A few years back it was believed that HarperCollins, publishers of the Narnia books, meant to rewrite them and remove all evidence of Christian allegory. This was not true, but it does makes one think:
What would the stories be like without the Christian influence?
Here’s my attempt:
Once there were four children whose names were Peter–oh, wait, he was a disciple. Keys to the kingdom and all that.
Well, then: Once there were four children whose names were Percy, Susan–oops, that name’s based on the Biblical Susanna. And wasn’t there a Santa Lucia, too?
So: Once there were four children whose names were Percy, Sybil, Edmund, and Lana.
Moving right along, these four kids entered a magical land via armoire. There they became involved in an epic struggle of good versus evil–oh, wait, there’s no such thing as absolutes. No one is all evil. The Witch is just misunderstood. She probably had an unhappy childhood. Oh, and we can’t keep calling her the Witch. The implies censure. We’ll call her pagan–no, that might remind people that there’s an opposite to paganism, such as religion. Ah! We’ll call her a Child of Nature.
So, these four kids join forces with the local inhabitants and try to overthrow the Witch–er, Child of Nature (despite her very stable and mutually beneficial reign.) However, lacking any true leadership (That would mean Him, and we certainly can’t include Him.), the children and other rebels soon are turned into overlarge paperweights.
Huh, well, that won’t sell. Let’s try this: We’ll include him, but only after a fashion. So, the children go to meet Aslan and Edmund is rescued. Then Nature Girl comes to claim the traitor, according to ancient law. Aslan, not being a type of Christ, cannot die and be resurrected, so he has to give Edmund back, to fulfill the law. Nature Girl kills Edmund (but he had it coming, after all), and the four thrones are never filled.
No, no. That won’t do. Well, how about this: Nature Girl comes to claim Edmund, and Aslan says, “No, that’s just tough. You can’t have him. I don’t have to honor the law my old man put into Narnia years ago.”–wait, that implies creation. Can’t have that.
Aha!: The Witch, er, Child of Nature, comes for Edmund, and Aslan eats her (So what if it was supposed to be a parley? Getting to eat your enemies during a truce is one of the beauties of situational ethics.). Everybody else lives happily ever after, including the wolves, hags, efreets, etc. who are shown the error of their ways and reintegrated into society. The four children, not satisfied with the concept of “divine right of kings,” hold elections to see who will be the new president of Narnia. Some dwarf, who was never given fair opportunity for advancement in Nature Girl’s regime, gets the job. The kids go back through the wardrobe. Book sales plummet.