Monday, May 25, 2009

Let's Challenge Hollywood To Be Truthful

We went to see "Angels and Demons" over the weekend. Good movie- -not great. Tom Hanks is solid. Ewan McGregor is excellent as the "Camerlengo" (Papal Chamberlain). Crisp Ron Howard direction. The screen play/adaptation is quite true to Dan Brown's novel thus pretty inaccurate about Catholic ritual. So, between this movie and "The DaVinci Code" you really have to wonder what's behind Dan Brown's 'mean-on' for Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular? You also have to wonder why Hollywood thinks it’s ‘open season’ on Christianity and feels free to impugn Christians but simply doesn’t have the guts to take on any other religion- -except maybe for Judaism. Finally, you have to question if Hollywood understands the kind of world it’s helping to create by doing so.

Of the world’s great religions Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and the lesser known Shinto and Bha'i, only one of them- -Islam- - teaches it’s alright to kill/murder other human beings and actually offers a reward- - -a place in heaven with 72 virgins- - - for those who follow through on it. (Question, what does a female suicide bomber get as a reward- -72 young virgin boys or does she have to be a lesbian to reap full benefit of the reward?)

Christianity and Judaism on the other hand are quite firm and very explicit on this subject going so far as to cite the teaching in two places in the Old Testament. The Book of Exodus, Chapter 20, Verse 13 states the Sixth Commandment very precisely, “Thou shall not kill.” The same commandment is repeated verbatim in the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 5, Verse 17- - -“Thou shall not kill.” Notice that it doesn’t say, “Thou shall not kill except for. . . .” or, “Generally speaking you probably shouldn’t kill. . .” No, the Sixth Commandment is plain and clear- - -you cannot kill. Buddhists, Shintos and Bha'is all have similar teachings and hold human life in the highest regard. But not Islam. It’s call to Jihad and to the murder of non-believers is well known in every corner of the world. Yet, Hollywood and it’s left leaning citizenry insist on taking on and maligning the Judeo-Christian sense of religion and morality upon which this country was founded. Why?

Could it be the Hollywood elite and powerful are simply gut-less and afraid of taking on Islam lest some Ayatollah somewhere issues a Fatwa calling for their deaths as was done with Salman Rushdie and Theo Van Gogh? [They succeeded in the case of Dutch film maker, Van Gogh, but not with British author Rushdie.] After all it’s pretty hard to imagine the Pope calling for the Death of Dan Brown or the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem putting a price tag on the head of Ron Howard. And, a vision of the Dalai Lama urging his followers to behead Tom Hanks on sight is impossible to conjure up. Thus taking shots at Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism seems to be the safer path for those “brave” Hollywood types. Not much chance of physical retribution for their actions.

Maybe it’s about time for Americans to say “enough” and issue a challenge. A challenge to all the folks in Hollywood and the movie industry around the world challenging them to either have the courage and moral integrity to expose radical Islam for what it is through the power of feature films and documentaries or- - - -shut the Hell up!! And to so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims everywhere in the world, challenging them to either take a vocal and highly visible stand- -in huge numbers- -against radical Islam or admit to being the purposeful hypocrites they appear to be. Unfortunately, I think liberal Hollywood lacks the clarity of purpose and spiritual integrity to do what’s right in this battle of cultures and ideologies. Instead they will continue to do what’s currently politically correct and ideologically expedient. Moderate Muslims will simply continue to lack backbone and courage. And the world will continue to be a dangerous place as a result.


Anonymous said...

Umm - "Of the world’s great religions Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and the lesser known Shinto and B’hai, only one of them- -Islam- - teaches it’s alright to kill/murder other human beings and actually offers a reward"

1) not "B’ha" but "Baha'i" and
2) "Onward Christian soldiers..." but of course neither is what it used to be.

The Sage of Tampa said...

Nice try but "Onward Christian Soldiers" is a metaphor for doing battle with Satan and evil in the world. Further, it is a song written by laymen. It is not part of the Biblical text. Thus not part of the "Holy Book" of Christianity the way that the exhortation to Jihad and its violent doings are a part of the Qur'an. But thanx for the correction on the spelling of Baha'i. Although I've seen it spelled at least 3 diffrent ways I think yours is the preferred spelling.

The Sage

Katsnip said...

Well said, O Sage. Personally, I quit going to movies because of the unbridled bias of Hollywood and think a total boycott of their products might get their attention.

SMK said...

Well B'hai is just wrong. The most proper has accents but those don't universally render on the internet - Bahá'í.

I agree that Jesus' theology has much more about love in it. However I don't think you can as easily disconnect the history of Christian Europe and America and it's warlike devastation and downright evil disruption of hosts of cultures and peoples around the world. Perhaps if they had been more true to Jesus this wouldn't happened, but the failure to more completely implement Jesus' wishes is surely more on the hands of Christians than anyone else.

Thanks for the tkaing the correction.

Katsnip said...

You make a valid point, however I believe the Sage is referring to the fact the of all the world's great religions, ONLY Islam (through their holy book, the Quran) actually ENCOURAGES its adherents to kill other human beings. What mankind does in the name of religion as opposed to what the religion itself teaches is the point. Whoever the Muslims' god is, it isn't my God...remember, my God slew his only son to save us, while Allah asks his followers to slay their own children for him. Get the irony?

The Sage of Tampa said...

SMK- - -Don't want to gang up on you my friend but Katsnip said it quite well. Whether Christians have succeeded in completely implementing the teachings of Jesus or not is- -although arguable- - hardly the point. Islam, via its most sacred text, calls for the murder of non-believers and the complete 'marginalization of women' (something Baha'is deplore).

To hold Christianity responsible for the "disruption of hosts of cultures and peoples around the world" simply because the teachings of Jesus have not yet been completely and fully implemented is at best disingenuous and at its worst distracting from the task of eradicating evil. It's the moral equivalent of justifying one's own bad habits or behavior on the basis of similar or worse habits exhibited by others.

Unfortunately, I have to call "B.S." on you and ask you to back up- -factually not emotionally- - your statement regarding: "Christian Europe and America and it's warlike devastation and downright evil disruption of hosts of cultures and peoples around the world." Remember, I said "factually" not emotionally so that means no statements beginning with "everyone knows that. . ." or "in my opinion. . ." Facts only, please.

SMK said...

Do I back up, "factually", on the part of "Christian" or "Europe and America"? And if you measure across the world which people we are talking about, it's rather clear, isn't it? I mean are we going to mistake Europe and America for... Hinduism? Are we going to mistake the Christians of India for the cultural expression normal in the Europe and America?

That we have failed to fulfill the Teachings of Jesus is no more or less than Moslems failing to fully implement the Qur'an, or any scripture and it's religion. God sets a bar and we try to measure up and to the extent we do we achieve good and glory. And as much not of shame and sorrow.

In this measure of an extreme history I don't mean to say that ONLY Christian Europe and America have devastated peoples. Indeed all peoples have done something of the kind. It's just that being the biggest powers in recent years, and enhanced by the recent rise of technology, we've done more of it, systematically, than anyone else has had a chance to do. I do not propose that others somehow would naturally have avoided what we've done, and the process is self-correcting with globalization albeit slowly and again painfully.

Back to Islam, have you asked Muslims how they interpret what you are worried about?

Why do so many maintain that the terrorists are not really reflecting the teachings of Islam?

Have you learned anything of the history of the Middle East - do you imagine it has always been desert and camels and nothing more? Learn of the libraries and universities and schools of medicine and sanitary practice and public health. How did poetry flourish if the religion promised the promulgation of killing? Who wants such a thing? And yet Islam is the second most widespread religion on earth. It's not just going to go away. Let us engage in the truth indeed.