Wednesday, 2/18/15

  1. Christian Art > Evangelical Art
  2. What the End of the World Looks Like
  3. I didn’t coin “Christianophobia,” but …
  4. Enhanced offensiveness in Indiana
  5. History as Propaganda
  6. Coptic Christian Martyrs: Made in America

1

Brandon Amrosino, whose name seems vaguely familiar though I can’t place it, takes this occasion

to reflect at some length on Why are Christian movies so painfully bad?

You get the feeling that Old Fashioned owes its entire existence to Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s as if the Christian movie industry pays attention to mainstream cinema just long enough to see what it’s up to, before raising funds to do slightly different versions of the same thing, only with less famous actors, more Jesus, and rocking chairs. (There are always rocking chairs.)

Any person even vaguely familiar with Evangelical subcultures will recognize the trend of copying and sanitizing whatever pop culture is doing …

It’s surprising because, in Christian theological terms, God is not the one who makes knock-offs.

A scene in Old Fashioned illustrates this nicely. During one of their heart to hearts, Clay tells Amber how he came to run an antique store. He says that once “Jesus found him” in his senior year of college, he had a change of heart, which ended up drastically altering his life’s goals. So, asks Amber, “What do you want out of life?”

“To be decent,” he answers. “That’s it. A good person.”

Granted, he adds, his goals aren’t heroic, nor are they ambitious. “I guess I just wasn’t destined for greatness,” he says.

“I think the world has enough greatness,” Amber reassures him. “Not enough goodness.”

Great shades of Roman Hruska! There’s much more to the article; I had to restrain my urge to copy and paste lest I plagiarize or people get the impression there’s not much there. There is.

My main criticism of Ambrosino’s articles is that it uses “Christian” in the title in the insular Evangelical sense, which tacitly excludes all non-Evangelicals. But there is much wonderful art being produced by other Christians, though one might overlook it since it’s typically not “in your face.”

Heck, there may even be some good Evangelical art (the human spirit is pretty indomitable) though I can’t think of any off-hand.

2

I didn’t quote the people I respect writing about Fifty Shades of Grey, but now Chris Hedges has written about it, which is notable and not a little heartening: Pornography is What the End of the World Looks Like.

There are few people on the left who grasp the immense danger of allowing pornography to replace intimacy, sex and love. Much of the left believes that pornography is about free speech, as if it is unacceptable to financially exploit and physically abuse a woman in a sweatshop in China but acceptable to do so on the set of a porn film, as if torture is wrong in Abu Ghraib, where prisoners were sexually humiliated and abused as if they were on a porn set, but permissible on commercial porn sites.

(H/T Rod Dreher)

3

Sociologist George Yancey speaking of “Christianophobia” (ugh!):

There are other examples where it is less clear whether it is Christianophobia or something else, much like it is often hard for myself, as an African-American, to know when a person is acting due to racism or some other motivation. I think of the conflict over religious freedom laws in this way.

But there are some that I think are hard to defend, such as the policies at California colleges which have led to the removal of Christian groups. I have written about such policies and still fail to hear a solid reason why we should give an atheist the “right” to be the president of a Christian group. The only viable reason I can think is because this rule allows college administrators to express some degree of latent Christianophobia with a fiction of promoting equality.

4

While I’m on the topic of “ugh!,” let me say that a Bill moving forward in the Indiana General assembly, which makes it a capital offense to kill someone in school, leaves me cold even though they amended it to add churches Tuesday.

“You have a large gathering of students. They should feel safe at all times,” [Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat] Harrington said. “And if someone were to commit a murder inside a school or on a college campus, that should see the ultimate protection, the highest protection and penalty that Indiana has.”

An amendment was added to the bill to include places of worship. Harrington said more language will be added to help clarify the exact property or grounds covered by the bill.

(Emphasis added)

It seems to me that the whole enterprise is tainted by the perverse notion that a murder is more or less heinous depending on where it occurs (or whether the prosecutor can gin up a case that the murderer had an super-duper extra-vile invidiously discriminatory motive).

With all due appreciation for the difference between, say, premeditated murder and reckless homicide, I can’t see that the motive for the premeditated version can aggravate it further. I’ve pretty well settled into opposition to “hate crime” laws and these country cousin lite versions.

5

People have a hard time confronting history that doesn’t tell a propagandistic story.

Rod Dreher, commenting on (among other things) an Oklahoma “emergency” Bill banning use of state funds for Advanced Placement History classes that are insufficiently idolatrous (emphasizes “what is bad about America”) for some Krustian legislators:

Black Robe Regiment is a resource and networking entity where church leaders and laypeople can network and educate themselves as to our biblical responsibility to stand up for our Lord and Savior and to protect the freedoms and liberties granted to a moral people in the divinely inspired US Constitution.

God that? The Constitution is divinely inspired, along with the “Saint James Virgin” of the Bible, no doubt.

Meanwhile, on one of the left coasts, “California … [i]n 2011 … passed a law requiring public schools to include LGBT contributions in their history courses.” (Dreher again)

Is it any wonder if homeschooling gains? Who wants their kids indoctrinated with the current fad views of whichever party had 50% + 1 of of last year’s legislature?

6

As we grieve the 21 Coptic Christians martyred in Libya, let us recall that the chaos there was Made in America

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.