Thursday, July 1, 2004

The 100 Most Spiritually Significant Movies

Evangelical Outpost brings word that Arts and Faith has come out with a list of the 100 most spiritually significant movies. As with any such list one wonders why some selections are on it and some aren't. I haven't seen all of what's on Arts and Faith's list, but much of the films I have seen I apparently failed to recognize as spiritually significant.

I don't know why, for example, Winter Light, Romero and Leap of Faith are not on the list, and Dogma, Fight Club, and American Beauty are. I'm not saying these movies weren't well done (Well, Dogma was pretty awful) only that I'm not sure what their spiritual significance was (Although, as I think about it, American Beauty did do a pretty good job, inadvertently, I suspect, of showing the absolute banality and sterility of the lives of the main characters, all of whom were complete secularists in whose lives religious belief played no role whatsoever, so maybe I shouldn't criticize that movie's selection to the list). Anyway, de gustibus non est disputandum (there's no disputing matters of taste).

Go to Evangelical Outpost and see how Joe Carter rated some of the films. I'd be interested to know what Viewpoint readers think should be added or deleted.

A Ticking Time Bomb

Here's an interesting item from the Washington Times. It seems that Senator Kerry has actually been charged with heresy by a Roman Catholic lawyer in the Boston Archdiocese. The lawyer, Marc Balestrieri, argues that Kerry's pro-choice stance on abortion amounts to heresy in the Catholic Church and since the bishops apparently refuse to do anything about it, he will.

"Heresy is a public, ecclesiastical crime," said Mr. Balestrieri, 33, whose complaint is posted at "It affects entire communities. It is one of the greatest sins you can commit."

If the Boston archdiocese declines to act on the charge, Mr. Balastrieri is entitled to appeal to Rome. This has no doubt given Church officials a case of heartburn, and could be a ticking time bomb during the election run up. The question is who will be most likely to look bad, Sen. Kerry or the Catholic Church?

Faith In America

Ali at Iraq The Model writes movingly of his feelings about the handover. He describes a scene where he and a number of his medical colleagues are having a small celebration:

Then suddenly Mr. Bremer appeared on TV reading his last speech before he left Iraq. I approached the TV to listen carefully to the speech, as I expected it to be difficult in the midst of all that noise. To my surprise everyone stopped what they were doing and started watching as attentively as I was.

The speech was impressive and you could hear the sound of a needle if one had dropped it at that time. The most sensational moment was the end of the speech when Mr. Bremer used a famous Arab emotional poem. The poem was for a famous Arab poet who said it while leaving Baghdad. Al-Jazeera had put an interpreter who tried to translate even the Arabic poem which Mr. Bremer was telling in a fair Arabic! "Let this damned interpreter shut up. We want to hear what the man is saying" One of my colloquies [sic] shouted. The scene was very touching that the guy sitting next to me (who used to sympathize with Muqtada) said "He's going to make me cry!"

Then he finished his speech by saying in Arabic,"A'ash Al-Iraq, A'ash Al-Iraq, A'ash Al-Iraq"! (Long live Iraq, Long live Iraq, long live Iraq).

I was deeply moved by this great man's words but I couldn't prevent myself from watching the effect of his words on my friends who some of them were anti-Americans and some were skeptic, although some of them have always shared my optimism. I found that they were touched even more deeply than I was. I turned to one friend who was a committed She'at and who distrusted America all the way. He looked as if he was bewitched, and I asked him, "So, what do you think of this man? Do you still consider him an invader?" My friend smiled, still touched and said, "Absolutely not! He brought tears to my eyes. God bless him."

Another friend approached me. This one was not religious but he was one of the conspiracy theory believers. He put his hands on my shoulders and said smiling, "I must admit that I'm beginning to believe in what you've been telling us for months and I'm beginning to have faith in America. I never thought that they will hand us sovereignty in time. These people have shown that they keep their promises."

Beginning to have faith in America! Now if only some of our politicians, journalists, and celebrities could do the same.