If you just work really hard, I’m sure you’ll get the same chance to succeed that every other hard worker out there gets. Too bad you’re not much to look at though, because attractiveness always seems to help. Haven’t you noticed that all of our top-level executives have nice hair, strong jaw-lines and a bit of muscle? No, they didn’t have to get surgery, why do you ask?

★                    ★                    ★

I hate the Christian Inspiration shelves in bookstores almost as much as I hate Teen Paranormal Romance. The fact that Barnes and Noble and other places have sections in their floor plans for each genre says there are enough books to fill them. It also means there’s a demand for them. The Christian area of a bookstore feels like a religious ghetto that a bunch of Jesus people have trapped themselves in.

I’m not going to lie, I’m tired of people trying to “inspire” me. I know it feels good to goad someone to action, but I’d much rather accomplish that task with a large stick and some aggression. It’s doubles as exercise when you do that.

But people buy these books.

We actually purchase them- with money.

Many of us read them.

Logic isn’t much of a turn-on, is it? What about my opening paragraph would motivate someone to work hard and try to work their way up any corporate ladder? And we’ve all realized that having some religious person tell you what we should or shouldn’t do only makes us (at least, me) want to stab them. It’s the supposed history of our culture, isn’t it? I mean, how many people piss and moan that all we do is complain about their bad lifestyles and tell them to live better lives? I just recently drove by a Planned Parenthood that’s not far from my office and saw people outside protesting. Christians always stand out there protesting and they don’t even look like they’re having any fun (which means they’re doing it wrong).

Anyway, as Jesus-people, we seem to crave stories that make us feel warm and fuzzy. We also look for tales that drive us toward outrage at injustice and unnecessary death at the hands of morons. The rest of the world reads biographies of successful humans in hope that maybe they’ll catch some spirit, personality, plan or anything to help understand how somebody awesome accomplish what they did. Some of them were good-looking. Others worked really hard for a long time and went unrecognized for their efforts until right before they died of something outrageous (who can’t relate to that one?)

I guess what I’m getting at is why do we need a genre of Jesus-literature called Christian Inspiration? There is no secular inspiration, no atheist motivation and we won’t find any Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or Wiccan encouragement genres, either. At least, I hope not. We should call books of this nature what they are. “Real life for people other than yourself, who happened to share your faith, and yes, have something to say” and “Let’s just be honest, this crap is self-help, which is the opposite of Christianity.”

If I could have my way, our books and literature wouldn’t come in any religion-specific section we would invade the rest of the bookstore with our novels, autobiographies, histories and whatever else we have to offer.