Tag Archives: violence

Demons & Spiritual Warfare: What constitutes ‘Horror Movies’?

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience

– Ephesians 2:2

Personally, I’ve never really been much into the Horror genre when it comes to films. But this time of year, October/Halloween season, if there’s ever a time I’d be privy to catching a spooky flick, it’d be now! … But in this post, I just want to explore, what exactly ought to constitute a “Horror” Movie?

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Of course , when it comes to the horror movies of the silver screen as they are commonly defined in pop-culture, then tend to feature such elements as ghosts and goblins, witches and vampires, forsaken castles and dungeons, and of course, even the theologically-inspired demons and the otherwise paranormal.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Halloween, Nightmare Before Christmas,Saw, The Texas Chainsaw,Jaws, the pulse-pounding litany of films depicting haunted places and killings…. all these we have identified, collectively as ‘horror’. It’s almost as if it’s been relegated to an aesthetic that’s emphasized Oct. 31st. But what about any other time of the year? What is the danger of emphasizing horror/ the demonic as an aesthetic as opposed to a very real reality that is more than mere fiction?

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Herein lies why I believe I don’t care too much for HOrror films- because they don’t depict the existential horrors (i.e. demonic strongholds) that plague people’s lives. I struggle to take them seriously, even if they may be sometimes fun to watch. In my last post I mentioned Satoshi Kon, a highly regarded Japanese animator who had a huge influence on many- one of which is the great Darren Aranofsky.

Aronofsky is known for some pretty trippy film experiences : The Black Swan and the recent controversial Noah ( yes, even that was trippy!), but none of his films has had quite the same impact on pop culture as ‘Requiem For a Dream’

Without revealing too much, Requiem For a Dream made me understand the demonic like no other movie I’ve even seen. The very title itself is telling-  essentially “[Catholic] Funeral for a Dream”, as we see it tell of the lives of 4 folks whose biggest hopes, dreams and aspirations are literally snatched and gnawed away by the vice grip that drugs ( of various kinds) have on their lives. The looming sense of terror and anguish I felt in my own body just watching this film, was unlike anything any  ‘horror’ films could have ever even begun to make me feel. And it made me cringe at the horror of a human life being worn away by the forces of the human condition that are so strong, they needn’t be reduced to an aesthetic. The grip and destruction is real. The destruction wrought on young black unarmed, innocent men and women at the hands of police brutality is real, the effects of war, terrorism, corrupt institutions- if Christ’s ministry teaches us anything, it’s that with Satan being “Prince of the Air” , we are all living in something of a ‘horror film’ that is gradually being redeemed- whose genre is gradually changing!

What Zambia And Russia Can't Teach Us About Discipleship

Flag-map of Zambia

Flag-map of Zambia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On More Christian Politics Without Jesus

The last time I responded to the TGC on “natural law” and the “yuck factor,” I do so only through the blog comment section and a post about Paul Over Jesus.  Unlike Thabiti, I do consider myself a “culture warrior,” just a different kind, I like to call it a “multiculture warfare.”  What is particularly bothersome about Thabiti Anyabwile’s latest post on homosexuality, What Zambia and Russia Can Teach Us About Homosexuality and Gay Rights Debate is the lack of criticism geared toward hegemonic violence.  Anyabwile continues to insist that a return to natural-law arguments would be Christians most effective weapon to win back the culture. In his response to my criticism of such an approach, Thabiti said that if Christians were to bring up Jesus, we would be ridiculed.  What? Christians aren’t part of punch-lines right now? What this reasoning boils down to is more Christian politics without Jesus; Jesus’ life, teaching, and Resurrection are stripped of their meaning as church members trust more in themselves, their “man-power” [Republican leadership, control of the policing forces/military] to hold the culture hostage, to restore a 1950’s Utopia that never was.

Christian politics without Jesus the Messiah is andro-centric hegemony.  Apart from the consequence of backlash (when our “enemies” come to power to exact revenge), the idea that the law ever has to be on “OUR” side is a gross misrepresentation of the traditional Christian sex ethic and those who have pronounced it in prior generations.  The Law is unable to teach self-control, and it definitely not able to compel persons to gain will-power.  The Law is violence, both rhetorical and physical violence, it is an unnecessary evil that can never replace the witness of Jesus’ Priestly Office as our Excellent Teacher and Rabbi or the Christian practices of celibacy and sacrament of marriage between one man and one woman. This witness is a nonviolent witness because it seeks to lead by persuasion and not coercion.  It is a Christ-centered approach, the way of being a disciple of Christ Jesus.

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White Supremacist Talking Points: Black Race Riots #TrayvonMartin

“To be sure, [black radicals] may be the minority in the black community, but truth, despite democracy, can never be measured by numbers. Truth is that which places a man in touch with the real; and once a man finds, he is prepared to give all for it. The rebellion in the cities, then, is not a concious organized attempt of black people to take over; it is an attempt to say YES to truth and no to untruth even in death. The question, then is not whether black people are prepared to die—the riots testify to that–but whether whites are prepared to kill them. Unfortunately, it seems that that answer has been given through the riots as well. But this willingness of black people to die is not despair, it is hope, not in white people, but in their own dignity grounded in God himself [sic,]. This willingness to die for human dignity is not novel. Indeed, it stands at the heart of Christianity.”- James Cone, Black Theology And Black Power, page 30

Dr. James Cone at the 174th Convocation of Uni...

Dr. James Cone at the 174th Convocation of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Saturday, after the verdict was given in the Trayvon Martin  George Zimmerman trial, well even a week before, conservative talking heads and friends on social media were feigning concern for retributive violence by swarms of angry black people. Black people were once again portrayed as violent and criminal.  One person even insinuated its been 20 years since the Rodney King riots, so maybe some blacks wanted new televisions.  I would not want this brand of racemongering turned on anyone or any population.  But black people have to endure this bullcrap every day because white supremacy still reigns in the United States. There’s only one group of people who have a history of nonviolent protest, and there’s another group of people who are responsible for the largest race riot in the history of the country. Can you take a guess?

White people, especially the leaders of white nationalism and the LGBTQ community, try to hijack the Civil Rights movement as their accomplishment.  They’ll nod their heads in agreement about how great MLK Jr. and maybe Bayard Rustin, but then after that, white supremacists say “they are the new Civil Rights Movement“; cue Glenn Beck:

Or haven’t you heard, gay is the new black!?!? You can name all the heroic people of color you want, your histories do not get to replace another people’s history. You need to sit down, and take several seats!

The hypocrisy behind both liberal and conservative white supremacists going on and on about blacks rioting is that they get to maintain their privileged positions of labelling blacks as violent and criminal while at the same time stealing the nonviolent legacy first paved by Indians and Black Americans. That’s how institutional racism works. Whites get to claim innocence, while blacks remain guilty until proven less guilty. No one examines the Tulsa riot this way as indicative of all white people, because first, we don’t talk about it (geez I wonder why!!) but yet riots in Harlem & Los Angeles & Detroit will always be placed on the shoulders of blacks and their children. That’s institutionalized racism in our media and education system, hard at work. Whites are freed up to play the victim card in the culture wars while blacks remain the servile, crooked suspects that need to be profiled and disciplined.

The fear of blacks having a mass violent uprising is only possible through the perpetuation of negative racist stereotypes, with the help of being reinforced by racist practices such as racial profiling and the whitewashing of history.  In spite of the truth of current events, as well as the historic witness of nonviolent protests lead by people of color, race prejudice prevents white supremacists from seeing the truth, the Real.  This is why dismantling white supremacy/institutionalized racism is important, so that we all can be as one as humanity in our nearness to the Truth.

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