Wednesday, December 19, 2007

For Once, the Catholic Church and I Are in Total Agreement

"The Golden Compass" is a crappy movie.

Although we dislike it for different reasons. Yahoo has this article, which says that the Catholic Church has slammed "The Golden Compass" with a "stinging broadside" (broadside being a nautical term), saying that it is "Godless and hopelss." Let it be shown that I too wish to broadside "The Golden Compass" with cricism, except MY problem is with the story and the script. I agree with the Catholic Church there should be more God, if only so when he humanity brings down the Kingdom of Heaven, people will feel more than just "what is happening? I'm so confused." Which is how I exited after seeing the film a couple weeks ago. The Catholic Church is scared that these books will cause children to question their religion, turn away from the church and possibly give up on God all together. The movie is about as threatening as VeggieTales, but the Catholic Church has been denouncing it anyway, since the books just might make a few people think.

Last night I finished re-reading the His Dark Materials trilogy ("The Golden Compass" is based on the first book, "The Northern Lights"), and I understood and enjoyed the story a lot more than I did when I read it in college. It is kind of bleak, especially at the end when the Church's power is destroyed, and the onus for making the universe a good place falls onto the shoulders of people. That's a LOT of responsibility, especially for a couple of kids. But at the same time, it's no different from what Jesus tells us--"do unto others as you would have done unto thee" and the one about treating the least of my bretheren as you treat me. (yes, yes, I know, it's been awhile since I've cracked a Bible) What's the difference, saying you're acting this way for the glory of God or because it's the decent thing to do? Maybe because the dark side of that is where it gets scary: if I am acting decently for the Glory of God, then what is to stop me from hurting people for the Glory of God? (cf, Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, etc.) Yet when godless heathens act decently or hurt people they're considered examples of how degraded humanity has become, how far away from God we've moved. Truly, what if there is no God, and it is up to us to be decent or not? That's a lot of responsibility. I don't know if I'm ready for that.

Saying "I'm not strong enough to take responsibility for being a decent person" seems like kind of a weak and weird reason to be a Christian. But, then again, Jesus died for our sins--how can I do better than that? Yesterday I talked about how bitchy and crabby I've been lately, and these are just little examples of being a bad person. Small moments when I could choose to be more polite or just spread around anger. These are the marks that are going to get read back to me on the Day of Reckoning, since I'm not planning on committing any murders any time soon. I'm not even strong enough to reel in my contempt when someone answers my questions slowly, or when people stand on the left on the escalator. How can I hope to build the Republic of Heaven on my own? Better to continue the work that Jesus started and try to bite my tongue when the situation calls for it.

Christmas is a week away, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Not in a "yay, I'm so excited to go home for Christmas!" or "yay, Jesus!" kind of way, but in a "when is this holiday going to be over so I can get back to normal" kind of way, which makes me slightly ashamed. There are reasons for the season, whatever your beliefs, and regardless, we should all take the time to slow down and appreciate the year that was and the year that's coming. But I can't do it this year. I don't know why. Maybe it's because of all the crabby and the stress, it's pushed goodness and patience out of my heart. I think "His Dark Materials" affected me more than it did before, because the message hit a little harder this time. The onus IS on me, after all, no matter what, to do the right thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is your brother, I can't remember my damn password.

Just read this whole page. I also got a migraine last week on monday, had to take the day off and go in to the doc. He gave me what I have a suspicion is just excedrin. try that next time, it has caffeine to take the edge off.