If a Book…

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If a book can drive people to build gold-dripping brick palaces in honour of an imperceptible sky-dweller
Or to melt wax and drape hatred over glistening, Christening altars
Then consider the power of fiction.
If a book can create and nurture mass hysteria for thousands of years, then consider the power of fiction.

If a book can drive people to kill or to keep:
To keep and punish and sacrifice
To sacrifice and ostracise and bully and excommunicate
If a book can invent such fantastic characters that even the inconceivable becomes believable
Then consider the power of fiction.

There, saints on pages say women must be silent
There, invented words would have you devote yourself to destruction
where wives and slaves submit to men
—Men who must not love one another—
Here, sacrifice your children unto this scripture:
And they saw that it was blood.

And still, its readers read—feeding hate
And still, they root for its main character
Through an aperture of death
Death masquerading as life
And still, its readers explain away horror as metaphor

And interpret and manipulate evil into excuses:

Free will and mysterious ways.
So today, embrace the power of fiction.
Embrace the power of fiction and keep writing.
Keep writing your own book
And perhaps one day
Writers shall unwrite The Bible.

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