December 2007 - petrostudio LLC
Explain something to me.
When someone makes a film or writes a praising book about God or religion, actual or allegorical, most moviegoers won’t care about the theme if the product is good. Granted, perhaps an atheist would not be the first in line to see the movie but rarely, if ever, would you hear an atheist uproar about the themes of the film. You’d never read a newspaper article about the film’s obvious pro-religious stance.
Remember reading all those articles about the God/Jesus stories in characters like Aslan, Neo and Kal-El? No? But it’s so obvious that The Chronicles of Narnia, The Matrix and Superman are Christian allegory! Or is it?
On the other hand, when a film, book or simply a comment on the street bucks organized religion in any way, even minutely, religious groups and, by extension, their seeming lackeys in the press can’t say enough about it. Take the current furor over The Golden Compass, a movie based on the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. The media and religious groups mark this film, and others like it (remember the Dogma furor?) as “controversial” because they challenge the church. In The Golden Compass’s case, it’s simply because the story centers around and portrays as controlling and evil a group called the Magisterium, which is representative of organized religion.
So, if I agree with religion, or present religion in a good light, no worries. But if my beliefs happen to be different, or if I just write a compelling story that bucks the status quo, I’m “controversial”. Wow.
Religious groups need to check their values. These same people would probably be appalled at the treatment of outspoken citizens in other countries by governments such as China or the Sudan, or saddened by movies like Hotel Rwanda or Schindler’s List, that depict good people helping their oppressed brothers and sisters. They would probably be mortified at a country persecuting others for their religious beliefs, as in the Jesus story, our country’s past and during the second World War.
But those people who fight against oppression, in the movies and in the real world, are the same people religious groups rally against. People that buck the status quo, that make us stand up in our seats and cheer, are people like Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass.
To quote the ABC news article linked above:
Several film critics told ABC News that any film that even hints at religion is likely to provoke a debate, much like the one surrounding ‘Compass.’
No matter how offensive someone’s else’s ideas are to you, our Constitution secures their right to say it. And your right to disagree. This includes the hateful speech of bigotry, the rights of reporters to uncover ugly truths in our lives, messages from the world’s great religious leaders. All of that.
So go out and get in an uproar about something really worthwhile, like genocide in Darfur, or human rights abuses due to the drug trade in Colombia, or the systematic deceptions used to justify the invasion of other sovereign nations in order to force a government type upon an unwilling people…
…like in America. You know, worthwhile causes. After all, it’s just a story. Are you that weak that it really hurts you that badly?
I needed to get a welcome mat. This is not something that you necessarily need in an apartment/condo building. By the time you get to your door, the muck and water and grime has usually worn off all over the carpet in the hallways.
But in a house, it’s different. You need one. And so, I saw this welcome mat at the local store. And I’s must has it.
Here’s a video diary I posted about a recent business trip to San Jose.
I promise there will be more to come.