Despite his best efforts, Stephen King declares himself to be a huge fan of the one

person he seeks to destroy: Jesus Christ.

After recently re-watching IMDb’s highest rated film (something, in my mind, as carrying

WAY more weight than any accolade from Rotten Tomatoes), one must conclude that the

Shawshank Redemption continues to be relevant, entertaining, timeless, and just beautiful.

From the score to the scenery, the acting to the actors, the directing to the delivery, Stephen

King’s adaptation of “the Rita Hayworth Redemption” deserves its top spot. Simply put, it’s still

got it.

There are themes, however, in King’s novels and movies, besides just scares, small

towns, and the American North-East. As sure as a nod to aliens and the supernatural, there is a

head-jerk to an anti-Christian message. Far right-wing, fundamental, Bible-thumping, scripturequoting hypocrites and hicks pervade his books and films. And he (and his book-to-film

directors) are careful to portray them that way.

These Christian antagonists appear in The Mist, It, Misery, Carrie, and the Shawshank

Redemption in addition to others that I have not seen as King questionably goes out of his way

to bash all things Christian. King has gone on record himself as saying that religion is “a very

dangerous tool that’s been misused by a lot of people.” Curiously, he still “chooses to believe in

God.”

Regarding the Shawshank Redemption, King has said, “When I first saw it, I realized [the

screenwriter] made not just one of the best movies ever done from my work, but a potential

movie classic.” This is a profound quote, especially given that the screenwriter, Frank Darabont,

made a movie about the life and times of Jesus the Messiah, aka, The Shawshank Redemption.

When one begins to consider the staggering evidence that Andy Dufresne (pronounced

“DU-frane”) is an almost pound-for-pound representation of Jesus Christ, you just gotta

wonder, how did they miss this? Spoilers:

Let’s start with the warden, warden Norton. A church-going fundamentalist WWII era

Baptist, Norton is the quintessential Pharisee. The head Guard, Captain Hadley and his minions,

are the Romans. After Dufresne enters prison, he gathers friends around him, who represent

the Disciples, with his best friend, Red, being Peter. Let’s not stop here:

Jesus: enters the earth as a baby, of whom it is said “He came unto His own, but His own

did not receive Him” and “He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the

street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will

faithfully bring forth justice.” Dufresne: came to prison, of whom it was said “He had a quiet

way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn’t normal around here. He strolled, like a man in

a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield

him from this place.” Christ and Andy are both the only innocent people who suffered unjustly

in the worlds that they inhabited, both were noticeably out of place, and both faithfully brought

forth justice to those same worlds.

Both blessed the people en masse: Christ fed the five thousand, Andy played music over

the loudspeaker to all of the inmates. Both rebuked their “Peters”: Christ rebuked His when

Peter told Him that He would not die, and Andy rebuked Red when Red told him to give up

hope of redemption and freedom. Both began reforming their worlds: Christ taught

everywhere he went, educated the His target audience (Israel), reformed Paul and used him as

a disciple instead of a persecutor (Paul is murdered later), and did not listen to the Pharisees

who tried to stop Him. Andy taught everywhere he went, educated his target audience (the

inmates) by building a library, reformed Tommy and used him as a student instead of a criminal

(Tommy is murdered later), and did not listen to warden Norton who tried to stop him. Both

were thought to be dead: Christ died (after suffering His greatest persecution for a crime He did

not commit), was resurrected after three days in the ground, revealed Himself to people who

did not recognize Him, and was raised to heaven where He sits reforming the Earth. Andy did

not attend roll call (after suffering his greatest persecution for a crime he did not commit), was

“resurrected” after crawling through a sewage tunnel in the ground, revealed himself to people

who did not recognize him, and went to a tropical island off the coast of Mexico where we see

him restoring an old boat. Both predicted their “death” and “resurrection.” None of their

“disciples” believed them. Both told their disciples that they are going to prepare a place for

them. Both groups of disciples told stories about them after they left. Both destroyed the

religious persecutors of their day. And, amazingly, both used the Bible to accomplish all of these

things.

The similarities do not stop there, but I will leave you to discover the rest. In all of this,

King attacks Jesus and His children with his mouth; with his actions, he praises his God who

created him. With his right hand, King seeks to destroy the legacy of Jesus Christ; with his left,

he perpetuates it. It is an incredible thing that, in King’s campaign to profane the God of the

Bible, he can find no better hero than Jesus Christ Himself to do it. The end result is that

Stephen King gets hoisted on his own petard.

Surely, “the wrath of man shall praise Thee.”

Categories: Culture

Luke Saint

The board’s youngest member, bringing with him a youthful zeal and valuable contributions. Raised in a homeschool environment by parents with a reconstructionist vision, he claims Christian Reconstruction as the mindset and mission of his faith. In addition to his day job as a UPS driver, he ministers in music at his church and currently hosts a podcast, Brotherhood of the Silver Screen, a critique commentary on the latest movies and cinema trends. Luke resides in Reading, PA.

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