Thursday, January 26, 2006

spiked-essays | Essay | The curious rise of anti-religious hysteria:
"First there was the controversy provoked by Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ in 2004, and now there is this censorious dismissal of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Both are testaments to a potent mood of intolerance towards expressions of religious faith in popular culture today. The artistic representation of religious conviction is frequently stigmatised with terms such as 'fundamentalist', 'intolerant', 'dogmatic', 'exclusive', 'irrational' or 'right-wing'. As a secular humanist who is instinctively uncomfortable with zealot-like moralism, I am suspicious of the motives behind these doctrinaire denunciations of films with a religious message. Such fervour reminds me of the way that reactionaries in the past policed Hollywood for hints of blasphemy or expressions of 'Un-American values'. Replacing the zealotry of religious intolerance with a secular version is hardly an enlightened alternative."

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