It was actually a few days ago, but the real inspiration for the story began, as it usually does, with a drunk teenager.
Backpacking around Europe in 1971, and finding himself pissed in a field gazing up at the night sky, a tall 6 foot ape descendant had an idea. If only someone would create a “Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy” he would be ‘off like a shot’ among those stars.
More on how Douglas went on to create the radio series (my favourite incarnation) then book etc can be read here. The book however, served more than just entertainment for me as a teenager. It had a huge impact on my faith.
My mother one day was looking at a list from school of books to read and came across Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. We had a lodger who was a big Adams fan – my mother decided such books were unacceptable as they did not teach the world was created by God. However, the more the lodger told me memorable quotes from the book the more I wanted to read it.
Secretly, like someone reading the Tyndale bible, I read the book while pretending to be asleep. I laughed silently. Not only was the book funny, but there was an illicit thrill that this was naughty but nice. Maybe I was dishonoring my mother reading this book – but it was a fun story!
And then something hit me between the eyes. If I wanted to prove that it was not the Magrathians but God that built the earth what evidence would I need? So at 13 I reread the Creation Evolution book. It did not give me anything except – well how else? Well I could say the same thing about an alien race making the earth. [From Jehovah to Dawkins]
The Elders of our local Jehovah’s Witness congregation went on to confirm the ban, and double checked other books on the list. I pick up the story in another post:
Not even one per cent of the population identifies as Jehovah’s Witnesses, and of all faith groups it has the biggest exodus of children once they are adults. My time came early having read subversively Douglas Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It had been banned by the elders because it suggested an alien race built the earth, not Jehovah, and for mice not us. The humorous quotes a lodger mentioned made me want to read.
Hitchhikers made me think how would I prove God not aliens made the earth? Researching Society [Jehovah’s Witnesses’] publications for this ultimate answer unearthed instead prophecies made that did not happen during the 1920s. My head swooned. The bible warns against false prophets and to reject them. Plus new editions of books I had read changed dogma while quoting different scriptures. Once, those destroyed at Sodom and Gomorrah would be given a second chance after Judgement day in an old edition. Now, the new edition said they had already been judged for eternal destruction. There was no acknowledgement of the change – it just happened. [Apostasy Post]
Never underestimate fiction. It has the power to change the way you think. No wonder people want to suppress it.
A thinking child is a well read child. Do not take that away from them.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog