Monday, August 11, 2008

Tropic Thunder - What should the response of the church be?

The church and movies have had a fascinating relationsip since the beginning. The 1950's finally saw movies on Sunday during traditional church times. Since then, those of us who enjoy movies, put up with a lot of stuff in them that don't necessarily fit our belief systems.

Movies like Facing the Giants or the new Fireproof movie starring Kirk Cameron are attempts at the church to develop quality movies that express Christian values. (non, really of even near Oscar performances).

But then occasionnally comes a movie that is so over the top that even many within the secular field are concerned. While I'm a fan of spoof movies as much as anyone, occasionally humor gives way to viciousness. Such is the case that has happened with Tropic Thunder. A whole class of people become the express butt of jokes which denies peoples humanity and spirituality.

As many have heard by now, the largest disability organizations in the country are organizing an unprecedented boycott of this movie. Why Steven Spielberg, who got it so right with Schindler's List is now perpetuating such bile sterotypes is beyond me.

Yet the real question is what should the church do? The problem is that the church has abdicated for the most part it's role in the life of persons with disabilities. It becomes a silent complicent partner with the perpetuation of such myths by not having people with disabilities as part of its daily congregational life. If the Christian world wants to do something in response to this movie, it needs to begin examining itself and seeing how it can change first on Sunday, before it can it expect its people to change in the theater.