There have been some comments about the presence of fundamentalist Christianity in the Anomaly. It is a legitimate question as to whether any religion, let alone an ascetic version of the Presbyterian Church, should survive for another fifteen hundred years.
Obviously I don’t really know what the answer is. As the Anomaly is more satire than science fiction, my concern is less with the actual feasibility and more to do with religious faith, or any other belief system. being perverted and used for other purposes. There is a very long history of this, and it’s by no means limited to religion. The twentieth century is famous for how the relative benign and benevolent ideology of socialism became so distorted that its bastard offspring in the Soviet Union, Kampuchea, Maoist China and elsewhere exceeded even the excesses committed in the name of charity, compassion and eternal life.
One of the advantages of using a variant of Christianity to satirise is that most readers of English are relatively familiar with what the religion is about and many may even have been exposed to the Bible. Another advantage is that at the moment, it’s a rather safer target. The Archbishop of Canterbury is unlikely to decree a fatwa on me for my wilful blasphemy (although I can’t be certain of the tolerance of several religious leaders in America or Russia). Since my intention (as made clear in Chapter Twenty Three) is less to show Christianity as an evil religion or even a faith followed only by fools and idiots, but rather as a faith with good intentions that even a millennia or two into the future can still be perverted towards quite un-Christian ends.
And for those of you who like this sort of thing, here’s a picture of a girl at prayer by Mazzam: