Torrey Gazette is the combined work of everyday Christians blogging on books, family, art, and theology. So pull up a seat and join us. Family Table rules apply. Shouting is totally acceptable.

Communicating Repugnance

From time to time I hope to write or quote things on this blog that make people upset. This is not simply because I like making people upset. Rather, I see it as a means to an end. Depending on the subject, the only way to get someone to see things from a different point of view is through upsetting them or making them uncomfortable. Flannery O'Conner sums up this sentiment well in her collection Mystery & Manners. She states:

My own feeling is that writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eyes for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. . . . The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural; and he may well be forced to take ever more violent means to get his vision across to this hostile audience. (pg. 33-34)

Now, I in no way see myself as "novelist" however, I do want to associate myself with what O'Conner is saying here. O'Conner says that there are things in our day & age which are wholly inconsistent with the way the world was made to work. As Christians we should see these inconsistencies as grotesque rebellion against God. The duty of the writer with Christian sensibilities, O'Conner states, is to "make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural".

We live in a culture that not only accepts but celebrates perversions and subversions to the way God created the world. Our culture largely celebrates the transfer of paternal responsibility to the State, the choice of a woman to murder her unborn child, & the performance of countless unspeakable sexual acts; most recently homosexuality & polygamy. Those who follow the words of Christ know these things to be grotesque. Our culture is blind to this. O'Connor suggests that a little bit of "shock & awe" isn't the worst approach to removing the blinders from a culture that is blind.

Food for thought!


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