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Real Answers™
Copyright: © 2010 Gary Hardaway
640 words


By:  Gary Hardaway

Many years ago I stumbled onto the delights of murder mysteries and, inevitably, became hooked. I believe it was Jewish writer Harry Kemelman and his remarkable amateur sleuth, Rabbi David Small, who administered the addictive drug. Then came the descent into the depths of detection: Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Erle Stanley Gardner – purveyors of fascinating schemes and characters that irresistibly draw one into layered webs of intrigue. The desperate reader feels compelled to solve the burning question:  Who done it?


A good mystery always entertains, often informs, and, at the highest level, engages one’s moral faculties in serious thought. For instance, Agatha Christie’s brilliant drama, Murder on the Orient Express, confronts us with a troubling problem: is it ever right for us to execute justice as we see fit, when the usual legal machinery has failed? For victims of crime – like the parents of a brutally murdered child – this is no mere academic discussion. The recent PBS TV version of Orient Express elevates this issue to yet a higher plane. Do we honor God by accepting justice as fallible or may we lend him a hand in punishing evil?


Generally, mysteries are pretty clean. One can find hundreds – yea thousands – with practically no profanity nor graphic sex. This is important to me. I don’t want to ingest that kind of content.  However, subtexts need not rely on straight pornography to insinuate a pornographic message. One must watch out for subversive writers with personal agendas. 


Which brings me to a book, which I’ll call Sandville.


In Sandville, no one is married. Glenn, the chief suspect has been married and divorced twice. The deceased victim, Felicia, was also married and divorced twice. The amateur sleuth, Claire, is a middle age single woman who fondly recalls her recent affair with a young college student. Kiki, also single and middle-aged, has two one-night stands in the course of a week. Lark, a divorcee, is always on the prowl, though not particularly successful.


Larry, the homicide detective, appears to be married to his wife, but – wouldn’t you know it? – he eventually confides to Claire that the marriage is virtually over. In his words, “We decided to split. We had a long heart-to-heart talk, and, without rancor, decided we could never realize our dreams with each other. Both she and I are free to find love elsewhere.”


In Sandville, near the end of the book, a highly emphasized “marriage” ceremony does actually take place. Grant, in his fifties, “weds” Kane, in his twenties, as the cast of characters utters sweet blessings. Grant “professed to Kane his deep love and promised to stay with him forever, ‘come what may through thick and thin.’” Kane thanked Grant for “a happiness I had never thought possible.”


In the universe of Sandville, normal marriage is always a disaster. Adultery is somewhat pleasant and liberating. But same-sex union . . . that’s the ticket! Only the deviant know fulfilling, lasting, joyous relationship.


This celebratory propaganda, without any graphic description, nevertheless is a form of pornography, perhaps more insidious than the outright blatant stuff. It seeks to undermine the sanctity of marriage. The writer wants to poison our minds and enlist us in destroying the chief cornerstone of our civilization. 


The wisdom of Genesis has never been refuted. In that narrative God observes, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” God then goes to work “to make a suitable helper.” He does not make another man. He makes a woman, a magnificent woman suitable for an equally splendid man and brings her to him. The two quickly become husband and wife.


That was and is the Plan. It cannot be improved on. It enables humanity to flourish. Thus, we’re left with a real life mystery. Why do so many today try to murder marriage?

Gary Hardaway, a regular contributor to the Amy Internet Syndicate, directs Summit School of Ministry in Bellingham, WA.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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