Sunday, March 04, 2007

Giving the Devil more than his due

Once again I think Catholic Christians have sold themselves short by over-reacting to media-produced stupidity. Two cases come immediately to mind.

The first is this past weekend's U of M staging of the all-too-controversial and apparently not-very-good play "The Pope and The Witch."

Don't get me wrong.... I think having seminarians from St John Vianney College Seminary appear adjacent to the production Friday and Saturday evening, praying and singing, is a master stroke of good, positive publicity. I wish I had been there with them. They are a credit to their Rector Father Bob Baer and to the Church they serve.

But the public apoplexy displayed by some Catholic writers/ bloggers over the play itself these past few weeks really gives the show way too much credit and, ultimately, too much power.

After all, like its dim-witted predecessor, The Da Vinci Code, this anemically received (only 10 productions in 10 years) play only benefits from all the publicity which irate Catholics choose to give it. And from the plot summary in the paper this play is just about as insipid as the Code.

The second case is the Discovery Channel's The Tomb of Jesus. Yes, I will sit down to watch it in a few minutes, more for entertainment value than anything else. What can you expect except entertainment from the man who gave us that great tear-jerker Titanic? However, trust me, no archeologist, no theologian, no historian will even give the show a second thought. We shouldn't either.

Ah, but you might ask in both cases "what about the masses?" Won't they be deceived by it? I suppose one could make a case that someone, somewhere might be slightly influenced by tonight's airing of the show, or perhaps the play also. But in my opinion, any slight "damage" produced by these shows is not worth the energy people seem to be putting into opposing them.

Far more important, and far more worthy of our efforts, would be any attempt to publicize the fact that Jesus still lives, his Church still exists, and there are many, many changed lives out there which can "prove" it to anyone willing to listen. That is, if they can get past all the screaming and fainting about popes and witches and supposedly lost and rediscovered tombs.

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