Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Another right-wing novel that's partly premised on wish fulfillment -- only this one is timely:

It starts innocently enough in the town square of Possum, Virginia. But it ends up as a spectacular national scandal: Can a federal judge outlaw Christmas?

Thomas Hammond and his wife play Joseph and Mary in the annual live nativity scene in their hometown. But a federal judge rules the display unconstitutional -- and a Christmas showdown ensues. Thomas refuses to abide by the court order ... and ends up in jail....

Yeah, baby! Jail! Martyrdom! WOO-HOO!

I get this. It must drive these folks nuts that they can't claim real religious persecution -- shuttered churches, unlawful imprisonment, torture. An Amazon reviewer says this book "will bring a smile to your face and an evening's worth of reading enjoyment," so surely this is not a story of hardcore suffering at the hands of brutal liberal dictators (apparently the God guys win), but hey, there's jail, so there's at least the frisson of being crushed by the jackboot.

A story at the Southern Baptist Conference news site says this about the author, Randy Singer:

Although an advocate for legal public expressions of faith, Singer said the book presents a balanced view of the issues.

Oh, yeah, I'm sure. The villain of the piece is apparently "Judge Cynthia Baker-Kline (nicknamed 'Ichabod')" who has a "hair-trigger temper with a razor-sharp tongue that could slice up even seasoned litigators." (She's a recurring character from earlier Singer books. Do I even need to tell you that "Ichabod" is pro-choice?)

I haven't read the book, but I may not have to: The SBC story informs us that the tale may be headed for our living rooms soon.

Michael Landon Jr. and Brian Bird, a writer for the "Touched By an Angel" television program, are interested in making a television movie out of the story for next season...

Looking forward to it!

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