Dec. 14, 2006 – Manhattan, December 13, 2006. Caldwell has a book deal with Alphar: The premise of “We All Fall Down” (ISBN#0978602447) is that the Bible is true, the prophets were right, and Armageddon is now: Brian Caldwell explores the nature of hatred and forgiveness, divinity and damnation through the story of one person’s confrontation with the end of the world, God, and, most harrowingly, himself. When you no longer need question the nature of the universe, does it follow you no longer need question the nature of your soul?
We All Fall Down is a harsh adult novel exploring Christianity, a subject that is rarely tackled in this way. Brian Caldwell says, “Now that my X-generation is in its 30’s and 40’s, we can just start to eyeball death down the road and we’re raising kids and we’re starting to feel the affects of being locked out of our own religion. Does anyone really think that if Jesus came back today that he’d be hanging around with Bush and the gang demonizing the homosexuals and the illegal Mexicans? Calling Gas Chambers showers doesn’t change what they really are anymore than throwing the word compassionate in front of conservative makes that true.
But I don’ think the churches should get involved in protesting the war or capital punishment, or anything else, frankly. Yeah, like everyone, I think MLK was great, and what he did for civil rights was amazing, but if we allow for some political involvement, it opens the door to the rest.
There’s horrendous violence in We All Fall Down. But it’s not a Christian book. It’s a book about Christianity. So, yeah, it’s totally appropriate. In the world I live in, people don’t say ‘heck’ or ‘fudge’. People talk about the enormous amount of swearing, but they really should walk down the hall of a high school and they’d see I downplayed it. This is one of the problems of what Christianity has become. It’s supposed to deal with sin, but it refuses to face up to it. We All Fall Down is about the end of the world, about a world without God, how do you write that with even the smallest amount of realism and not include sex and violence and profanity. You don’t overcome sin without looking at it. And, of course, there is enormous hypocrisy when it comes to this. Christians will complain about the saturation of sex and violence in the media, something that’s a serious problem, but then embrace a movie like Aside from the fact that Christianity demands a white bread, boring lifestyle, it also demands an intellectually stupid one. I don’t want to minimize the idea of how much crucifixion sucked, but what was it someone once said? “Jesus Christ had a really bad day for your sins.” If I knew after I died there would be an eternity of complete and utter bliss, that’s I’d be second in command of Heaven, honestly, a day of torture would not be that bad.
It’s certainly not reason enough to hand your life over to a belief. And the belief itself is really odd. God made us the way we were, knew we were going to sin, then put sin in our face, then punished us for our sins. We couldn’t go to Heaven because of sins that God knew we were going to commit, so he made a son who needed to be horribly tortured and killed. Then we could go to heaven. As long as we believed in that story. If we didn’t believe in it, we’d go to hell. Forever. Because we didn’t believe in a story. The thing that always jammed me up was the Jews. I would say that we all agree that the Holocaust was probably the most brutal, horrendous event in human history. So these six million or so people suffer for a few years, are tortured, terrorized, and killed. And after this, our loving God sends each and every one of them to hell? Hitler tortured them for a few measly years, but then God is going to do it forever? Because they don’t believe in the right thing?
I know a lot of people in my X-generation became atheists or at least agnostics because questions like this couldn’t seem to be answered, or if they were, the answers were so insultingly simplistic, “God moves in mysterious ways,” that they just shut down that part of their life. But we can’t do that forever, and I do think there’s a lot of truth in the Bible, but it’s adult truth, intelligent truth, and difficult truth.
I’m always shocked when people give their kids a Noah’s Arc toy. I always want to say, “Yeah, that’s adorable. Does it come with extra stuffed toys of the millions of bloated corpses of babies and children God drowned. It’s not a children’s story and yet the entire religion has become so simplified, that it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that a fun little story about genocide would become children’s entertainment.”
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