Still digesting my own reaction to the powerfully disturbing & provocative film by James Carroll based on his novel. It is a must see for everyone who truly cares about the history of religious intolerance.
There is not much new [to me] in the film regarding Christian anti-Judaism. It is all too sad and irrefutable. There is no one in their right mind who can study of the history of Western civilization & not see the Christian seeds of the Holocaust. The Nazi’s ‘pulled the trigger’ but the ammunition was two thousand years in the making.
We all need to know the truth in order to move forward and transform the evils of the past into a more compassionate and spiritually enlightened future.
What is significant & even more disturbing is the contemporary insensitivity, intolerance and militancy of 21st century Evangenical Christian movement in this country particulary as demonstrated by the Air Force Academy. This is clearly played out in the film.
There is a bizarre and historically inaccurate assumption among many of them that this is a Christian country whose Founding Fathers desired their own faiths to be promoted & institutionalized.
This is exactly the opposite of what they desired. They had reacted against the state religion of England. Their ferverent wish was that there would be NO state religion whatsoever. Their values where clearly influenced by Western philosophical traditions based upon the highest of Christian teachings. But they were clear that America would be a land in which freedom from religion would be its highest virtue.
The religious right and parallels with Muslim extremism and fanaticism is unmistakable as well.
Former priest Carroll is continuously disturbed by the relationship between religion and miltant violence. His is correct in his feelings. We should all be equally outraged as well.
But outrage without transformation will be an impotent exercise in frustration. The purpose of such an exercise is not about self-flagellation or apologizes. We need to move forward & address the seeds of what continues to be THE problem of this century–religion as a tool of and for political militancy, intolerance, & aggression.