Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lost Supper

Over at GetReligion Terry Mattingly isn't too happy with the folks at Entertainment Weekly for their take on this last season promotional picture for Lost. Here is the quote from Entertainment Weekly:
FUN FACT! The Last Supper — Jesus’ final meal with his disciples before his crucifixion — is commemorated by Christians through the sacrament of Communion, the eating of bread and drinking of wine in remembrance of Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection. Some Christians believe that when you eat the bread and drink the wine, the stuff actually converts into the body and blood of Jesus during digestion, although their appearances remain the same. (Which explains the weird carpentry aftertaste.) This miraculous conversion is known by a fancy term: Transubstantiation, ”the conversion of one substance into another.” Example sentence: ”If Jack’s ”Jughead” plans works, he and the castaways will be transubstantiated into a new reality.”
Here is Terry Mattingly's response:

After reading this, please express your opinion on the following: The entertainment-magazine journalists who wrote and edited this tidbit were:

(a) Ignorant.

(b) Unprofessional.

(c) Silly and childish.

(d) Intentionally setting out to blaspheme a doctrine of ancient Christianity and, thus, to insult millions of believers.

(e) Counting on the fact that Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox believers and Anglo-Catholics would not blow up their building.

(f) All of the above.

Thank you for your time. Many GetReligion readers will now want to go outside and scream.

Are there really Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglo-Catholics who would blow up a building because someone is making fun of their religious beliefs?

My guess is that the writers at Entertainment Weekly are irreligious and ignorant about not only the content of specific beliefs but about the dead(ly?) seriousness with which some believers take their religion here in America. They probably grew up watching Monti Python's Life of Brian and thought it was funny. And thought it was OK to poke fun at religion in our part of the world.

I think it really isn't OK for writers, even of fluffy entertainment magazines, to be ignorant about the subjects they write about. If they are going to write about transubstantiation they should at least make an effort to know what it means.

But I don't have any problem poking fun at anyone's religion or politics, mine included. If we can't take a little ribbing about our beliefs, which don't make always seem logical or make sense, then we have a pretty shallow kind of faith.

And we shouldn't be outraged or offended or surprised by mockery and humor about religion in this post-Christian age. It's actually good for us. Why do we believe what we believe? How can we explain it to people who don't understand? It helps us think more deeply about what our faith. No more mindless repeating of creeds or doctrines without knowing what they mean and without being able to explain them to someone who has no idea what you are talking about.

And if they don't want to understand, well we can rest in the comfort that they are going to burn in hell. Just kidding; I don't believe in any hell that is not of our own making here on earth.

Lighten up people! Or Get Lost!

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