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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Outraged Christians Burn Embassies

Not really. And that's the point.

A new movie has outraged Indian Christians with its depiction of a nun who falls in love and whose "attempts to flee the convent supposedly create hilarious situations." The poster is a sort of hommage to the Seven-Year Itch, and it has Indian Christians, especially priest and nuns, pretty hot under the collar (or wimple).

Well, okay, I admit it: we in the West have become inured to this sort of petty insult. Naughty nuns were a staple of Reformation-era polemic literature. More recently, we've put up with singing nuns and flying nuns, albeit pretty decorous ones; but also nuns on the run, nunsense, Sister Mary Ignatius, Whoopie Goldberg (twice). And there's a lot worse out there -- nuns having sex, nuns possessed by demons, nuns and abortions. I won't tell you where to find it 'cuz that stuff is gross, but you all know how Google works. And even though every nun I've ever known personally was in late middle age and dressed like a second-grade teacher, the TV and movie nuns are nearly all smoking hot and dressed in pre-Vatican habits. But with heels.

The mind reels. The people who make nun movies have, so far as I can tell, never met an actual nun.

Anyway, inured or not, let's make no mistake: a lot of this stuff isn't just irreverent, it's insulting. To Catholics, to Christians, to common sense. So, even if we can't get too very excited about it, the Egg certainly does understand the restiveness among Indian Christians. They're ticked, and they deserve to be. This is an insult to some of their mostl deeply held beliefs and most deeply revered figures.

But guess what? No embassies burning. No movie studios in flames. No kidnap videos, or assassinations. And I'm going to go out on a limb, and wager that there aren't going to be any, not over this. And that, gentle reader, tells a great deal about the difference between outraged Christians and outraged Muslims. Doesn't it?

Pastor Kills Girl

Terrible story from Kennewick, Washington: Randall Foos, an ELCA pastor, was driving his car and hit a bicylist. Her name was Sara Casey, she was 19 years old, and she died. Pastor Foos has been arraigned on charges of second-degree manslaughter.

This is an awful thing, but we all know that traffic accidents happen. Here's the part that ticks us off at the Egg: the accident took place in 2003. Foos has only just been charged because of new evidence that, three years ago, he couldn't see well enough to drive.

This raises some questions. First: Did anybody test his vision after the accident? Police, insurance companies, anybody? And second, which is more to our point: Don't Christian ethics -- which are more stringent than state traffic laws -- require a blind driver to admit that his blindness has resulted in a young woman's death?

Now, the jury is still out -- literally, figuratively, whatever. Maybe the "new evidence" is misleading. Prosecutors have been known to suffer an excess of zeal. Maybe the guy's vision was better than the state will argue. Maybe the bicylist was pedalling recklessly, without the right reflectors, and a person with 20-20 eyes would have hit her just as easily.

But here's the part that makes me shudder: If this man is guilty, how has he lived with himself these past three years?