Juno and cities in Alaska.


Someone had to make this connection — and while I did think of it earlier today, RC at Strange Culture wrote it up first:

Mac MacGuff: And this, of course, is Juno.
Mark Loring: Like the city in Alaska.
Juno MacGuff: No.

What I want to know is why so many people seem to think that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin‘s family-values cred is compromised by her teenaged daughter’s pregnancy, given that so many pro-lifers were very eager to claim Juno — the movie that supposedly romanticized teen pregnancy — as one of their own only a few months ago. Haven’t pro-lifers proved that they can deal with, and even on some level embrace, this sort of thing?

As Rod Dreher puts it, “I can’t help thinking that in the matter of Bristol Palin and her unborn child, many on the left simply can’t stand it that conservatives are failing to live up to the malign stereotypes liberals have of them.”

SEP 3 UPDATE: Juno director Jason Reitman says a few brief things to Sharon Waxman about the Palins and his film.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05192245958769676651 P. Little

    Without getting overly political (and I have a tendency to do so :P), I’ll just say that it’s the perceived hypocrisy involved on the right that’s troublesome to the left. The idea that, had the tables been turned and it was a Democrat’s teenaged daughter getting pregnant, the right wouldn’t be ALL OVER IT is rather hard to believe.

    And of course, that’s saying nothing of the proud “abstinence only” stance Palin holds, which she assumedly taught her daughter, potentially not informing her of the proper uses of birth control. Being Christian, I tend to believe in an “abstinence first” policy, but other measures need to be discussed for those who won’t adhere to abstinence — and frankly it’s irresponsible to expect that all or even most teenagers will.

    Still, when it came out, I did agree that “Juno” was a great example for the Christian right to use in their pro-life fight — if of course you ignore all the other very un-Christian elements to the movie. What I’m frustrated by most, of course, is the fact that fundamentalist groups will gladly gloss over certain negatives (no matter how blatant) if a single positive will serve their purpose and help prop up their “message”. But if something negative (no matter how minor) appears that goes against their agenda, any and all positives are completely discounted.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07395937367596387523 Peter T Chattaway

    Yeah, I have no interest in getting into the broader political issues right now, either. Not here, at any rate.

    Maybe I’m naive, but I have difficulty imagining that the right would even care if someone on the left had a child who got pregnant out of wedlock. The left doesn’t pretend to be all about sexual abstinence, so you can’t level a charge of “hypocrisy” at them; and ultimately, choosing to keep the baby would be better, from the right’s point of view, than choosing the opposite, no?

    As for the “abstinence only” stance, I’m not really sure what to say. That’s the stance my own parents took, and it worked well enough for me. My own children are only toddlers right now, so I haven’t really had to deal with that issue from the other end yet, as the parent rather than the child. I’ll get back to you in a dozen years or so. :)

    As for Juno and the “pro-life fight”, I really have no idea what to expect or agitate for on the political level. Merely banning something, like marijuana or mp3 downloads, doesn’t stop it from happening, and typically leads to government abuses etc. All I know is I would much rather live in a culture where keeping the baby is considered preferable to the alternative, and if Juno helps to predispose people to that idea, then I’m all for it. I wouldn’t want to co-opt that movie for political purposes, though, or make it seem like a “cleaner” movie than it is.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05192245958769676651 P. Little

    I think it would be the fact that she was a teenage mother more than an unwed mother that would get the right all riled up.

    At any rate, I totally am with you on that last paragraph, 100%.

    Looking forward to hearing from you in a dozen or so years! :P

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08741378159534413277 Magnus

    No British Columbian should rejoice in the idea of an Alaskan becoming the Vice President. Pay attention to issues dealing with the sovereignty of our own waters and you’d understand.
    What I have been reading about this woman, beyond the whole teen daughter thing, does not inspire confidence. I know it is too much to hope that our American cousins will elect a third party candidate – but truly and sincerely hope they do.


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