Tag Archives: catholics

My New Favorite Movie: Doubt

Every once in awhile, a film comes along that is perfect. Doubt, by John Patrick Shanley, is such a film. Originally a play that won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2005, it must have been written in 2004, probably after Bush was “re-elected”, and the fear and despair that reasonable people felt about suffering through another four years of his administration was at its height.

While the film tells the story of a power struggle between a priest and a nun at a Catholic school in 1964, the real struggle is ideological. It is about hope vs. fear, compassion vs. hatred, good vs. evil. The Harry Potter books offer the same theme, but in Doubt there is enough ambiguity to keep you on your toes and really make you think. Throw in some racism and homophobia and you have a film that speaks to our times even though it takes place 45 years ago.

This film is about the current culture war. Meryl Streep’s portrayal of an embittered, cynical, old nun who only sees the worst in people reminds me of Maggie Gallagher at the National Institute of Marriage. They are the ones who recently put out that awful, fear-mongering ad about Teh Gays. But already YouTube is filled with videos countering that hateful message. To see a good selection, check out this post at The Gaytheist Agenda.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was great in Capote not so long ago, was excellent as the priest. As a child, I attended a Catholic church circa 1970 that had similar ideas to those that Hoffman’s character espouses. He reminded me so much of the priest that I knew that it was uncanny.

One other theme that really makes this film great is the idea of change vs. entrenchment. The priest wants to bring the school into the modern age. The nun is incapable of changing. She sees evil everywhere. Love and compassion are alien concepts too her. So the question remains: Are we moving toward a new era of acceptance or are we doomed to be ruled by our fear? And isn’t religion and its antiquated notions of heaven and hell part of the problem?

I gave up on Catholicism thirty years ago, but I would urge Catholics everywhere to watch this movie and really think about what it means. I suppose it is asking too much for the Pope to step into the modern age, but I can hope, can’t I?

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A Picture is Worth 1,000 400 Words

It must be a depression if the price of pictures in words has been slashed. Still, I thought I’d post my latest t-shirt designs here anyway, even if they aren’t worth much. Having been laid off from my job last week, I now have lots of time to design t-shirts and really, isn’t that more important than wiring electrical control systems? I think so.

This first one with the graphic of a man in a business suit holding a gun seems apropos for the times. I thought of two different slogans and couldn’t decide which one I liked better, so I did them both.
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I liked the type treatment so much that I went back and reworked a design that I’d done the day before: Catholics for Condoms. I like this one because it reminds me of that group Jews for Jesus which I always thought was a little strange.

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Here’s one I did awhile ago but only posted recently. The sign originally said “will trade stocks for food”, but I like this slogan better. This guy is not some fancy executive, but a typical Wall Street worker who is now disillusioned by the capitalist system. I might have to order one of these shirts for myself.

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And finally, a design inspired by the movie “Milk”. This one seemed a natural for a vintage look t-shirt. I’ll have to get one of these, too, and go to Edmond, Oklahoma. Maybe I’ll run into Anita Bryant there.

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