John C. Wright tells us of Faith and Works in a Science Fictional Universe

A slightly older article from the ever artful John C. Wright called Faith and Works in a Science Fictional Universe that I thought was an interesting read. He chronciles his conversion and his discovery of what have since gone on to be known as Social Justice Warriors and Pinkshirts in the literary community.

Few men have ever hated Christ as much as I have, before turning to love Him. Before I was a Catholic, I was an atheist, and not an atheist who kept his opinions to himself, but a vituperative, proselytizing, aggressive, evangelist of atheism who sought at every opportunity to spread the Bad News that God was dead and Christians were fools.

But there was one area sacrosanct from my proselytizing effort. I did not use my science fiction stories to preach nor promote my worldview. I thought then that the honor of a gentleman, not to mention the pride of workmanship every craftsman should embrace, made it unseemly to preach my worldview when I was being paid to entertain. To use stories to spread my atheist views would be to impose on my customers, who came to me for a rollicking good space opera filled with exploding planets and colliding galaxies and stunning space princesses and stalwart space heroes. To give them a syllogism when they came for a space war, or an editorial when they came for an apocalypse, would cheat them of their hard-earned science fiction-buying dollar. To give them anything of the current world and its current controversies when they wished for escape into the future would be to play my beloved patrons false.

For I was one of those readers who oft had bought a book expecting a science fiction speculation and instead was forced to endure some rant about the issues that once upon a time absorbed the shallow attention of the intelligentsia. Since most of my reading consisted of books written twenty years before my time, I discovered that the only thing more boring than reading about the controversies of the day was reading about controversies long dead and written entirely by people long ago proved wrong.

Naturally, it was with considerable pride at my own cunning that I hid my personal opinions and paid attention only to the Muse, by which I mean I followed the needs of drama and ignored the itch to preach. Unlike other writers, as a newspaperman, I had an editorial page on which to scratch that itch to preach my opinionated opinions to the world.

When the Internet first came into my life, I assumed there was some danger that left-wing readers of mine would discover my journal and hence my opinions on the current issues of the day, but I hoped that I would gain more readers than I would lose, so I was never reluctant to share more strongly held beliefs on any topic.

In October 2003, the very first of my novels, The Golden Age, received its very first review. The reviewer excoriated the work, heaping every opprobrium on it, on the grounds that in the remote far future half a million years hence (which is when the story is set) the godlike beings who are our remotest descendants, commanding a technology which enables them to reorganize mind and matter and energy to any configuration at whim, did not seem at all concerned with environmentalism or racism or gender issues.

(I should mention that both race and sex were optional to the superbeings of this era, as was whether to have a physical body at all, and that death and extinction could be reversed, so that there were no endangered species and no non-artificial species.)

However, the more vexatious vehemence of the termagant reviewing the work was reserved for the climax. The fact that the hero won the heart of his estranged wife and had a second honeymoon was anathema to this particular critic. She did not criticize the plot, character development, word choice, or any other element of the craftsmanship. She took a personal detestation to me because I wrote about romance and marriage as if romance and marriage were good things. This particular critic hated love, romance, marriage, and all good things in life.

This was when it first was driven home to me that some readers were orcs — that is, beings to whom fair is foul and foul is fair — in terms so strong and plain that they could not be denied. There were people who claimed to be science fiction fans who had absolutely no interest in science fiction at all, but merely in the news of the day and in the long-dead abortive philosophy of the Victorian crackpot Karl Marx.

Then in August of 2009, I became the target of a Two Minutes Hate organized by an editor at a rival publishing house.

She combed through back issues of my journal and found a month-old editorial in which I mocked the SyFy Channel for caving to political correctness and vowing to try to put as many sodomite and lesbian characters onto their failing channel as possible, no doubt in an effort to alienate their non-far-leftist fans. The point was not that I cared one way or the other about the sexual misadventures of other people, but that the SyFy Channel, by showing the white feather to the thugs of political correctness, had in some small but real way encouraged an informal political censorship and made it harder for science fiction writers like me to sell my wares.

I did not like people telling me what to write. I thought in my naivety that all red-blooded Americans would feel the same way, and that all science fiction readers — a genre that prides itself on nonconformity — would even moreso. In my response, my joshing was — in my typical fashion — honest and blunt, and I called the perverts perverted.

There is one thing Leftists hate more than honesty, and that is bluntness.

So at the urging of this business rival, some 40 or 50 people who were not readers of mine wrote to tell me that they were boycotting my work. I attempted to point out that one cannot boycott wares one has never purchased. I soon realized that logic and sweet reason would not influence members of a worldview whose main selling point was a false promise to free the true believer from all limitations of reality and all obedience to social conventions, including the conventional behavior of honesty, forthrightness, and sanity. They reacted with the weak and womanish fury of the guilt-ridden, hacked my Wikipedia page, my TVTropes page, and generally made a lingering nuisance of themselves. They pouted and said they would not be my friends no more.

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