So. Anyway. Elijah's backstory is about to take a turn that many of you may find hard to swallow. This has occurred to me because the super-wonderful author and beta elfellon111 mentioned that *she* was having a bit of a hard time with it. So I thought I'd explain a little bit first about where I'm coming from on this.
... I guess actually I'm writing Debbie as my sister.
Martha (my sis) grew up as wild as was possible in our very structured lives. After she was married and had her first two children, she went through an extremely hard time. At that point, she acquired a new friend, and started going to this friend's church. All of them were very supportive of her, her marriage problems, and her dreams for her children. They were also fundamentalist Baptist.
I don't know what that may mean to each of you, but here it means that you follow your church's interpretation of the Bible exactly. Martha bought into it wholeheartedly, and within two years I could no longer talk to her philosophically. It's a good thing for me that I was well started in the religious route that I ended up taking before this happened, since she had always had a profound influence on me.
She started her children at the Baptist private school, but when she could no longer afford that, she home-schooled, along with a group of others, who became her support group.
I don't have anything against it fundamentally. All of the children of that group turned out extremely well, but they still do exactly what mama says.
I don't think that Debbie Wood was that strict or that religious. But -
- Home-schooling programs are primarily designed by religious organizations.
- I *am* certain that she was just as protective of her talented and beautiful son as my sister was of hers.
- In this information age where everyone is exposed to a wide variety of people and ideas, it seems impossible that a child can be so sheltered; but I know from personal experience that they can. (A movie set is actually *more* insular than a regular school.)
- Until LotR, Elijah always signed autographs with references to God, such as 'God Bless'. He expressed several of the religious ideas that he had.
So, yes, my ideas about Elijah's probable background are undoubtedly different than most.
- I believe that he was most likely *very* innocent before he went to NZ - his first experience away from home. If Debbie was typical of most home-schooling mothers, this would be the time when she actually turned him loose - he was now 18.
- I believe that the only opinions he would have heard about queers would have been negative in the extreme, in spite of growing up in the very midst of one of the highest gay populations. Remember that he made Forever Young with Mel Gibson!
- I believe that Debbie would have a *very* hard time accepting the sexual orientation of her son. I don't think there would be any danger of disowning him, but I do think that her reaction would be of the type that views homosexuality as a mental disorder.
Something that most non-fundamentalist-christian people don't really grasp is that fundamentalists really, truly *believe* that if you go against any rule in the Bible, you will lose your soul; that you will fall into darkness, go to Hell. That they will do *anything* to put you back on the straight and narrow, expecting that on the Day of Reckoning you will thank them for saving your soul.
So that if, perhaps, Elijah did not at first understand that some of his new friends might be gay and even proud of it, it was not due to any lack of kindness on his part.