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goldmund
03-08-2012, 08:02 PM
Hi!

I'm writing a script about a man returning to his hometown and this man has to be "good."

To raise the stakes, I thought about making him someone who has to be "good" by profession as well, so: a priest or a shrink.
Priest would be better, more metaphysical (doh) -- he could be transferred to his hometown to be the new leader of the parish.
But he has to have a wife and kids, so I can't make him a catholic priest and I have experience only with catholicism.

Two questions:
- Is there any source of knowledge about protestant priests, their everyday life, responsibilities to the parish, etc.? Wikipedia is only full of blabber about differences between different branches of protestantism, no help at all.

- Would a young pastor protagonist estrange you and be difficult to emphasize with? It's not a good-goodie Christian tale, a thriller, actually.

EzzyAlpha
03-08-2012, 08:15 PM
I thought about making him someone who has to be "good" by profession as well, so: a priest or a shrink.

Don't you know shrinks are evil.

I would say another kind of profession would be better. A lot of people aren't fond of priests.

Puma
03-08-2012, 08:25 PM
How about a college professor or school teacher? Would either of those work?

I had two uncles who were Lutheran ministers. I would call them normal people. One of them definitely could be opinionated and argumentative and could have alienated people. Puma

Siri Kirpal
03-08-2012, 10:58 PM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Only Anglicans and Episcopalians have "priests" amongst the Protestants. Otherwise they're ministers or pastors. All of them visit the sick and bereaved in their community...if they're any good at all. Protestant services almost always involve a sermon, except for Quakers (who have no minister, so you couldn't use them anyway). Some pastors love writing and giving the sermon, and some hate it. (I've heard of pastors throwing up on Sunday mornings before they have to preach.) Some people might be bothered with a Christian minister MC, but I wouldn't...unless it was out to convert me, which isn't your plan.

The nastiest people I have ever had the misfortune to meet have been psychiatrists and counselors. Please don't make your MC one of those. (My apologies to anyone in those professions on this site. I know there are good ones, but I haven't met many.)

Pumas suggestion of school teachers is good. Most people know at least one really good teacher.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

71writer
03-08-2012, 11:08 PM
I am the daughter of a Protestant minister. There was a period of time when my dad was gone from pastoring but has returned. When he was gone though the man who replaced him would not visit those in the nursing homes or the sick. Said it wasn't his job.
If I can help at all just pm me. I'm 40 years old and he's been a minister for over 50 years now.

Siri Kirpal
03-09-2012, 12:39 AM
I am the daughter of a Protestant minister. There was a period of time when my dad was gone from pastoring but has returned. When he was gone though the man who replaced him would not visit those in the nursing homes or the sick. Said it wasn't his job.
If I can help at all just pm me. I'm 40 years old and he's been a minister for over 50 years now.

Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I heard of one who removed all passages about giving to the poor from his Bible, so he could say such things weren't in the Bible.

So, yeah, I know there are some bad ones out there.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

frimble3
03-09-2012, 08:39 AM
I've read stories about detectives who were Catholic priests, and Jewish rabbis, so I see no problem with a thriller about a Protestant priest, pastor or minister. Unless he kills a bunch of people with no regret or remorse. But you say he's a good man, so I figure that won't be going on.

goldmund
03-11-2012, 03:34 AM
Thank you! Indeed, I think a teacher would be better, or maybe a school psychologist. I shouldn't try to represent a member of a very specific fraction without lots of research. Also, maybe the priest would be a bit pretentious in this tale... thank you all!

Brickcommajason
03-11-2012, 04:11 AM
You might find the answer in why he has to be "good."


Is it a story element you're trying to make part of the landscape?
Is it because it's a small town and everybody's watching?
Is he trying to impress a love interest?
Is he making up for a past failure?


Whatever motivates the goodness can point to the perfect profession...

L.C. Blackwell
03-11-2012, 04:59 AM
Anybody can be pretentiously "good," right down to the village drunk.

Honestly, when you're talking about this kind of character, it makes me think of a small-town businessman who shows up at every civic meeting, gives to all the causes, donates largely to his church, belongs to the Moose Lodge, cheers at all his kid's basketball games, and is, in short, a model citizen. He also doesn't like anybody with long hair or an accent, is the first to demand an ordinance against junk cars, posts a sign in his yard that says "don't let your dog go here," and hates dandelions. He's a pillar of society and a pain in the neck.

Luckily, if he's the character you need, he doesn't take a lot of research. Most people know at least one.

:)

goldmund
03-11-2012, 02:48 PM
These are great points, Jason and L.C.
Basically he's trying to eradicate from his character every hint at "evil" ingrained in every human being -- to distance himself from a family member who is a criminal. But also, as a m.c., he has to be likable, so I need to walk on thin ice and not overdo it with stiffness. A minister would be a too heavy handedly symbolic, and now I see it, the job doesn't matter so much. Great that you can bounce ideas on AW! :D

ArtsyAmy
03-12-2012, 09:07 PM
I see from your last post that you're now thinking your character won't be a priest or a minister, but I don't know if you necessarily have to change that. My understanding is that a Catholic priest could indeed have a wife and children, *if* he entered the priesthood *after* becoming a husband and father. It's unusual, but not impossible--and such things often add an element of interest to a story. With your knowledge about the Catholic faith, maybe a priest would be just the character for your story.

I'm a Christian, and know lots of Christians who aren't goodie-goodie. There are ministers with spiked hair and earrings--some people see them as more approachable, whereas other people would be more comfortable talking to a more straight-laced minister. There's a great variety among Christians and their leaders. A less-stereotypical religious leader might make for a more interesting character for your story.

On the other hand, any religious leader as the "good" man in your story (or even a teacher or counselor) might seem stereotypical. Maybe you'd want to make him, say, a repairman for the electric company, or somebody else who would likely be seen as more of an "everyman," and isn't immediately associated with being "good." Or maybe your "good" man could be someone who had a troubled past--how about a former drug-addict, or a former drug-addict who became a minister?

quicklime
03-12-2012, 09:48 PM
Anybody can be pretentiously "good," right down to the village drunk.

Honestly, when you're talking about this kind of character, it makes me think of a small-town businessman who shows up at every civic meeting, gives to all the causes, donates largely to his church, belongs to the Moose Lodge, cheers at all his kid's basketball games, and is, in short, a model citizen. He also doesn't like anybody with long hair or an accent, is the first to demand an ordinance against junk cars, posts a sign in his yard that says "don't let your dog go here," and hates dandelions. He's a pillar of society and a pain in the neck.

Luckily, if he's the character you need, he doesn't take a lot of research. Most people know at least one.

:)


came to the party late, but THIS. In fact, making him clergy might feel like a cheap "gimme".

as an aside, my wife is friends with our pastor's wife. She took the wife to Thunder from Down Under, and the pastor and I have made jokes about "missionary work" and about Jesus killing kittens. Growing up in Milwaukee, he used to sneak onto rooftops with his friends and dump water buckets on prostitutes as entertainment. He and his wife swear freely, if less so than I do.

It takes all kinds, I've known as many clergy towards his end of the spectrum as the other.