Hello there, Legal Eagle here. Skepticlawyer wrote the post below but wasn’t able to post it on the blog because technology. I’m putting it up in her stead.
As many of you know, I’m currently on an author tour to Australia to promote Kingdom of the Wicked Book I – Rules.
First of all, I wrote a piece in today’s Weekend Australian answering the following questions:
- Where did you get the idea?
- How long did it take you to write?
- Why is it in two parts?
- Why is it 22 years since your last book?
- What do you want to achieve?
“In response, my friend suggested wryly, while Pilate was locking up the ringleader, perhaps the disciples each copped an anti-social behaviour order. I laughed, but I also wondered: how would we react to Jesus if he turned up now?
My answer was not one I much liked: I thought we’d mistake him for a terrorist. There was a period in the 1960s and 70s when Jesus was conceived of as a bit of a hippie, certainly a pacifist. But the figure belabouring the ancient world’s equivalent of bank tellers with a whip does not look like a pacifist to me.
Then there were his politics: socially conservative (he railed against divorce), redistributive, even socialist (he railed against the rich), egalitarian (he railed against the treatment of the poor). He wasn’t too impressed by the Great Satan of his day, the Roman empire, either. His Judaean contemporaries referred to the Roman Empire as ‘‘the kingdom of the wicked’’, whence the title of this book.
For a while, I thought of transplanting Jesus to Britain or the US and watching the story unravel as I told it, but every version that played out in my head turned into Waco or Jim Jones’s People’s Temple. Those stories are terrifying and confronting — as well as fascinating — but they are not the stories I wanted to tell.
Finally, instead of bringing Jesus forward in time and placing him in modernity, I thought to leave him where he was and instead put modernity into the past.
What, I wondered, would have happened had Jesus emerged in a Roman Empire that had gone through an industrial revolution? Other things being equal, what would modern science and technology do to a society with different values from our own?”
Read the whole thing, as they say.
Since then, my publicist (Max Markson) has been deluged with appearance requests (for me) and abuse (including the accusation that he’s a Nazi, which is interesting because he’s Jewish, so we now have ‘Max the Jewish Nazi’ which is, ahem, a bit of a mind fuck really).
Here are some events that have already been programmed for people in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. If you want to hear me speak, get signed copies of my books, and all that jazz, then please hit the link to RSVP for one of them. I should note that the Gleebooks event is filling up quickly because the newspaper featured it in their article today, so quick sticks, Sydneysiders!
- Sydney, Gleebooks, October 9, 6 for 6:30, featuring wine, nibbles, Helen Dale & Senator David Leyonhjelm.
- Brisbane, LibertyWorks @ Park Royal on Alice St, October 14, 12:00-1:45 pm, featuring wine, nibbles, Helen Dale & Senator David Leyonhjelm
- Melbourne, Embiggen, October 16, 6 for 6:30, featuring wine, nibbles, Warren Bonett & Helen Dale
- Melbourne, Leaf Bookshop, October 17, 6:30-8:30, featuring wine, nibbles, Katy Downey & Helen Dale