Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Slate in which he blames the actor's sexist, racist and etc-ist rants on his extremely right-wing Catholic faith. Gibson's father, known for his holocaust denials, founded a schismatic group in Australia to the right of an already conservative Pope. The younger Gibson's bloody "Passion of the Christ" was an advertisement for these anti-Semetic fundamentalists. According to Hitchens, for whom ALL religion is anathema, Gibson's "every word and deed is easily explicable once you know the single essential thing about him: He is a member of a fascist splinter group that believes it is the salvation of the Catholic Church." Hitchens has criticized Pullman's fiction of Jesus and his twin-brother Christ as the work of a "Protestant atheist" because his book raises the possibility that "Christianity can be salvaged from itself, or at any rate from its later accretions, by a sort of 'back to basics' revisionism." But nothing can save Christianity in Hitchens' mind. Pullman's science fiction trilogy, His Dark Materials, is acknowledged as a strong attack on the Catholic Church. But "this latest attempt to secularize Messianism," Hitchens writes, "is a disappointment to those of us who can never forgive the emperor Constantine, not just for making Christianity a state dogma, but for making humanity hostage to the boring village quarrels and Bronze Age fables that were drawn from what remains the world’s most benighted region." Now I would never be so harsh about the stories and fables that provide meaning to the world's million who do not happen to be intellectuals or online critics.
I am spending way too much time in disappointment these days, disappointment that my good will is misunderstood, that my financial affairs are in disarray, that I can no longer maintain long-distance relationships, that teaching is a joy but dealing with school administrators is a headache, that Thailand's brief democratic spring is turning into an authoritarian winter, that my horizons are shrinking as the years pile up, that metaphysics remains a temptation despite my materialist goals, and disappointment that I am not as grateful and loving as I long to be.