Outraged Christians! So what's new?
One of the traits of the born again is a state of permanent indignation and condemnation. As much as they drool about the love of God their principle emotion is one of rage and fury. They are a bitter people. And don't forget, humorless. Now one of these puritanical pontificating pundits from the Religious Right is condemning the new Will Ferrell satire on NASCAR racing, Talladega Nights.
Quiet honestly if there are two things that hold zero interest for me they would be NASCAR and Will Ferrell. But they apparently hold a certain charm for the, how shall I put it, well, for the hoi polloi. I suggest the fans of such a film are most likely to be the Bush-worshipping, pick-up-truck-driving, beer-guzzling crowd. Not what you'd call an intellectually inclined crowd by any means and likely to think that higher education IS finishing high school.
Apparently a talking sphincter named Ted Baehr, who we have encountered before, is attacking the film as a "racist, bigoted work that ridicules the Bible Belt, Southern white men, Christianity, Jesus Christ, the family and American masculinity." Note that this film doesn't ridicule French masculinity, Danish masculinity, or German masculinity. No sir, it ridicules God-given, Jesus-sanctified, Bible-believing "American masculinity". We are talking masculinity that is so masculine it makes the girl's gym teacher appear feminine. Yes sir, that is the kind of Christian masculinity that blows the heads off doves for the fun of it and invades hell holes at the drop of the hat. It's the kind of Bushian masculinity that doesn't care how many men one sends off to die just to get the damn job done because, well, because it's there.
Now if there is someone the fuming fundamentalists love to hate it is "Hollywierd", that home of evil humanistic propaganda. And don't forget it's run by Jews, just ask Mel Gibson. Speaking of Gibson the sphincter can't figure out the difference between satire and Gibson's actual beliefs. The whinning sphincter says: "Will Hollywood and the news media repudiate Will Farrell's (sic., yep the film reviewer can't spell the stars name correctly) ridicule of Southern white Christian mles as well as Mel Gibson's Anti-Semitic comments? Don't hold your breath!" I wish the sphincter would hold his breath. But let's explain the difference in a way that hopefull, even the sphincter can understand.
Will Ferrell -- satire.
Mel Gibson -- beliefs.
Mel Brooks did satirical films which presented Nazis but made fun of them. Hitler was a real Nazi who hated Jews. Satire is for fun, it's for laughs. Ferrell's film is satire. Mel Gibson's tirade is the hate-mongering he learned as his father's knee. The sphincter can't tell the difference. But then sphincters aren't known for having the best vantage point either.
Now there are two agendas here for the sphincter. One is to attack the Ferrell film. The other is to defend Mel Gibson. Baehr was a big defender of Gibson's The Passion of the Christ which had anti-Semitic overtones to it adopted from some Catholic mystic from the Dark Ages -- the height of Christian culture. One of the interesting things about the sphincter is that he claims, on one hand, to offer Christian film reviews while on the other hand he is paid to promote certain films. At least that is what Christianity Today magazine had to say about the man. Baehr was paid to promote at least six films including the god-awful (pun inteneded) Left Behind, promoting the fundie view of the end of the world. The magazine said: "Several film reviewers say they've never heard of a movie critic taking money to pomote films. One prominent reviewer said that it's ethically 'about as far over the line as you can go.'"
One commentator noted that Baehr's "rebuttal" to the article "includes at least half a dozen inaccuracies, misquoting Allen’s article and accusing him of sloppy reporting. Worse, Baehr stooped almost to the level of slander with accusations of anti-trust behavior, bias and hypocrisy. He went so far as to resurrect a lawsuit from almost a quarter-century ago in an effort to smear the magazine." The good Christian sphincter claimed this magazine, run by fellow believers, is run by people who are "greedy, unethical, dishonest and corrupt."
As for the conflict of interest the sphincter says there isn't one because his outfit doesn't review films. They are an advocacy group instead. A film critic, or a movie reviewer in more common jargon, offers opinions that are supposedly not influenced by factors outside the film itself. They may have their ideological viewpoint, such as the delusion that there is a god, but that is their business and they can even bring their biases to play in their review. But when they take money to promote films, and review films at the same time, there is a conflict of interest. So is Baehr an advocte or a critic/reviewer of films? In his absurd review of V for Vendetta Baehr is described, in his own biography line, as "a well-known movie critic" not as a well known lobbyist for Jesus. His own website refers to his little diatribes as "current reviews". Baehr wants to eat his cake and have it too. He is and isn't a film critic. He is and isn't a movie reviewer.
One has to understand what this man concentrates on in his film reviews. He is a bookkeeper for cursing. He counts how many times the word "hell" or "shit" appears in a film. He sits in his darkened theater feverishly writing down warnings like "no sex scenes but two married couples shown sleeping in the same bed". Exactly what kind of mind finds it so critical to warn people that a film shows a married couple sleeping in the same bed? And it wasn't even a gay married couple! He also warns: "married couple holds one another in bed, and husband kisses pregnant wife in bed." He warns of "upper male nudity" which means showing a man's chest. He tells us that the film World Trade Center has "16 obscenities (including one 'f' word)" and "12 profanities". He is the cursing accountant.
In this reviewers opinion, and I don't get money from anyone, the man is one sick ... (insert "f" word here).
This review shows a non-Christian, humanist world view. There is one profanity and two obscenities. There is no nudity and no married couples sleeping in the same, horrors, bed. Or to quote the sphincter himself: " lawless, attitude toward religious faith, morality and the Bible, including very strong, politically correct attacks on Christian characters and their beliefs, especially Christian traditionalists or conservatives, who are often viewed as hypocrites or mean or stupid or all three." There are 11 references to a bodily orifice deeply offensive to the sphincter (make that 12 references) himself.