instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Some observations

I saw most of Diane Sawyer's interview with Mel Gibson last night. On the whole, I thought it was fair, by my "for a fat girl you don't sweat much" standard for network television, and that Gibson acquitted himself of the more extreme charges that have been made against him (including a Messiah complex, so I won't go so far as to say I find no guilt in this man).

The producers of the movie Hidalgo have been buying a whole lot of commercial time, including at least one spot during the Gibson interview last night. Say what you will, few movies get a free one-hour, prime-time network ad. (The local station also ran some promos saying, "Stay tuned to our eleven o'clock news for where to see the movie and join the debate.")

From this follows two observations:
  1. Sincerely-held Christian belief is endlessly fascinating to Americans, even post-Christian Americans.
  2. Sincerely-held Christian belief, expressed sincerely but unsubtly, sounds like lunacy on prime-time network television.
This last point touches on what I wrote yesterday about the contradiction between Catholicism and American culture. If, as American culture would have it, there are no really true truths and what counts is us all getting along, then holding truths that seem offensive to others makes no sense.