Sunday, May 10, 2015

Life of Brian made you think, but who wants to think?

By Richard Barry

As you might know, for two decades GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was a Baptist preacher. It's perhaps not surprising that a preacher might say some things up there at the alter that could unhelpful in a political career. Mother Jones notes that Huckabee kept those tapes "under wraps" during the 2008 presidential campaign, probably as a precaution.

There are a few sermons in existence available to the public in which Huckabee talks about our "pleasure-mad society," the evils of alcohol, prostitution, and pornography - the usual stuff.

But that was not the extent of it:

Above all, Huckabee was upset with Monty Python's 1979 movie, Life of Brian. Huckabee was hardly alone in condemning Life of Brian, which follows the story of a Jewish man, Brian, who is mistaken for the Messiah because he was born on the same day as Jesus. The film was banned in Ireland; picketed in New Jersey; denounced by a coalition of Christian and Jewish leaders; and canceled in Columbia, South Carolina after a last-minute intervention from Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond.

Per Huckabee:

There was a time in this country when a movie like Life of Brian which, I just read—thank God the theatres in Little Rock decided not to show, but it's showing all over the Fort Worth–Dallas area, which is a mockery, which is a blasphemy against the very name of Jesus Christ, and I can remember a day even as young as I am when that would not have happened in this country or in the city in the South.

I'm not even going to bother thinking about the horrific acts some have committed in the name of blasphemy in the context of the potential logical conclusions of Huckabee's comments. Too easy.

I do, however, thank Huck for reminding me how much I loved Life of Brian as a hilarious and powerful example socio-political analysis.

Happy Sunday (and Mother's Day too).

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  • Back in December, I wrote, Religious Offense and The Life of Brian. I noted that the film is quite reverential toward Jesus. The reason these idiots don't like the film is what it says about them, "It is that the film makes fun of fanaticism. It has no opinion about being fanatical about a good cause. But most people are just keen on following anything at all. And that is key, I think. Most Christians are only followers of Jesus for one reason: their parents were." Of course, most of these people have never seen the film anyway.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1:19 PM  

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