April 02, 2006

The Sopranos and Religion

The husband and I definitely argue like writers. James Thurber once pointed out that the typical way in which writers agree tends to go like this: "you're right; you're absolutely right. The problem is, you don't have the faintest idea why you're right."

We each had squabbles with the way evangelicals were portrayed on this week's episode, though for very different reasons. Attila the Hub thought Catholics were getting smeared alongside Protestants, though I thought this week's Catholic-baiting was pretty mild; after all, how can one top Christopher helping to bury Ralphie's head—encased in a bowling ball bag, after Chris himself had dismembered the body—and crossing himself as the earth is placed atop it? That incident, several seasons ago, was the Catholic-baiting apogee.

The fact that evangelical support for Israel is mentioned, and then qualified by another Jewish person who feels cautious about Christian support is not at all contrary to my experience: there are some old-school Jews out there who are skeptical about Christianity, given the little incidents there have been over the centuries. (One friend and I have at least annual arguments about whether the Nazis could be considered even nominal, surface-level Christians. Once one grants that, it is all over, and one has to concede his premise that Christians are essentially out to get Jews. Which I feel is a few centuries behind the times.)

The spouse felt that Tony's conversion to "what the bleep" spirituality this week came about as a result of a stacked-deck comparison between Catholics/Evengelicals and this more "woowey" approach to spirituality. ("Woowey" is my Tai Chi teacher's self-description. It fits, you know.)

I thought the portrayal of evangelicals worked rather well, given that it was a cartoon, with my usual caveat that pro-abortion writers never seem to get this nuance: Protestants don't have issues with birth control methods they don't consider abortifacients. Their argument is not with artificial birth-control per se, but rather with anything that might kill a fetus, embryo, or pre-embryo. This distinction is often obscured by those who either wish to proclaim that all pro-lifers are out to get their birth-control, or are simply intellectual slatterns. Not that there's anything wrong with being an intellectual slattern, of course.

The Catholic subplot? Not related to Tony's new "what the bleep" philosophy at all: it's simply a way of explaining Paulie's increasing willingness to take chances for rather stupid reasons. We're supposed to wonder if he's going to get caught. And I do.

The "what the bleep" business will very likely fall by the wayside in coming weeks: we know that Tony is able to excise any tendancy toward soft-heartedness/humanity when his "business" is on the line.

Let's review:

Attila Girl = right right right
Attila the Hub = wrong wrong wrong, unless we agree, in which case he's likely right for entirely the wrong reasons

Honey, do you need me to put this on a 3x5 card and place it on your desk as a reminder?

Posted by Attila Girl at April 2, 2006 10:53 PM | TrackBack

One friend and I have at least annual arguments about whether the Nazis could be considered even nominal, surface-level Christians. Once one grants that, it is all over, and one has to concede his premise that Christians are essentially out to get Jews.

There is no such thing as a "nominal, surface-level Christian". You either are a Christian, a blood-bought child of God, indwelled by the Holy Spirit and Saved from death to life or you are not. The idea that someone can be partially a Christian is like being partially pregnant. Just because someone (Nazis, for example) lived in a culture that had some Christian historical influence does not make the Nazis Christian.

Posted by: mark at April 3, 2006 06:35 AM

Sure. The argument had to do with the degree of that influence, and whether it was stronger than the sort of nature-worshipping strain within the Nazi ideology.

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 3, 2006 12:09 PM

By their deeds, they shall be known.

In this case there are enough words, as well, to dispell that notion forever. They said they were Socialists(albeit saying that they were "true" Socialists , as opposed to the other versions) why can't anyone believe them? This is an argument that will never be settled. Anti-Christians will always cherry-pick the details that support their views. Anti-Jewish idiots will paint Hitler as a self-hating Jew., using rumors and refuted "facts." Etc., etc., ad infinitum. None of that matters. Hitler and the Nazis were evil incarnate as evidenced by their actions. What more needs to be said?

Posted by: Darrell at April 3, 2006 01:07 PM

Additionally, the perpetrators of the Inquisition were not Christians either. As with the Nazis this is obvious: as Darrell pointed out by their fruits ye shall know them. This is where Satan(yes, Satan) is so clever; he slanders the bearers of the gospel message by raising up evil men who claim to be of Christ. It is even more confounding to the biblical illiterates when the wolves in sheeps clothing (also known as "Tares") present the false gospel of "tolerance" and ignore sin.

Posted by: sarah at April 3, 2006 03:24 PM

My sattelite receiver crapped out on me Saturday. I missed the Final Four and the Sopranoe. Hopefully it will be fixed by tomorrow.

Yes, I'm friggin' pissed.

Posted by: Daniel at April 3, 2006 05:56 PM

Doesn't the Sopranos repeat on Wednesdays or thereabouts?

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 3, 2006 09:15 PM

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