Twilight & Religion

Dear Twilosophy Class,

Moon & I have made enough DC Talk references & basically figured out a way to text-represent the motions to “Lord I lift your name on High” that you must have figured out by now that we have a Christian background. It’s true- we were brought up in Christian homes which immediately makes sense to a bunch of you, confuses another group of you and turns the rest of you off.

We make Twilight-related Christian jokes sometimes that we know only those who can relate will get. Which is a shame b/c they are REALLY REALLY FUNNY.

Anyway, I got this t-shirt from my Bro-in-law who once brought my husband a t-shirt back from an abstinence conference that said “Lights, Camera, NO ACTION” with a director’s chair on the front. And after laughing hysterically and deciding which activity at church I’d wear it to, I sighed and wondered why religion had to be brought into everything. Can’t I just enjoy a book about vampires without someone making it into a Jesus-eternity reference? Apparently not. Please enjoy my t-shirt, found in the bargain bin at a Christian bookstore:

"What would people think if they hear that I'm a Twilight Freak" (and yes, I am wearing jorts)

Yep. That says “Jesus is THE LIGHT of the world” in the Twilight font and “because of Him You can Live Forever.” What!? It’s not because of Edward biting me than putting a syringe filled with venom into my heart that I can live forever!? I don’t care WHAT your religious beliefs are, any religious group using Twilight to get “Down with the kids” is just as bad as Burger King Edward crowns, Twilight maxi-pads & Volturi credit cards.

Why does this shirt exist? Is it because an pastor’s kid got a little too obsessed with Edward that she started thinking about HIM during nightly prayer? And then her dad, the pastor, called up his old roommate from seminary who runs a “ministry” selling Christian pop-culture t-shirts? Or was it the spurred on by the Pastor’s WIFE who brought vampire cupcakes to the Sunday afternoon potluck for new church members? And later that night she suddenly wanted to spice up their 23 year routine “missionary position” with a little biting of the neck and headboard banging? (*Waving hi to my favorite Pastor’s wife who frequents LTT!*)

There’s a site I go to when I feel like getting mad at the super conservative elements of my upbringing that I won’t dignify with a link because it doesn’t deserve it, but in their review of Twilight they pointed out the negative elements including:

Buttcrack-Santa NEGATIVE? Not-uh. You did NOT go there. That’s enough to make me renounce my faith RIGHT there.

Mormons, a video & a quote you DON’T want to miss, after the jump!

Almost every time the media talks about Stephenie Meyer & the Twilight series, they mention her Mormon faith. Why? I had NO idea Stephenie was Mormon when I first read the series. Sure- Edward & Bella don’t get it on until they are married, but I just assumed they were her values & plus- weren’t the books for kids? Her sons are approaching the teenage years. She didn’t want to give any girls any good ideas to try out on the her & Nacho’s offspring! If I ever have kids, I’m locking them up from ages 11-28. I don’t know about you.

Before I met a bunch of amazing Mormon gals from writing these blogs, I didn’t know ANYTHING about Mormonism- and there is nothing that strikes me as Mormon about Stephenie’s books. So why does the media ALWAYS mention it? Stephenie wrote from her experience. She’s a Mormon. So what? She and Nacho waited until THEIR Isle Esme (Sandals Jamaica ’97 baby!) to get it on. I assume. I’m going to ask her next week (no I’m not) Just like I write from my experience & occasionally drop in an Avalon joke that only other Christians might catch (I can’t live a day without…… LTT)

Speaking of Mormons, this was sent to us LONG ago from Mormon-LTT Forum Mod who we love lots, Emmeloowhoo. You will die. I did:

I thought I had it all figured out- the whole Twilight & religion thing. Twilight isn’t meant to say anything about religion- Mormonism or otherwise. It’s a book about a girl who meets a boy who happens to be a vampire. They fall in love. They eventually get it on & made a demon child. What else is there to get?

But I was wrong, and when we received this email last week, I felt convicted:

Dear Sirs: I read the first book because I wanted to see what the youngsters were on about. I have seen the movies as well, as I want to be educated. I will not waste my dollars any more. I am saddened at Bella’s eagerness to give up her eternal salvation by converting to being a Vampire, all in the name of love. This message is dire to the population of our youth. I wrote Miss Meyer with the same above message in the hopes that she will reflect and change them message in the unwritten ending of the Twilight Saga. I also remember the quote: “Evil wins when good men say nothing.” youth. I am writing this to Miss Meyer in the hopes that she will reflect and change the message in the unwritten ending of the Twilight Saga. I also remember the quote: “Evil wins when good men say nothing.” Signed Donna Z Cetsh*

I have also written the following message under separate cover:

Subject: The Consumption of Human Blood and Flesh

I want the world to know how I feel: Quote: “I am worried about the complacency of the world about the consumption of human blood and flesh being taught through the Saga “Twilight” because it is a gross abomination to God who forbids it. It would appear to me that Bella, Edward, Jacob or Stephanie Meyer do not have a testimony of God”. Signed: Donna Z Cetsh*

What more can I say? God forbids Twilight….

UnintendedChoice

No he doesn’t. That woman is CRAY-CRAY to the MAX.

*is not her real name but is her real letter

But what do you think? Do you think Steph’s writing is a secret ploy to make everyone who isn’t a Mormon? Or does the media just try to start something? What about YOUR religion? Do they talk about Twilight like mine does? Do you want to buy my shirt? I’ll sell it to you for $100.00 .

Business Time: Comment today! It’s the last day to be entered to win a tshirt from our LTT_LTR store!

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  • obsessivecullendisorder

    Wow! After lurking in the shadows for over 10 months now, you’ve lured me out of hiding. “I’m tired of trying to stay away from you.” Love you girls, love your site, And LOVED this post! As a fellow Mormon (I say fellow so that Steph knows she’s not alone when she reads today’s post!) I laughed a lot (and maybe cringed just a little) at the video. As with any religion, we Mormons have our lovers and haters. I’m in a book club and we are twi-lovers, (although they are unaware of the level of my obsession) but we lost a member (of our group, not our religion) a year ago because we were reading the books. Very telling–whenever I meet someone who is anti-Twilight for religious reasons, (which truly, isn’t that often, they are the loud minority!) I immediately know what kind of a fanatic I’m dealing with and don’t even bother. I love the story. I found myself shocked, embarrassed, and oddly delighted when I finished Twilight 3 years ago and realized I was in love with a vampire. I could go on, but I’m preaching to the choir, so I’ll just say thanks for being so normal! Big Cullen smile to you all!

    • http://letterstotwilight.com unintendedchoice

      SO glad you commented! I remember hearing back in 2008, I think, that a Mormon bookstore in SLC would NOT sell Twilight.. and i NEVER understood why!??? It makes no sense…. AT ALL

      • obsessivecullendisorder

        Just a confession-the fact that you replied to my comment, UC, leaves me a little star-struck!

        • http://letterstotwilight.com unintendedchoice

          when i hear things like that i feel weird:) cuz i promise, i’m sitting in my office, next to a cold cup of coffee.. i really have to pee- i’m wearing a skirt & just realized my legs are SO obviously hairy and i was up till 3 so I look like Hell….. I’m hardly a star :) but thanks. you’re sweet!

          • Dreaming of Forks

            LOL….I think that the allure for us fans. It is nice to know that you guys are real and Normal.

    • http://isuckatbloggingbuticanbite.blogspot.com/ Janetrigs

      Greetings! Thanks for your insight

  • snowwhitedrifted

    hmmm..
    I’m Catholic.
    •We “eat His flesh and drink His blood” each week during Mass
    •our higher ups wear long strange robes (Volturi style)
    • Jesus’ 12 apostles were like the wolf pack of 0020′s.

    Catholisim is vampire approved!

    …and I’ll just refrain from any “glorifying an underage male” reference.

    • http://letterstotwilight.com unintendedchoice

      bahahahahha

    • cedvanhalen

      baahahaha “Jesus’ 12 apostles were like the wolf pack of 0020’s.” Spot. On.

    • http://danisu21.wordpress.com danisu

      bahaha i remember thinking this EXACT thing when I was sitting in my Catholic church the day after i finished reading Twilight. I had a “WTF” moment and realized that for how much the Catholic church condemns…everything….we’re pretty jacked and hypocritical.

    • Aro

      Ha! Comment win.

    • Ezzie

      This post is awesome! I never thought of it like that, but you are so right! Now I can wear my Twi obsession proudly in church, knowing that they approve!

  • LoveSpelledBackwards

    I’m Christian, though not a fan of religion. Really enjoy the DC Talk references here. I never saw Stephenie pushing her religion and I don’t think she can divorce herself from her faith, it makes her who she is. I was bummed by the Breaking Dawn fade to blacks. But it wasn’t my story to write though.

    And I really like UC’s shirt, but I would rather have a LTT/LTR shirt.

    • http://letterstotwilight.com unintendedchoice

      omg.. your NAME and your AVI… i EVOL you!

      • LoveSpelledBackwards

        Thanks~ I EVOL you too. Good luck next week, I am getting really excited for you both.

  • whyamidoingthis

    Hmm. You guys have posted on some pretty polarizing topics today. Biggest world sporting event on LTR and religion here. Things could get ugly!

    I’m agnostic, but prefer the term secular humanist. BUT I can sing the Books of the New Testament. Might be the only thing I’ve retained from elementary school.

    • http://letterstotwilight.com unintendedchoice

      you probably remember The B-I-B-L-E too, i bet!

      • lovethesefries

        That’s the book for me!

  • cedvanhalen

    Honestly, I don’t think SMeyer put her religion into the book. I mean, they waited til marriage to get it on and she didn’t abort Renesmee, but I don’t think those are just Mormon values. They’re more overall Christian values. Maybe if I was Mormon or new more about their faith, I’d find Mormon beliefs in the books.

    And my church doesn’t talk Twilight. At least I’ve never heard it. However, Imma Catholic and every month we get this little Catholic newspaper thing with all the news. Anyways, they have a little section where they list the latest movies and give their rating of them. I do believe Twilight and New Moon were rated as “adults and adolescents”. Which is just a step above “general patronage” so that’s good news. I’m allowed to watch without compromising any morals.

  • eloise

    I have some very conservative christian friends and one of them is extreme enough to refuse to let her son go to his preschool on days that they discuss dinosaurs or if images of witches are present. I think that it drives her nuts that I am more laid back about those things. One day we got into a twilight discussion. Of course she hasn’t read it but she was sharing her opinion on why it should be discouraged. After she was going on and on about how it would lead young girls away from the Lord because they will desire to become vampires our other friend looked at her and said “Well I read Flowers in the Attic as a teenager and not once did I want to have sex with my brother.” The super conservative finally gave up the argument. I doubt that she will see our side of things.

    As for all of the comments about SMeyer being a Mormon, who cares? People need to let it go. I laughed at Peter’s acceptance speech at the MMA’s up until the point that he made the Mormon comment.

  • stitchcat

    I didn’t know she was a Mormon, but I figured there was some kind of faith behind the books. It all became clear, however, when I realized that NOT ONCE do any of the teenagers in the books – who live in the Pacific NW BTW – EVER drink coffee! This is the single most unrealistic part of the series – including vampires and werewolves :-)

    • snowwhitedrifted

      NOT ONCE do any of the teenagers in the books – who live in the Pacific NW BTW – EVER drink coffee! This is the single most unrealistic part of the series

      LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Sure, the wear the PNW plaids, but no coffee???

    • minderelly

      HAHAAHA!!!! I die!! My high school had an espresso stand IN IT. Don’t even try to tell me that Jessica Stanley wouldn’t be walking around every day without her triple grande nonfat sugar-free hazelnut latte!

    • Stacey

      I might be imagining this, but didn’t Bella drink a whole lot of cokes on that plane ride in New Moon? No coffee, but cokes? Now I want coffee!

      • Heidi’sMom

        And she had Coke in Port Angeles. As far as realistic teenagers, I can’t get over the no cell phone thing. I’m re-reading NM and I’m at the part where Jacob “has mono” and Bella is trying to wait patiently to call him. What about email or texting? It seems dated. Or “timeless.” It’s distracting.

  • Aro

    Hey UC,

    You’re hot (does that make me a UCbian?).

    That’s really all I have to say about this :-).

    • http://letterstotwilight.com unintendedchoice

      UCbian makes me happy. Thank you:)

    • https://twitter.com/snarkwithaspoon moaninmymouth

      I like your general train of thought. Can I be Team Threesome?

  • Bandmum

    I am a Christian, and I didn’t find any overt leanings one way or another towards Mormonism or any other religion in Twilight.

    As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly from my devout studying of all things Donny Osmond, Mormons aren’t supposed drink alcohol or anything with caffeine. I distinctly remember Charlie knocking back a beer or two and Bella needed some Coke to deal with her almost-attack/heroic-rescue in Port Angeles. OH, SM! The values! j/k

    I was more intrigued by Bella’s lack of faith in anything being balanced by Edward’s and Carlisle’s views on the soul. There seemed to me to be a lot of discussion on that topic which I enjoyed very much.

    I actually used an Edward and Bella discussion of the soul as a plot point in my fanfic, ‘Choices’. *SHAMELESS PLUG* (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4996891/1/Choices)

    Also, <3 you, BCS! RIP.

  • Pinky

    I’m a Christian. My Mom is a preacher. She refuses to even watch Twilight. She says it’s not ‘of God’. I don’t get it. She watches other contemporary movies like ‘Notorious BIG’ ‘Precious’ and other things with violence and cursing galore. Twilight should be rated PG, as tame as it is.

    She also loved ‘The Princess and the Frog’ (which I think is great) but that had more witchcraft and other-worldliness than Twilight. I don’t get it one bit.

    I have no idea if any of this has anything to do with the topic at hand, but it bugs me. I wouldn’t dare tell her that I watch ‘True Blood’ that is certainly not ‘of God’.

    • DJTanner&TheFullHouse

      Uh, my mom thinks Harry Potter is of the devil because any “magic/miracles” not of god are of the devil…but when I try to tell her it’s no different than the “magic” of Lord of the Rings that she loves so much, somehow the conversation ends….

  • stitchcat

    Bandmum you are right, she did drink coke but I’m pretty sure Edward castigates her for drinking it on the plane back from Italy, because it makes her silly or something.

    • Bandmum

      Um, Edward dear, it wasn’t the Coke that made her silly, it was all that proximity to your dazzleishousness coupled with intense exhaustion. The Coke just gave her gas. ;)

  • claire’s mommy

    I think the woman who wrote this needs to follow her own advice and not waste any more money on it. Seriously. It’s fictional. Leave the biggest pop culture phenomenon of the century alone and go thump your Bible somewhere else.

  • http://isuckatbloggingbuticanbite.blogspot.com/ Janetrigs

    Loved you for this, love you.

    Have decided to love you and even Moon, until I get to see you in 2 weeks.

  • Stacey

    As a girl who goes to church on Christmas and my church is an “accepting”of everybody (very homosexual friendly) place, I was worried it might be too religious, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a good story! The abstinence part didn’t bother me either, because the target audience was, originally teenage girls. If they want teen sex, there’s always Judy Blume.

    I must admit, during Eclipse, I saw a glimpse of Edward being a more true virginal love and Jacob being the temptation. I mean seriously, Jacob was on huge bag of werewolf hormones. Bella could have totally hit that without a neverending discussion of being breakable and souls.

    • operarose

      So that explains why I’m Team Jacob…

      • eatmyjorts

        I think SM makes it quite clear that Edward would overthink it & Jacob would be a natural….My first love was one of those. Yowza!

  • Wendy

    The bit about the pastor’s kid and wife…I may have just wet myself a little laughing so hard….
    And the Mormon video…I was crying. A lot of ppl may not get it, but living in Idaho for 6 yrs and having a ton of LDS friends….I totally got it… Freakin hilarious.
    I too get so irritated with the constant references to Steph’s religion. I feel just like you about it – you write what you know… I think it would be impossible for her upbringing to not have some influence on her story…and yes, it is a young adult book!!!

    I do consider myself a Christian, even though I hardly attend church anymore…and this is one of the reasons why. People are crazy. Church has become a large drama class, or in some instances a high school type concert…I can’t deal… One of the last times I went to church the pastor was explaining the congregation that she had a demon in her house because one of her kids brought home a Harry Potter book. CRAZY.

    The t-shirt….oh God. I’m sure I have cousins somewhere that are proudly sporting them… *cringes*

    2nd hand embarrassment does not cover it.

  • Dreaming of Forks

    I live in an ultra conservative town in Ohio and my neighbor often wears this shirt. Several months ago, when the shirt first appeared, I almost took it for a Twilight shirt and asked her if she was a fan. (Note: I was pretty closeted about my own obsession at the time, but this women is in her mid 40′s so I thought it might be possible. ) She looks at me like I am nuts and asks “What’s Twilight?”. I was mortified even more when I really closely read her shirt, and tried to play it off as something random. Ironically a few weeks ago, she stopped to tell me that she read the books and know understood what I had been asking her about.

    • http://letterstotwilight.com unintendedchoice

      Amazing. AND totally embarrassing she just wears that shirt b/c she likes it… or because of the message.

  • roslynstephanieselene

    Yeah I’m a Christian: Seventh-Day Adventist. But I’ve never heard a sermon about Twilight. Being religious and all, I don’t know how I feel about it. I don’t make too much of it either. It’s not a big deal to me; just a book…that led me the way to ROBERT-effin -PATTINSON! And for THAT alone, I’m grateful! ;)

  • roslynstephanieselene

    I’m a Christian-Seventh Day Adventist
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh_day_adventist
    but I’ve never heard a sermon about Twilight or anything. It’s not a big deal to me; just a book…that led me the way to ROBERT-effin-PATTINSON!!!! And for THAT alone, I’m thankful. ;)

    • roslynstephanieselene

      :(whoops! I re quoted myself. Tee-hee

  • Stacey

    Ohh.. I forgot to add that my atheist sister has that tee shirt and created a piece of artwork to show how much she hates Twilight. She claims it’s because it’s anti-feminist and overly religious. She’s never read the books. Which, I find kind of funny because she is Kristen’s bitchface soulmate. (they look ALOT alike)

  • http://www.twitter.com/_lindelle Lindelle

    “Dear Sirs” is amazing. <3 you Crazy Donna.

    I gave up on justifying my supernatural literary love to my Donna-like relations years ago, when my grandmother was appalled that I drug my Harry Potter books everywhere. Some people will condemn anything they're told to condemn and there's nothing you can do about it, except post their letters on LTT and get some Cullen smiles out of it!

    • superhumanmoron

      I don’t know how my grandparents would feel about HP and Twi (if they had any idea what they are….), but I do know that shorts and “mixed bathing” will earn ya a fiery spot.

  • Steph

    Totes loved all the comments today! As a Christian, I am way more concerned with “religious” books like The Shack than I am Twilight. It’s fiction. It’s obvious fiction. It’s obvious fiction about a vampire. Sooo, come on! At least it doesn’t paint a picture of God as a little bird sitting on a window sill. My God is way bigger than that! Obvi SM is going to stick to her value system. And UC, wait until you have kids. Veggie Tales has awesome lines that you can steal. Think Larry’s line in Madame Blueberry, “Now, now, now, I’m happy”. I’m pretty sure Edward said that after Bella changed ifyaknowwhatimean… Blessings y’all!!

    • LoveSpelledBackwards

      Oh where is my hairbrush!

  • Jem

    I feel a little bit bad that that there’s all this serious debating going on around me and all I can think is…

    The guy in that video is HOT

    Now what does that say about me?

    • eatmyjorts

      Er…that you’re normal?

    • kristen’s bestie

      Oh dang – I didn’t feel bad about what I was thinking until I read your post.

  • minderelly

    SMeyer has said many times that she didn’t write the series as a Young Adult product. Because Bella is in high school, it ended up being marketed as such. I have told parents before that I don’t think it is appropriate for some kids because of the underlying themes. And those themes are the ones that got all of us ADULT females hot & bothered over the fact that Bella and Edward ALMOST got down about a million times. I am able to read and enjoy the series because I am an ADULT who understands the definition of the word “fiction” and it is nice to read about the most perfect male on the planet being in love with an ordinary girl from the PNW. So to the *Donna’s of the world– get a life and quit worrying so much about the rest of us for crying out loud!

    *sigh* why must it always come down to religion???

  • operarose

    I think religion/”values” play far too big of a role in the media’s take on the books. It seems we either hear that Twilight is too conservative (“they wait until they’re married?! She cooks for her dad? But…it’s 2010!”) or too liberal (there IS sexual content and a lot of parents at the Christian middle school where my mom teaches have complained that the books are in stock.)

    Stephenie, like all authors, has incorporated her personal background into her writing. Every writer has his or her own voice, shaped by his or her life experiences, religion, values, etc. The Twilight saga was born from Stephenie’s imagination and as such is an extension of her. So she’s Mormon. Interesting, and possibly had an impact on her writing. However is that really worthy of nonstop media mentions? I don’t think so. But that’s the media for you, totally uncreative and unable to tell a fresh story.

    I was taught to make my own decisions in life. I believe that anyone, whether they’re a kid or adult, if they read the books, they should be left to come to their own conclusions about whether the book is harmful to themselves, whether the books have meaning to them beyond entertainment value, whether or not they learn something from the stories, etc. What they take away from the stories is up to each reader. I can’t stand censorship or individuals preaching why we should or should not like a book. Making up our minds about what to read is a personal decision.

    I do find it inappropriate that Christians use the franchise to proselytize their cause. But that’s just me. However, I have to hand it to them when it comes to marketing, because I did see one of these t-shirts one day about a week or two ago at a cafe and I had to look twice, because of all people, it was a guy on a motorcycle wearing it. I know, right? I was disappointed it wasn’t a “real” Twilight shirt. But it still made me Google “The Light” to find out what the shirt meant.

  • lovethesefries

    Whew! I think LTT is the only place I’d ever read an entry titled “twilight & religion”. Anyway like you and Moon I had a Christian upbringing (except with a Southern Baptist flavor). I always love love love the Avalon, DC Talk, and CCM references!

    I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been said, but I wanted to say that I really hate those shirts. I see tons like them at walmart and various other classy establishments, and I just think what do people believe they’re achieving by wearing them? If it’s to perpetuate the “crazy Christian” stereotype, then I guess they’ve succeeded.

    My aunt, who has a bit of crazy, was obsessed with Twilight before I had seen or read it, and was talking about Breaking Dawn one night. I guess she had loved all the books but BD really freaked her out because apparently she thought SM’s Mormonism really shone through in it. I have no idea where she got this from, but she believes that somehow Bella wanting to be changed was some kind of symbolism of Mormons believing that they become angels after death. So I know nothing about Mormonism but I was just like WTF at that! Like I said, she is crazy. And the whole thing with people bringing up the fact that SM has always bothered me. Even PFach said it the other night during his f*ck tirade. I mean really, nobody talks about JK Rowling’s religion. I just don’t understand why it’s important. Do you think she goes through her day to day life like “hi, I’m Stephenie Meyer and I’m a Mormon!”? Probably not.

  • Stacey

    So after reading all of the comments so far, I am having an afterschool special moment.

    1. Everyone here is great!
    2. Twilight is the best!
    3. People who haven’t read the book, can’t really comment on the book until they actually read it! (that means you Jill! Aka my sister)

    Now I can finish cleaning the house.

  • unlikelyfangirl

    This fabulous discussion on religion and Twilight could only be had here at LTT and that is why I love you. I find Twilight and the entire phenomenon so incredibly fascinating on many levels, especially the many and varied angles from which Twilight is “hated” (even by plenty of mormons). Whether it is corrupting young minds with anti-feminist themes or glorifying the demonic undead, there are plenty of ways to attack this relatively harmless work of fiction that millions of people love.

    I am a mormon and have a very similar background to SM–we probably even shared a few English classes at BYU back in the day–and I agree that while not overtly “mormon” in theme, Twilight directly reflects certain aspects of SM’s world view (how can it not?). It is obvious to me that those of us who “get it” are not bonding over a literary representation of some strange religious dogmas but, as many of you lovely catholics, protestants, jews, secular humanists, and atheists have pointed out, what it feels like to be a teenage girl.

    SIDE RANT: I do have a theory that the already well-entrenched anti-mormonism in our culture (it really is the last generally acceptable form of bigotry out there) contributes to a lot of the hate. I think this is evidenced by the constant mention of “mormon author” or, even worse, “mormon housewife” in nearly every review or news article (especially those with a condescending slant) as doing so puts an automatic derisive tie-in to those “crazy mormon beliefs”. SIDE RANT OVER

    I really wonder how SM handles all of the hate. I started to draft an email yesterday about this very subject to UC and Moon to suggest they ask her about it in the interview. Then I decided that daily reading and occasionally commenting on a blog about a young adult vampire romance series is crazy enough for me. Unlikelyfangirl, indeed.

    Anyway, thanks UC for your very respectful views on this subject. It makes me love you and this blog even more–all funny and no hate (unless its kind of funny).

  • TeamJorts

    Hilarious, hysterical post with so many good points and crazy letters are always a plus!

  • http://www.twitter.com/_lindelle Lindelle

    Oh! The one thing I did notice that I thought was “Mormon” in the books is some of Bella’s expressions … I have a good Mormon friend and she always says “holy crow” and the like.
    or maybe it’s just a Southwest thing..?

    • The Old One

      I never heard anyone use that expression. I thought maybe Stephenie made it up or didn’t know that it was supposed to be “holy cow”. I was going to ask around and see if anyone ever heard of it, but now I know.

  • Ezzie

    This post put me in mind of an interview that Stephenie did about a year ago, (I think – and I think it was with a magazine, maybe People, but I’m not sure). Anyway, The part that I remember the best was that she addressed this tendancy of the media to always harp on how she’s Mormon when they talk about her or her books, and her response was something along the lines of ‘that’s kinda stupid, whenever you talk about Jon Stewart, you don’t mention that he’s Jewish’ or something like that.

    When I read the books, I didn’t find anything really religious in them. The whole abstinence thing I put down to Edward being from a different time and just old-fashioned, along with the fact that they were geared towards a younger audience; and the soul discussions weren’t overtly religious in any way, really.

    I have a few relatives that would probably agree with Cray-Cray Donna, but only because they’re kinda ignorant and pretty unreceptive to anyone else’s views. Although I’m pretty sure that reading these books is not what would potentially condemn me, just sayin’.

    • Heidi’sMom

      Wait, what?! Jon Stewart is JEWISH?!

  • kristen’s bestie

    UC: I don’t want the shirt but I will take your jorts!

    I’m Catholic and I’ve never heard the priest mention Twilight in mass, but that could be because I’m too busy yelling at my kids to be quiet and daydreaming about banging Rob.

  • http://letterstotwilight.com themoonisdown

    you mean you dont consider “holy crow” rude and profrane langauge?! WELLL I NEVER!!!

  • Therealrobzilla_or_Phyllis.Whatever

    There’s no night and there’s no morning without your loving arms to hold me-ee…

  • EC’sGrandpaCoat

    Is it supposed to sound scandallous that she’s mormon?
    Hah. Coz it doesn’t. Its just a media thing, right?

    AND When I first read that i saw “moron”

  • lilmisscan’tbewrong

    I am a Christian and was raised in a pretty conservative household (although I haven’t been to church in years because I can’t find one that’s not either completely boring, totally hypocritical, or just super creepy). I don’t think that the books are particularly religious, certainly not overtly Mormon, but I do think they address many moral issues, and not just those of abstinence or abortion.

    A major tenent of most Christian belief is that of original sin. I know nowadays that’s not a very popular idea, and I don’t want to get too super-religious here, but I think Edward is a representation of this belief, that he thinks he is inherently evil, and that no matter what he does he will never be able to earn redemption. But Carlisle, in his wisdom, believes that no matter if he may be a monster, it is still his responsibility to try to live a “righteous” life. That’s just one example of the types of themes represented.

    That being said, I think people will see whatever it is they want to see. If you want it to be purely entertainment, then it is. If you want to see the universal story of first love, then reading the story through Bella’s eyes is the perfect medium for that. If you want to be a hater and condemn all the fans to hell, then I suppose you can find the evidence for that as well. What I can’t understand is how anyone can say that Stephenie’s writing is not complx, when it can elicit so many different reactions in people!

    I, too, have seen that shirt, and it is pretty funny. Tacky, but funny. I’m not real comfortable with Christians trying to co-opt pop culture stuff to appeal to rest of the world. It’s kinda disrespectful to God, and it’s really disrespectful to Twilight! But I don’t think He minds too much. All signs point to Him having an awesome sense of humor!

  • http://www.jennifermattix.blogspot.com VILFY Goodness

    I said it with Harry Potter and I’ll say it about Twilight, It’s a shame that there are those in the religious community are threatened by good literature. I’m also Christian and I think crazy lady from the letter needs to learn to use her brain…LIKE GOD INTENDED!

    “Jews created Vamps”…WIN! I want that on a bumper sticker!

    Jesus-Twi shirt…EPIC WIN!

  • http://NinjaTwinerd.blogspot.com NinjaTwiNerd

    I am a Christian and I don’t see much of a problem with the books (other than that they make us all want our own Edward!). I told my sister that it would be okay for my nieces to read the first three books but that there was some married sex in Breaking Dawn. I told her it wasn’t very graphic but that she might want to read it for herself to make her decision. Her reply? “Who cares – there’s smut in everything now. At least it will get them to read!” BTW, we all attend the same church.

  • http://www.twitter.com/pamkinz Pamela

    Golly.. It’s just a story, Bella.

    Let people write or read what they wanna. If it offends you, don’t read it. *GASP* Imagine that! You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to?! I know, shocker!!

    That is all.

    <3pam.

    ps; jc totes rawks. ;]

  • Proselyte3

    There is so much here. You don’t even know. I’m basking in the presence….

    ILY both. Fer Realz. Gonna go bake and break. ;) xo

  • allryans

    Pardon me while I self-flagellate for having missed today’s post. And then read every word for my quiet time and comment on every comment as penance. BBL!

    • eatmyjorts

      Quiet time FTW!

  • LovesEmmett

    “There’s a site I go to when I feel like getting mad at the super conservative elements of my upbringing…”

    I know exactly which site you are talking about and I do the EXACT SAME THING! Why do we torture ourselves?! And yes, many people in my church believe Twilight is evil just because it’s about vampires…

  • allryans

    Jesus would be appalled at the myriad of things the people who claim to love Him do in His name. TRUTH.

    That t-shirt is at the top of His list. JOKE.

    Trust me, my dad’s a preacher. SUGGESTION.

  • Tink

    Ok I had to step out of the shadows on this one and actually comment. First the Avalon and DCTalk jokes? LOVE THEM. Ive been a DTC fan from the beginning. Which also places me as a firm evangelical Christian. Heck, Im your basic church lady, just not as old. Id be a freakin nun if I was Catholic…

    I fell for Twilight just as the last book was published, while I was working as a teacher in a private Christian school. I was already “weird” to them since I was the Art teacher but it got worse when I got hooked on Twilight. At one point I tried giving the HS age daughter of a coworker the book but her mother all but shoved it back at me with the excuse that “she had too much to do” yet I know she and her friends were fans of the movie! It also became a way to connect with my middle school girls. Since I also taught Life Skills it was a great way to talk about guys and relationships and more then once talking about how Edward and Bella went about “doing things” opened up real discussions with these girls. I LOVE that while the rest of pop culture shows guys and girls hooking up and having meaningless sex, E+B wait till their honeymoon. While in many relationships these days that may not be realistic, its nice to see that something that is a huge influence in these girl’s lives revolves around true love and romance and NOT sex. Its given them back that fairy tale romance that the rest of the world has pushed aside.

    These books also did for girls what HP had done years ago – turned those that hated reading into bookworms, and in this case also got them talking to their moms and grandmoms and aunt and brought alot of generations of women together. Yet these books also face the same challenges that the HP books face – because of their content, many in the conservative Christian world see them as evil. They seem to forget that these are fantasy worlds. And that these arent the first books to talk about these fantasy world.

    Though it wasnt said, part of the reason Im no longer at the school is because my peers felt I was too much
    a part of the “world” and not Christian enough anymore for them, because I love Twilight and openly admit it, to the point that Im staff on a fansite and have been for almost 2 yrs now.

    BTW UC – I OWN THAT SHIRT. I proudly wear it too. And Ive got other Christian tees. Call me a dork or tacky, but I love them. And they never fail to get at least one comment when I wear them :)

    Yes I fully admit Im a Twilight Freak and a Jesus Freak. Joke is the longer Im in this fandom, the more Christians I find. HA maybe we should start a new fansite – Twilight Jesus Freaks.

    • operarose

      I hope you can be my kids’ art teacher someday. *claps*

      • operarose

        P.S. I’m not a Jesus freak and not really a Christian either in the true sense of the word. But it sounds like you are a great role model. Plus, I agree with you… I think Twilight should not be something that is hidden and shunned but rather be used as a powerful conversation starter.

  • allryans

    One more comment. Here is a nice little article on Christian subculture. Incidentally, it’s in my favorite Christian/Pop Culture magazine, Relevant. Read! Good stuff, even the stuff that’s not about faith. Like the Bradley Cooper Q&A on the homepage today! :)

    http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/features/18105-an-outsiders-guide-to-the-christian-subculture

    • eatmyjorts

      I love Relevant! Even though we have to import it. Do you listen to the podcast?

  • Becca

    Great post UC! Awesome shirt! I have heard of that shirt but never seen it. I organize a book club in my SS class at church and when I even tried to suggest Twilight, (I know, I know. What was I thinking?) the ladies shut me down. One called it “addicting” I wouldn’t know anything about that. *wink*

  • Michelle

    I have to say, I was not brought up religious and still am not religous in the slightest and I hate it when someone who is decided to push it down your throat. A person should be able to write whatever they want and no one judge them for it. The person who wrote that letter is so full of crap.

    Uc, you wrote another great letter as always. : )

  • robsfuturemate

    I know I’m a day late (and probably a dollar short) but I don’t usually look at LTT. (LTR is better!! LOL) But those of you who grew up in the church probably remember the Harry Potter controversy. It’s pretty much the same thing. All I can say is, be secure in your faith and you’re gonna be fine!

    Anyway, way to Tweed Serious for me right now…off to oggle Rob!

  • http://mainericefamily.blogspot.com no cool name

    (I know no one reads comments a day late, so I’m probably talking into the void, but oh well.)

    I can’t believe I’m the only Mormon to comment on this (unless I missed somebody)!

    I first heard about the Twilight books from my husband’s cousins who were all excited about them and one of the first things they mentioned about them was that SM had graduated from BYU, where several of us had also graduated. So, when I first read the books I was looking for the Mormon influence, and though I DID find it, it was subtle – or rather, mostly stuff a lot of people, Mormon or not, could relate to and endorse (fidelity, eternal love, self-control). But most of the time when reading the books, I forgot that they were written by a MORMON who went to MY ALMA MATER (how very exciting! we were there at the same time – could I have had a class with her?). I just got caught up in the story, like so many other, which at its core is a love story, plain and simple.
    (Though I will point out, which I pointed out the one other time I commented (under a different stupid name about how I had no clever name with which to protect my identity…can’t remember what it was!) dear SM appears to have been sadly influenced by mid-90s BYU fashion in her gratuitous use of khakis and blouses.)

    Also, with all the talk about getting the Christian jokes made here by Moon and UC, I have to say it’s a shame you guys probably didn’t get half the jokes in that video – there were some funny ones!

    • http://mainericefamily.blogspot.com no cool name

      Whoops, now I see that other Mormons already commented. Sorry, guys.

  • Heidi’sMom

    Oh I cringe when I read non-Americans who view American Christians as ultra conservatives who interpret the Bible literally. That doesn’t describe all of us! I’m a thumb sucking, tree hugging, bleeding heart liberal…and I’m a Methodist. Gasp! Yes, the Methodist social creed doesn’t oppose all abortion, nor are we hung up on all things related to sex and sexuality (much different than my Catholic upbringing). But I live in the upper Midwest where our version of Methodism differs from the Bible Belt. Funny, my friend who is also a big Twi fan is from church, and slowly we’re getting the other church ladies to read the books.

    I love how Twilight and LTT has brought together so many people of different faiths including atheists to discuss both the books and religion. Twilight = Peace.

  • Pingback: The time we met Stephenie Meyer & STILL had stuff to share! | Letters to Twilight

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