Writer for HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” Hopes His Play Will Lead People to Seek Out God

Photo by Michael Lamont. David Melville, Larry Cedar and Armin Shimerman in The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord.
Photo by Michael Lamont.
David Melville, Larry Cedar and Armin Shimerman in The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord.

Scott Carson, a writer for HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” said he hopes his play, “The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord,” will lead people to seek out God and the spiritual side of life, now, rather than later.

“There were a lot of issues I put to the side … I thought, ‘oh well, I’ll deal with that when I’m older.’ Or a lot of people find themselves asking questions when someone around them dies or has a terminal illness, or when they themselves are diagnosed with a terminal illness, or there’s some extreme disappointment in life. And that’s when they go to think about spiritual philosophy or religion, and I would like people to be compelled coming out of this play to think, ‘Maybe I better be thinking about this now,'” Carson told The Christian Post.

In “Discord,” the third president of the United States of America, the English author of “A Christmas Carol,” and the Russian writer behind the novel Anna Karenina, are trapped together in a sterile interrogation room as ghosts on a layover from their ultimate destinations. The uniting force between them is that they all rewrote the Bible. Together Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy – played by Larry Cedar, David Melville, and Armin Shimerman, respectively – agonize over their beliefs about God, the teachings of Jesus and the details of His life, death and resurrection.

Carson began questioning his belief in God and His goodness after experienced a severe asthma attack in 1986.

He recalled, “I have been a lifelong asthmatic and in 1986 I had a near-death asthma attack. I was put in the hospital for about a week and when I came out I had an epiphany experience like Saul on the road to Damascus. Saul becomes Paul, scales fall from [his] eyes, and instantly a lot of issues that I had heretofore been hostile or indifferent about became a prime driving force of my life. I had a very clear notion of God which has not left me since then.”

The experience led Carson to open himself up to faith. “So when I had this very clear notion of God that has been unshakeable, I then wanted to start going out into the world to see who else might be sharing or who else might be guiding me towards something else. So I began to open myself up to anyone who wanted to talk to me about religion or any kind of spiritual philosophy, anyone who wanted me to go to a ceremony I would go. If you wanted me to read something, I would read it. Or if you just wanted to talk, I would talk with you.”

It was during that time that Carson, who considers himself as an “unaffiliated deist,” discovered the Bibles featured in his play “Discord.”

“I was led to the Jefferson Bible through a television program by Bill Moyers in 1988 called ‘A World of Ideas,’ and then the Jefferson Bible then led me a few years later to the Dickens Bible, which I hadn’t known about (I had known about Jefferson). And then two years after I found out about Tolstoy’s Bible.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Stephanie Samuel

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