A politically correct Narnia, coming soon to a theater or cultural center near you.
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The Tisroc, who regards “our subjects” as “vile,” in The Horse and His Boy plots the death of his eldest son before the son can assassinate him, remarking: “I have eighteen other sons and Rabadash, in the manner of the eldest sons of kings, was beginning to be dangerous. More than five Tisrocs in Tashban have died before their time because their eldest sons, enlightened princes, grew tired of waiting for their throne.”
The state of Calormene law is indicated by the fact that “there is only one traffic regulation, which is that everyone who is less important has to get out of the way for everyone who is more important.” The Narnians, by contrast, though we do not hear much about their organized religion, try to live by Christian-like values and an idealized version of medieval chivalry, and to revere the Lordship of Aslan in actions as well as words.
The Calormenes regard peace with the Narnians as no more than temporary truces, are always trying to conquer Narnia and in the end, in The Last Battle, succeed. The Calormen names, such as Arsheesh, Ahoshta, Lasaraleen and Rabadash, are not specifically Muslim but have a kind of Arabic sound to them.
As Narnia represents the Christian and classical heritage of Europe (it has beings from classical pagan mythology such as fauns and dryads as well as “northern” fairy-tale creatures and talking animals), so Calormen represents perpetual the infidel threat to it. Buddhism, incidentally, is simply not mentioned in the stories at all (I am at least grateful that writing this has given me a chance to re-read them).
Further, it is made clear that Aslan-Christ is, under the Emperor-Over-Sea (God the Father), the only good God. No syncretism is possible. In The Last Battle a phony syncretic religion, running together Aslan and Task is concocted by Calormene crooks and slave-traders. A bewildered and exploited donkey wearing a lion-skin is presented as “Tashlan” to fool the Narnian animals into obeying the Calormenes. It is seen as a sign, literally, the “End Times” of terminal degeneration and decay ushering in the end of not just Narnia but Calormene and the whole Narnian-created universe.
The good Calormenes are saved at the end in The Last Battle not because Tash who they sincerely worshipped had any aspects of goodness, or identity with Aslan but because Aslan claims that any good action, even if done in another’s name, is his own. Lewis made the same point in The Screwtape Letters, in which the demon Screwtape complained that God saved the souls of men who died in a bad cause “on the monstrously sophistical grounds that they were serving the best cause they knew.” This is about as far from syncretism as it is possible to get.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?