by Jennifer Bowman
I recently saw the highly-hyped movie from the directors of The Matrix - V for Vendetta. While it was a fun movie with pretty good effects, I couldn't help but notice the frequent but light slaps towards the Christian right. The bad guy was originally a member of England's conservative party, and the slogan was "Strength through Unity, Unity through Faith," and the flag of this 2020 totalitarian government was a distorted crucifix. They all hate gay people, too, of course, and send them to a death camp with political rebels and the victims of a virus that they unleashed upon the people to keep them ruled with fear. "People should not fear their government," states V. "The government should fear their people."
Though apparently, this book originally started as an outcry against Margaret Thatcher's English government of the 1980s, the directors seem to have taken the great liberty of turning it into a possible and probable outcome of the fear derived from terrorism and 9/11. It's hard to miss the director's obvious liberal tendencies. In fact, unless I'm crazy, I could have sworn that they used anti-Bush protest footage in the movie.
But still, (spoiler alert!) they have the Parliament building exploding, and that's pretty cool. And though the movie didn't really offend me, I have to wonder about the direction of people's attitude towards religion.
I saw a shirt the other day that I liked. "It's freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion." That simple statement brightened my day. I can't agree more.
Almost everyone wishes for peace and unity and happiness. But mostly, especially in America, people wish for individualism. Luckily, the United States has served as a prime example of how to get along, except for that whole Civil War thing. We all disagree with each other, a lot, but still maintain a sense of respect. Even Europe can't necessarily keep a grip on that. They try, yes, but there are still cries of anti-Semitism in Russia and Muslim prejudice in France.
And then I see the Christian convert on death trial in Afghanistan, which claims to be a democracy. Why is not being Islamic a crime? These events really parallel the predictions in the Bible about Ishmael and Isaac.
It's very bittersweet to think about, really. And I can't end this on the usual optimistic tone that I would normally try on which to end it. It's just very depressing. At least it's comforting to know that this sad man is going to get off the hook. But only because of the "lack of evidence." What happens to the next Muslim who converts to Christianity in Afghanistan? Are we really still so backward that people are still being murdered for their religion?
I'm afraid so.