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Since first learning about the new Kevin Smith film, “Dogma,” and its inclination to casually trash the
Catholic faith, I pledged I would never give this derelict one red cent
of my money. Consequently — since I won’t see the film — I’ve had to
belay my comments about it until I read a sufficiently diverse number of
Well, the verdict’s in and it’s time to label this blasphemous piece
of trash what it is: Another sad, sordid and obvious attempt to crucify
serious followers of the Word of God. For Hollywood, filled with its
miscreants and misfits, this film is par for the course. Christian
bashing has become good sport in the lives of the rich and shameless,
but then again — historically — those with the most guilty consciences
always do the most bashing because it takes the heat off of them.
Sadly but expectedly most of the movie’s reviews were like this
sophomoric, overly gratuitous and more concerned about the style
of the film and the filmmaker instead of the offensive content. What is
sad, however, is that most Americans will rely on these reviews instead
of their own consciences and better judgment when deciding whether or
not to see it. That’s too bad — because these kinds of reviews are
If you really want to find out whether or not the “message” of
this movie is favorable to Catholics (and religion in general), you
probably ought to ask a priest what he thinks about it. My guess
is, if you polled ten priests right after they saw the film, all ten of
them would tell you it is insulting beyond belief to the Church.
Filmmaker Smith wants us to believe this garbage is — or should be
— acceptable to all Catholics because, after all, he is a
“practitioner of the faith.” The logic is typical Hollywood mainstream
— “I’m just like you, and if I think it’s OK then you
should think it’s OK, too.” Smith is telling us that we should accept
his film based on Hollywood’s definition of right and wrong, as if their
values are a proper and reliable indicator of the morality of the rest
of the country.
But hey, unlike Smith, I — who am also a “practitioner of the
Catholic faith” — will be fair and let you decide for yourself if you
think “Dogma” gives a favorable interpretation of the Catholic faith.
If you’re not Catholic — and in the interest of accuracy — you should
substitute the parodies of Catholic dogma in the following examples for
that of your own faith. Then see if you, too, would end up leaving the
theater angry, frustrated, and ready to strangle someone in order to get
your ticket money back:
- “‘Dogma’ opens with a bang as three sinister-looking young
hockey players attack and beat an old man to a pulp as he watches the
ocean waves on a New Jersey boardwalk. At the same time, New Jersey
Cardinal Glick (George Carlin) announces to a small group of
parishioners and reporters that he will put into motion a campaign to
help revive interest in the Church, whose attendance has been steadily
falling. At this point Smith offers the first of many sophomoric,
flat-out unworkable sight gags, as Glick unveils a statue of Jesus not
in the traditional posture of crucifixion, but with a wink, a thumbs-up,
and an arm extended to greet a following.” For the record, Carlin’s last
stand-up act, featured on HBO, was filled with vile and loathsome
references to the “rigidity” of the Catholic Church — at which point I
stopped watching and vowed never to patronize him again.
- Other vulgarities in the film “include an image of a man reading
Hustler magazine in his pew; a walking poop demon which emerges from a
toilet bowl and which represents the waste products which have fallen
from people who have been crucified; a naked angel’s falling from the
heavens and landing with a thud on a highway; and a talk between a hip
young woman and a nun in which the sister becomes convinced she should
get a man and have fun.”
- The story focuses on Bethany (played by Linda Fiorentino), “a
lapsed Catholic working in an abortion clinic, who has been strangely
chosen by the angel Metatron (Alan Rickman) to save the world from
extinction. Two cast-out angels, Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt
Damon), exiled for a millennium to Wisconsin, are eager to go back home
to heaven. They have found a loophole that would enable them to do so.
They need only walk through an arch in a small New Jersey church and
they’ll be on their way, but since this loophole proves God’s
fallibility, the world would be destroyed. Obviously these angels must
- “Chris Rock gets to spout old-hat raillery such as his insistence
that though he is the 13th Apostle, he is unmentioned in the New
Testament because he is black.” Never mind that the Bible, divinely
inspired and written under God’s strict guidance, would never suffer
such blatant racism in the first place because under the Lord’s aegis,
everyone truly is equal. This hypocrisy, I’m guessing, was added either
to give Rock a job or because filmmaker Smith figured he had to — in
some way — appeal to minority audiences.
- “God” is played by Alanis Morissette, who is, as you likely know,
a woman. Now, I have no idea if God is a “man” or a
“woman” because I’m not dead (yet) and I’m not standing in Heaven before
our Master. But I can say this with all honesty: Unless you own a
brand-new revisionist Bible, clearly God is always referenced in the
masculine sense. Take that as you will, but as far as I’m
concerned, “He” means exactly what it implies.
There are more examples, but by now you should have enough
information to judge whether or not you as a Catholic or
Protestant would agree with this depiction of God, the Holy Scriptures
and the characters contained therein. By now you should have enough
examples to decide for yourself if Kevin Smith is indeed a practicing
(and, implied, a believing) Catholic.
More importantly, by now you should have more than enough evidence to
realize that Hollywood in general reviles the Christian faith and
Christian ethics — probably because so few “stars” have the
wherewithal, the guts, and the inclination to live a “Christian” life.
Like me, you’re probably even wondering if these pariahs can even name
some “Christian” values.
That’s fine by me — I’m not here to tell them how to live, what to
believe, or hold them responsible for their own actions (unless it
directly involves me). I’m more concerned with making myself right in
God’s eyes because God — the One they all love to ridicule — will
judge everyone eventually, whether we are “stars” or ordinary people,
believers or not.
Smith knows that; after all, he’s a “practicing Catholic,” right?
Here is a more accurate review of this film: “Dogma” is the
antithesis of the Catholic Church (and the Christian religion in
general), much in the way that Hollywood’s hero — Bill Clinton — is
the antithesis of the principles of honesty and integrity. ‘Nuff said,
except for this: God will not be mocked, and He is watching.