IMPORTANT NOTE: This post contains graphic movie scenes and bad language that may be alarming to some people, although they are typical general fare on cable TV. Please leave this post if you are offended by such things. The Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog is opposed to any and all forms of violence against Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. This post was in no way put here to suggest that our readers commit such violence. We just thought it would be interesting to briefly take a look at a rarely seen kind of character in a science fiction story and movie by famed author Stephen King.
A number of years ago, famous horror author Stephen King wrote a science fiction story entitled The Mist. This story was later converted into a really good motion picture that can be seen sometimes on the Science Fiction Channel (cable TV). If you like crustacean and insect-like monsters, this is definitely the science fiction movie for you. In fact, this is one of the few HD quality, full-length movies that can still be watched for free on You Tube:
One of the central characters in this movie is a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical named Mrs. Carmody. I have never read the story that inspired this movie, so I am not aware of any movie license that may have taken place between the original written story and what shows up in the movie. Therefore, for the purposes of this blog post, I am for now going to assume that the story and movie portrayal are approximately the same.
Apparently, Stephen King wanted to take his idea of a typical, fully committed fundie; drop that fundie into a really stressful life situation; and then offer his ideas as to how this fundie would likely behave under such immense stress. This movie is a really interesting character study for any author to do, and outside of the famous Elmer Gantry movie long ago, it is one of the few times a movie goes into this kind of lengthy character study of a person who either is a fundie or claims to be. If you watch the whole movie at the link above, you get the full character study. Otherwise, some deleted scenes from the movie and the final Mrs. Carmody scene in the movie (below) will give you a brief flavor for Stephen King’s treatment of the Mrs. Carmody character. (In the second deleted scenes clip, notice that Mrs. Carmody is using a toilet as an altar.) Just click on these safe links:
Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals would be really concerned about this movie portrayal of Mrs. Carmody—but probably not for the same reasons I would be as a mainline Christian.
Substantial controversy exists with regard to the proper translation of the Greek language behind 1 Thessalonians 5:22, as reflected in the KJV of the Bible. In the KJV, this scripture tells Christians to: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” In other words, do not just avoid actually thinking and doing evil, but also with that, do not say things or do things the average nonChristian might misconstrue as evil. Many Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals fail this scriptural admonition hands down. All Christians do. However, the numerous fundies on the public stage who pretend to be perfect or nearly perfect, need to be especially concerned with that verse.
The past 100 years of half-crazy fundie behaviors on the American stage have created various versions (some mild and some strong) of Mrs. Carmody in the minds of many American Christians and nonChristians. Indeed, I might go so far as to say that Mrs. Carmody is a stereotypical archetype (which exists in various shades as a matter of reality) of how many mainline Christians like me and nonChristians view many Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals, such as the late Presbyterian fundie Dr. Rousas J. Rushdoony, to offer just one example.
Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals need to understand that they often offer up to the American public everything else but a true and loving image of the Christian faith. Your heartless actions, prejudices, and bigotry; lack of education in so many things; refusal to face simple facts; and poor understanding of scripture have created the Mrs. Carmody character (in all her various shades) in the American mind. In his written story and the movie The Mist, I believe Stephen King was merely intercepting all these shades and reflecting them back to his readers in Mrs. Carmody. Every Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical in the United States needs to closely examine Mrs. Carmody and ask himself or herself a couple of very serious questions:
In my heart, in my actions, and in my interactions with my fellow men (Christian and nonChristian), what can I do to avoid being like Mrs. Carmody, and how can I avoid offering up to the public even the appearance of being in some way like Mrs. Carmody?”
Right now, with regard to LGBTQ civil rights, bathroom bills, Bible idolatry, science denial, failure to face simple facts, and all sorts of other things on the American stage, fundies are behaving just as Mrs. Carmody would behave; the American people plainly see it; and they see everything else BUT Jesus Christ in their words and in their behaviors.