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The Religious Affiliation of Writer of Hard-boiled Detective Novels
Source:: Interview with Crime Time (a British-based magazine about mystery, crime and detective fiction), 06 August 2001
Q. You were raised a Catholic, right?
Spillane: No I wasn't raised either one (Catholic or Protestant). I'm one of the Jehovahs Witnesses.
Q. You joined in the fifties?
Spillane: You don't join that, you have to be a witness. Witnessing is an active word.
Q. The word apocalyptic keeps coming up in criticism of your work. Do you believe in the second coming?
Spillane: The word coming is a misnomer. The word used is parousia in Greek, and it means 'presence'. Take President Clinton. Do you know him? No. But you feel his presence, all the taxes he lays on you. We feel his presence because we have to live under his direction. So when these things were asked
of Jesus they asked 'what will be the sign of your presence, and the end of the system of things...now that was translated in the King James Bible as the end of the world. Now the word 'world' and the word 'earth' are two different things...the Bible says the earth abides forever. It's the simplicity of
it, religion has turned everything inside out! Someone says how'd you like to be able to live forever? You say, oh boy would I liketa live forever, there's so many things I'd like to do, I used to be able to pass a football with either hand, now I can't throw from here to the wall...there's so many
things...I think the best time for me was around 35... but if you're not a wise guy you can put up with those things...I know too many guys my age, they walk around, like they're crippled. I try to stay in good physical shape, I don't smoke, I don't drink...I'll have a beer once in a while. People say,'
you have a beer, you're a Jehovah's Witness...but the Bible doesn't proclaim against drinking, it proclaims against drunkenness...anyway, someone says how'd you like to live forever...we know what death is, you can kick a dead dog, it won't bite you...but Jesus makes the greatest remark I think
it's so funny nobody pays any attention, he says 'this means everlasting life', and they say what, 'you gotta stand on your head, you gotta pay knowledge, what', and he says it's taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and that's so easy...I get so excited about this, I'll keep talking to
you like this if you don't say that's enough, but this is why people think you're a nut, they say, don't people turn you down, I say 'they don't turn me down, they turn God down'. That's why people can't stop drinking, do drugs, that's why the world's the way it is...do you know a stable country in the world?
The guy who brought broads and blood to the reading masses is a Jehovah's Witness, a fundamentalist [group] that preaches the imminent end of the world.
"There's nothing phony about them. Everything they say is true," says Spillane, a one-time "nominal" Protestant converted years ago by a Jehovah's Witness who knocked on his door.
Webpage created 24 July 2005. Last modified 24 July 2005.
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