Amidst the throng of Christian supporters of The Twilight Saga who insist that the books are pro-chastity and pro-life (even the actor who plays Edward in the film sees that the pro-chastity claim is false – see this) and that Edward Cullen is a fine example of a virtuous suitor, I would like to up the ante. I say these books are actually anti-Christian – and that Edward Cullen is an anti-Christ figure.
There was a time (which is thankfully returning) when young children were asked “Why did God make you?” They would be expected to reply: “To know, love and serve Him in this life and to be happy with Him in the next.” Why was it so important that young children had that memorized? Because that one little sentence captured the meaning of human life. It also gave direction. Anything that I would do that helped me to know, love and serve God and be happy with Him forever was a good thing. Anything that I might do which prevented me from knowing, loving and serving God and being happy with Him forever was a bad thing.
OK – so, now we need to look at Bella’s reason for living. Is it consistent with the truth? (And if you are about to say “but this is just fantasy”, please be patient. I have posted before about the effect fantasy has on our ability to relate to reality. For example, see the post “Real love and real beauty go together…” or read the posts which lay out Michael O’Brien’s clear thinking on the matter.)
After Bella’s “rebirth” as a vampire in Breaking Dawn, she says, ”I was amazing now – to them and to myself. It was like I had been born to be a vampire. The idea made me want to laugh, but it also made me want to sing. I had found my true place in the world, the place I fit, the place I shined.”
With this “rebirth” into the vampire family, (an anti-type of Baptism) Bella embraces the unfortunate consequence that newborn vampires have an insatiable lust for human blood and unparalleled strength, which makes the habitual slaughter of innocents a forgone conclusion. Or does it? We discover that this law of vampire nature is not going to apply in Bella’s case. Why? Because her will is so strong that she is able to perform the (prior to) impossible. “And then I realized what it might mean, if my ’superpower’ was no more than exceptional self-control… What if, like Carlisle, I never killed a single person? What if I could be a good vampire right away?… ‘Have you ever seen an equivalent to self-control as a talent?’ Edward asked Carlisle…’It’s similar to what Siobhan has always been able to do… She has this way of deciding her goals and then almost willing them into reality.” p.466/7 Did you catch that? Bella has the power to decide her goals – in this case to be a “good vampire” – and then, through her exceptional self-control, she fundamentally wills her goal of not harming anyone into reality. This is a world where God and His grace are unnecessary. Bella saves herself from her bloodlust.
It is not surprising to find this here, and it is directly related to Bella’s stated reason for living. She has decided that she was “born to be a vampire”. If she can choose the entire orientation of her life, certainly she can choose to do away with little details she finds unpleasant. She is the ultimate arbiter of her own destiny.
There are many who do not consider this message problematic. In fact, this attitude is often considered admirable today. Unfortunately, the praise for this attitude only serves as a reflection on our loss of humility. We are creatures, and our Creator has placed us in His world to live according to His decrees. To claim the power to do anything our own way regardless of or in contradiction to the reality determined by God is fatal pride. This is the pride of the Garden of Eden, the pride of Babel, the pride of all who would claim no need for a Savior since they can handle things on their own… a common sin in our self-sufficient generation.
That is consistent with Meyer’s use of the apple on the cover of Twilight and the introductory quote from the book of Genesis, of which the author states: “The apple on the cover of Twilight represents ‘forbidden fruit.’ I used the scripture from Genesis (located just after the table of contents) because I loved the phrase ‘the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.’ Isn’t this exactly what Bella ends up with? A working knowledge of what good is, and what evil is.” Meyer, however, does not give a complete reading of the Scripture in Genesis. Most importantly, she completely evades the consequences of the rebellion. Of this, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#396) states: “The prohibition against eating ‘of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ spells this out: ‘for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die’.” Adam and Eve choose to act in defiance of God’s law. They quickly found out that such an act was not liberating – it was fatal to their souls. God, in His mercy, did not look at them in disgust and say “I told you so!” – rather, he immediately promised them a Savior in the proto-Evangelium (“first Gospel”) of Genesis 3:15. Only the humility of the God-man, culminating in His Self-offering on the Cross, would atone for the infinite offense of His proud creatures.
We get no indication in the Twilight Saga that Bella’s pride has any consequences at all – only “rewards”. So what does Bella experience by becoming a vampire? A greater ability to “enjoy” the “forbidden fruit” that is Edward: “I could really appreciate him now… He was all new, a different person as our bodies tangled gracefully into one on the sand-pale floor. No caution, no restraint. No fear – especially not that. We could love together – both active participants now. Finally equals… I was never going to get tired, and neither was he. We didn’t have to catch our breath or rest or eat or even use the bathroom; we had no more mundane human needs. He had the most beautiful perfect body in the world and I had him all to myself, and it didn’t feel like I was ever going to find a point where I would think, Now I’ve had enough for one day. I was always going to want more. And the day was never going to end. So in such a situation, how did we ever stop?” p.482/3.
If we can refrain for a moment from laughing at the silliness of the writing (she is speaking here about how great it is to be able to engage in sexual activity without ever stopping because she doesn’t have to go to the bathroom anymore!) we see the deeper point: the purpose of Bella’s life had become knowing, loving and serving Edward and being happy with him forever.
In the Twilight Saga Bella finds, in Edward, total fulfillment – in a day that was “never going to end” (thus the title Breaking Dawn). Of course, this language immediately draws the Christian mind to the “endless day” brought about by Christ, the Savior. ”Salvation” for Bella comes as a consequence of surrendering her soul in order to live a supposed never ending day as a vampire. Here, power, beauty and unrestricted sterile sex with her blood drinking vampire spouse become the equivalent of paradise – the “happily ever after”, as the final chapter of Breaking Dawn is called. Of course, salvation can only be found in the Person and Eternal Reign of Jesus Christ (Col. 3:1-11), the One Who gives His Blood as a ransom. The “promise” presented in The Twilight Saga is the same found in the garden of Eden, whispered by the serpent… “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5) Meyer turns Revelation on its head, suggesting that the snake is right. Bella eats the forbidden fruit and gets everything she wants as a consequence. In this way, the Twilight Saga is anti-Gospel and Edward is an anti-Christ. DON’T FALL FOR IT! IT’S A LIE!
Part two: Meyer’s says she is “anti human” – why is this anti-Christian? Read here.
NEW POST 12/27: IMPORTANT: Do girls need “fantasy”?
*For an example of a true gentleman, visit my post “A YOUNG MAN OF HEROIC VIRTUE”*