Did you know that last year was one of the first years that sales of books had risen? Yup. As you can imagine, book sales have been waning as the Internet and other digital media take hold of our collective consciousness. There was one very specific sector of books that led the whole industry's revival – Christian books. Actually, more specifically, the Left Behind series.
In case you aren't aware, Left Behind is a serial of Christian stories explaining and fictionalizing life on Earth after "the rapture." The Rapture is when God (or Jesus… your call) comes to earth and takes away all the good Christians to heaven and everyone else is "left behind." To say runaway best seller would be an understatement. You may have seen these bumper stickers on cars before: In case of rapture, car will be unoccupied.
Sweet sassy molassy, this shit pisses me off. Know why? Because, I am all for religious tolerance, but these assholes are not. I think it is swell if you are a Christian, or if you aren't. Frankly, it isn't my business. What this bumper sticker means is really this: "I am way better than you. In fact, I am going to heaven and you aren't. In fact, you are going to have to watch me ascend to heaven right in front of you because I am that much more pious. Oh, and good luck with a planet full of sinners and pagans after we are gone. You are fucked, fatso! What do I care? I am a chosen one, bitch!"
Correct me if I am wrong, but that is the message I get. It is elitist, frankly. Maybe I should make a bumper sticker that says "In case of rapture, I am pretty much screwed because I am an Atheist. So, please don't steal my shit because I will be stuck here with you other non believers."
The story takes a much bigger turn, dear reader. I told you that to tell you this: The obscenely popular Left Behind series has spawned a video game. I am cool with that idea. I think it is a good idea for the old school to embrace the new school. I don't think kids are big on reading the bible, so why not be clever with the medium to spread the word of the gospel? I mean, god made everything so god made video games… right? Then it must be pious and worthy.
Hmm, I wonder what they do in the video game? Maybe it is like those Mormon Elders who have to ride around on bikes in t-shirts and ties and convince people about how totally not retarded Mormonism is. That must be what they are doing, because if I explained the entire mythology of the Latter Day Saints, you would say, "That is retarded." Maybe the game involves helping old ladies and volunteering for crap.
Well, let's just take a lookie here at the game and see what it says: "In a new video game for teenagers, players are asked to convert non-Christians and then create an army to fight the anti-Christ."
Hmm, seems rather preachy to me… and pushy, too. I'm not a big fan of fighting anything. Just not my bag, I'm a Democrat. Let's us not judge lest ye be judged… read on: "The game is rated T for Teen. Christian soldiers can kill others and restore their so-called 'spirit level' by praying before they can go on to kill again."
I know I promised I would stop swearing, but what the fuck? Kill, kill again, pray (probably should pray about something killing related) and then kill some more. Listen, I went to Sunday bible school when I was a kid and was baptized and got my catechism and all that… seriously. I totally missed this little seminar. Let's read on, because this dude is writing my material for me. "The game's creators say post-Rapture warfare is the central theme of the Left Behind books and therefore it is integral to the game."
Ah yes, Jesus' last words were "Dude, kill those fuckin' guys. They are a bunch of non-believing, me-betraying douche bags!" I guess I missed that whole chapter. What I remember of the teachings of Jesus were kindness and forgiveness. "Ye shall be treated as you treat the least amongst you." That means be nice to cleaning ladies and crazy people (to me it does). The Lord helps those who help themselves. Truer and better words were never spoken.
Keep in mind, this isn't corporate devils making a game to capitalize on youth interest. This is the Left Behind people making this game themselves. This is a Christian game! Know what? If that is their value system, I think me and the kids will stick with Grand Theft Auto. Better role models. If you think about how things went last time Jesus was here, I can't see him being a big hurry to return. Y'all went Dick Cheney on that poor man. If he comes back, I think he'll be pissed at everyone.
In closing, don't freak out on me. This isn't about Christianity at all (don't worry, I already did that one here). This is about this video game and its hypocritical and dangerous message.