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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Jesus was an alien? NO FLAME WARS! (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Jesus was an alien? NO FLAME WARS!
skadder
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I am not trying to be controversial but I have a story where it would be great if I could re-interperet Jesus as being an alien. His powers therefore would come from technolgy.

There are many stories where mystical powers are actually technologically based, but I was unsure if any had been explicit about Jesus being an alien etc.

I realise this could be offensive to some, but it is fiction--I am not saying it's true. Presumably a christian's beliefs should be sturdy enough and they should be tolerant enough to be able to accept that this is a fiction. Who is offended by the idea?

Please control any tendencies to start a war over this.


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AstroStewart
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I think, if done well, this could be a great story. I'm already curious to see the alien-technology that lets him pull off all of this more famous miracles. Did nanotechnology repair his body when he was crucified? Was he wearing levitation boots when he walked on water?

But then, I'm a Christian who's not easily offended. God has a sense of humor, so why can't I? (And if you don't think God has a sense of humor, take a look at the platypus. Seriously. Just look at it. And tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor =P)


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Igwiz
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Two points...

1) Please don't limit your creativity based on whether or not somebody else would be offended by it. (I mean, if you're writing things classified as "hate," that doesn't apply.) How your new and/or creative words are received are not your responsibility. You writing a good story with the intent to make people think is your responsibility.

2) I think that you could have a deeper story, as well, if you looked at the concept that is almost always overlooked (imho), which is much more important to the entire "concept" of the man.

The miracles are easy. Walk on water (anti-grav boots), raise the dead (nano-regeneration), water into wine (molecular chemistry).

To deepen the alien's motivation, try to delve into why the alien came and took on that role. What was he trying to do. And why? Was it negative (social control, dichotimization of religions), or was it to help us lowly organisms evolve a bit so that we would be more open to First Contact. If you boil down the Jesus message from an extra-terrestrial's point of view, it could sound like this...

Warlike creatures, be at peace. (turn the other cheek)
Tribal-locked factions, be more accepting. (love thy brother as thy self)
Backwards but potential-filled humans, evolve so I can come to you as my real self! (I am the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes into my father's kingdom, but through me...)

I think it would be a fascinating story, skadder. Go for it.


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ArCHeR
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I had an idea for a movie a while back. It would show the story of Christ in about four ways, such as the fundie way, the liberal Christian way, the atheist way (he's just a scam artist, etc.), and this way.

I think it's important to acknowledge all the possibilities. Perhaps we can get some other Hatrackers to write some of these possibilities and we can put them together...


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KPKilburn
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quote:
I realise this could be offensive to some...

Someone will always be offended if you write something about religion, race, or politics. I think what matters is your intent behind the story. Some will write hateful material under the guise of "fiction", which I think is apalling.

I probably wouldn't read the story, but I certainly wouldn't go on a crusade to have your head if you wrote it. I usually just ignore something that's offensive unless it's directed toward me or my family personally.


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skadder
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The story is actually fully formed already, I was just going to strenghten the link between something that happens in my story in modern times and Jesus in biblical times. Jesus will essentially remain the same person, his message will be one of tolerance etc., it is just he will be aware of his true nature, that he is not essentially human.

I am glad no-one plans to hang me.

Actually I have tried a number of different starts to this story in the novel section on Hatrack. (Cuculus and Quantum Seed... if you want to look and comment, that would be great!) I have written two chunks so far. One 20000 words and one 40000 words, but I have been unhappy with how I have structured it.

I have a new structure in mind, which focuses more on the messianic nature of my protaganist. Religion and sci-fi seem to mix reasonably well, but this means I have to start again.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited December 06, 2007).]


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TaleSpinner
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Didn't James Blish get into this area? IIRC he had some scientists land on a strange planet and one was treated like a God. Perhaps setting the story on an alien planet was Blish's way of exploring the idea without giving offence. Don't know and can't remember the title :-(

I'm sure some would be offended. Who and how many would depend on the nature of the story, whose Bible it re-interpreted and how.

The question is, do you care about causing offence?

I think that for artists to speak a truth as they see it is fine, regardless of whom it offends. But to set out to cause offence, or cause it through ignorance, that's not right and counterproductive, IMHO. (You're clearly in the first sentence, not the second, of this para, skadder.)

Or to put it another way: should stories have a moral basis, or can one speculate simply for amusement?

Just 2c,
Pat

[This message has been edited by TaleSpinner (edited December 06, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by TaleSpinner (edited December 06, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by TaleSpinner (edited December 06, 2007).]


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skadder
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I have no desire to cause offence purely for the sake of it. However essentially all I will be saying is that he was an alien--doesn't mean he wasn't the son of god, in spirit.

A small part of me thinks that a little controvosy could help with sales...

If:

a) I actually complete it.
b} It's any good.
c) I get an agent.
d) We get a publisher.
e) It gets good reviews.

So not much to do then.


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Robert Nowall
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No offense, but I think "Jesus is an alien" has been done, and done well, by several people. But also in fact, I think it pops up on the cliche lists along with "Adam and Eve are space travelers" and "If I had a time machine, I could go back to the past and be able to sell my stuff." (If I had a link to one of 'em I'd put it up.)

Don't fall into the "nanotechnology = magic" trap, either...


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skadder
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If it is a cliche, which I am not convinced of (find the link!), I doubt it had been done in the way I am considering (obviously I can't tell you!). I would like to point out the story I am planning to write is not about the life of Jesus. It will be more of an extended reference in a modern story. The action all happens in the modern day, all though there are some archeological 'finds'.


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Robert Nowall
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Matchbox 20, "Jesus Was an Alien" If a rock group knows about it, it must be a cliche.

Meanwhile, try this:

http://www.geocities.com/evilsnack/cliche.htm

It's merely the first site that came up when I punched "'science fiction cliches' +Jesus +alien" into Google.


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Wolfe_boy
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaggy_God_story

If it was cliche back in 1965, chances are good it still is. However, don't let that stop you from writing it, just don't be surprised when someone (particularly an editor or agent) rejects it because of it being a cliche.

Jayson Merryfield


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skadder
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quote:
If it is a cliche, which I am not convinced of


Mmmm, perhaps it is cliche.*swallows pride*

On a brighter note, as I stated earlier it is not integral to the story and I can eliminate it altogether yet still keep my story--no harm done.

quote:
However, don't let that stop you from writing it, just don't be surprised when someone (particularly an editor or agent) rejects it because of it being a cliche.

EXCUSE ME (now I am using caps!), but I have no plans to write a novel that is:

a) Cliche...and if I do it will be an accident.
b) Has a major strike against it in the eyes of agents and editors.
c) Is cliche.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited December 06, 2007).]


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lehollis
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Perhaps clichť, but I think even old ideas can be done if they have a fresh twist in them. That can be hard though, but I think the Alien Jesus is a bit first/second idea material.

If this were my idea, I might sit and ask myself some "what if" questions regarding it for a few minutes, jot ideas down, and see if anything comes out.

As an example:

What if...

... he was an alien, and he's still among us - nah

... he was an alien, but a secret cult of aliens living among humans trying to advance them enough to repair their space ship - nah

... he was a zombie

... he was a vampire

... he was an elf, dwarf, leprechaun or Valkyrie

... he was an alien, shapeshifting, zombie, vampire -- nah, nah, nah and nah.

Now I'm writing Beatles lyrics. When I get to that point, I usually give up but I'm not being so serious about the ideas (I hope that was obvious).

You may find this one can't be salvaged, but you may get another good idea out of the brainstorming.


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RMatthewWare
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I'm offended!

Not really.

I'm Christian, but I can handle other opinions. I know there seems to be a divide between science and religion. It seems to be that either one or the other must be true. But couldn't science simply be man figuring out how God did some of the things he did? I mean, we're starting to figure out how planets and galaxies are formed, but we can't do it ourselves. And by strict definition, isn't Jesus an alien? Didn't he come from Heaven to earth?

When it comes to cliche, of course everything has been done. Maybe you should find some stories where Jesus was an alien and see if your story is too close to them.

OSC has said he could give everyone in a room the same idea and everyone would write a different story.

A lot of the mags say they want originality, but when you read them, aren't a lot of them similar to other stories out there?

So, write your story and let the rest take care of itself. Worse case scenario, you write a story that's been done to death, but you might learn something while writing it.


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KayTi
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Re-read Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein (what???? Don't tell me you haven't read it! EEK! The horrors.)

It has a messianic message, a mars-man. It's a very interesting story.

It might help you see how one of the masters did a similar theme, and did it very well.

Good luck with this. Don't let the idea that it's been done before stop you. Everything's been done before. So what? Think people are going to stop wanting to be entertained and see someone else's take on classic themes like love, loss, heartache, truth, the nature of God, soul, survival, and the rest of them? HA!


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skadder
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This story, even if I strengthen the bit of Jesus being an alien, is not really about that, it's merely an interesting aside.


When I did a post and mentioned a talking gun it inspired a few stories. So I can't really mention how this story is different. If you read it you wouldn't really think the story was about Jesus being an alien. I suppose you could say it was more about an alien who could have been Jesus, once, in some sense it's almost irrelevant to the story, I just wondered if it would ADD to the story to make that a fact or merely to leave it implied and possible, but never actually known.

Now...don't anyone get inspired. Put the inspiration down and move slowly away...


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Zero
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I think it's a profoundly clever idea, and one that will be difficult to publish, and a lot of people will hate.

[This message has been edited by Zero (edited December 06, 2007).]


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skadder
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Re: Heinlien, I have only read one of his stories. One about a kid who goes through a 'stargate' type thing for a survival course with his class. They get trapped for a few years on a strange planet populated by 'stobor' (which took me ten seconds to realize was 'robots' backwards. I reckon he had another idea but then forgot to edit it out when he eliminated that thread). It was great.

Apart from Asimov and Artur C. Clarke I prefer more modern Sci-fi.


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JeanneT
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quote:
the atheist way (he's just a scam artist, etc.),

There is, of course, no one atheist way of looking at Jesus, but let me give you some links that give a somewhat more accurate idea of some fairly common atheist ideas, none of which involve Jesus being a scam artist. However, that idea might fit better into your story which is fine. I don't know that you have to use ideas that many atheists find probable.

http://www.depts.drew.edu/jhc/

http://pages.ca.inter.net/~oblio/jesus.html

Just for information purposes. I have no need or interest in prosylizing for atheism.


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AstroStewart
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Thanks for the links JeanneT. That second link, especially, was good for a laugh. It actually proposes that the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth never existed, which is pretty preposterous, given the historical records. (see, eg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus under "Jesus as Myth")

I'm not beginning a flame war here, just so people know. I find the information in the links JeanneT was kind enough to provide very interesting. It's just another aspect in which I find "fairly common atheist ideas" amusing.


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J
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Homosexuality caused by a brain virus? NO FLAME WARS!
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AstroStewart
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LOL that's great J. I don't think this thread is quite that far out there though. Besides, everyone knows its a bacteria, not a virus.
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JeanneT
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Of course that was intended to start a flame war, AstroStewart. Otherwise you wouldn't have couched it in such insulting terms. I simply have no intention of taking you up on it. Others might get upset when their religious beliefs are labeled as ridiculous but I have no stake in "converting" anyone to atheism whether from a belief that Jesus was a scam artist or the belief that he was simply an invention.

I expected someone to flame me--or simply make insulting remarks as you did--for giving any atheist links, but if someone is going to write from a supposedly atheistic viewpoint they really should research what that viewpoint is in my opinion.

Personally, I don't really much care one way or the other. I could hardly believe Jesus is the "son of god", if he lived, since I don't believe in god.

However, I hope the link might help in deciding how to write on the subject. And the insults might help decide whether someone wanted to put up with flack they'd catch if they did.

Good luck with it if you decide to write the story, skadder.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 06, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 06, 2007).]


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theworldinthewords
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Hey,

So I guess I'm going to buck the trend and caution you on writing it. I have several reasons.

First of all, there are certainly different viewpoints on Christianity, even from within "Christendom", however there are definitely some populations who would be very offended by the implications of what you are writing. The reason they would be offended is not necessarily because of what you write, but what lies behind what you write. They would read into the statements you make in your novel, whether you claim they are truth or not, and they would take a logical step and assume that what you are writing comes from your own personal beliefs (not that you think Jesus was an alien, but that you don't believe he was the son of God). So that would definitely offend people.

More so, you will be messing with some very finely tuned doctrine. For example, I read earlier that someone said science was a way for us to understand how God performed his miracles (Forgive me if I'm misconstruing your statement with my paraphrase). Yet this is not consistent with doctrine. It alludes to the statement that if we could only just understand our universe scientifically to just the right degree that we would be able to imitate those miracles ourselves. Basically, it infers "gods in the making" status on humanity. However, even ignoring that, doctrinally, Jesus was able to perform the miracles he performed, manipulating nature the way he did, because he was nature's creator. He was the master in a way that we can never be. I'm not trying to sound picky or anything, but I hope you can see where your interpretation begins to split dramatically with the current interpretation. And the way much doctrine is set up, if one thing slips, then other things slip in following. This too would serve to arouse concern from a conservative Christian audience.


Furthermore, you are going to have serious believability issues. You will have to thoroughly convince your audience for the duration of time that they spend reading your story, that Jesus was an alien. This is going to be near to impossible for a conservative Christian audience, because everything in them is going to be rebelling against the idea. You won't find an audience willing to grant you temporary suspension of belief.

So what I'm trying to say by all of that is, if you have your heart set on this idea, you had better write it very well and present very strong characterization in order to show your alien Jesus' motivations, etc.


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Wolfe_boy
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quote:
So what I'm trying to say by all of that is, if you have your heart set on this idea, you had better write it very well and present very strong characterization in order to show your alien Jesus' motivations, etc.

I would think that this goes without saying, whether you were writing about Jesus-was-an-alien, or just an alien named Hay-Zoos.

AstroStewart, J, can we at least make the semblance of trying to stay on topic?

Jayson Merryfield


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skadder
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Hey

Nice post.

However...

I don't mind offending people who don't think I should be allowed a different point of view than them. They are entirely allowed to hold their own beliefs and self-censor should they so wish to, but their right to censor my beliefs steps over the boundary and interferes with my 'God given' right to make my own decisions.

My view of Jesus is as follows:

I have never met him. I am not prepared to believe a book written by unknown people is necessarily true. I accept the possibility it is true--but quite frankly I don't know. I have seen nothing that disproves the existence of god, the other side of the coin is I have no proof (that satisfies me) of his existence.

If it is true, and Jesus did exist and was the son of God, I very much doubt he would have a problem with a novel suggesting he was an alien--again entities whose existence is unproven--as surely those aliens would also be products of god and therefore equally entitled to be 'his son'. Christains often quote the 'God works in mysterious ways' line and so I see no problem that if Jesus used (in a work of fiction) a high tech approach to miracles, if he had it at his disposal, as he was doing so to further his cause. Why does he need to do bonafide magic tricks-- I thought it was his message that counted? He preached tolerance and understanding.

Is it only the miracles that prove(?) he was divine?

Anyway it's fiction...it's all lies anyway, no matter what you write, isn't it? Aren't we all sinning?

If only I could sin enough and complete a bloody novel!

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited December 06, 2007).]


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Pyre Dynasty
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As a Christian I would be offended if someone were to tell me that Jesus wasn't divine. That's simply because He is my God, and I know he is Divine. I would however keep reading the story, I read all sorts of things that aren't true that's the joy of fiction. (I actually just got done with a book that if some of the things were taken the wrong way they would imply that Jesus was a wizard. I loved the book. Even if I didn't believe it.)

But I don't mind being offended, it gives me a chance to defend my beliefs and decide if I really believe that. It keeps me thinking. I don't think that someone else's personal beliefs is a reason to be offended as theworldinthewords said. (which is probably not what he meant to say.) To be offended that someone believes something different than you is so arrogant because you are declaring yourself to be the standard on which all other people should be judged. (Which is a title reserved for God.) I am offended by JeanneT's post, but I'm not offended that she believes it, nor that she shared her beliefs. I value her input to the conversation. Being offended isn't the worst thing in the world.

As Steven King said write your first draft with the door closed, don't think about anything outside of that manuscript. If, after shining the light of other people, whatever it is is more of a landmine then it's worth then cut it out.


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skadder
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That's a good attitude to have.

(Although, I would hasten to add I am not the final arbiter ...)


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annepin
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Back to your original question, no, i wouldn't be offended. But then, I'm not particularly religious. I suppose I might fall into the atheist category.

I guess the bigger question is, how much does it matter if it offends people?


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wetwilly
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Is offending christians something to avoid? Look what offending christians did for Harry Potter, The Davinci Code, and The Golden Compass.
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TaleSpinner
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Hey Skadder,

This is a very dangerous mission you have set for yourself.

You must not offend Aliens. They can be a nasty piece of work, Aliens, if they're offended. Some have rows and rows of big teeth, others drip mucous green stuff, and still others don't even want us to know they're in our midst.

These last are especially dangerous, Skadder, because they're paranoid. They don't want their existence revealed to us mortals here on Earth. They can see what you write, intuit what you think, and if they even get half an inkling you'll reveal them they have no mercy. They'll just cut you off in mid


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JeanneT
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*bops alien over the head and drags Talespinner from the alien's mouth, dripping with slime*

Bad alien!


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AstroStewart
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quote:
AstroStewart, J, can we at least make the semblance of trying to stay on topic?

quote:
Of course that was intended to start a flame war, AstroStewart.

Are we so afraid of offending each other now that responding to the content contained within a link someone has provided is now "off topic" or "intended to start a flame war?" If, in a discussion on editing a novel, someone provided a link to a site that suggests you NEVER edit your novel, and just label a first draft as a final product, the opinion of that website would certainly be critiqued and discussed. But giving my opinion on the links provided in this case means I'm trying to start a flame war, apparently...

All I was trying to point out was that the second of the two links JeanneT provided is contrary to mainstream historical fact, as accepted by historians and biblical scholars. Not to mention that a link to a site that proclaims that the historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth, never even existed is hardly a useful site in this context--a discussion about a story where Jesus was an alien. (He can hardly be an alien if he didn't exist, can he? )

Any insinuated insults in the tone of my comment was aimed at the historical veracity of the website in question, and nothing more.

Back to the matter at hand, though, in the end, write the story as best you can, in whatever way you want. Writing Jesus as an alien might limit your audience, but that can be said of any number of things. Adding an explicit sex scene to a novel limits your audience. Making your main character a certain age, or a certain gender, or a certain sexual orientation may limit your audience. Heck, just writing in a certain genre will limit your audience. At the end of the day, you shouldn't keep from exploring ideas based on the reaction they might bring. Explore the idea first, and if people don't like it, maybe that won't be your best-selling story ever--doesn't mean the story shouldn't be told.

[This message has been edited by AstroStewart (edited December 06, 2007).]


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jaycloomis
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TaleSpinner,

I had no idea you were a biggot. The remarks you made about aliens were horrendously judgemental and biased, and I am going to make it clear right now that I stand firmly against you from here on out.

Everyone who isn't simple-minded knows that aliens are kind creatures, and they wouldn't hurt anyone. This growing racism against our kind cousins is really getting out of hand. Curse you, TaleSpinner, and your family!

Respectully yours,
Jay

[This message has been edited by jaycloomis (edited December 06, 2007).]


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JeanneT
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Shall I provide a link to Heinlein's Rules saying you should never edit? I'll be happy to. Now I'm sure that you can question Heinlein's "veracity" if you like.

http://www.gazetteofthearts.com/writer3.htm

There ya go. *raises eyebrows*

Back on topic. Aliens are a bit like unhousebroken puppies. A good smack with a rolled up newspaper will make them stop chewing on Talespinner's leg.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 06, 2007).]


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Marzo
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quote:

Don't fall into the "nanotechnology = magic" trap, either...

I'm curious what you meant by this, Robert. (It's a trap because it's a cliche by now, it's a trap because it's over-simplifying technology? Etc.)


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JeanneT
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Almost anything pops up on the cliche list, by the way. We are told that women warriors are cliches. We are told that women NON--warriors are cliches. I would assume that would leave only male characters except MALE warriors and NON-warriors are both listed as cliches on these lists as well as dwarves, elves and dragons. I can only assume that leaves-- errmmm Nothing?

Every good SF/F that I can think of involves something that someone thinks is a cliche. The whold "shaggy god" thing came from a proliferation of "crashed spaceship crew who became Adam and Eve" stories. I think that one would be hard to save from clichedom, but if you could twist it around enough even that could be done.

It matters what you do with it and the quality of the writing not whether someone somewhere thought it was a cliche. As for whether it will offend some people, sure it will. Almost anything is going to offend someone. There are plenty of things that offend me. I refuse to ever read Donaldson's work for example. And he whimpers piteously all the way to the bank.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 06, 2007).]


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jaycloomis
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I find it entertaining that this whole Jesus as an alien concept could be easily tied into Scientology.

Now, I know almost nothing about the religion, but I do know that they belive a supposed 'mothership' will come and get all the believers in the end. A sort of science/alien version of the Revelations.

I'd find it fascinating if you aimed your story at Jesus being the Messiah, not of God, but of the alien beings that 'created' humanity. That would answer the question of why the alien Jesus would want to come to Earth and perform all sorts of miracles.

-Jay


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KStar
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I'm going to come out of the closet as a Scientologist on this board, though I generally turn a blind eye to a lot of the nonsense people say about it... but I can't really resist this one. I'm not waiting for a "mothership" to come get the believers. That's crazy.

(p.s. not offended or anything, just wanted to give some clarification.)


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jaycloomis
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Sincerest apologies, KStar.

I was making assumptions based on word-of-mouth, without further researching the matter. I read up about Scientology, and it's much more clear to me now. Quite fascinating actually.

It would still be pretty funny if there was a religion waiting for the mothership to arrive though, eh?

-Jay

[This message has been edited by jaycloomis (edited December 07, 2007).]


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skadder
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There was...it was called Heaven's Gate.

Strangely short lived.


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ArCHeR
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No, but you do believe that the source of human misery is the possession of our bodies by the souls of aliens murdered by the evil lord Xenu thousands of years ago at volcanoes that in fact did not exist at the time.

But yeah, boy, that mothership thing... that's crazy...


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ArCHeR
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And I don't want to start a religious debate [lie] but I can't stand Scientology. All for its right to exist, but it IS a bad church.

Say what you will about Catholicism (and I do), but they don't REQUIRE you to pay for enlightenment. They just guilt you into it...


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TaleSpinner
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I'm no longer a Catholic and deeply suspicious of organized religions of all forms. I do have a spiritual side but it's personal, more aligned with the Tao than anything else.

That means I'm not at all offended by stories like DVC or Golden Compass.

I do respect religious people who are thoughtful and who respect the--different--views of others and do not seek to impose their views on the rest of us.

I think it might be possible to write a story whose premise is that Jesus was not of this world and, by aligning with an atheistic interpretation of historical records, make it credible to people like me, though probably not to those who believe he's divine.

Done skillfully, it might even not offend (if that matters). For example, the protag could wind up uncertain about the "Jesus is an alien" premise and the story could leave it to the reader to decide.

This might be a useful link for anyone interested in religion in SF:

http://www.adherents.com/lit/

I couldn't find any references to "Jesus is an alien" stories on it, so either I'm remembering wrongly and it hasn't been done (which I find a little hard to believe, with all due respect skadder) or they have been mysteriously deleted by aliens.

Thanks for saving me, Jeanne, I must remember to keep a rolled up newspaper next to the tea pot.

As for being a biggot, Jay, I thought size didn't matter.

I must go have a bath and remove all this slime. Blech.
Pat


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Robert Nowall
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On "nanotechnology = magic," oh, how did Clarke put it? "Any advanced technology is indistinguisable from magic." Or, to put it another way, you-as-a-writer might become so enamored of the deus ex machina that is nanotechnology that you'll use it in a way that your characters infected with it might as well be performing magic.

On Heinlein: the novel with the "stargates" and "stobor" mentioned above is Tunnel in the Sky---y'know, up until this mention, I never noticed it was "robots" spelled backwards. (It wouldn't be the only Heinlein novel with word games in it.)

On Heinlein's rules: Heinlein formulated them, but, really, didn't stick to it. He revised here, there, and everywhere. He substantially revised some of his early work when reprinting it later. He'd cut his novels even before they got to an editor. (Really, get your work into the best shape possible before sending it out, and if that invovles constant editing, or no editing at all, do whatever works.)

As for the cliche that is "Jesus was an alien," which this thread seems to have wandered away from into religious dispute...it is really hard to come up with a new spin on any cliche. Don't let it stop you, but be warned---the second the editor (or slushpile reader) notices, unless you've done a superb job on it, it'll be headed back to you.


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skadder
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I think I have a handle on how I am going to do it. I am not going to say Jesus is an alien--I am just going to make the reader suspect it--strongly.


It's a bit like writing a story where Adolf Hitler (not comparing Jesus and Hitler obviously) was actually a woman. You could leave clues in the text, so readers may suspect--but not actually say it. However the real story is actually about the woman before she becomes Adolf Hitler. So the reader then, by being privy to her thoughts, can surmise by the end of the story that this woman will begin to dress like a man and lead the fledgling Nazi party.

The story is never actually about Hitler, it's about a woman. My story bears a similar relation ship with Jesus and the alien. It's not really about Jesus, but I can strengthen the relationship or weaken it according to what I think--we think.

Now that's a good story.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited December 07, 2007).]


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KStar
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Archer- If that was actually what it was all about, I'd think it was nuts too. Give me a little more credit than that, I've got plenty of experience with it and can safely say that you're ideas about it are wrong.

I have zero interest in entering into a debate about it. In my opinion, it's not fair to fight with someone about their religion and it's entirely pointless. Regardless, I would never want to knock someone else's beliefs if it's making them happy and better able to live a good life.

So until I drink the magic kool-aid or become a kamikaze bomber, please respect me and agree to disagree.


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tnwilz
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I didnít read all the posts so forgive me if I repeat.
I have two reactions to your idea.

1) Jesus IS an alien. He's certainly not from earth and never claimed to be.

2) All his "miracles" were scientific. He did them so they must be possible and they must be possible within the constraints of physics. We donít know how he did them so we call them miracles. Humans donít even understand the force that is gravity, so naturally when someone who does, circumvents its effects we call it magic.

Obviously I could go on and on about this. I think what your story really is about is a man who was actually an ordinary man with access to advanced tech that he didnít invent or even necessarily understand. That my friend is where you will offend people. Take the most revered character in human history and say he was nothing at all. Just some guy with a ray gun and a tricorder who deceived everyone. Believe me, Pullman would be greatly relieved to have all the attention taken off him since your story makes him look like a saint.

You should first write a story about Hitler, the misunderstood hero. Just to see how you like that kind of attention in your life. If that goes well for you then go for the Jesus was an ordinary bloke who ran out of gas in orbit spin.

Actually, purposefully writing to offend has proven to be a very powerful marketing tool. It may however, be tantamount to selling your soul to the devil for money and success. If you believe in that stuff. What did they say in the great war? There are no atheists in a foxhole.

One thing I cant understand is how some of the most vivid imaginations actually believe in nothing at all beyond the pen in their hand and the wallet in their pocket. A bazaar conflict of logic indeed.


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skadder
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quote:
I think what your story really is about is a man who was actually an ordinary man with access to advanced tech that he didnít invent or even necessarily understand. That my friend is where you will offend people. Take the most revered character in human history and say he was nothing at all. Just some guy with a ray gun and a tricorder who deceived everyone. Believe me, Pullman would be greatly relieved to have all the attention taken off him since your story makes him look like a saint.

Nice try but no prize...


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