Carpathia's Revenge


Achtung: This entry contains spoilers for Traffic, The Godfather, and Left Behind: The Movie. But since I'm sure you've seen the first two and have no interest in seeing the third, please read on. If you dare.

Seeking solace from all things intellectual, I rented the screen adaptation of Left Behind last night, hoping that an evangelical action movie would lull my brain to quiet sleep. A few things...

First off, the prosthelytizing in the movie was plenty overt, but it was scattered enough not to be overpowering. Basically, there were entire scenes devoted to talking about faith and whatnot, but the rest of the scenes were devoted entirely to action, political intrigue, murder, and computer-generated exploding airplanes. So that was a nice touch.

Secondly, none of the main characters start believing in God until they're presented with empirical evidence that the Book of Revelations is coming true. For a few, the sudden disappearance of millions of people is enough, but for Kirk "Mike Siever" Cameron, only when he sees the Sectretary General of the U.N. saying things that the Bible says the Antichrist is going to say does he go into the restroom and start believing in God (with a nice underscore of contemporary Christian rock). So that pretty much throws the whole "faith" thing right the fuck out the fucking window.

Finally, the movie taught me that I can now spot a car bomb from a mile away. Basically, any time the main character and a secondary character are going to go for a ride in the car, and the main character for some reason keeps his distance momentarily while the secondary character goes in and starts the car, the car is going to get blowed up. See The Godfather ("Appolonia, NOOOOOO!!!!!!"), Traffic ("Hey! Hey, Ray! Wait a minute! Wait a minute! RAAAAAAAAYY!!!!!!!!!"), and, now, Left Behind. Although Kirk Cameron doesn't give us any verbal cues that one of the two Black characters in the movie is about to be disintegrated, it's pretty clear that there's no other good reason for the old lady to be asking Kirk Cameron for a dollar while the Black guy starts the car.


I read a few Left Behind books in a Born-Again Cultural Anthro course and griped about the some turn of events. It's a piss poor converson tool, as I can see it. I mean, what's the downside to non-belief? Once all the obnoxious goody two-shoe christians vanish, I can be certian the whole Jesus thing is for real *and* I can be an action hero!

i think the only advantage to faith without proof is that the good-two-shoes believers don't have to endure the seven years of war and famine and plague and all that, and also won't risk being tempted to join the antichrist. if you believe without evidence you're presumptively qualified to be saved. otherwise you have to prove yourself a little more.

of course, if the editors of the UCLA Law Review were running things, EVERYONE, believers and non-believers alike, would have to endure the seven years, because, you know, there's clearly NO CONNECTION between prior belief and heaven-worthiness, and having everyone endure the seven years would ensure that the salvation process is MERIT-BASED.

I am wholly in favor of your submission of that last statement into the first Docket of next year. Or just an anonymous last email. Garhr!

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on May 4, 2003 9:59 AM.

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