So I went to see the movie saved today. I have decided that this movie is the perfect response to the Mel Gibson movie "The Passion of Christ." While the passion upset and worried me, because of it's violence, and it's anti-semitism the satiric comedy of Saved was a refreshing dose of counter Christianity. I think I use the word counter instead of anti because while I definitely think Saved challenges some of the rigid messages put out by mainstream Christianity it is not particularly against Christianity. Like me.
I think that some of the really extremist messages that mainstream Christian culture have been putting out recently have been really dangerous. Anti-Islamic and Arab sentiment, anti-gay sentiment, all or nothing Christ or Hell messages and imperial rhetoric including catch phrases like civilization, and evil are all phenomenon that are currently being driven by mainstream Christian values.
On True Christians
I think that so much of what passes for Christianity is completely unchristian and anti-Christ. The picture that I have gotten of Jesus, who Christians call there Christ,is not a picture of a man who was rigid in his idea about human worth, value and goodness. I cannot recall Jesus insisting that one under go specific religious ceremony in order to be considered for the "Kingdom of Heaven." Infact I seem to remember Jesus coming under fire by the Jewish aristocracy of his time for declaring circumcision an unnecessary - I seem to remember something about circumcision of the heart- ritual. The man that I, from my studies, know Jesus to have been would never approach humanity with the judgmental attitudes of mainstream Christianity. So much of what has been attributed to him has been done so wrongly. He was not a stickler for rules. Jesus was about humanity and goodness. I am far from Christian in my spiritual belief system. But because I respect the legacy of Jesus it angers me when Christian war-mongers attribute their killing and mayhem to the teachings of Jesus. When oppression of LGBT folks and women is given to Jesus as if it is his I am offended.
Thus, I was refreshed and invigorated by the movie saved. It allowed me to laugh at much of what I have tolerated from the extremely Christian. Poking fun at the way that Christianity excludes humans from being considered good if they do not get baptized or if they are of another spiritual path is so so so validating for me. I loved this movie. I think that it was such a good answer to gibson's violent, and gruesome portrayal of Christ.
The Passion Of Christ
Once again I found myself offended, as a non-Christian Christ fan, at the editing out of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, in favor of the gruesome details of his death. But it occurs to me that Christianity, in it's modern form is not about the example of Christ's life at all. Christians do not try to live according to the example that Jesus left. Most of them any way. My experience with most Christians is that instead of living by his life example they opt to use his death to coerce non-Christians and Christians alike into self imposed subjugation. This is the spirit that I believe this movie was made in.
My final analysis of Christ, Christianity, Christian dogma and rhetoric is, I don't give a rats ass that Jesus died for me! What I do care about is that he lived for me. It is in this spirit that I live, as a non-Christian Christ fan striving to follow his example of good will, charity, neighborhood, bristahood, and peace. If Christians wood focus more on how he lived than how he died I believe that the Christian dominated world would be a much better place.