clumsy pastiche and sometimes distasteful or sententious.” She cites herself as being in agreement on this with JRR Tolkien. (How nice for her.) And of the writings that inspired Lewis, well they areself-contradictory” aren’t they?

Ahh, to be as brilliant as Ms. Marrin, charitable to those poor literalist souls, the evangelical Christians – whilst beating her “secular liberal” friends about the head for acting like them. Unlike said evangelicals, “they have no cultural excuse”.

And if you’re wondering what “sententious” means; it’s an adjective meaning “given to moralizing in a pompous or affected manner.” Rather like Ms. Marrin’s writing, perchance?

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

2 responses to Narnia & The Sunday Times

  1. I love when the secular press tries to speak to the presence of Christian faith in the public sphere. Their disconnection from this reality of millions of people’s lives is rather remarkable. It doesn’t show that they are smarter or superior. It really shows how narrow and empoverished they are. Their lack of respect for something so basic points to their fundamental core of insecurity about their own beliefs and the basis for their perspective on life. All they seem to offer is disrespect and cynicism. There is no positive alternative. There is no system of belief. All they really offer is their own self-congratulatory superior opinion. The measure of a person is not what they say, but how they live. I’ll put the lives of the millions of Narnian-lovers up against these critics anyday.

  2. OH, yes, I forgot to say … condescention is a sure sign of not only moral weakness, but of intellectual and emotional as well. To look down upon, even pity, those to whom you feel are beneath you is not a sign of greatness or magnanimity, but of having lost one’s humanity.


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