You know how I know that things have gotten out of hand? I was convinced that this story about a Creationist science quiz was satire until Snopes confirmed its validity. Prior to that confirmation, I couldn’t possibly believe that something like this could actually be real. It just seems like the kind of joke somebody would make with a bit of Photoshop. “Man, look how insane those Creationists are!” But no, sadly, it’s the real deal, which makes the whole story much, much worse.
While I was processing reserves at my library today, I came across the Brick Bible: New Testament. I thumbed through it to see how the Book of Revelation was depicted. Would it be the real deal or the watered down version?Well, it did not disappoint. All the gory details were there, lovingly recreated by horrifically torturing little LEGO people. There was something perverse about seeing little LEGO people in so much suffering, actually. It was like walking into the bedroom of the creepy silent kid who’s mutilated all of his toys. You just know he’s going to grow up to be a serial killer or something and it’s uncomfortable to see the insanity in those nascent stages.
As I was looking over the horror inflicted on those LEGO people who were not spared by the Rapture, I began to wonder: was this book satirical (look at how ridiculously gruesome these Biblical stories actually are) or sincere (LEGOs are cool, let’s get kids interested in Bible stories via the power of LEGO). I honestly couldn’t tell.
I had a few of those “My first Bible stories” collections growing up, but they were always the G-rated, sanitized version of any story. You don’t get the polygamy or the rape or the truly mind-boggling amount of murder, or if you do, it’s very quickly glossed over. The Brick Bible, though, doesn’t hold back. You get all the best parts, which is rather unique in my opinion. Seriously, where else can you see the Fours Horsemen, the Whore of Babylon, and the Beast depicted like this? Answer: you can’t.
Even after browsing the author’s website, I still can’t tell if he’s sincere or satirical. My general feeling is toward satire, although whether that’s due to cynicism (only a cynic thinks everything is satire) or idealism (only an idealist thinks nobody could possibly be this bizarre), I couldn’t tell you. The Brick Bible doesn’t quite go to the same insane lengths that Landover Baptist in the pursuit of satire which means that it’s just normal enough for me to think it might be sincere.
All I know is that I’m living in a time and place where I can’t tell the difference, which either means I’m irrevocably stupid (a distinct possibility, I suppose) or things have gotten so skewed that it’s impossible to tell.