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Friday Ramblings

The day after the birth of a child is clearly not the time to be doing serious writing. Thus today I will only ramble, posting a compendium of things that have been on my mind this week.

While I managed to get a fair amount of sleep yesterday (never have I been so thankful for a spare bedroom), Aileen did not and had to hand me Michaela long before I was ready to crawl out of bed. Still, we knew that this was coming and we are not anticipating getting a lot of sleep for the next few days at least.

I received an email today which linked to an interesting article from the Orange County Register. The paper reports that a huge local church was unable to convince city officials to approve a $19 million expansion that included a three-story parking structure. Local residents protested the building plan, saying that the project would intrude upon their privacy and greatly increase traffic in their neighborhood. I can only imagine what it would be like having a three story parking structure erected directly across the street from my home. What a strange animal these mega-churches are as they attempt to grow and expand just like big businesses. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with it—it just strikes me as odd that a church has to fight this type of battle when the vast majority of us go to churches that can only wish for such parking woes!

I noticed a few days ago that Christianity Today has listed their “10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005.” “What do we mean by “redeeming” films? They’re all stories of redemption—sometimes blatantly, sometimes less so. Several of them literally have a character that represents a redeemer. And with some of them, the redemption thread is buried beneath the surface; you might have to look a bit harder for it, but it’s most certainly there. Some of them are ‘feel-good’ movies that leave a smile on your face; some might leave you with more of a contemplative frown, asking, ‘How should I process that?’”

Here is the list of films:

  • Cinderella Man
  • Batman Begins
  • Murderball
  • Crash
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose
  • Munich
  • Dear Frankie
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
  • Millions

Of those I have only seen the last three. Pride & Prejudice and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe were both excellent. Millions was awful. I was disappointed to see a movie like Crash make it to the list. Now I have not seen the film, but judging by what I know of it, I wouldn’t even if I wanted to. It is rated R and apparently for good reason. The following warning is provided by PluggedIn Online: “THIS FILM FEATURES GRAPHIC VIOLENCE AND LEWD SEXUAL CONTENT. THIS REVIEW REFERENCES THAT CONTENT AND IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN.” The review mentions that there is intense, explicit wildly inappropriate sexual content, plenty of brutal violence and a lot of bad language. “Like the rapid-fire shots of a drive-by, the f-word is sprayed about 100 times (several times it’s used with “mother”; it’s also used in a sexual manner). The s-word is said at least a dozen times, while God’s name is misused almost as frequently and is often combined with “d—n.” Christ’s name gets abused four times. More than 30 other milder profanities further mar this film, including several sexual slang terms.”

But I’m sure it’s a wonderful tale of redemption. Maybe I’ll rent it tonight and watch it with the kids so we can all be blessed together. Or not. Every now and then I’m tempted to wonder if Christianity Today can stoop any lower. And yet somehow they always manage.

On that note I am going to get back to work. I am busier than I’ve ever been and this is an awkward time to have a little bundle of joy intrude into my busy schedule. But I love her anyways. I will hope to get back to reading, reviewing and writing over the weekend.