Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"Constantine's Sword" vs. "Fitna"

Interesting HuffPo piece by professional atheist Sam Harris on Fitna, the Dutch movie which has aroused the wrath of the Muslim world by juxtaposing verse from the Quran with images of violence. Many threats of death have ensued, as well as self-censoring by Western governments and media outlets.

As we have said before, the wrath of the Muslim world is almost comically easy to arouse -- cartoons, anybody?  (It would be funnier if there were less actual murder involved.) We have also argued, as Harris does, that Western nations should be ashamed of themselves for gutlessly deserting their commitment to the freedom of expression.

In contrast, consider a new documentary that makes much the same case against Christianity.  Constantine's Sword, based on the book by professional ex-priest James Carroll, draws a bead on Christian violence, especially against Jews.  It blames the Church for a familiar litany of sins, beginning with the Gospels' account of the Passion and continuing through the Middle Ages to the Holocaust.

And as you might expect, the wrath of the Christians has been aroused!  Why, the Catholic News Service ran a fiercely critical review.  They said things like "may elicit some passing interest" and even -- get this! -- "considerably flawed."  Why, we'll bet those cowards at our local multiplex don't dare to show this movie!   Or maybe they just don't think it will make as much money as Iron Man.  

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