The Handmaid’s Tale: God’s Not Dead for Secular Audiences (link)
Before reading The Handmaid’s Tale, a friend of mine told me it was, “God’s Not Dead for secular people.” As apt as this might seem for some, it truly is a gross insult – at least the way this friend meant it. God’s Not Dead is the sort of story that is more concerned with the depiction of Christian themes than with telling a good story. This is one of the mortal sins of literature. Flannery O’Connor defends this point better than I could:
“The Catholic novelist frequently becomes so entranced with his Christian state that he forgets his nature as a fiction writer. This is all right, this is fine, if he stops writing fiction, but most of the time he doesn’t stop writing it, and he makes the same kind of spectacle of himself that the wolf would have made if, after his meeting with St. Francis, he had started walking on his hind legs.”Her point being, after St. Francis converted the wolf, it continued being a wolf and not a human.