Tag Archives: Is God Dead?

Ironically

Irony is a national resource that’s in abundant supply. Those who inadvertently create it may be the least equipped to appreciate it, but that’s ironic, isn’t it? Time magazine used to be considered conservative. That was before the days when telling the truth was, by definition, liberal. A few weeks ago the famed news magazine ran a cover that was aimed at those of us who remembered the same cover that same week 51 years earlier. It read: Is God dead? That cover ran in the wake of a new wave of theology that perhaps may have been the last time that discipline held any public interest. Some thinkers had been tinkering with the idea that God might not be there. That was newsworthy.

Nature doesn’t work in round numbers, so just over a half-a-century later we found ourselves in a possibly even more dire world than one without God. This one has no deity, but it does have Donald Trump. Addicted to lies like they’re opiates, our commander-in-chief contradicts himself at 45 rpm. Comey was fired for mishandling the Clinton files. Then, moments later it was because of Russia. Then, moments later, I had been planning it all along. Kellyanne applauds from her alternative fact bunker. No truth may penetrate here. And we call this the free world. Where there is no truth there can be no freedom. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, riding on the tsunami of disinformation, are loving the surf. Not a word from the thumbs of the president can be trusted.

Truth used to be an anchor. Now ships just drift. You can never tell whether they’re headed to North Korea or not. The GOP, in true American style, is attempting to rig the voting mechanism of this country so they can never lose power again. “It’s democracy,” they lie. They propose new health-care laws to which they will be exempt. Somewhere deep in these twisted pipes is a value long rusted shut. It’s rusty because it’s made of irony. And should that valve ever be wrenched open again we’d understand that draining swamps is a very bad idea. Yes, mosquitoes and other bloodsuckers may abound, but they’re all a part of the natural order of things. The dragonflies eat the mosquitoes and the fish eat the dragonflies. The greatest fish story of all is that the Republican Party believes in anything beyond its own supremacy over the entire nation it is lawfully bound to serve. Ironically, God’s not here to see this.

Special Babies

Roman Polanski has been in the news quite a lot lately. While I haven’t been following the story, his name is perennially associated with Rosemary’s Baby in my mind. In my youth I feared this movie and made no attempt to watch it until I reached my 40s. Like other works conceived by Ira Levin it features a threat to what we value most; the original Stepford Wives is still almost too scary to watch. While Rosemary’s Baby remains a good psychological thriller, the counter-Christmas theme became quite evident the last time I viewed it. I won’t worry about spoilers since the movie was released in the 1960s, but if you’re still waiting to watch it and want a surprise ending, you might want to turn to another post at this point!

The 1960s were times not only of a strong counter-culture but also a period of fear. Many popular evangelists were warning of the coming of the Antichrist and the Time article entitled “Is God Dead?” is featured in the movie itself. Although it is unclear until the end, upon first watching, who fathers Rosemary’s baby, the child-spawn of Satan is presented with many of the trappings of the first Christmas as Rosemary herself makes the discovery. In fact, Christmas comes as Rosemary is pregnant, and the film carefully accentuates the contrast between Mary and Rosemary. The suffering of the expectant mother still makes the film difficult to bear at points.

As Christmas nears in this very commercial and recession-ridden season, many lawns are sporting “Keep the Christ is Christmas” type displays. Isaiah is being taken out of context and the Religious Right continues its attempt to make Christmas a political petard. Babies represent new beginnings. And while Rosemary’s baby was born six months after (diametrically opposed to) the celebration of the birth of Jesus, in both cases the infant represents a radical change. Any human parent knows that babies are special and that knowledge demonstrates that a young Roman Polanski recognized a theme that would scare audiences for at least forty years.