Thursday, September 30, 2004


Having just learned about Christian chick lit, I can only imagine what tripe it must be. My suspicions were confirmed after a quick search with the above string of terms, returning a multitude of titles that fall under this category, much like the heroine of a Christian chick lit novel falls under the heaving body of her perfect, god-fearing man, screaming, 'Jesus, oh Jesus!'.

Or is that an inaccurate representation of a typical work of Christian chick lit? A fun twist on this genre might have the heroine unable to fall in love with a mere mortal of a man because she is just too much in love with the Almighty, and is saving herself for him. Only problem is, He doesn't go in for the whole plastic persona that heavily characterizes the typical chick lit heroine [i.e. obsession with shoes, smoothies, and soy lattes]. She can often be heard saying, 'He doesn't even know that I exist!' with baleful woe. But of course, he does know that she exists, because of a small talent that allows Him to know all and see all simultaneously. In light of that, He knows about her little crush, and thinks it might be a good idea to keep this information from Mary M.

I'm guessing that this is not the way things might unfold in a typical sampling of Christian chick lit. Instead, I think the heroine might be, er, hellbent on finding a husband with steadfast Christian beliefs, good moral fiber, and an upstanding profession that allows the money to keep rolling in. If he enjoys drinking smoothies, all the better.

How boring! By my reckoning, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference between the genre of chick lit and the sub-genre of Christian chick lit. The insertion of random pointed words like 'faith', 'God', 'church', 'stigmata', and 'fish' might make the difference, but so what? I know chick lit is offensive, but is it really necessary to differentiate it from the usual brand of vacuosity by churchifying it?

Yes, I suppose that it is. Of course, I fully realize that this is an extension of Christian fiction being a genre of fiction in general, and a quick browse through a local Christian bookstore's online database indicates that it is no small offshoot at that. Admittedly, this is not news, but it is startling all the same. It must mean that there is some great demand for it, which must further mean that its readers are satisfied with a product that is essentially a ripoff of the original genre from whence it was born. As a genre of fiction, 'Christian lit' is about as authentic as a Cabbage Patch doll lying in the manger of a nativity scene.

Yet at the same time, I feel inexplicably comforted in the knowledge that I have a plentiful source of inspiration should I ever decide to stop reading real literature.

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