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Thursday, February 02, 2006


Christians Could Never Write Reviews Like This

The New York Times Magazine published a review of The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis. It is her sixth book, published by Little, Brown, and Company (i.e. not by a Christian Book Association press). Award-winning writer Lucy Ellmann wrote the rather bizarre review which included rants like the following:

"THE good news is this isn't another memoir about dieting. The "thin place" isn't Kathryn Davis's gym but a term devised by Celtic Christians to describe a location or state of mind in which the physical and spiritual worlds meet. I should declare immediately that I resent and fear Christianity, not only for its sexism and incitement of violence but for its deadening effect on the imagination. That said, Davis's imagination, religiously inspired or not, seems to be in fine working order, if at times a little aimless. . . .

"The plot ultimately relies on two strangers, one with a ponytail, the other bald, who stab people and take money from the church . . . Nonetheless, [the author] has done something great here, something heathen, anarchic, democratic. She has given everyone and every thing a voice: animals, plants, children, coma patients, even the earth itself."

Award winning writer or not, this kind of political rhetoric just doesn't belong in a book review. I'm not suggesting Lucy Ellmann only review books she agrees with politically and spiritually--­unless that is the only way she can avoid preaching.

I'm left of center myself, but this is just hypocrisy. Can you imagine the outcry if Christians wrote reviews for mainstream media skewering Islam or Wiccan with this kind of ruthless and arbitrary condescension?

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