I’ve been reading Dynasty of Death, by Taylor Caldwell. It was published in 1937, and is one of those gothic, multi-generational family sagas, full of treachery, illicit romances, fortunes earned, stolen, lost, et cetera, et cetera. The centerpiece families are the Barbours and Bouchards, who are partners in a munitions firm and who make a spectacular fortune by amorally selling to all sides of any war that comes along.
Naturally, there are youngsters in both families who are horrified by the source of the families’ fortunes, and two of them — Jacques and Martin — decide to forgo the family riches and join a Catholic monastery. (Martin’s family is Protestant, but he has converted to Catholicism.) On the cusp of fleeing to the monastery, Martin discovers that there are plots afoot: His brother seems to intend to defraud his sickly father out of his share of the loot. Martin decides to delay his departure in order to defend his parents from his brother.
Jacques is attempting to persuade Martin that he mustn’t delay going to the monastery.
Martin: “I have given up everything! I will have to give up my parents some day, perhaps very soon, when I enter the monastery. Think what it will mean to them! They are not at all religious, and never attend any church in this country, but they are rigid Protestants. What they call ‘Popery’ is a frightful thing to them, and it will break their hearts when they learn that their son has become a ‘Papist.’ But you don’t understand Jacques, you couldn’t. I will give up more than you, for your mother will be proud. So, knowing what sorrow I am going to cause Pa and Ma, I own them a duty, now, to shield them against my brother.”
“Your duty is to Our Lord,” said Jacques, through white lips. “Father Dominick has told you that. You must choose between your unbelieving parents and God.“
Remember: This was published in 1937, more than 80-years ago, and the words Caldwell puts in Jacques’ mouth are exactly — exactly — what you’d expect any bullshit Southern Baptist preacher to say today.
This is not a coincidence: The 1st-Century Jewish sect that became Christianity was a despised cult, and the ‘inerrant’ New Testament is the literature of a cult — and healthy marriages and families threaten the cult’s total ownership and control of its members. And because the 1st-Century church was a cult, and its account of itself is ‘inerrant,’ the cult teachings remain in place. ‘Family Values’ is no more than a self-aggrandizing marketing lie. L-I-E.
Happily, most people — including most self-identified Christians — have too much sense and decency to be good Christians. But keep a sharp eye on the rest.