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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:02 AM
Original message
Jeb, the lion, the witch and the wardrobe -- this will make you ill

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/local_ne...


'Lion, Witch and Wardrobe' blitz serves up message with Florida's blessing

-snip-

When you can combine the forces of Disney, the McDonald's Happy Meal and Gov. Jeb Bush in one tidy package all of them working together to cram thinly veiled Christian theology down the gullets of Florida's schoolchildren you've got yourself a hell of a plan.

This December, just in time for Christmas, the movie version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe will be in theaters everywhere, much to the delight of Christian evangelicals, who see the children's tale as it was intended a way to subtly introduce the Christ story to young people.

The C.S. Lewis allegory will also be in Florida classrooms everywhere, in book form, thanks to Gov. Bush, as part of Just Read, Florida!

Yes, of all the books the state might encourage children to read, Bush just so happened to pick the book that coincides with the Disney movie, which just so happens to be co-produced by Walden Media, which just so happens to be owned by a Colorado billionaire, who through his family and foundation has donated nearly $100,000 to the Republican party. But that's just the icing on the cake.

This is about the biggest Christian media event since The Passion of the Christ.
-snip-
-------------------------------


and there is this: " Evangelical churches are organizing group trips to theaters and generating discussion materials to be used by scout leaders and schoolteachers."

america's evangelical taliban in action.

let an evangelical get a toe in the door and you've been had.

this needs to be exposed for the crap that it is.

Fl. school children, already undertaught, will be screwed for life.

since when can a Gov. be in partnership with corps. to make money?

(since the criminal bushgang coup d'etat in 2000)
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jasmeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. I read this book when I was a kid and LOVED it but I didnt know
a thing about religion or that this book was tied to religion. The evangelicals also tried to say the march of the penguins was a religious movie or validated them in some way. I do remember liking the story though.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. The book is admittedly a Jesus allegory. C.S. Lewis intended it to be...
Think about it -- Aslan the Lion dies for the sins of the children, but is then reborn. If you go back and read the book today, the reference is actually pretty heavy-handed. I don't really have a problem with any of this, though -- if teachers try to use this book to bring Jesus into the classroom, then that can be specifically addressed. But simply studying this book -- and the Narnia Chronicles in general -- in early schooling seems like a fine idea to me. The books can keep kids interested in the same sense that the Potter books do.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
2. This has failed to make me ill..
I'm a pretty big fan of C.S. Lewis -- loved his books when I was a kid. While the first book in the series is obviously an allegory for the Jesus myth, it also has good lessons to teach kids, and the subsequent books are hardly a continuation of biblical myth, but instead a furtherance of the new mythology created by Lewis.

What evangelical churches choose to do with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is certainly up for debate. Having kids read a great fairy tale, though, is certainly not a big deal, IMHO. In fact, as this is obviously a fairy tale, one could deduce from it that the Christ myth it represents is similarly fictional.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. this isn't about C.S. Lewis - this is about Jeb and the jesus freaks

invading public schooling in conjunction with two corporations planning to make big bucks over it.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. That's what corporations do.
Corporations cashing in, while sometimes repugnant -- doubly so when it involves crony politicans -- is an everyday affair. As for the Christo-fascists trying to install Jesus in the classroom, I'd wait and see how classes teach The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. If some try to turn English class into Christianity class, then slap them with a lawsuit a mile wide and ten feet thick.
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Danmel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
4. My daughter picked up on the Christian theme immediately
She was about 11 and we took the book out of the library- she likes fantasy and wanted to read it.

About halfway through, she came to me and said "Mom, is this a Christian book?" (We're Jewish) and I said it that CS Lewis wrote Christian themed books but that I didn't know if it was overtly Christian. ( I nevner read the Chronicles of Narnia) She said "well maybe mot overtly., but it sure seems that it's Christian to me" Now, she is smarter than most kids ( she picks up on a lot of sub textual stuff that tends to go over other kids her age heads), but she noticed it immediately.
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Protagoras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
5. Ah the Chronicles of Narnia
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 11:15 AM by Protagoras
What beautiful allegory. Or better yet, allegory of allegory.

I think it'll be a delightful story and it will include whatever we want to read into it. C.S.Lewis would desire no less I imagine.

While I am sure the money/media chain might make one suspect of any book that is so chosen...let's be realistic. The Chronicles of Narnia is a literary classic that has rivaled Tolkien's Lord of The Rings, Narnia has been produced at least twice before...pre LoTR...and now with the Peter Jackson's special effects success, it was an obvious choice to make as a movie blockbuster. And it's a book (first book anyway) that I'd have kids read right next to Moby Dick and His Man Friday...the choice of this book does not have to be some subtle Christian plot...and frankly if it's that subtle I don't have much fear that it will have any significant effect. Kids seeing a Lion Resurrected aren't all going to run out and become Neocons. In fact, I almost wonder if seeing the western Christian story told in such an obvious fantasy way might have the reverse of intended effect and demonstrate that such things are indeed fantasy...hmmm...maybe we have a grand social experiment in the works here after all...

The subtext of the novels was always there...should have always been evident to anyone who read them...and shouldn't really suprise or upset anyone. This was a sensible choice for anyone to make...if I were a studio I would have made it. I just wouldn't donate any of the profits to Bushco :P

Didn't Tolkien and Lewis used to sit drinking ale in the Eagle and Child pub and argue about such stuff?
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Yes, Tolkien, Lewis & the rest of the Inklings discussed it all....
Tolkien did not "convert" Lewis, but their discussions of Faith made Lewis a believer once again. Not a Roman Catholic, like Tolkien; as a Protestant from the North of Ireland, he didn't want to join the church of the "bogtrotters." (Yes, that word was in his vocabulary.)

Then Lewis got busy & made lots of money with his books on the joys of Christianity, while Tolkien plodded on with his seemingly endless epic. Lewis did encourage him, & Tolkien didn't mind when Lewis nicked a few words for his Space Trilogy.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
6. The same can be said
for many books.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
7. I have no objections to this film
I always thought the book was a great one, especially for kids. And I will watch the film, either in the theatre or on DVD.

However this is just more crony capitalism on Jeb's part by pushing the book in schools, and thus doing a atatewide promo for the movie produced by his buddy in CO.

That said, I've never ever seen the allegorical relation to Christianity in the book, in spite of what people say. Perhaps I should read it again, but having read it as an adult, I just don't see it :shrug:
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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
11. I recently re-read all the books - spoiler alerts (maybe)
Going chronologically story-wise and not necessarily chronologically when they were written (although the last books story-wise were also wrtiten last). It's subtle in "Lion," non-existent in some of the books where he was fleshing out the mythology or starting the story but pretty blatant in the end.

Somewhat spoiler alert

All of the people associated with going to Narnia have become friends, except for the oldest sister of the four kids in "Lion." She's no longer a "follower of Aslan," preferring worldly things like wearing lipstick and her social calendar and considering their adventures in Narnia silly.

Aslan, the lion, appears as a lamb at least once, thus he's the lamb of God. Plus being both a lion and a lamb harkens to making the lion and the lamb lie down next to each other. I think he also feeds a bunch of them fish at this point.

Narnia is eventually destroyed, but wait, there's a new, improved Narnia where goodness reigns, you can run as fast and as far as you like without tiring, you're reunited with all your friends from your adventures, you can see your dead parents from hundreds of miles away waving at you like 3 of the 4 siblings from "Lion" did (they're now dead from a train wreck and in Super-Narnia).

There are probably ones I'm leaving out.

Still, they are good reads and shouldn't be discounted because the fundies are trying to co-opt them. Hopefully, they won't ruin them or the movie like everything else they touch.

TlalocW
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peacebaby3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
12. Huge fan of the entire Chronicles of Narnia! I loved the series when I was
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 11:33 AM by peacebaby3
a child and still do as an adult. I even named my dog Aslan when I was a teen.

I'm looking very forward to the movie.

Jeb Bush and the fundies can do and claim whatever they want, it won't change how much I like C.S. Lewis.

Edit: Oops. Had to fix a mistake.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
13. I can't get too worked up about christian allegory, because the
fundies, who are the 'christians' I worry about, don't do allegory. If they did allegory, they would recognize that the book that they take literally is at least 25% allegory. Even the 'historical' books in the bible were written as all histories were at the time, with selective use of facts meant to come to a particular conclusion.

Kids that are smart enough to recognize the allegorical themes will not be influenced by the fundies. Those that don't see them may wonder why they are being encouraged to see a fantasy and may start to think outside the box in which they now live.

Literature is rife with religious allegories. I don't see this movie and book as influencing much of anybody one way or another. As for it being used by Jeb and Bushco in schools, it is just literature. Object to this and you must also object to Dante's Inferno and Milton's Paradise Lost. I devoured those, and others, in school but still wound up an atheist.
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SlavesandBulldozers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. great post.
messianic allegory is almost as old as the human organism.

Allegory like this has been a tool, for better or worse, that we have used for a long time.

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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. The story of the resurrection has been told in many cultures
And religion, a fact the very well-read Lewis knew. So, although it is Christ Allegory, it is also Pagan allergory....
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SlavesandBulldozers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. exactly
:)
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. We're so smart, aren't we, SAB?
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SlavesandBulldozers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. we are absolutely brilliant.
you noticed that too?
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
14. The movie is being promoted for its religious meaning.
Christian Books sent me a catalog; I leafed through, since any collection of books might be of interest. There was a whole section on how your family can be taught the true, Christian meaning of Narnia. Here's the Narnia Page:

www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/cms_content?page=... |967390|80623#curr

Yes, Lewis used some Christian allegory in his Narnia books. He also displayed his love of Classical myth. And he was definitely NOT a Fundamentalist.

The site also has a Tolkien page, but very little on "Christian meaning" in LOTR. Perhaps because Tolkien was Catholic & this site is mostly Protestant. (Their printed catalog was 100% Protestant.)
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. The movie trailers are promoting it as fantasy/action
I can NOT wait for it! My favorite series of all time...
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CatBoreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
15. Love these books...
...and I'm a Pagan. If you read the entire series, you'll see that the books don't entirely fly with the 'evangelical' belief system.

At the end of The Last Battle (SPOILER ALERT) when everyone has gone into the stable, the hero's meet an enemy soldier and a worshipper of the god Tash. The soldier is looking for Tash in this paradise everyone has found themselves in. When asked why the enemy was there, Aslan says that even though he worshipped Tash, because the soldier was good and just, he was in truth worshipping Aslan. Had he been evil, his deeds would have served Tash even if he was using the name Aslan in his prayers.

Very ecumenical of Lewis and something that most fundies would have serious problems with given their "Jesus is the one true path; the way and the light; blah blah blah" bullsh*t.



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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. I often talk about this scene with people
And I'm a Pagan, too.... raised RC. This is a great truth, and the entirety of The :ast Battle shows this hypocrisy of those Christians who rend their clothing and babble on street corners, and who use God's name to harm others, or to get themselves gain.

Those who do bad in Aslan's names are not believers, and those who are good people, no matter what their beliefs, are true believers in Aslan. THIS Is what taking "God's name in vain" means.

These are Christian books in the figurative sense, too. I don't mind them being taught in schools. I do have a problem with ANY corporate involvement in schools.
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CatBoreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Hee heee...
raised RC too. Maybe we should start a club?

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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Half the Pagans I know were RC
I like to joke that it's REALLY easy to go from being RC to Pagan -- just throw in "Goddess" or "Lord and Lady" for "Jesus," and it's about the same....

WE can call our Club: "Pagans for Jesus."
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #22
31. It's damn near all Pagan
From the priest's vestments, incense censures, those bells they used to ring at mass. Hell, the Pope's title itself comes from the chief priest of pagan Rome. They didn't so much convert the pagans of ancient days as co-opt them. Had to introduce veneration of the saints to replace local deities in people's lives.

Check out Gibbon's Decline and Fall sometimes, full of all sorts of goodies. For example, the sainted Ambrose of Milan led mobs of fanatical monks in the burning and looting of Pagan temples. When he ran out of Pagan temples his attention turned to synagauges.....
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. IOW, RR fundies serve Tash.
I like it.
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CatBoreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Pretty much....
...ironically, Lewis characterizes these people as a really old, really ugly ape named Shift.

Shift is basically every televangelist I've ever seen rolled into one character. He spends his time saying Aslan wants this and Aslan wants that, of course you don't understand, you're too stupid to understand Aslan, only I understand Aslan.

You get the picture.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Exactly! Or "Taslan," their perversion of Aslan
Much like the RW Fundies have perverted Jesus' message....
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
17. I'm surprised the Fundies like the book(s)
@Why? Many reasons. A few:

-- independent, strong girls and women
-- "Evil" characters who are good -- Bacchus, satyrs, etc.
-- DRINKING
-- The last battle SLAMS religious hypocrites and very "public" "Christians"


etc. Lewis was high church Anglican, very much NOT an Evangelical or/and Fundie. He was a good girl, and the books are wonderful and full of very good moral lessons. And, I mean moral, not whacko Fundie Christian.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
23. I read the book as a kid and as an adult and think it's a good story
Of course it's a christian allegory, and most kids will pick up on that. I don't have a problem with it being read in public schools, however, as I think that if teachers choose a variety of literature for the kids to read over a year's time, the kids are better off.

I think CS Lewis might be a bit disgusted if McDonalds has Happy Meals with the theme. It just would be so crass and materialistic.

The copy of the book that I have has really great colour illustrations, and fuels the imagination of it's own accord.

I also read "Mere Christianity" recently. Lewis was not a fundie, had many things to say that I may not agree with, but was not a hypocrite and did not belief that forcing christianity upon the masses was a good tactic. I liked what he said about giving-he said something to the effect that if it doesn't make you uncomfortable to give, you probably aren't giving enough.
Also, along that vein, from "The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe", one of the kids asks the Beavers about Aslan, if he is safe. The response is, no he's not safe, but he is good. I think that's a good thing to get kids thinking about what is good and what isn't. Doing the right and good thing is frequently at odds with doing the safe thing.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
25. posters are missing the point

this isn't about the story or the arthur. it's about collusion between the religiously insane (Walden Media), McDonald's (do anything for a buck), Disney (bushgang member) and Jeb himself.

this isn't about the story line.

it's about the religiously insane using the story to push their agenda in public schools.

whether or not you liked the story is not the issue.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. The thing is, their agenda doesn't match the book's/movie's
Actually, the story is often the antithesis of an Evangelical/Fundie world view. It is a very ecumenical, all-embracing book. I wish more Fundies WOULD study Lewis -- they'd probably be more apt to become real Christians and emulate Jesus. And, the Pagan writing this thinks emulating Jesus is a pretty good thing to do. This may well backfire on them, because th movie is supposed to be very faithful to the book.....
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. their agenda is to get religion (christian) in public schools while

making a lot of money doing it.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. I studied/read this book in a public school
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 02:29 PM by LostinVA
And it sure didn't convert the Jewish kids in my class, or change me into a raging Fundie. Unless the Fundies come in and teach the class, I don't care about this. This isn't, say, a "Left Behind" book. It's a great piece of literature. It's not different than the Cain and Abel allegory in "East of Eden."
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
34. a movie I will be sure to MISS
read some of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia, and some other CS Lewis supposed sci/fi ... ick. Boring writing and stories. Lewis writes with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
35. I had to read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when in 4th grade
I loved it because it was a fantasy book with an awesome lion.

TONS of books have religious/"Christ" figures in them. I realize Lewis intended his books to be a Christian allegory, but let's face it - it's a fantasy book, it's a good book, and the "Christ theme" is a common literary device, in which one character plays a pure/sacrificial/savior role. There are bigger things to get worked up about, guys, esp. regarding Jeb... fretting over a popular book is going to make us look as stupid as conservative fundies who rail against evil Harry Potter.
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