Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The War on Me

Hola, Amigos!

I am going to be annoying and continue to harp on this War on Me the Christians are waging. I call it a War on Me because I am thin skinned and take everything personally. Ever since the Christians bussed in protestors to New York City to try to shut down Terrance McNally’s Corpus Christi, I’ve taken this culture war personally. That is because I personally went out to the barricades to march in support of McNally’s freedom of speech, and I experienced the bigotry and hatred of the Christian Right first hand.

In discussing The Chronicles of Narnia with my Media Studies class this week, I asked them if they thought Hollywood was hostile toward Christians. After all, the Christians are always claiming so. In an article in the Times on the rising influence of Christians producers in Hollywood—primarily Walden Films and Icon aka Phil Anschutz and Mel Gibson—one Christian was quoted as saying he suspected that liberals feared “that we will be as hostile and unfair as they have been.” (I’m paraphrasing—I threw that issue out). Personally, I have never thought Hollywood was openly hostile to Christians, or even discretely hostile to Christians. Obviously a lot of films are offensive to Christians, but only in the Christians’ world does this equal hostility. Conservative Christians genuinely believe that representations of sex, violence, homosexuality, or liberal thinking are sinful and therefore come from the devil and are therefore hostile to Christianity. But those of us who don’t agree with them should not be shackled by their orthodoxy.

After a lot of discussion my students came to the conclusion that Hollywood is not hostile to Christians but that Christians are definitely hostile to Hollywood—and to the Arts in general, and to academia. They came up with numerous examples, from the Fatty Arbuckle fiasco, to the Hayes office and the production code, to the “Jew baiting” of Hollywood producers in the 30s, to the NEA Four, to campaigns against the Harry Potter movies as being “Satanic,” in which Christian orthodoxy was employed in attempts to confine and control film, television and theatre. It is as bad now, I think, as it was in the late twenties when the Hayes Office was founded, because the new Right, drunk with power, is trying to turn back the clock to the days of the Production Code and steamroll any and all opposition.

Here’s my prediction. When Brokeback Mountain is nominated for the best Picture Oscar (which it will be) and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is not (which it won’t be), conservatives on TV and Christian groups all over the country will go ballistic and complain that Hollywood is a cesspool and the Oscars are hostile toward Christians. They did it last year when Million dollar Baby and Sideways were nominated but The Passion wasn’t. This year will be worse. Just watch.


Blogger brat said...

Looking at it with a definite liberal bent and I still see irony on how your thin-skinnedness (tm) is so much like the "christians" who appear to rile you so.

Let's face it, the media needs something stupid to fixate on - "War on Christmas" is just perfect for that. *sarcasm* How dare you suggest that media actually talk about something important.
*end sarcasm*

12:36 PM  

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