Now, before I get started, let me clear a few things up.  I’m not religious.  Though I wouldn’t classify myself as an Atheist, I certainly fall into the Agnostic category.  Nor do I have any problem with any particular religion as a whole or people’s choice to follow said religion.  Basically, I don’t care what religion you are or what your beliefs are.  It’s none of my business, and generally doesn’t effect me in any way.  But that’s a whole other discussion.

 

I’d also like to point out that while Sam Elliott, some of the other actors, the author of the books, etc. have made the claim that the sequel was canned due to pressure from religious groups, New Line has taken the “Box Office” route.  Stating that the first movie simply didn’t make much money in the US, which is true.  It’s world wide box office take was over $380 million.  The movie only cost $180 million to make, so it certainly made it’s money back.  But the US being the “primary” target for movies, it certainly is a viable reason as well.  However, it is also well known that there were many organized protests over the films release as well as a scathing rip by Bill O’Reilly over it’s non-Christian views.  I believe he proclaimed it a “war on Christmas” due to it’s release during the holiday season. 

That being said, IF this movie was shelved due to pressure from the Religious folks, that really pisses me off.  Granted, it wasn’t the best movie in the world ever made.  I actually enjoyed the Narnia movies more, and certainly Lord of the Rings is far and away better than both of them.  But that’s not the point now is it?  It’s people sticking their nose somewhere that it doesn’t belong.  What right does any religious group have to dictate to me what I can or can not watch?  Just like with TV or Radio, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to watch it.  But just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean other people shouldn’t be able to enjoy it.   So does this mean that from now on we should have someone of the Catholic faith approve or veto all future movies?  That’s a scary thought to me, and unfortunately, considering this is essentially what happened with The Golden Compass.  Try imagining what would happen if Atheists tried to organize a boycott over Passion of the Christ because it went against their views.

As a “non-believer,” this current trend scares the hell out of me.  Take the recent story about Cecil Bothwell of Ashville, NC.  Recently elected to the City Council, suits were being threatened due to his proclaimed Atheist views and an antiquated law in the NC Constitution which states those “who shall deny the being of Almighty God” cannot hold office.  Wait….what?!  H. K. Edgerton, threatened to file suit against the city. “My father was a Baptist minister,” Mr. Edgerton said. “I’m a Christian man. I have problems with people who don’t believe in God.” Mr. Edgerton is a local civil rights leader and founder of Southern Heritage 411, an organization that promotes the interests of black Southerners.  The irony of a man who fights for equal rights for one group of people condemning and curtailing the rights of another group is mind boggling.  Fortunately, it doesn’t look like Mr. Edgerton got his way, so for now, Mr. Bothwell is still in office. But the feeling towards non-believers is heard loud an clear.

I guess I got off on a bit of a tangent, and the whole conversation might be better taken to the message boards, but seeing this over the weekend got me all riled up.  Bottom line is this, no religious group should be dicatating what I can read, what music I can listen to, what movies or TV I watch, or what video games I play.  Especially when the only issue is that it goes against their own personal beliefs. I’ll end this rant with a few words from a very wise man, George Carlin (R.I.P.): “Keep Thy Religion To Thy Self.”

 


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