Monday, February 23, 2004

Mel and the (purple) Dragon

Mel's Passion is turning out to be as much a litmus test for intellectual honesty as it is a devotional work. Listening to Andy Rooney on 60 MInutes' last night and reading the NY Post's review of David Denby's New Yorker review today, both blasting Mel with bird-brained ad hominems, I can't help but wonder at the cosmic design in this public spectacle. It's as if everyone is dutifully performing their preassigned role--it's the real passion play unfolding before us. Our modern high priests of the Temple of Liberal Pharisaism drip with smug self-assurances in their anathemas of anything that violates the the Gospel according to Barney. They're effectively crucifying Gibson which only transforms him into more the suffering servant symbol than his ego can crave. Don't these cultured despisers know they're only feeding the persecution complex their opponents thrive on?

They'll praise the most vicious sex and violence so long as it's offered to the god of meaningless art-for-meaninglessness' sake. But violence in religion is so gauche.

Perhaps the secular liberals aren't so much to blame as the theological liberals of the post-Vatican II era, both Protestant and Catholic, who have not only neutered the faith in liturgy and catechesis, but drained it of all its blood. Note my problem is not with Vatican II but with its kidnapping from birth by hippie boomers. The Amber alert has yet to be sounded in mainstream Christianity, mainly cuz we're all accomplices.