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'Avatar' as 'Bland' and 'Unoriginal'
The film may be No. 1 at the box office, but the Catholic Church made it clear that James Cameron's blockbuster is far from Vatican-approved.
The Vatican's weekly newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, called the movie "bland," "unoriginal" and devoid of substance beyond its "extraordinary visual impact." Vatican Radio, meanwhile, took issue with what it considered the film's celebration of nature "as a divinity to worship," The Associated Press reported.
The Vatican newspaper didn't seem to appreciate the film's other themes, either. "Everything is reduced to an overly simple anti-imperialistic and anti-militaristic parable," it said.
Across the blogosphere, the Vatican's derision of the film left some puzzled. At the right-leaning religion blog, BeliefNet, Ellen Leventry said the church's media outlets appear to be concerned about the wrong issues. Fears of neo-pagan worship, she wrote, seem "so antiquated, so very early Church, especially in a world full of poverty, war and challenging scientific questions."
Others suspected the L'Osservatore Romano review was part of a not-so-subtle push by the new pope to make the church more relevant in modern life. Nick Squires of the Christian Science Monitor said the review was likely "part of L'Osservatore Romano's efforts to shrug off its previously staid, stuffy image and strike a more contemporary tone."
The Catholic Church may be primarily concerned with matters of the soul, but observers say that in recent years, it has increasingly weighed in on issues of popular culture around the world.
The Vatican is no fan of "The Da Vinci Code," for example, and in 2005 one cardinal called the novel a "sack of lies" against the church.
It went easier on the King of Pop. When Michael Jackson died last
year, Zenit.org reported that L'Osservatore Romano referred to the
pop star as a "child prodigy," and said "no accusation, however
serious or shameful, is enough to tarnish his myth among his millions
of fans throughout the entire world."
In blue: Neil Douglas-Klotz translated and commented on early words of Jesus. Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditation on the Aramaic Words of Jesus. Reading an original translation and not the King James version that was approved by "The Church" in 1611 as being the true version, you will see how connected Jesus actually was and how "The Church" continues its campaign to keep their version in the lime light. Knowing the history of the Roman Catholic church in developing countries, the genocide, the inquisition, the contacts put out on Medicine People, is it any wonder the Pope holds much the same attitude about "the primitives" as the military portrayed in Avatar. Go see it again under that context. Then see it and think of the set-up, eventual attach of Bagdad (with little warning to 6 million people), the attempt to distroy of devoute culture with one that considers military might the ultimate god and has a pretty high disregard for nature. - Gordon Clay
Inside the Vatican 1:28:48 National Geographic Society film
True religion is the life we lead, not the creed we profess. -