Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

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Thursday, March 25, 2004
Today's Passion cut-n-paste

After several paragraphs of galloping nit-wittedness, this writer -- an English Catholic journalist writing in the Torygraph -- suddenly turns spot on:

One always hesitates before dragging September 11 into an article, but the question has to be asked: is this film - and, more importantly, its worldwide reception - the product of a Christian culture under assault?

Radical Islam despises the Coca-Cola culture of the West, but it hates orthodox Christianity even more.

The imprisonment, torture and murder of Christian missionaries in Islamic countries, shamefully brushed aside by the Western media, has been gathering pace for years; it has created a poisonously anti-Christian mindset in the Arab world which, while perhaps not directly inspiring the attacks on New York and Washington, explains the equivocal response of many Muslims to the outrage.

Meanwhile, Christians have found themselves dodging bullets from enemies closer to home: from Jewish-American academics who appear to be trying to shift the blame for the Holocaust from the Nazis to the Vatican; from militant secularists who want to use the paedophile scandals to demolish the entire hierarchy of the Catholic Church; from snooty journalists who routinely portray evangelical Protestants as fundamentalist crazies.
Retaliatory terrorism is obviously out of the question: our faith forbids it.
["Oh, I'm not sure I'd say that...!" -- St. Bernard of Clairvaux, guest commentator]...

Modern church services are far too cringingly apologetic to change anyone's opinion, so that leaves only the most powerful medium of the 21st century: entertainment. Born-again Christians were the first to recognise its potential, though their evangelistic novels and thrillers were directed at too specialist an audience to make much impact on the wider society.

Enter Mel Gibson....

This curiosity [about the movie] has been stimulated, ironically, by the very lobbyists who have declared premature victory in the culture wars: secularists and multi-culturalists. Nominal Christians say to themselves: if these ghastly people hate our inherited faith so much, there must be something going for it. And so they ring up the Odeon to book tickets for Saturday night.

And I haven't even quoted the most interesting line in the article. See if you can find it.