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A lion is a lion is a lion. Isn't it?
December 16, 2005 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Jewish movie goers might feel duped by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Millions of readers (and, now, moviegoers) who thoroughly enjoyed a fantasy tale of four World War II-era British children tumbling into the enchanted world of Narnia via a wardrobe, and fighting medieval battles alongside talking animals and mystical creatures, would be surprised to learn that “Lion” and the six other books in Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia were seeping with Christian allegories.
posted by debralee (225 comments total)

 
Well, he's not a tame Lion you know.
posted by seanyboy at 9:37 AM on December 16, 2005


A C.S. Lewis story has Christian overtones?! Stop the presses!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:38 AM on December 16, 2005


I heard that Aleutian Islanders felt duped, too, fyi.
posted by dios at 9:40 AM on December 16, 2005


From the same article: A mega-blockbuster film, financed by a fervent Christian and bursting with Christian overtones, is being mass-marketed to — guess who? — Christians. . . .

Lewis was a theologian who wrote with a Christian message in mind.

I am shocked. Simply shocked. How dare they?
posted by booksandlibretti at 9:41 AM on December 16, 2005


Christian allegory is so 14th century.
posted by bardic at 9:42 AM on December 16, 2005


Jewish movie goers might feel duped by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Seriously why? Because Jewish people expect every movie they see to be about jewish people?

Jewish movie goers might feel duped by Snakes on a Plane...


"Not one of those snakes was circumsized" said a visibly agitated Moshe Simon.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:42 AM on December 16, 2005


Ditto Optimus Chyme.
posted by malaprohibita at 9:42 AM on December 16, 2005


I'm waiting now for the Christian-sponsored feature film based on The Screwtape Letters.
posted by carsonb at 9:42 AM on December 16, 2005


Duped? I read the stories as a kid and had no idea they were christian alagories, however, these books are basicaly being sold and marketed as christian movies, so I don't get why people wouldn't know (PR is being done by the same company that promoted the passion of the christ).

Pretty stupid books anyway.
posted by delmoi at 9:42 AM on December 16, 2005


Joe Eskanazi makes the Baby Aslan cry.
posted by Asparagirl at 9:43 AM on December 16, 2005


Who didn't already know this?
posted by rhapsodie at 9:43 AM on December 16, 2005


I went to see the Narnia movie and accidentally accepted Jesus into my heart. :(
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:43 AM on December 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


PS anyone have tips on getting him outta there?
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:43 AM on December 16, 2005


Really? I thought the allegorical nature of the story was common knowledge. And though I am no fan of the religious right's attempts to advance their specific brand of Christianity, this story seems to be making a big deal out of nothing.

On preview, y'all are way too fast.
posted by chrominance at 9:45 AM on December 16, 2005


PS anyone have tips on getting him outta there?
posted by thirteenkiller at 11:43 AM CST on December 16 [!]


Try going to a Vet and getting some heartworm pills. Just say they're for your dog.
posted by COBRA! at 9:45 AM on December 16, 2005


So it's not true that all Jews go to Chinese restaurants and the movies on Christmas Day?
posted by fixedgear at 9:46 AM on December 16, 2005


No, thirteenkiller, you just have to leave him lion there . . .
posted by The Bellman at 9:46 AM on December 16, 2005


PS anyone have tips on getting him outta there?

many of the same firms that so successfully recruited whole congregations to attend showings of “The Passion” have been contracted again for “Lion.”

buy stock in the temple moneychangers.
posted by carsonb at 9:46 AM on December 16, 2005


OMG!!! it has teh Christians!!
posted by Mr T at 9:48 AM on December 16, 2005


i remember media talking about the same exact thing on tolkien when the lord of the rings came out.
posted by grafholic at 9:48 AM on December 16, 2005


And? I saw that in the books as a jewlicious kid...and it was ok with my jewtastic mom and the rest of my jewpendous family.

No matter how you see it, it's a pretty cool story, and take from it what you will; both Narnia and the Bible.

(there's lots of cool stories out there with heavy religious messages...just look at the Ender series (which is difficult nowadays because I think Orson Scott Card is a poorly plugged bunghole))

on preview, what lots of people above said

and " PS anyone have tips on getting him outta there?

crown of shoehorns?
posted by zerokey at 9:49 AM on December 16, 2005


Is this some kind of Jewish community news service? It doesn't appear so at first glance, yet the stories seem steeped in Jewish perspectives! Christian news consumers may feel duped!!!
posted by scarabic at 9:49 AM on December 16, 2005


I read and enjoyed the Narnia books when I was a wee flipper, and all of the Christian allegories went right over my head. I've recently re-read them with an eye towards allegory, and I don't feel too bad about missing it the first time: it's there, but it's not too obvious, and it's fairly well-done.

Except for the The Last Battle. That's just some crazy wild-eyed post-apocalyptic raving, in my humble opinion. The author of the linked piece mentions it, and I think it's not really fair that he does so: he's discussing a movie based on the first (or second) book of a series, and brings in the plot of the last book to support the thesis that this movie is a Christian recruiting tool.

On preview: I agree with chrominance. You people are fast.
posted by flipper at 9:50 AM on December 16, 2005


So it's not true that all Jews go to Chinese restaurants and the movies on Christmas Day?

no, that's pretty much true. Well, until I married a Christian girl.

I don't think Jews should feel duped by the Christian allegory (which isn't terribly direct in this movie). Instead, all filmgoers should feel duped by the crappiness of the film, starting with a total lack of character development.
posted by JMOZ at 9:50 AM on December 16, 2005


This Jewish mefite checks self for outrage. Finds none. Yawns. Move on. Spring comes. Pinkerton does not return.
posted by kyrademon at 9:50 AM on December 16, 2005


Fools, all of you! The Narnia Chronicles are about the Rastafarian Uprising! It's all so obvious!
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:51 AM on December 16, 2005


Yeah, but Tolkien didn't hate teh Jews as much as he hated teh blacks--remember what them orcs looked like?
posted by bardic at 9:51 AM on December 16, 2005


Who didn't already know this?

I was listening to the CBC the other day and if you can believe the call-ins, apparently quite a few people missed this when the read the books as kids. Not sure how they'd miss the Christian overtones for the movie though, what with the marketing and media hype pointing that out.
posted by Zinger at 9:52 AM on December 16, 2005


I'm not a big fan of this post. I read and enjoyed these books when I was about 10 and managed not to be converted. Much of Western literature has an overt or implicit Christian subtext. If a work has other redeeming qualities (and the CS Lewis books certainly do), it's easy to appreciate it regardless of your personal beliefs.
posted by killdevil at 9:52 AM on December 16, 2005


So the "Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is an allegory---based on another allegory? My head hurts!
posted by birdhaus at 9:52 AM on December 16, 2005


The Christian allegories in these stories has never been a secret, has it? How did this rabbi not have a clue?
posted by caddis at 9:52 AM on December 16, 2005


rebbe without a clue
*snarf*
posted by zerokey at 9:53 AM on December 16, 2005


Jewzilla CRUSH! ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!
posted by jewzilla at 9:54 AM on December 16, 2005


See, I was converted as a child by the writings of Samuel Delaney. I don't think I'll go into the details of my sect here. But I too am feeling upset by the revelation that there is a christian subtext to the Narnia stories, because it suggests that if I'd read those *before* "Stars in my Pockets Like Grains of Sand", things would have gone *very* differently for me.

Anyhow, got to run. I have an appointment at a public bathroom I can't miss.
posted by freebird at 9:54 AM on December 16, 2005


unbelievers should keep a sickbag handy during Disney's new epic
posted by mr.marx at 9:54 AM on December 16, 2005


His Walden Media in recent years began creating Christian-friendly films short on sexual content and profanity (drug abuse and philandering were trimmed from last year’s Ray Charles biopic “Ray,” for example).

Really? So the many scenes of Charles shooting heroin and hooking up with various women weren't enough?

Poorly written article. Sod it.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:57 AM on December 16, 2005


I keep hearing "Watch out, this movie is sekritly targeted to Christians only and is being heavily advertised through a sekrit underground Christian network!"

Then we look at this article and discover that Disney . . . is allocating about five percent of its promotional budget to wooing Christian groups.

Dude. Five percent != major sekrit conspiracy.
posted by booksandlibretti at 9:58 AM on December 16, 2005


Oh goodness. Newsflash: Herman's Melville's Moby Dick and Billy Budd, two of the greatest works of American literature, are "seeping" with Christian allegory too, though many of the idiots who declare themselves defenders of Christian values these days would also find them seeping with homosexual allegory, paganism, and G-d knows what else.

I'm Jewish. I think the Christian right has virtually executed a coup d'état in this country with the help of Karl Rove and the folks at Diebold. But I have no problem appreciating works of art that are crammed with Christian allegory, because Christianity is one of the richest veins of metaphor and meaning in the American culture I grew up in, as well as a profoundly beautiful form of spiritual awareness and blueprint for radical social transformation (particularly as represented by Christians like Dorothy Day).

I have not seen the film, so I have no idea if it qualifies as a work of art or just more Hollywood schlock. I have enjoyed the writings of C.S. Lewis, whose Mere Christianity is an extremely thought-provoking and earnest book. If there really are Jews who object to this film purely on the basis of its Christian subtext -- which, other than idiot Jewish fundamentalists, I somehow doubt -- let them stay home and rent Fiddler on the Roof or Shoah for all I care. This strikes me as a hoked-up controversy à la the right's hype-of-the-month, the "war on Christmas."

Is there an anti-Semitic subtext in the film? That seems like a valid question to ask. But I'm not going to rush out and start picketing art-house showings of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai because of its Buddhist allegorical content. It's a big world, a big God (or Gaia, or what-have-you), and we're big adults.
posted by digaman at 9:59 AM on December 16, 2005


thirteenkiller, try a knife.


For the love of so and so.

TLTWATW, may well have plenty of Christian themes in it, who ever didn't know this either hasn't thought about it much, or is an idiot, but, the book also had plenty of other things definitely non-christian in it as well.
Bacchus makes a cameo appearance, as does father christmas.

Although Tolkien was converted by Lewis, Tolkien hated Narnia because it mixed so many different mythologies together. Think of it as Christianity in an alternate universe.

imo, the Christianity didn't get to over the top till The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is a shame, because, outside of that fact I liked that plot the best.
posted by edgeways at 10:00 AM on December 16, 2005


Five percent != major sekrit conspiracy.
o rly?
posted by lord_wolf at 10:02 AM on December 16, 2005


Are the jews going to get blamed for killing Aslan now too? Those folks just can't catch a break.
posted by Gamblor at 10:03 AM on December 16, 2005


For the record, that was a very rapid 40-something posts. "We're at Warp Nine, captain!"
posted by digaman at 10:04 AM on December 16, 2005


This New Yorker piece on C. S. Lewis bios from a few weeks ago notes that it's not a very good allegory, since "a central point of the Gospel story is that Jesus is not the lion of the faith but the lamb of God, while his other symbolic animal is, specifically, the lowly and bedraggled donkey."
posted by hyperizer at 10:05 AM on December 16, 2005


Er ok, google returns almost 7 million hits on 'C S Lewis'. FYI - from a bio on one of them:

1931 Lewis became a Christian: One evening in September, Lewis had a long talk on Christianity with J.R.R. Tolkien (a devout Roman Catholic) and Hugo Dyson. That evening's discussion was important in bringing about the following day's event that Lewis recorded in Surprised by Joy: "When we [Warnie and Jack] set out [by motorcycle to the Whipsnade Zoo] I did not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did."
posted by scheptech at 10:06 AM on December 16, 2005


Metafilter: the lowly and bedraggled donkey
posted by zerokey at 10:08 AM on December 16, 2005


Quick! THERE'S NO TIME TO WASTE! Somebody alert O'Reilly! There's a © WAR ON NARNIA!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:08 AM on December 16, 2005


Even if you know that something is an allegory, you can still ignore that fact and read/watch it for entertainment purposes. And if you're open-minded, you can still appreciate a well-constructed allegory even if you don't agree with its message. No one would study Spencer otherwise--his work is outrightly pro-monarchist allegory, and that doesn't fly today, but it's well-crafted allegory, and there's value in that.
posted by obvious at 10:09 AM on December 16, 2005


Christianity in an alternate universe.

That's exactly what it is.

Though it might be more accurate to call it Aslanianity.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:12 AM on December 16, 2005


What really creeped me out was an article I read a few days ago about pastors passing out cards to kids with a message like "Just as Aslan laid down his life for (I forget the kid's name), so did Jesus sacrifice his life for all of us. I hereby give my heart and life...etc.

Signed in Youthful Confusion under Adult Pressure directly after a Disney Experience,

Little Justin/Alex/whoever
posted by kozad at 10:14 AM on December 16, 2005


No foolin', I went with two muslim friends to it and had to explain the Christian allegory, they'd heard so much about, to them. Their reaction, "Oh, that's it? It sure was schlocked up by Disney then."
posted by Pollomacho at 10:16 AM on December 16, 2005


I'd just like to point out that the general reactions in this thread kind of give the lie to the whole "MeFites h8 Xians, OMG" trope. I agree with most folks here. It's silly to be outraged that there's a certain amount of marketing to Christians going on. The stories are fine ones, allegories and all, and reading them as a (secular Jewish) child did not get any inedible Christ on me.
posted by Fenriss at 10:16 AM on December 16, 2005


"Just as Aslan laid down his life for (I forget the kid's name), so did Jesus sacrifice his life for all of us. I hereby give my heart and life...etc.

OK, that is a touch creepy.
posted by Fenriss at 10:18 AM on December 16, 2005


"The Chronicles of Narnia" was just sadism disguised as movie entertainment.

The part where they whip Aslan with a nail-tipped cat-o-nine-tails, gouge out his eyes with hot bamboo spears and smash his testicles with a ball-peen hammer was, in my opinion, unnecessary.
posted by fungible at 10:18 AM on December 16, 2005


Yeah, but Tolkien didn't hate teh Jews as much as he hated teh blacks--remember what them orcs looked like?

Not to mention teh kitties.
posted by alsorises at 10:19 AM on December 16, 2005


no, that's pretty much true. Well, until I married a Christian girl.

they oughta send you back to Roosha, boy
or New York City, one
You just wanna doodle a Christian Girl
and you kilt God's only son...

posted by jonmc at 10:19 AM on December 16, 2005


Personally, I think they're a lot more likely to be offended by the very mediocre moviemaking than any Christian overtones. It's an awful movie, a tremendous waste of money.

As I recall, the Christianity stuff didn't get strong until late in the series. I was rather repulsed, as a kid, by the last two books, without really understanding why.... they left me both cold and a little creeped out. I didn't figure out the reason for many years.

The first three or four books are very good, however, and this movie caught absolutely NONE of their magic.
posted by Malor at 10:20 AM on December 16, 2005


This flick could just be where "christian marketing" jumps the shark.

Really, I think the idea of selling TLTW&TW as 'christian allegory' is pretty amusing. I don't doubt that it's there, but I think a whole bunch of literalist American christians are going to be feeling pretty puzzled and stupid when they walk out of those theaters. ("Where was Jesus? I thought this was supposed to be about Jesus!") I suspect Lewis would have some cool but cutting snark on the subject, himself, were he alive to comment.
posted by lodurr at 10:23 AM on December 16, 2005


See, I was converted as a child by the writings of Samuel Delaney. I don't think I'll go into the details of my sect here. But I too am feeling upset by the revelation that there is a christian subtext to the Narnia stories, because it suggests that if I'd read those *before* "Stars in my Pockets Like Grains of Sand", things would have gone *very* differently for me.

Anyhow, got to run. I have an appointment at a public bathroom I can't miss.


Bwa hahahahahaha, freebird. Did you develop a nail-biting fetish as well?
posted by jokeefe at 10:25 AM on December 16, 2005


Can anyone point me to a good resource on what the allegories are in LotR and tLtWatW (I like that acronym because a twat's in the middle)?

I'm reading LotR now, and finding the xian allegory pretty well overshadowed by alternative readings. Is Frodo supposed to be Jesus? If so, he's a pretty shitty Jesus.
posted by illovich at 10:25 AM on December 16, 2005


Hmh. I'm Jewish, and when I read these as a kid I totally missed all the allegory because I was raised with essentially no religion- so I didn't know to look for it.
When I found out, many years later, about the "hidden messages" I went and read them again and yup, there they were.
The fact that it's specifically Christian doesn't bother me. But the fact that it's essentially proselytizing masquerading as a kid's fairy tale really burns my toast. Trying to indoctrinate little kids into something they can't understand, when they have no defense against the indoctrination, is just twisted. I don't care WHAT it is you're teaching, but Jesus, CS, either come right out and say it or just go ahead and write a straight adventure story.
I'm not saying that kids who read Narnia grew up believing things they wouldn't have otherwise believed. I just don't like the fact that that was his purpose. It's underhanded. Maybe because I just have a personal hatred of preachiness and, you know, missionary work. I'm just offended by the thought of someone trying to "convert" someone to something. To do it to defenseless kids is doubly offensive.

Beyond that, you know...I remember these as great, epic stories, and they really don't hold up. The writing is condescending and there just isn't much meat to the books. I hate thinking that because I loved these books as a kid. But aside from a framework of cool ideas, I just don't think these books are all that great anymore. Except for The Magician's Nephew, which is underrated and by far the most fun of all of them, in my opinion.
It's always a shame when something you loved as a child looks boring and simplistic to your adult eyes. But it isn't a given that that'll happen- CS Lewis could've learned a lot from Susan Cooper, for example.
Screw Narnia. Except for Edmund. He was a little jerk and by far the most interesting of the bunch.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 10:25 AM on December 16, 2005


I read the books as a preteen and found the Christian themes a little heavy handed. I reread them this past summer and found them almost overbearing. However The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, is the least overt in its themes.

My main complaint with the books is not the religious allegory, but with the overuse of Aslan. Any time any character gets into physical, moral or spiritual trouble, Deus Ex Machina (Deus Ex Deus?) shows up within 4-5 pages and sets things right. As a result, there's never any tension. The character rarely solve any problems on their own.

A secondary complaint that doesn't apply much to TLTWATW is that some of the later books are quite racist and preach some rather questionable values to young readers.
posted by justkevin at 10:26 AM on December 16, 2005


fungible: The part where they whip Aslan with a nail-tipped cat-o-nine-tails, gouge out his eyes with hot bamboo spears and smash his testicles with a ball-peen hammer....
You're....you're joking about that, right? [pause] .... [pause] .... right?

posted by lodurr at 10:26 AM on December 16, 2005


This post suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks....

First of all, how in the hell did you not know?

Second of all, as others have pointed out, what about Narnia is a specifically Jewish concern?

Third of all, you could have maybe posted an article written from the other side (there must be one or two positive reviews of this thing out there).

Fourth of all, of all the thousands and thousands of webpages out there on Narnia, between the books and the film the Pacific Coast whatever is the best you can find?

Fifth of all -- I WAS TOTALLY DUPED BY THE JEWISH PROPOGANDA PIECE MASQUERADING AS A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE YOU LINKED TO!! But seriously, is that like a West Coast version of the Forward, or something? Or just a Jewish columnist, or what? I don't get it.

Sixth of all -- one link FPP to an opinion piece == de1e7ex0red
posted by ChasFile at 10:29 AM on December 16, 2005


However The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, is the least overt in its themes.

Yeah, taking the god-character, strapping him down and ritually killing him, only to have him rise again, in order to save humanity, that's not overt or anything.

No foolin', I went with two muslim friends to it and had to explain the Christian allegory, they'd heard so much about, to them. Their reaction, "Oh, that's it? It sure was schlocked up by Disney then."

It will be interesting to hear about their reaction to The Last Battle, if this series ever gets that far. As flipper noted, that's the one that puts the lie to any cries of "can't you just enjoy them as stories?" The book is overloaded with fear and hatred, and the plot is very explicitly about the end of the world and what happens to unbelievers, especially those with dark skin and hooked noses. It sours the entire Chronicles of Narnia with its foulness, and makes it abundantly clear (especially in its punchline, where Aslan essentially tells the children that he's the same guy we know as Jesus) that these are not stories that contain Christian allegory, they are a project by Lewis to "smuggle" (his term) Christian ideas into unsuspecting readers at a young, impressionable age.

That said, the linked article is rather ridiculous and did not, in my opinion, merit a front-page Mefi post.
posted by soyjoy at 10:29 AM on December 16, 2005


It's always a shame when something you loved as a child looks boring and simplistic to your adult eyes.

Like picking boogers, for instance...

*looks wistfully at sky while picking daisy petals*
posted by jonmc at 10:31 AM on December 16, 2005


But the fact that it's essentially proselytizing masquerading as a kid's fairy tale really burns my toast.

Whoa, cowboy! Slow down there. This was exactly what the books were not. They did have Christian allegories, but the main message was one of hope and victory over evil, something children in the middle of WWII Britain were sorely needing. The books were C of E allegory too, not this freaky bible thumping, burn in hell, fundy crap that is trying to usurp rights to them.

My hope is that fundy kids that are drawn in by these books will follow up and read more CS Lewis, and then become violently ill at their church's intolerant teachings. But, hey, that's just me, an atheist raised by an Anglican priest on Narnia and Middle Earth books.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:32 AM on December 16, 2005


Any time any character gets into physical, moral or spiritual trouble, Deus Ex Machina (Deus Ex Deus?) shows up within 4-5 pages and sets things right. As a result, there's never any tension. The character rarely solve any problems on their own.

You're forgetting The Silver Chair, appropriately, because it is about forgetting God. Eustace and Jill meet Aslan at the beginning and then struggle through all kinds of crap because they aren't keeping the consciousness of the divine ("the four signs") in the forefront of their attention.

The books were C of E allegory too, not this freaky bible thumping, burn in hell, fundy crap that is trying to usurp rights to them.

Again: Yes, except for The Last Battle, which is exactly that.
posted by soyjoy at 10:34 AM on December 16, 2005


soyjoy:

I did say least overt. I'm guessing you haven't read the other books ;)

illovich:

Lewis himself explicitly denied that the books were allegory, but this is really more of a semantic point on the definition of allegory. According to Lewis:

"The whole series works out like this: posted by justkevin at 10:36 AM on December 16, 2005


Hey look, it can't be nearly as offensive as Davey and Goliath.... ;- )
posted by ParisParamus at 10:37 AM on December 16, 2005


Illovich, Tolkien was intensely opposed to allegory. He was very dismissive about it. His letters apparently show a more nuanced view; he was conscious of the symbolism and metaphor in his work, but still denied charges of "allegory."

I've never actually read about what the symbolism in LOTR is supposed to be, but at a guess I'd say it was really intended to be a long riff on moral themes, rather than on christian mythological tropes. The role of fate and predestination seems pretty important to me, as does the role of choice verses coercion. You could think of ring-bearers as prophets, bearing the weight of knowledge, and of people like Denethor serve as examples of people who would defy God's will.

Which is to say that I think LOTR is less a presentation of Christian ideas than it is consistent with them. The biggest influence is probably World War One; he seems to me to be trying to create a narrative within which a lot of people getting mowed down by machine guns, poison gas and artillery fire can make sense.

Lewis, I don't know. I've only read his non-fiction, and while I appreciate his wit, I think his theological writings are largely without foundation. He's trying to make logical arguments for something that shouldn't be argued logically. He's a christian apologist; Christianity is ill-served by apologia.
posted by lodurr at 10:38 AM on December 16, 2005


"But Paris, what would God say?"

[ducks]
posted by lodurr at 10:38 AM on December 16, 2005


From the excellent New Yorker article linked above :

Yet a central point of the Gospel story is that Jesus is not the lion of the faith but the lamb of God, while his other symbolic animal is, specifically, the lowly and bedraggled donkey. The moral force of the Christian story is that the lions are all on the other side. If we had, say, a donkey, a seemingly uninspiring animal from an obscure corner of Narnia, raised as an uncouth and low-caste beast of burden, rallying the mice and rats and weasels and vultures and all the other unclean animals, and then being killed by the lions in as humiliating a manner as possible—a donkey who reëmerges, to the shock even of his disciples and devotees, as the king of all creation—now, that would be a Christian allegory. A powerful lion, starting life at the top of the food chain, adored by all his subjects and filled with temporal power, killed by a despised evil witch for his power and then reborn to rule, is a Mithraic, not a Christian, myth.

I read and intensely loved those books as a child, and was one of the kids who later found that the Christian allegory had gone right by me; though I liked the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe least of all the books, with that whole puzzling Aslan execution scene. I'm not including The Last Battle in that which is, indeed, weird, scary, apocalyptic stuff, and the only redeeming value was Lewis making it clear in that book that even if you were a Calormene--and worshipping Allah, erm, Tash-- that if you were pure at heart, then you could be accepted into the Christian heaven, because even if you didn't know it, you were really a Christian too. I say "redeeming value" because up until then the Calormenes were consistently depicted as the most feverish English fantasy of wicked Orientals.

But then of course there's Aravis in The Horse and His Boy, who is escaping from an arranged marriage and runs away to Narnia... I can't help but want to defend those books, even though they are really such products of their time and there is much that grates on my sensibilities now, but damn, those images are beautiful, and the adventures utterly absorbing.
posted by jokeefe at 10:39 AM on December 16, 2005


This post suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks....

At this point, I'm thinking that this post was made with a slightly less than totally serious intent.
posted by lodurr at 10:41 AM on December 16, 2005


This was exactly what the books were not. They did have Christian allegories, but the main message was one of hope and victory over evil...

Fair enough, and I do understand the context of the time and place. But while that is definitely the underlying message, the problem comes down to what the books treat as "good" and what they treat as "evil". Like, as others have mentioned, all the dark-skinned baddies. And the fact that Susan essentially can't get into heaven because she's turned 12 and begun to like boys. And yeah, the entirety of The Last Battle.
I'll admit that my tolerance for religion is pretty low and that colors my view, of course- and I'm not saying that we're talking about The Lion, the Witch and the Frothing Antichrist or anything. But you can't argue that hidden in these books is a lot of preachy nastiness.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 10:41 AM on December 16, 2005


Soyjoy,your "smuggling" comment by Lewis was in regards to the Screwtape Letters where he "smuggled in" theology under the guise of humor so as not to automatically upset those who normally have a knee jerk reaction to it.

The return of Jesus and what is supposed to happen is part of the bible, it is part of Christian teaching. Why would you expect Lewis to leave it out of his allegory? It isn't fundy, it is mainstream.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:43 AM on December 16, 2005


damnit. You can't argue that there ISN'T nastiness, I meant. I'm overcaffeinated and sloppy today.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 10:43 AM on December 16, 2005


No jews will be bothered by this movie, because they'll all be far too busy having a Happy Hipster Hannukah.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:45 AM on December 16, 2005


The return of Jesus and what is supposed to happen is part of the bible, it is part of Christian teaching.

Um... sort of. Scofield and Blavatsky aside, it seems clear to me that our modern vision of Armageddon owes a lot more to Dante than to Paul.

Try this exercise: Get yourself a nice vanilla RSE New Testament and read Revelations. Think about it for a while. Then go and ask a few people what happens at the end of the world. You'll often get back a very detailed account, which will vary from person to person, and which will have not very much to do with what you read in the RSE.
posted by lodurr at 10:47 AM on December 16, 2005


Another pathetic attempt to take over a movie, rather like some Christian groups have claimed March of the Penguins is a Christian movie. Nevermind that the penguins change partners every year, abandon their chicks in the spring, and have no concept of religion yet manage to do something Christians think is moral. Maybe you can be moral without silly religious beliefs? But I digress.

I liked the books when I was a child. I don't care what anyone else asserts about the movie. Already I don't care what those folks think about most things - unless I'm looking for a good laugh or they're trying to force me to follow their ridiculous rules.
posted by Red58 at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2005


Well, I'm late to this party, but... yeah, who the heck over 12 didn't know this? I mean, it's not exactly The Crying Game now is it?
posted by GuyZero at 10:49 AM on December 16, 2005


It's Revelation. Singular. And it was John, the Revelation of John, not Paul, wrong Beatle.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:49 AM on December 16, 2005


I stand chagrinned. Guess I'm going to hell for that one. [g]
posted by lodurr at 10:51 AM on December 16, 2005



"Just as Aslan laid down his life for (I forget the kid's name), so did Jesus sacrifice his life for all of us. I hereby give my heart and life...etc.


except aslan was smart enough to know that he'd come back to life.

the kid's name is edmund btw. he betrayed his family over turkish delight. now that's harsh.
posted by grafholic at 10:51 AM on December 16, 2005


I did say least overt. I'm guessing you haven't read the other books ;)

Haw. Seriously, though, I wanted to read these to my kids, because in spite of all the downsides I do think they're great stories that kids find enjoyable. But having the most emotionally painful (and thematically imporant) event right in the first book made me question when it would be appropriate. I wound up waiting till they were 7 or 8 and starting the series with - not Wardrobe, no, not Magician's Nephew, but - The Horse and his Boy, which I think is by far the least overt, and which has the best ratio of swashbuckling adventure to creepy righteous violence.

pollo: He did say "smuggling" in reference to Narnia - I came across it while researching an article I wrote five years ago - but I don't have it handy. If you insist, I will hunt it up.
posted by soyjoy at 10:51 AM on December 16, 2005


Maybe I was a perverse kid; I knew exactly what was going on with the Narnia stories, but the message I managed to derive from it was "Christianity is just like a good fairy tale." It clouded the waters for some timee but eventually helped clear things up for me substantially. Thanks, Clive.

Oh, and I was utterly astounded a few years back when I brought up the subject of Narnia with my girlfriend at the time, and she didn't realize the presence of Christian themes in it. I mean, how do you miss that? Really.

I still love the books and have great trepidations about going to see the movie.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:53 AM on December 16, 2005


Well if the Jews had any of their own media or artistic talent.
posted by Marnie at 10:53 AM on December 16, 2005


At this point, I'm thinking that this post was made with a slightly less than totally serious intent.

Heh, could be. I'm imagining the poster sitting back at this moment horrified at the potential for another 250-comment flamewar. In any case, the best question about the intent of the post is why Jewish people are specifically mentioned as the possible 'dupee's'.
posted by scheptech at 10:54 AM on December 16, 2005


This post suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks....

At this point, I'm thinking that this post was made with a slightly less than totally serious intent.


You are correct, lodurr.
posted by debralee at 10:55 AM on December 16, 2005


re: "smuggling"

This may or may not be refering to the same source I found, but it's good enough...

In his fiction, especially The Chronicles of Narnia, Mitchell says, Lewis was subtler in his presentation of Christianity and talked about "smuggling the gospel past watchful dragons."
posted by soyjoy at 10:56 AM on December 16, 2005


... flamewar ...

Seems OK so far. Though I am disappointed that no one posted to complain in faux-yiddish.
posted by lodurr at 10:58 AM on December 16, 2005


I think the Lewis quote you are looking for is "stealing the gospel past watchful dragons" He used it in general reference to his books, but especially in regards to the Screwtape Letters where he said he was "smuggling in theology" using humor.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:59 AM on December 16, 2005


I saw King Kong last night. There was a line outside Narnia. The thought of being in a theatre with that many Christians was akin to how I felt when I knew I had a day of sightseeing ahead of me or a visit to my Grandma's rest home. Utterly, overwhelmingly enervated and depressed. Fuck Narnia. Fuck CS Lewis. Fuck every Christian allegory in the universe. And joy to every entity that can singlehandedly corral Fundies in one place so I know where not to go to avoid them.
posted by docpops at 10:59 AM on December 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


On, preview, seems you found it yourself.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:00 AM on December 16, 2005


Another thing...when I first read these I thought Turkish Delight must be the best thing in the world. The ur-candy. I had to get my hands on it.
A few years ago in England I finally had some....and oh, my god. It was like eating shampoo in gel form, with nuts in it. Talk about a letdown. It almost retroactively destroyed my entire childhood.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:00 AM on December 16, 2005


I saw King Kong last night. There was a line outside Narnia. The thought of being in a theatre with that many Christians was akin to how I felt when I knew I had a day of sightseeing ahead of me or a visit to my Grandma's rest home. Utterly, overwhelmingly enervated and depressed. Fuck Narnia. Fuck CS Lewis. Fuck every Christian allegory in the universe. And joy to every entity that can singlehandedly corral Fundies in one place so I know where not to go to avoid them.
posted by docpops at 11:01 AM on December 16, 2005


oops.
posted by docpops at 11:01 AM on December 16, 2005


Metafilter: It will retroactively destroyed your entire childhood
posted by lodurr at 11:01 AM on December 16, 2005


Metafilter: All Your Tagline Are Belonged To Us
posted by lodurr at 11:03 AM on December 16, 2005


So anyway, to sum up my opinion on the matter, who gives a shit? If people want to come to Jesus, we'll enjoy. If they do so through the nice stories that are the Narnia books, well fine. Personally, they did exactly the opposite for me. With all the contemplation of theology I was put through as a child, I came to see it all as something I didn't want or need and I have Lewis and Tolkien to thank the most. I still love their stories though.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:03 AM on December 16, 2005


After reading all these comments, I'm going to smuggle some blood of Christ into the theater...figure it'll help.
posted by NationalKato at 11:04 AM on December 16, 2005


I felt duped by The Passion of the Christ. I was expecting something a little more... saffron.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:04 AM on December 16, 2005


Um, that should be "well, enjoy." I have no idea why I types "we'll enjoy" Strange.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:04 AM on December 16, 2005


My main complaint with the books is not the religious allegory, but with the overuse of Aslan. Any time any character gets into physical, moral or spiritual trouble, Deus Ex Machina (Deus Ex Deus?) shows up within 4-5 pages and sets things right. As a result, there's never any tension. The character rarely solve any problems on their own.
posted by justkevin at 10:26 AM PST on December 16


That's pretty much how Christianity works, too.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:05 AM on December 16, 2005


There's nothing wrong with an allegory about trying to redeem humanity.

Nobody believes that whole Christ thing anyway, right?
posted by ewkpates at 11:07 AM on December 16, 2005


The themes were obvious to me as a child, but that may have something to do with the Bad Lutheran church—as Garrison would call it—my family attended. The remarkable thing to me is the degree to which I now find the series painfully insipid when compared to other books from my childhood that I have re-read as an adult. I cannot imagine the movie manages to improve Lewis' delivery and will be avoiding it.

Tangentially, the DJ who hosts the Christian gothic metal show after my weekly slot on the local radio station has actively pursued my attendance of this movie. The guy is a total Xtreme Xtian marketing tool who often tries to woo me with free tix to local Xtian roXor shows. So, yeah, I can vouch that the fundie scene has co-opted the movie even if it was not originally intended as a fundie recruitment vehicle.
posted by Fezboy! at 11:09 AM on December 16, 2005


I thought Turkish Delight must be the best thing in the world.

Oddly, that was what I took away from the books as well. Talk about being duped.

Frankly, I believe the whole reason the series is becoming a major motion picture series is that the producers see a way to capitalize on the success of Harry Potter and The Passion all at once, rather than any desire to sneak Christian imagery into people's heads.
posted by Durhey at 11:10 AM on December 16, 2005


when I first read these I thought Turkish Delight must be the best thing in the world.
I had the same experience. When I was translating LW&W into Hungarian I replaced it with crispy strudel. Much better, and more like what I always imagined anyway.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:10 AM on December 16, 2005


Yeah, I always thought it would be more like, I don't know....baclavah with crack sprinkled on top. But no. Congealed detergent. Yay. All I can say is, if that's what delights Turks, then they absolutely should not be allowed into the EU. Freaks.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:13 AM on December 16, 2005


All I can say is, if that's what delights Turks, then they absolutely should not be allowed into the EU. Freaks.

I just did a spit take and wet my pants all at once.
posted by docpops at 11:16 AM on December 16, 2005


But no. Congealed detergent. Yay. All I can say is, if that's what delights Turks, then they absolutely should not be allowed into the EU. Freaks.

You know, there's more than just rose water flavor. Most of them are orgasmically good. Just go to Istanbul, they sell it in all it's glory all over the place! I'd sell my freakin' family for some!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:18 AM on December 16, 2005


Durhey: Frankly, I believe the whole reason the series is becoming a major motion picture series is that the producers see a way to capitalize on the success of Harry Potter and The Passion all at once, rather than any desire to sneak Christian imagery into people's heads.
I think it's even dumber than that: I think it's because they decided that they could make it.

Which is to say, I think we can blame it on Peter Jackson and WETA.

Somebody saw the Orcs in Fellowship of the Ring and started hopping up and down and hooting "Ooh! Ooh! Aslan! Aslan! Marjorie, what time is it in New Zealand?"

So often things are done just because they can be. Case in point: I'm sure we can all remember a few years back when rotisserie chicken joints were all the rage, suddenly. That happened because somebody invented an inexpensive restaurant-scale chicken rotisserie, not because somebody thought that rotisserie chicken would be a good foundations for restaurants. The device came first -- then the demand. (I know, because I followed the food service equipment trade press at the tiem.)
posted by lodurr at 11:19 AM on December 16, 2005


Wait a minute... maybe Turkish Delight was the actual Jesus analog in that series! This will revolutionize the Eucharist!
posted by Durhey at 11:19 AM on December 16, 2005


docpops: why the hate?

me, I dislike fundies for their busy-body, judgemental legislating-morality homophobic end-times-believin' persecution-complex single-issue-votin' anti-scientific idiocies, but other than that they're cool folks.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:20 AM on December 16, 2005


Psst.... Prince Myshkin in Dosotoyevski's Idiot is also an allegory for Christ.
posted by psmealey at 11:21 AM on December 16, 2005


It's Revelation. Singular. And it was John, the Revelation of John, not Paul, wrong Beatle.

Actually, it is Revelation to John. And the first two verses explains that: "This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John, who testified to God’s word, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, about everything that he saw."

How people can read that and think that the Bible teaches that Jesus and God are the same thing is beyond me, but that's what one gets when one depends on some clergy class to tell one what it says instead of looking at it for one's self.
posted by spock at 11:21 AM on December 16, 2005


Frankly, I believe the whole reason the series is becoming a major motion picture series is that the producers see a way to capitalize on the success of Harry Potter and The Passion all at once, rather than any desire to sneak Christian imagery into people's heads.

Christians are so fucking easy to market to that a ten year old could do it. That's why it's becoming a hit.
posted by docpops at 11:23 AM on December 16, 2005


A few years ago in England I finally had some....and oh, my god. It was like eating shampoo in gel form, with nuts in it.

a) It wasn't fortified with magical addictive power, like the witch's.

b) It sounds like it wasn't even high quality for normal non-magical Turkish delight
posted by Happy Monkey at 11:24 AM on December 16, 2005


Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea" is supposed to contain Christian allegory also, but I contend that his message was that superstition and Christianity were interchangeable : whatever works for you, fine. (The old man in the story alternates between calls to God and calls to superstition in his effort to just hang on.
posted by spock at 11:24 AM on December 16, 2005


Hey look, it can't be nearly as offensive as Davey and Goliath.... ;- )

Once again, I am unable to find any common ground with ParisParamus. I loved Davey and Goliath as a kid. I'm still waiting for the live action movie version with Tobey McGuire as Davey, Scooby Doo as Goliath and John Malkovich as the Davey's dad.
posted by psmealey at 11:24 AM on December 16, 2005


Like the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the story is one of the books that nearly every child has read.

No, I don't think so. Gen X, perhaps, but kids these days read Harry Potter, or so I'm told.

Crap post. Last comment?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:27 AM on December 16, 2005


I thought Turkish Delight must be the best thing in the world.

Oddly, that was what I took away from the books as well. Talk about being duped.


I'll second that. And congealed detergent is the perfect way to describe the stuff.
posted by Zinger at 11:27 AM on December 16, 2005


DAVEY: Goliath! I don't know what to do! Lisa's been raped by her dad and is pregnant!
GOLIATH: Rut Ravey, Rut Rould ROD Ray?
DAVEY'S DAD: [coming suddenly around the corner; deadpan] God is a fiction, Goliath. [smiles vacantly] But a necessary fiction, don't you agree?

... nah, I'll hold out for the "Gravy & Jobriath" movie.
posted by lodurr at 11:28 AM on December 16, 2005


maybe Turkish Delight was the actual Jesus analog in that series! This will revolutionize the Eucharist!

The body of Our Lord Jesus is not sticky and cloying. You, sir, go too far.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:28 AM on December 16, 2005


Who cares? The movie's an overblown BBC special that wishes it had half the imagination and magic of LOTR. I fast-forwarded through it.
posted by muckster at 11:29 AM on December 16, 2005


I fast-forwarded through it.

Is that an admission of piracy, muckster? (Since it hasn't left the theatres yet...)
posted by lodurr at 11:30 AM on December 16, 2005


would be surprised to learn that “Lion” and the six other books in Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia were seeping with Christian allegories

Only to Jews who have no idea who Lewis is or any understanding of popular literature.

Really. Who writes this stuff?

Christians are so fucking easy to market to that a ten year old could do it. That's why it's becoming a hit.

And that is why every town, no matter how small, is able to support at least a few Christian bookstores.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2005


I resent the Christian subtext smuggled into the New Testament. I thought it was just a fine page-turner about whores, hippies, and a good dose of the ol' ultra-violence. Smite me, big man!
posted by digaman at 11:34 AM on December 16, 2005


I am disappointed that no one posted to complain in faux-yiddish.

לוי יצחק בן שרה שאשה
posted by Gator at 11:34 AM on December 16, 2005


wow gator, now that's-a spiky menorah!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:37 AM on December 16, 2005


Now I think on it, I wish I could replace a lot of the bible with crispy strudel, too.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:39 AM on December 16, 2005


Smite me, big man!

Consider yourself smote.
posted by psmealey at 11:44 AM on December 16, 2005


Narnia? Christian Allegory? WHAT?

WHOA! Next you all will telling me the Left Behind movies hide somekinda religious message are not just the long awaited vehicles for that dreamy Kirk Cameron?

PS. FWIW: That new Narnia movie sucked poopies.
posted by tkchrist at 11:46 AM on December 16, 2005


Whoa, WHOA! ENOUGH with the kinky smiting! Some folks are at work, here!
posted by lodurr at 11:48 AM on December 16, 2005


I once knew a man named Kinky Smiting...
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:52 AM on December 16, 2005


A friend of mine saw it yesterday... he said he ignored the whole Christian-allegory stuff and focused on the real issue: Why the hell couldn't Edmund see that the Witch was evil? "She looks evil, she radiates evil, she gots them evil all-black eyes, wtf's wrong with this kid?? Hellooo! McFly!!"
I always thought that there must've been some sexual pull there, as I'd imagined the Witch as being terribly sexy and powerful. Tilda Swinton's got that thing going, IMO. Cold, sexy, powerful women. Yum!
I read the books when I was very young (<12 yrs old), and I didn't read any Christian thing in them at all, but then we aren't a religious family, so there ya go.
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:53 AM on December 16, 2005


muckster
You do realize people are not talking about this right?

that is the only way your comment makes sense... unless it is the piracy thing
posted by edgeways at 11:56 AM on December 16, 2005


No, in fact, it's an anti-piracy thing. The studio sent me an awards screener and a special DVD player to watch it on.
posted by muckster at 11:59 AM on December 16, 2005


A friend of mine saw it yesterday... he said he ignored the whole Christian-allegory stuff and focused on the real issue:

i, too, saw it yesterday and focused on the real issue: peter is pretty hot when he grows up.
posted by grafholic at 12:28 PM on December 16, 2005


What's the problem? Was there this much outrage over the Matrix and say, thousands of other works of arts, movies, books, or otherwise, who make use of Christian and other references, analogies, allegories, etc?
posted by juiceCake at 12:31 PM on December 16, 2005


would be surprised to learn that “Lion” and the six other books in Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia were seeping with Christian allegories.

So, ironically, would Lewis, who insisted the books were not intended to be allegory.

"Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument, then collected information about child psychology and decided what age group I'd write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out 'allegories' to embody them. This is all pure moonshine. I couldn't write in that way. It all began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn't anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord."

Lewis, who would have disagreed on a great many points with the evangelicals the movies are being marketed to (e.g.: Lewis seems to have been a universalist) would have definitely been disgusted with the marketing itself. Lewis was something of a neo-Platonist and thought all stories were a sort of reflection of a True Story -- for example, he saw Norse mythology that way and considers it integral to his conversion to Christianity. The mythic elements in the Narnia stories are derived directly from Norse mythology, and from an imaginary land Lewis made up when he was a child that was based on India.
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:33 PM on December 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


muckster: you're such a tease....

eustacescrubb: (e.g.: Lewis seems to have been a universalist)

I think that would have surprised his priest.
posted by lodurr at 12:36 PM on December 16, 2005


Why the hell couldn't Edmund see that the Witch was evil? "She looks evil, she radiates evil, she gots them evil all-black eyes, wtf's wrong with this kid?? Hellooo! McFly!!"
I always thought that there must've been some sexual pull there, as I'd imagined the Witch as being terribly sexy and powerful.


This reminds me of the fact that the initial meeting of Edmund and the "Queen of Narnia" is ripped wholesale out of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen: He also ripped off quite a few scenes and elements from the Oz books. But then, who hasn't?

P.S. Don't listen to that Eustace, he went through a pretty traumatic period on that one island and has lost all perspective about the books.
posted by soyjoy at 12:38 PM on December 16, 2005


I'm Jewish, and I have no problem with Christian allegories in film and literature. Even though I'm not a Christian, I'm not going to deny that Christianity (like Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.) has something to offer us.

Besides, not to get all Joseph Campbell on you guys or anything, but isn't the whole Jesus-resurrection story just a retelling of ancient monomythic themes anyway?
posted by Afroblanco at 12:48 PM on December 16, 2005


See? See? "(...) Here, creep into my warm fur.” Sex! Holy double entendres, Batman! It's no wonder I was so preoccupied with sex at a young age.
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:49 PM on December 16, 2005


"She looks evil, she radiates evil, she gots them evil all-black eyes, wtf's wrong with this kid?? Hellooo! McFly!!"

This is one of Hollywood's huge blindspots. There's so much obsession with beauty there that the concept that evil is attract because it appears so superficially attractive is lost on a lot of people. For example, just compare the Satan of the movie Constantine to the Satan of the Hellblazer/Sandman comic book universe. The latter is a slender, attractive man while the Satan in the former is a sleazy, transparently ugly man. Two of the few recent movies to get this "evil-is-really, really, compelling" thing right were The Devil's Advocate and The 7th Gate.

And good turkish delight is made out of mastic gum from the island of Chios. Because the gum only grows there, a lot of turkish delight you find elsewhere is made of just thickened sugar-based syrup. Also, since we're older, the attraction of sweetened gum-like desserts surrounded by sugar is much less than it was for us as kids.
posted by deanc at 12:50 PM on December 16, 2005


The 7th Gate.

Uh, The Ninth Gate
posted by deanc at 12:54 PM on December 16, 2005


I think that would have surprised his priest.

Well, good thing he wasn't Catholic then.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:06 PM on December 16, 2005


deanc - Good point. At the end of The Devil's Advocate, I was thinking that he's (Pacino) a little unhinged, but isn't completely wrong.
And superficial or not, I'd chuck my lot in with Ms Swinton in a second, provided she'd magic up some central heating. "Darling, I believe I'd be much more able to be evil in a semi-tropical environment. With mai tai's."
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:06 PM on December 16, 2005


digaman writes "But I have no problem appreciating works of art that are crammed with Christian allegory, because Christianity is one of the richest veins of metaphor and meaning in the American culture I grew up in, as well as a profoundly beautiful form of spiritual awareness and blueprint for radical social transformation (particularly as represented by Christians like Dorothy Day)."

Well said. On another note, I predict that most American Christians will not dig the flick one bit. If they get the allegory at all, they'll be uncomfortable with it. There's only one Jesus! Stop talking about this heathen lion like he's Jesus!
posted by brundlefly at 1:08 PM on December 16, 2005


I have a jar of Turkish Delight in my cupboard at home right now. I could tell by looking at it that I would not like it (I like nuts but I don't like nuts in anything which I think is a vestige of my childhood dislike for any foods touching each other on my plate, but that's another story). I keep it around because I figure it will last forever and if there is ever an earthquake or flu pandemic all that sugar and protein in it will make it the perfect survival food.

One good thing about this commercialization of Christianity is it makes the kooks easier to identify from a distance and thus easier to avoid. I don't have anything against normal Christians, just the ones with big crosses on their t-shirts and planks in their eyes.
posted by Mr T at 1:11 PM on December 16, 2005


I think that would have surprised his priest.

Well, good thing he wasn't Catholic then.


Psst, eustacescrubb: He was CoE. They've got priests.
posted by booksandlibretti at 1:13 PM on December 16, 2005


As I said in a previous thread, I didn't "get" the christian allegory as a child either, but I honestly remember thinking the resurrection was a cop-out, a fake happy ending tacked on for kids. Of course I kind of wanted Aslan to be okay, but I just did not believe it, even within the fantasy world in which it happened.

I'm glad I read the books at a young age, because I really loved them at the time, but fear I would not have cared for them much if I'd read them too late. So much of enjoying writing has to do with reading it at the right time... [I feel this way about kurt vonnegut, sylvia plath, maybe even milan kundera...]
posted by mdn at 1:13 PM on December 16, 2005


Wait a sec, weren't the christians all up in arms about the blasphemous nature of this movie just last week? And now some jewish folk might be upset too? It's just a fantasy story, loosely based (whether the author ever wanted to admit it or not) on an older fantasy story, so big whoop, get over it. I loved the books when I was little, and the movie looks like loads of visual fun, so I'll see it over the hols.

I have not noticed this film being marketed towards christians in any way where I live, so I'd love to know where this is coming from. Are there different commercials and trailers being shown to certain regions or something like that?
posted by zarah at 1:15 PM on December 16, 2005


There's so much obsession with beauty there that the concept that evil is attract because it appears so superficially attractive is lost on a lot of people. For example, just compare the Satan of the movie Constantine to the Satan of the Hellblazer/Sandman comic book universe.

excellent point. The Sandman's Lucifer is such a terrific character (so many sandman universe characters are, of course).
posted by mdn at 1:16 PM on December 16, 2005


eustacescrubb: Well, good thing he wasn't Catholic then.
You are correct: He was C of E. My error was in remembering his enthusiastic apologia for Catholicism in The Case for Christianity.
posted by lodurr at 1:16 PM on December 16, 2005


I'm reading LotR now, and finding the xian allegory pretty well overshadowed by alternative readings. Is Frodo supposed to be Jesus? If so, he's a pretty shitty Jesus.

LotR isn't supposed to be an allegory for anything. Tolkin said so himself. That's the opposite of Lewis, who was very spesific about it.
posted by delmoi at 1:34 PM on December 16, 2005


muckster writes "The movie's an overblown BBC special that wishes it had half the imagination and magic of LOTR."

I was disappointed with the movie as well, but it's hard for me to put my finger on exactly what was wrong with it.

The acting was substandard and unconvincing (especially by the boys; Susan and Lucy were OK). The characterization of Aslan was perfunctory at best (but isn't it in the book, too?). And it started a little slow. But I don't see how any one of those should have been such a deal-breaker. The movie just didn't work.

That said, I though Tilda Swinton was awesome, even though they made her blond. The Witch was by far the most charismatic, attractive character in the movie, which kind of makes sense.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:38 PM on December 16, 2005


Loved the movie & the books.

Those Xtians & their allegories can fuck themselves for all I care.

Movie was cool because how often do you get to see a unicorn, hippogriff, manticore, etc go into battle together. Very very cool!

As for the character development wow how can you say such a thing? You write as though you went to the Matrix to study philosophy. If you go to a big event movie stuffed with special effects to see character development you are seriously confused.
posted by filchyboy at 1:45 PM on December 16, 2005


For you LOTR fans, I happen to have copied out a fascinating statement that Tolkien made about his view of allegory in a letter he sent to his publisher. Note: he calls the act of literary creation "sub-creation," i.e., a smaller act of creation within the larger one that is the Universe. I'm not a huge fan, but this is a really interesting statement which I don't believe is reproduced at this length anywhere on the Web (or wasn't when I tried to find it a year ago):

I dislike Allegory -- the conscious and intentional allegory -- yet any attempt to explain the purport of myth or fairytale must use allegorical language. (And, of course, the more 'life' a story has the more readily will it be susceptible of allegorical interpretations: while the better a deliberate allegory is made the more nearly will it be acceptable just as a story.) Anyway all this stuff is mainly concerned with Fall, Mortality, and the Machine. With Fall inevitably, and that motive occurs in several modes. With Mortality, especially as it affects art and the creative (or as I should say, sub-creative) desire which seems to have no biological function, and to be apart from the satisfactions of plain ordinary biological life, with which, in our world, it is indeed usually at strife. This desire is at once wedded to a passionate love of the real primary world, and hence filled with the sense of mortality, and yet unsatisfied by it. It has various opportunities of 'Fall'. It may become possessive, clinging to the things made as 'its own', the sub-creator wishes to be the Lord and God of his private creation. He will rebel against the laws of the Creator - especially against mortality. Both of these (alone or together) will lead to the desire for Power, for making the will more quickly effective, - and so to the Machine (or Magic). By the last I intend all use of external plans or devices (apparatus) instead of development of the inherent inner powers or talents -- or even the use of these talents with the corrupted motive of dominating: bulldozing the real world, or coercing other wills. The Machine is our more obvious modern form though more closely related to Magic than is usually recognised.

-- J.R.R. Tolkien, letter to publisher Milton Waldman, 1951

posted by digaman at 1:47 PM on December 16, 2005


Jesus Christ, is there something so awful about the core Christian message that is somehow like a sinister virus in your head? The messages include "God is love" and "Love your neighbor as yourself" (i.e., the Golden Rule) - You do realize that all the other stupid things that Christians are getting backlash for simply disobey these core teachings, right?
posted by Lectrick at 2:16 PM on December 16, 2005


(That is, except for the whole evolution thing, which is just shameful. Even most [reformed?] Jews don't take the old testament [i.e. the Torah] as literal fact, which I find amusing.)
posted by Lectrick at 2:17 PM on December 16, 2005


You do realize that all the other stupid things that Christians are getting backlash for simply disobey these core teachings, right?

Well, I certainly realize this.
posted by digaman at 2:22 PM on December 16, 2005


I don't agree that there's much of a "backlash" against Christianity going on, however -- it's more like certain far-right, bigoted, know-nothing sects of Christianity dominated by wealthy racist apocalyptoid homophobes that have tried to barge into education and public life with their anti-evolution agendas and frivolous wedge issues, assisted by a cynical GOP, have been resisted in tiny ways. Basically, they've accomplished their mission.
posted by digaman at 2:26 PM on December 16, 2005


Sorry, not so much "frivolous" as "specious."
posted by digaman at 2:27 PM on December 16, 2005


I think the issue has something to do with the basic Christian belief in proselyting versus modern multiculturalism. Rarely do Jews, Muslims or Buddhists try to convince you to abandon your beliefs for theirs. With Christians, it's pretty much one of the basic tenants of the religion.
posted by GuyZero at 2:34 PM on December 16, 2005


Hmm... seems to me I remember reading about Muslims sweeping across North Africa and into Spain over something. Seems to me it had something to do with proselytizing....

Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, though -- not so much, I agree. I think there was a lot of religious enforcement in Asia, but it was more baldly political. The concept of a secular State may well be a western idea -- it starts at least as long ago as the city-states of Greece, but hasn't always been the rule here. Even the Romans felt a need to observe a state religion.
posted by lodurr at 2:39 PM on December 16, 2005


Growing up, I went to a Southern Baptist Elementary school, and despite the fact that my family was not religious at all, I was pretty wrapped up in it all for a couple years. I read most of the books, but I honestly don't remember if I noticed the Xian allegorical elements. It might have just seemed natural, as I was completely surrounded by the crap the rest of the time anyway. But re: the movie, I think Stephen Colbert said it best the other night on the Colbert Report: "Sorry, doesn't work as a Christian allegory. Jesus wasn't a lion."

What I found most interesting about the movie (which was meh) was the way the children become totally engrossed by the process of warfare. They go from fleeing it in the beginning to gleefully participating in it, as though violent conflict is the solution, a little disturbing in my mind. Peter even adopts Nazi Luftwaffe tactics! Creepy.
posted by papakwanz at 2:43 PM on December 16, 2005


the basic tenants of the religion

tenets, for christ's sake.
posted by quonsar at 2:49 PM on December 16, 2005


bevets?
posted by papakwanz at 3:00 PM on December 16, 2005


"Hey look, it can't be nearly as offensive as Davey and Goliath.... ;- )
posted by ParisParamus at 1:37 PM EST on December 16 [!]"

I was joking!!!! I like D&G.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:04 PM on December 16, 2005


"the basic tenants of the religion

tenets, for christ's sake.
posted by quonsar at 2:49 PM PST on December 16"

Jesus ran a rooming house?
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:09 PM on December 16, 2005


It was really more of a B&B.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:16 PM on December 16, 2005


hoovering louse
posted by docpops at 3:25 PM on December 16, 2005


echo?
posted by Lectrick at 3:28 PM on December 16, 2005


Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon... Manny Mota... Mota... Mota...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:32 PM on December 16, 2005


It was really more of a B&B.

Oh. Must've missed the reference in one of the Testaments-thingies.
...hands the man 3 nails - "Can you put me up for the night?"
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:37 PM on December 16, 2005


the basic bevets of religion
posted by docpops at 3:37 PM on December 16, 2005


You really nailed that one, Zack_Replica!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:40 PM on December 16, 2005


"I stand chagrinned. Guess I'm going to hell for that one."

Maybe not Hell, but perhaps someplace where you know to keep your mouth shut on topics about which you are demonstrably ignorant.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:43 PM on December 16, 2005


You really nailed that one, Zack_Replica!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:40 PM PST on December 16


*ouch!*

My head hurts now.
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:49 PM on December 16, 2005


i liked the movie and just put the whole xtian analogy out of my head... so it wound up being about virtue, and i could dig that.
posted by moonbird at 3:49 PM on December 16, 2005


This issue is discussed at one of the better Jewish blogs, in the post "Narnia for Jews", at Hirhurim.
posted by Adamchik at 3:56 PM on December 16, 2005


Adamchik, thank you for that great link.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:13 PM on December 16, 2005


Yes, Adamchik, that was interesting.
posted by Gator at 4:14 PM on December 16, 2005


Interesting, Adamchik. The views expressed seem a little severe and insular to me, as compared to the Judaism that I've been exposed to by proxy (through friends). I'm guessing this is a very orthodox viewpoint? Whatever it is, I think I'll read more, as I know little or nothing about it.
(Honest statement/question there. No jokies.)
posted by Zack_Replica at 4:15 PM on December 16, 2005


From Adamchik's link:
This blog is la-halakhah ve-lo le-ma'aseh. Consult your rabbi before following any practices advocated here.

Can someon explain what this means? Googling that phrase turns up a lot of other Jewish blogs with similar caveats.
posted by papakwanz at 4:48 PM on December 16, 2005


Jesus Christ, is there something so awful about the core Christian message that is somehow like a sinister virus in your head?

To me, the "core" Christian message is "accept JC as your personal savior and you'll go to Heaven."

The whole "we're going to heaven, so we don't care what we do to this world, since it's only temporary" admittedly does stick in my craw a bit.

When all the dwarves ran into the barn and couldn't see Aslan (or the gate, or whatever it was) in The Last Battle, I knew they were supposed to be the Jews, even when I was a kid. That kind of arrogance (i.e. "we're better than you") can unnerve nonbelievers. You can spin it as "we only want you to come with us to heaven," but it still reeks of self-delusional ego thumping.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:54 PM on December 16, 2005


As digaman said, this article is as bad as the so called war on Christmas. I can't believe that FOX didn't think of it to show how fair and balanced they could be by making money off of other religions than just Christianity.
posted by caddis at 5:29 PM on December 16, 2005


Why don't people feel this passion to put an end to rap songs that promote violence and movies that promote sex and drug use by minors? How come all of this energy is being used to stop Christian messages in mainstream media? How come sex, drugs, and violence seem to slip by all these complainers? But once a reference is made to a holiday or spiritual figure everyone freaks out.
Something is wrong here and I am so sick of it.
I seriously doubt we will see a newspaper headline about a teenager killing his parents because Jesus told him to do it....
V
posted by veryvera at 5:39 PM on December 16, 2005



posted by brain_drain at 5:58 PM on December 16, 2005


Uh, veryvera, no one is freaking out. That's basically the whole point of the thread, and the original post was toungue-in-cheek.

Also: "Jesus told me to do it"
posted by breath at 6:06 PM on December 16, 2005


"This blog is la-halakhah ve-lo le-ma'aseh. Consult your rabbi before following any practices advocated here.

Can someon explain what this means? Googling that phrase turns up a lot of other Jewish blogs with similar caveats."

It means that there is no universal view on what is said to be prohibited and permitted, and the blogger doesn't want to mislead anyone.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:08 PM on December 16, 2005


Heh heh, the theological equivalent of IANAL.
posted by breath at 6:11 PM on December 16, 2005


More like, "Your Mitzvah May Vary" Or, Your Custom May Vary.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:14 PM on December 16, 2005


This half-jew, all atheist read the books as a kid, got the christian undertones, enjoyed them immensly and somehow remained an atheist.
posted by signal at 6:20 PM on December 16, 2005


"Heh heh, the theological equivalent of IANAL"

The difference is that, at least in one jurisdiction, the law is always the same, whereas here, one Jew will, go to someone's wedding in a church, and one will not. Or be content with the kashrut of a given restaurant
posted by ParisParamus at 6:26 PM on December 16, 2005


I seriously doubt we will see a newspaper headline about a teenager killing his parents because Jesus told him to do it....
V

No, just the usual heart-breaking, fascist bullshit about the lack of an appropriate Christian presence in all branches of government, social policy, media, etc.

-doclokken
posted by docpops at 6:49 PM on December 16, 2005


THIS JUST IN: FIRE HOT
posted by limnrix at 7:00 PM on December 16, 2005


If you don't know that The Chronicles of Narnia are a Christian allegory, then you're probably too stupid to notice an allegory if it smacked you in the face. Seriously, it is full of Christian symbolism, but if you just take it at face value, it's an interesting fantasy/fairy tale. No reason to get upset.
posted by katyggls at 7:24 PM on December 16, 2005


I thought the movie was OK. Lucy was great, but all the other kids were pretty flat. I didn't notice all that much Christian symbolism other than the obvious death/resurrection. If anything, I was a little surprised at the non-Christian stuff, like Santa giving them weapons.

Meanwhile, a recently-discovered unpublished C.S. Lewis letter says, "The whole Narnian story is about Christ":
"Supposing there really was a world like Narnia...and supposing Christ wanted to go into that world and save it (as He did ours) what might have happened?" he wrote.

"The stories are my answer. Since Narnia is a world of talking beasts, I thought he would become a talking beast there as he became a man here. I pictured him becoming a lion there because a) the lion is supposed to be the king of beasts; b) Christ is called 'the lion of Judah' in the Bible."
And speaking of Christian lions, last year a guy jumped into the lions' den at the Taiwan Zoo to try to convert them to Christianity. They converted him to lion chow.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:55 PM on December 16, 2005


When all the dwarves ran into the barn and couldn't see Aslan (or the gate, or whatever it was) in The Last Battle, I knew they were supposed to be the Jews, even when I was a kid.

If the Dwarves are symbolic of something, I think it's people who've been burned by bad religion and therefore don't trust any religion. Remember that their rationale for refusing to accept the afterlife is that they'd been fooled by a fake Aslan. I don't see any resemblance to Jewish history in that.

But again: while Lewis allowed Christian symbols and ideas, the stories are not meant to be allegory. If the characters and situations represent anything, I think they make more sense as windows into human behavior, which was where Lewis's real talent lay -- he was a sloppy theologian and his logic was often fallcious, but he understood human beings. The dwarves represent a type of person -- the kind who allow past suffering to jade them to the point that they miss out of future joy.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:50 PM on December 16, 2005


Okay, this is one of my pet peeves.

Lewis' books are not a Christian allegory. They are not an allegory of any kind. People who think they are an allegory clearly do not know what an allegory is.

The Narnia books are explicitly and deeply Christian but they are not allegorical. For example, Aslan does not represent Christ. He isn't a symbol. He IS Christ, born as Aslan-Christ on another world to save it in the same way that Jesus-Christ saved ours (if you believe that sort of thing).

So blatantly Christian that you have to have poor reading comprehension to miss it? Yes. Allegorical? NO.
posted by Justinian at 8:51 PM on December 16, 2005


Jesus ran a rooming house?

he had many mansions ...
posted by pyramid termite at 8:54 PM on December 16, 2005


Why don't people feel this passion to put an end to rap songs that promote violence and movies that promote sex and drug use by minors? How come all of this energy is being used to stop Christian messages in mainstream media? How come sex, drugs, and violence seem to slip by all these complainers? But once a reference is made to a holiday or spiritual figure everyone freaks out.

People don't feel a passion to put an end to rap songs and other violent/sexually explicit media? What rock have you been living under? You don't see that here because most people here don't like the idea of putting an end to any kind of media.

I seriously doubt we will see a newspaper headline about a teenager killing his parents because Jesus told him to do it....

I don't know of any specific stories about a teen killing his/her parents because Jesus told them to.... But people use "Jesus told me to" as an excuse for murder all the time... from the Inquisitions to modern day nutzo moms killing their babies. Not saying that Christian media should be put an end to... Just saying that... uh... people are morons. And disgusting. Jesus and 50 Cent got nothing to do with it.
posted by brundlefly at 9:37 PM on December 16, 2005


What really freaked me out? When Santa Claus showsed up to dispense weaponry to the kids.
posted by muckster at 10:24 PM on December 16, 2005


he had many mansions ...
posted by pyramid termite at 8:54 PM PST on December 16


I've heard the menu's not so great though - basically bread and fish. "Dig in! We've got lots!"
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:04 PM on December 16, 2005


Why don't people feel this passion to put an end to rap songs that promote violence and movies that promote sex and drug use by minors? How come all of this energy is being used to stop Christian messages in mainstream media? How come sex, drugs, and violence seem to slip by all these complainers? But once a reference is made to a holiday or spiritual figure everyone freaks out.
Something is wrong here and I am so sick of it.


What you are sick with is a raging case of Christian victim complex. People with similar views to the one you just expressed love to wail on about how family values are on the ropes, the Christian religion is under attack. And no one cares about the violence and sex in movies and music? Bullshit. Lots of people speak out against objectionable content in the media all the time, and the Christian paradigm dominates the US demographics and politics. Stop acting like one quizzically critical article about Narnia represents some all-out assault against your religion, while harlotry and murder go unchecked in the streets. And by all means don't pretend that Christians such as yourself aren't balls-deep in this country's throat, steering it by the ears.

--SCARABIC
posted by scarabic at 1:45 AM on December 17, 2005


And by all means don't pretend that Christians such as yourself aren't balls-deep in this country's throat, steering it by the ears...

...he sputters enviously.
posted by quonsar at 2:15 AM on December 17, 2005


scarabic writes "And by all means don't pretend that Christians such as yourself aren't balls-deep in this country's throat, steering it by the ears."

Damn it, scarabic! You and your Cronenbergian imagery!

-brundlefly?!
posted by brundlefly at 2:16 AM on December 17, 2005


I'm more of an ass man, actually, quonsar.
posted by scarabic at 2:18 AM on December 17, 2005


HEY FYI
I have no religion - I don't believe there is some magical being that is all good and all knowing. That's a great story and all but I've heard better ones.

I just don't get my panties in a bunch whenever someone wishes me a merry christmas or when I see a movie with religious undertones.

My post was a comment on this thread. But it was fueled by every article I read or TV news report about how Target employees aren't ALLOWED to say Merry Christmas...or the uprising of protestors to movies with religious themes.

And about those people in history who have used Jesus or some other religious figure as a reason for killing - those people are MENTALLY INSANE. They say that they hear voices - not what a healthy person would say. On the other hand the punk kids who get inspired by video games and rap videos are trying to become something that they see is cool. Two totally different beings.

And Breath - I wasn't implying that this board was freaking out. I was talking about the people who the articles are about.
posted by veryvera at 6:18 AM on December 17, 2005


I agree. Merry Christmas! Conversely, I wish Chanukah would shrink to its appropriate tertiary holiday size.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:22 AM on December 17, 2005


fueled by every article I read or TV news report about how Target employees aren't ALLOWED to say Merry Christmas...or the uprising of protestors to movies with religious themes.

MOO!
posted by quonsar at 7:31 AM on December 17, 2005


Why don't people feel this passion to put an end to rap songs that promote violence and movies that promote sex and drug use by minors? How come all of this energy is being used to stop Christian messages in mainstream media? How come sex, drugs, and violence seem to slip by all these complainers? But once a reference is made to a holiday or spiritual figure everyone freaks out.
Something is wrong here and I am so sick of it.
I seriously doubt we will see a newspaper headline about a teenager killing his parents because Jesus told him to do it....
posted by veryvera at 5:39 PM PST on December 16


Ladies and gentlemen, MeFi's newest member and Strawman Champion of the World, Verrrrrrrrrrry Veeeeeeee-raaaaaaa!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:18 AM on December 17, 2005


The US is excessively Christian? Huh? Where?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:35 AM on December 17, 2005


I never finished reading the chronicles as a kid because they creeped me out in some indefinable way. Now I know why.
posted by spazzm at 8:44 AM on December 17, 2005


The US is excessively Christian? Huh? Where?

from California to the New York island
from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters...
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:45 AM on December 17, 2005


Jill Pole (The Silver Chair) was one of my first loves, and still is.
posted by Primofex at 10:44 AM on December 17, 2005


how Target employees aren't ALLOWED to say Merry Christmas

That's right. It's called keeping religion out of the workplace, also known as professionalism, and creating a neutral, tolerant environment for people to do neutral non-religion-related things like shopping.

I am glad to hear you're not protesting the Christian cultural holocaust for personal reasons. It's true that the cultural trappings of Christmas are completely non-religious for some people and they might feel overly clamped-down-upon if the entire subject of Christmas is banned for its religious connotations.

Just bear in mind that Christianity is a religion. It's just another religion in this secular society, which is fortunate enough to enjoy a separation of church and state. Yes, people are uncomfortable with "in god we trust" on the money. And yes, some Jews and Muslims don't want to be wished a merry christmas at the checkout counter.

The private practice of religion is entirely free in this society. The privacy of it and the freedom of it are intimately related and mutually dependent. There seems to be an upsurge in the opinion that if 75% of America is Christian, we can go ahead and consider that the "default" religion. Well, this is one of those instances where democracy exists to protect the minority from the majority.
posted by scarabic at 11:46 AM on December 17, 2005


And about those people in history who have used Jesus or some other religious figure as a reason for killing - those people are MENTALLY INSANE.

True, I guess, but their victims wind up just as PHYSICALLY DEAD as those of wannabe rappers, so I'm not sure the distinction is that helpful.
posted by soyjoy at 8:18 PM on December 17, 2005


And about those people in history who have used Jesus or some other religious figure as a reason for killing - those people are MENTALLY INSANE.

Obviously, the song 'Onward Christian Soldiers' went right over your head. That, and the last 2000 years of Western History.

Personally, Christian Rock is the only music that ever makes we feel like killing someone, but usually just the artist.
posted by boaz at 9:11 PM on December 17, 2005


I went to see the Narnia movie and accidentally accepted Jesus into my heart. :(

And then he roared and then he chewed off my face.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:56 AM on December 18, 2005


I thought the White Witch looked like the Borg Queen.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:55 AM on December 19, 2005


Do you have any idea how many Trek fanboys lie awake nights thinking about the Borg Queen?

By golly, it's getting a big Jungian in here. Beautiful but cold Borg Queen, beautiful but cold Snow Queen, beautiful but cold White Queen....anybody else sensing a thread?

She's an old, old pagan trope, close kin to Venus/Aphrodite, the Norse Freyja, but also to the more ambivalent "Vagina Girls" of Apache legend and the "evil" Queen Tamar (Hungarian?), who lured handsome young men with the promise of sex and then case their lifeless bodies into the neighboring gorge with the dawn. Lots to chew on, there....
posted by lodurr at 10:35 AM on December 19, 2005


I suddenly have an urge to form a band called The Vagina Girls. Of course it would have to contain only fat, ugly old men like me.

I quite like what Andrew Rilstone has to say about C.S. Lewis (I've mentioned it here before): 1, 2
posted by Grangousier at 2:54 PM on December 19, 2005


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