To all those Christians who are planning to rally behind Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson on “Chick-Phil-A” Day and beyond, let’s remind everybody what exactly you’re supporting so that we have a(nother) record of how truly awful you are.
Bouncing off some of the issues about seculars and the need (or lack thereof) for religion and church-like ritual I and others have been posting about over the past couple of days, I tweeted this yesterday:
I thought seculars already had “transcendent” rituals and places. They’re called TED talks and Apple Stores.
— Paul Fidalgo (@PaulFidalgo) December 30, 2013
Ha ha ha, right? If you’ve read more than a handful of my work, you’ve already seen me go on and on about how I half-jokingly consider Apple my “religion” and The Steve (peace be upon him) my prophet. Ha ha ha. Old news.
But when I made that tweet, I had no idea that this piece by Benjamin Bratton in The Guardian would go up hours later (thereby confirming my psychic powers). The subject? How TED talks have become, as Bratton describes them, “middlebrow megachurch infotainment.”
Even if you never saw The Passion of the Christ when it first hit theaters (and I have yet to see it), you probably couldn’t escape hearing about it. The Mel Gibson-directed, hyper-violent, all-Aramaic-and-Latin telling of Jesus’s last days was an enormous hit, with the faithful showing up to see it by the busload. Recently, the ironically-named History Channel had its biggest hit yet with a miniseries based on the Bible. The lesson here is that giving religion the Hollywood touch can mean big, big bucks.
Well, get ready, because there’s about to be a flood (ahem) of biblical blockbusters coming our way. But this time, they won’t be subtitled or relegated to basic cable. As reported by Nick Allen at The Telegraph, the A-listers are about to take on several episodes of God’s book. [Read more…]