What is "Christ in the parlor" in Fahrenheit 451?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Faber makes a comment about Christ in the parlor while reading a forbidden Bible that Montag has given him.  Turning the pages, he says,

"It's as good as I remember...Lord, how they've changed it in our 'parlors' these days...Christ is one of the 'family' now...I wonder if God recognizes His own son the way we've dressed him up, or is it dressed him down?  He's a regular peppermint stick now, all sugar-crystal and saccharine when he isn't making veiled references to certain commercial products that every worshiper absolutely needs".

Since books, including the Bible, are banned, the only way people know about Christ now is through society-created presentations of him.  These are projected through the media into the citizens' homes by way of television broadcasts, enjoyed on big screens in their living rooms, or "parlors".  The government-controlled depictions present Christ as a caricature, "sugar-crystal and saccharine", and use him to promote the values of materialism and self-gratification which underlie the whole basis of society.  The essence of Christ which can be found in the Bible is unavailable to the people.  All they know of the Son of God is the vapid representation of him that is piped on occasion into their parlors (Part 2).