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The Gospel of Stephen King
Is this a vampire from Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” movie or a character from one of the author’s "sermons"? Both, pastors say.
June 2nd, 2012
10:00 PM ET

The Gospel of Stephen King

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When the horror novelist Stephen King was once asked why he wrote such gross stories, he said he did it because he had the heart of a small boy - which he kept in a jar on his desk.

With his beady eyes and I-just-killed-the-cat grin, King looks and sounds like a horror novelist. But when the Rev. Paul F.M. Zahl read several of King’s novels, he learned something new about the author: There’s a lot of faith behind his fright.

Zahl says some of the most stirring affirmations of Christian faith can be found in the chilling stories of King. The horror master has been preaching sermons to millions of readers for years, only most of King’s fans don’t know it, he says.

“People tend to think that Stephen King is anti-religious because he is a horror writer, but that’s completely mistaken,” says Zahl, a retired Episcopal priest who has written about King’s religious sensibility for Christianity Today magazine. “Several of his books are parables of grace in action.”

Want to read a powerful meditation on Jesus’ sacrificial love? Check out how King links the death of the mammoth death row inmate John Coffey (note the initials, J.C.) to Jesus’ crucifixion in “The Green Mile.” King’s “Storm of the Century” is a creepy retelling of Jesus’ eerie encounter with the demon called “Legion” in the  Gospel of Mark’s fifth chapter. And King’s epic apocalyptic novel, “The Stand,” reads like a contemporary retelling of the Book of Revelation, with a little Exodus thrown in, Zahl says.

Zahl’s claim about King's faith may sound ludicrous. King, who just released his latest novel, “The Wind Through the Keyhole,” has written at least 50 horror novels such as “Carrie” and “Misery.”

Yet there is an actual body of literature devoted to King’s religious sensibility. Several pastors and authors say King displays a sophisticated grasp of theology in his books, and his stories are stuffed with biblical references and story lines taken straight from the Bible.

“If God brought lawsuits, Stephen King would face a charge of plagiarism,” says J.M. Rawbone, an English horror novelist who has written an essay about the Christian themes in “The Stand.”

King, whose publicist did not answer a request for an interview, has talked about his faith before. He describes himself as a Christian on his website and elsewhere has said he was raised as a “hard-nosed” Methodist taught to believe in the Antichrist.

Some of his literary influences are Christian authors. In one interview, King said he was shaped by C.S. Lewis, author of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and J.R.R. Tolkien, author of “The Lord of the Rings.” Both Lewis and Tolkien were devout Christians who layered their fiction with Christian themes.

“I’ve always tried to contrast that bright, white light of real goodness or Godliness against evil,” he said in a 1988 interview. “I’m not a proselytizer, and I hate organized religion. I think it’s one of the roots of real evil that’s in the world. If you really unmask Satan, you’ll probably find that he’s wearing a turnaround collar.”

The best way, though, to understand King’s faith is not through his words, but through his stories. There are at least three biblical themes that run through them.

A child shall lead them

Every horror writer seems to write a vampire story eventually, and King is no exception. “Salem’s Lot” is one of King’s most popular novels. It depicts a vampire’s attempt to colonize a modern-day New England town.

Traditional vampire stories are loaded with Christian symbolism, but King inserts another biblical theme into “Salem’s Lot” that would reoccur in many of his books.

It comes in a scene showing a standoff between a priest and vampire. Father Callahan tries to protect a teenage boy with him by brandishing a cross. The vampire dares the priest to toss the cross away and face him on faith alone.

Father Callahan hesitates, his faith long diluted by alcohol and skepticism. The vampire wrenches the cross from the priest’s hands, while the boy escapes and becomes one of the vampire’s most formidable enemies.

When the Rev. David Squyres read this passage from “Salem’s Lot,” one of Jesus’ most popular sayings flashed before him: “… Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

In the moral universe of King, children get God better than the adults, Squyres says.

“The vampire humiliates the priest because the priest doesn’t have real faith, but the kid has real faith,” says Squyres, pastor of the Palms Baptist Church near Palm Springs, California.

“The priest represents the Pharisees. They believe in relics. But the children, and the teenager, have a simple faith. They don’t put their trust in institutions. They trust in the Lord,” says Squyres, who has written about King’s Christian sensibility at his website, "talkstephenking."

Many of King’s most popular novels are filled with young heroines driven by faith. It’s a reflection of a famous passage from the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament: “And a little child shall lead them.”

In “The Talisman” and “It,” King features adolescent heroes who risk their lives battling evil, according to Marylaine Block, who wrote about King’s religious sensibility in an essay called "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

“In both novels, the adults are incapable of understanding the evil that is about to envelop and destroy their world. They see the signs, but choose not to understand them. Only the children know what is happening, and know that it is up to them to save the people they care about,” she wrote.

God can be cruel

King’s most explicit Christian novel is “Desperation,” which features another adolescent hero driven by faith. The boy, David, is converted by a miracle and prays to God for help. King depicts his faith without irony and with reverence.

“Desperation,” though, contains an unusual description of God that reveals some heavy theology from King, several pastors say. During the bloody climax of the story, a character tells the boy that God is “cruel.”

That line caught the attention of Zahl, the Episcopal priest. It speaks to what he calls “the answerable sovereignty of God.”

Zahl says King is depicting a side of God that’s woven into the Bible. It is not the God whose eye is on the sparrow, but the Holy Other, incomprehensible, the one who allowed Job to suffer.

It’s the same side of God that the narrator in “The Green Mile” reflects on when he reminisces about the death of the innocent John Coffey, the Christ-like figure who never hurt anyone, but perished while a villainous guard lived on.

Zahl points to this passage from ”The Green Mile”:

“Yet this same God sacrificed John Coffey, who tried only to do good in his blind way, as savagely as an Old Testament prophet ever sacrificed a defenseless lamb. ...  If it happens, God lets it happen, and when we say, ‘I don’t understand,’ God replies, ‘I don’t care.’ ”

Zahl says King can say things about God in books that pastors can’t say in the pulpit. In King’s novels, people often suffer while doing good.

“Americans generally want to hear that everything is really terrific all the time,” Zahl says. “Americans want to control and manage everything, and they’re eager for anything that pumps them up. When you preach a message from the Bible that life is much more difficult, and there’s a huge amount of suffering, those messages don’t always go down well.”

'God chose the weak things'

As a teenager, King used to collect scrapbooks filled with newspaper clippings detailing the crimes of serial killers, says Stanley Wiater, co-author of “The Complete Stephen King Universe: A Guide to the Worlds of Stephen King.”

King's mother grew so concerned that one day she asked him why he kept the scrapbook.

Wiater says King answered with: “I think there’s evil out there. I want to know what it is, so when it comes, I can recognize it and get out of the way.”

In King’s books, characters can’t avoid evil. They have to confront it, but they often don’t fit the conventional definition of heroes.

“The Stand,” another explicitly Christian novel, illustrates this pattern. A plague has wiped out mankind, and a group of unarmed survivors are dispatched via a vision from God to confront a satanic figure called the Darkman.

The group seems to have no chance. One is an elderly, genial professor; another a deaf mute, and a third figure is a genial man with the mental capacity of a child. Against them: the Darkman’s ruthless army, which literally crucified its foes.

The makeup of the group underscores another popular religious theme in King’s work that’s reflected in this line from the apostle Paul in the first Book of Corinthians: “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

Zahl, the Episcopal priest, says so many heroes in King’s books are broken people: physically frail, alcoholic, disabled and lonely. Even the evil people are rendered with compassion.

“King understands grace at a deep level,” says Zahl, author of  "Grace in Practice." “He typically concentrates on the marginalized and the outsiders who ultimately carry the day. God often does his work where people are the most messed up.”

King may have converted Zahl, but the priest and others admit there’s a risk invoking the horror novelist in the pulpit.

When Zahl mentions King in church, he says many listeners think first of books they want to keep away from teenagers.

Still, there are secret converts.

“Half of the other people in the congregation have read Stephen King, though they may not want to shout it out to the world,” he says. “They know what I’m talking about. They come up later and they say I’m really thrilled that you know about him.”

The doubters shouldn’t be surprised that King’s stories contain religious themes, says Rawbone, the English horror novelist and author of "Bunker."

The Bible is filled with terror: demons, ghosts, floods wiping out mankind and the rising of the dead.

“Good horror examines the struggle between good and evil,” he says. “The Bible is the history of that struggle.

“The Bible is in many ways the ultimate horror novel.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Books • Celebrity • Christianity • Jesus • Movies

soundoff (1,461 Responses)
  1. camp

    For those of you who are interested in reading the arch of a sad, sad bitter life, crusie through the remarks by "the son a Piper man" aka Tom Tom,
    Stands for nothing, hates everything, curses when left with nothing to say, then hysterically claims victory for hurting someone's feelings, and stands for nothing, but will gladly point out your poor syntax, grammar and spelling errors like a weary retired 3rd grade teacher.

    The summation you will grasp from this person's tirade is someone to be pitied, someone clearly who has been so wounded that all they have left is to hide behind a moniker on a blog and attack others for not living up to this persons erudite ideas.

    So much to be pitied you poor, sad, mean, bittter, lonely, uncreative, rude individual.................

    June 3, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Christians

      We fall for anything, hate everything, curse people to heII when left with nothing to say, then hysterically claim victory for hurting anyone who's not a Christians feelings, while standing for bigotry and racism, but will gladly use poor syntax, grammar and spelling errors like a weary retired 3rd grader.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      So why are you only pitying yourself and your hurt feelings?

      June 3, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'camp' is an instance of the ad hominem fallacy and contains non sequitur elements.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      June 3, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • GAW

      The best thing to do is not waste your time reading the comments. Most of them have little or nothing to with the article and contribute little or no support or constructive criticism of the subject at hand. Spend most if not all of your time reading and thinking about the article.

      June 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      The articles are generally pretty insipid, too.

      June 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      camp, true observation. Unfortunately, Tommie Tom, like all nonbelievers, take their marching orders from the Pharisees (those that killed Jesus) singing the same mantra then convince themselves to be expressing free thought as they continue to sin.

      June 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • camp

      Heaven sent – just disappointed – I was hoping for some lively debate on these blogs.........willing to listen to the other side, but instead they continue to tell us what they are not, instead of confidently

      June 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • camp

      telling us what they are for........ask a respectful question and all you get is weak substance

      June 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ooh, gotcha camp and HS. My day is made. I hit the nerves of two dolts with but a few words. You two dingbats aren't here to discuss King or anything else. You're here to be hypocritical little dwarves. Get bent and go elsewhere if my posts upset you so, you tender-headed little dorks.

      June 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • camp

      ahhh I rest my case, so much to be pitied

      June 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      " like all nonbelievers, take their marching orders from the Pharisees"

      phar·i·see (fr-s) 1. Pharisee A member of an ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form.

      So the non-believers take their orders from religious extremists? I'm having trouble finding your logic in this one, though that's nothing new...

      June 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, you posted "Ooh, gotcha camp and HS. My day is made. I hit the nerves of two dolts with but a few words. You two dingbats aren't here to discuss King or anything else. You're here to be hypocritical little dwarves. Get bent and go elsewhere if my posts upset you so, you tender-headed little dorks"

      Answer: The only thing you do is reassure me of Jesus' truth that fools refuse to learn His wisdom.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Mass Debater, you posted " like all nonbelievers, take their marching orders from the Pharisees"
      phar·i·see (fr-s) 1. Pharisee A member of an ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form.

      So the non-believers take their orders from religious extremists? I'm having trouble finding your logic in this one, though that's nothing new...”

      Answer: You can start by reading Matthew 23:13-36 (Jesus gave them the seven woes). You need to know that the offsprings of satan infiltrated that camp and does the same today.

      June 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  2. tony

    Tornadoes and Tsunamis and parting of the red sea are either all physics, or the work of a particularly racist, violent, callous and definitely un-loving god

    June 3, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      I especially like it when god makes a tire blow out on a church van, killing all passengers as they were on their way to some christian convention or other. Or was that satan? Cuz if satan did it, then that means god allowed satan to do it, which makes god just as guilty as if god did it himself.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Mass Debater

      Apparently the passengers weren't praying hard enough...

      June 3, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • HeavenSent

      tony, some day you'll be tired of the mantras the Pharisees provide for you making you believe you have free thought.

      June 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  3. If Aliens came to earth in the past .. our Gods would be Aliens

    King also loves to incorporate aliens as well as religion .. coincidence, I think not!

    June 3, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Mass Debater

      What is God if not Alien?

      a·li·en: Belonging to, characteristic of, or constltuting another and very different place, society, or person; strange. Dissimilar, inconsistent, or opposed, as in nature

      June 3, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  4. lindaluttrell

    Mr King is a good guy: loving husband, father. He's able to put into words what the majority of us love, but cannot put into words ourselves: a great, scary story. I believe over analyzing anything I enjoy is pointless. Mr. King writes very entertaining books and I thoroughly enjoy reading them. It's that simple. Thanks for all the goosebumps and may you never suffer writer's block, Mr. King!

    June 3, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  5. cynee

    Misspelled "entourage" sorry.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  6. See

    King is living and breathing. He's said a lot more about how religion is evil than how his supposed faith guides his writing. King might have chosen not to respond to this author's request for an interview because the idea was ridiculous. Maybe King is busy. Maybe King is a jerk, I don't know or care as long as he's not basing his novels on life experience. But in the decades that I have been reading King's work, I've never once thought for a second that gee, the kid leading the adults to the thing on the hill is based on the Gospels. It's a pretty common plot device.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  7. apostate

    A fiction writer likes another work of fiction.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  8. Give me a break

    silly christians..

    June 3, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  9. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    If King's work is so religious then why hasn't some opportunist nutjob already formed a new cult based on the work of King? L. Ron Hubbard's lo-grade sci-fi can lead to a new religion so why not? Why not have a new religion based on the works of Robert Heinlein or Frank Herbert?

    June 3, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Dennis

      Probably has happened. The cult of Christianity started from fictional tales too. Same for many other religions.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Haus

      Because L. Ron Hubbard actively started his religion. To quote L-Ron: "You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.".

      June 3, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  10. Karl

    Course there's a lot of Faith in horror, you wouldn't be able to increase the tension at the possibility that something so dark and evil could exist without revealing that there would be t some equivalent light. Anyone who have read The Stand for example knows he uses this duality in his writing.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  11. tony

    Kindness, goodness, honesty, unselfishness, and love of mankind all exist without religion. And better for it.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • GoSitInTheCar

      Pretty amazing feat for blobs of cells and electrodes eh?

      June 3, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • tony

      Not half as amazing as the religious "explanation'

      June 3, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Computers sure are an amazing feat for a bunch of punch cards......or even vacuum tubes!

      June 3, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      No blobs here! Highly evolved organisms of a social species who have outdone their already remarkably intelligent primate relatives in intelligence and complexity of social structure.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      Of course, people who stunt both their intellectual and ethical development with religion are around, too. So it's not all good news.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Chris

      Tony,
      You're mistaken. Badly.
      None of those things exist without religion because every human has a religious belief. You prefer to use the term "religion", so you can throw stones at others and think yourself superior and exempt. But, you have a religion just as much as any pope or saint that ever lived.. There has never been, and never can be, a person without religious beliefs (religion).

      The Atheist who's hates organized religion and hates other people's religion, has a religion just as much as anyone else.
      One's religions beliefs are there religion.

      All of us do things only and always in our own self interest. No exceptions.
      Religion, thru it's common theme that there are things unseen, often helps people to recognize that doing difficult or unpleasant things (sacrifice) for others, is actually in our own best interest.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      Chris, everyone has beliefs that they can't entirely prove, but that's not the same as believing in talking serpents and resurrections.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Dennis

      Chris,

      Atheism is no more a religion than not collecting stamps is a hobby.
      Atheism is no more a religion than bald is a hair color.

      Thanks for coming out, though. Sorta.

      June 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  12. camp

    So how is evil defined in a non-god world? How are devastating tornados that kill explained?

    June 3, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • CJ

      @camp. It is unclear what your position is with this comment, however, a non-god world explains tornadoes far better than a 'god' world. Tornadoes form as a consequence of the interaction of air currents, air moisture and solar radiation. When a tornado destroys a house and kills an innocent 2 yr old, the explanation is that there is no superintendent causing such an unjust act. It is merely non-intentional nature. Further, the non-god hypothesis is far more consistent in that it best explains why 'god's punishment' seems to occur in the form of tornadoes in the warm plain states of texas, oklahoma and kansas than it does in alaska even though the people and their 'sins' are pretty much the same.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • GoSitInTheCar

      God doesn't help you get around problems, he helps you get through them.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • camp

      thanks CJ that does help define natural disaters, but how is the event of someone chewing someones face off then defined? Is this evil? Is this survival of the fittest?

      June 3, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ah, stupid questions from camp; something new and different. Tornadoes aren't 'explained'. They're caused by weather conditions.

      They're no more 'evil' than are ants. They simply are.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why does it matter whether it's "evil"? It's a crime. The commission of said crime might have any number of causes, but the devil, evil, incubi, or fairies aren't among them. It's punishable under the law. End of story.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      If a lion is hungry it must kill. Its prey views this action as evil whereas the lion views this action as good. Who decides which is truly good and evil in that case? It's all subjective, don't you see?

      June 3, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • CJ

      @camp. A person chewing another's face off is certainly criminal, but there is nothing supernatural about it. We have had dangerous fellow humans for a very long time. And we also have learned how suffering abusive behavior as a child can be devastatingly effective in creating a person with no regard for themselves and, not surprisingly, others. These people turn into psychopaths. And we also know how certain drugs (amphetamine, pcp, cocaine) can cause bizarre psychotic behavior. If the person you are talking about was observed to be chewing someone's face off while levitating, then you would have something that looked to be the work of supernatural evil powers.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      Tornados aren't evil. Just because you don't like the consequences of something, that doesn't make that thing evil. Chewing someone's face off can be considered evil, but it's probably more likely in the recent case that it was fundamentally psychotic. The animals we kill for food and whose habitat we steal for farmland and housing and other development could just as well consider all of humanity evil.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • camp

      Thanks CJ I appreciate your articulate explanation. So it is really just defined as psychotic behavior, with no attachment to volitional choice on a person's part? Drug induced, in this case, but nothing more?

      June 3, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • pwilly

      In a godless world there is no good or evil.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  13. vinobianco

    don't degrade one of the best horror authors of the century with talk of religion and faith.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Allie

      His religion and faith are part of who he is. If you don't like it, don't read his stuff.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  14. palintwit

    I am Palin. Therefore, I am filth. Give me bath salts. Please...

    June 3, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • GoSitInTheCar

      Any new additions to the enemies list?

      June 3, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  15. penny

    Wait a minute; as a Christian, I am offended! Can I call a Fatwa on John Blake? Oh wait a minute, only one religion is allowed to do that; it would be politically incorrect for me, as a Christian to do suchLOL

    June 3, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  16. Ricky L

    I love reading the bombast of the Purveyors of Truth.

    Pro and con!

    June 3, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  17. Johnny

    Regardless of his religious views, the man himself is a complete abrasive buffoon. I saw him one time performing at a bar and someone very nicely asked for his autograph. With a dismissive stern tone, he said "go talk to my publicist". After that, he was yelling at everyone in his little entourage walking back and forth like someone who's mentally ill. Since then I've stopped reading his books (gave all of them away) although I've seen a few movies that were pretty good. I guess Mr King doesn't value the very people who helped made him rich by buying his books. And of course, one cannot expect to get what they want every time for varying reasons, but he could have been a gentleman and show some class.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Allie

      That's very odd Johnny as I have heard the opposite of the man. Bad day maybe? Or joking around? I don't know. I guess for authors it could be frustrating to sign books then have them go up on ebay later that day for 100's or 1000's of dollars.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • cynee

      Thank you John for sharing what you experienced when you saw Steven King in person.

      I am a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The devil satan is a real being. The Bible tells us that a third of the angels rebelled against the Lord Almighty. The Bible also has description after description of real people under the possession of demons. Most Christian churches can tell you this is a fact.

      Mr. King sounds to me, like he allowed Satan to take his soul as a child. There is also such a thing called, "automatic writing". Believe it or not Satan will plant in his head what to write. Satan also knows the Bible very well.

      I always believed Mr. King is demon possessed, and they(possessed people) will come across as very mentally ill people. He needs deliverence through the blood of Jesus Christ, and give his soul completely to the Lord Jesus. HE(Jesus) is the ONLY way Mr. King can be cleansed. HE(Jesus) is the truth and the life, nobody will get to the Father except by HIM (Jesus).

      Hell is real. It is a real place, and so is Satan and his enterage. On the other hand, Heaven is even more real. Jesus is very much ALIVE.

      Mr. King needs to be delivered from demon possession.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • FrayedJeff

      I'm one of the lucky ones refused an autograph by Mr King. I thanked him anyway and shook his hand. "You can's always get what you want" -Rolling Stones. What drove me crazy about him once was King made a bunch of references from the Harry Potter books in the last of his Dark Tower series. I wasn't sure what to think when I came across them. I kept thinking "didn't he have any of his own ideas?" I'm sure for JK Rowling it was an honor, but it was weird as a reader to see what King did in his book with them. I mean I am a huge Potter book fan because it's such an amazing story she weaved. You almost feel like the stories are yours because you lived them in your head. King taking them and using them, made him feel dirty to me. I haven't read a King book since. Don't think that's necessarily the reason, but I remember the bad feeling after reading his use of them. I really don't think he knew how he was going to end the series, I almost got the sense he was angry at the reader/fan about having to have a good ending. I'm not kidding, he actually refers to that in the story. Anyway, glad he and many others finds happiness in religion, thankfully I don't need that stuff to be happy or moral. I'm happy and good for goodness sake.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • tony

      And Cynee needs to remember that the drivers manual tells you to stop at stop signs. But it doesn't therefore mean a traffic god exists.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  18. spockmonster

    “I’m not a proselytizer, and I hate organized religion. I think it’s one of the roots of real evil that’s in the world. If you really unmask Satan, you’ll probably find that he’s wearing a turnaround collar."
    –Stephen King

    "Priests...dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live."
    -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Correa de Serra, April 11, 1820

    "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

    "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."
    -Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Chris

      I don't disagree with Jefferson's statemens there. But, I'm reluctant to put much stock in his religious perspective, since his god sprang shamelessly from his own imagination. He intentionally refused to keep God's words. He edited them when they didn't match his own imagination. Too bad.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • REPENT

      Coming from a man that was under Roman Catholic oppression. These atatements fit well. dont confuse Roman Catholacism with true Christianity. They are completely different. Roman Catholacism gave Christianity a bad rap. You will know Christ's true followers by their fruits.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'REPENT' is an instance of the No True Scotsmen fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      June 3, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • dutchblitz

      Horatio Spafford was born in 1828. How is it that Thomas Jefferson wrote to him in 1814?

      June 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • REPENT

      i dont think thats a fallacy at all. Look up the history of Roman Catholacism and then look at the histoy of the early Church in the bible. Roman Catholacism killed Chrisians, Mulsims and Jews in the name of God. True Christians gave up their lives for Truth. While every Catholic is not evil, the system of Roman Catholacism is surely not Christ-like. This is a FACT. Some of the greates sciectists in history were beleived in Christ but had to hide their work because of oppression by the RCC. Inquisitions etc. Now if you say this is a fallacy then you have no knowledge of history.

      June 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  19. Paul

    I saw the religious undertones in King's work back when I started reading his stories as a kid. I overlooked them in light of the fact that I believed that King, like any good writer, uses what fancies him to motivate a story. Any Christian running out to the book store to buy a copy of "The Stand" just because they think King is part of their club is going to end up sorely disappointed when they discover more about that man than what this article has revealed.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  20. www.twitter.com/hlmelsaid

    Horror novelist.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:02 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.