Another interesting tid-bit from salon.com. Alan Moore is a British comic-book author who has apparently written a few very relevant and, as can be gleaned from the positively gushing interviewer, prognosticative graphic novels. One such novel depicts a massive terrorist attack on New York City that kills half the population but somehow averts a nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and China. (I'll point out the obvious; 9/11 was not the first terrorist attack on NYC and, of all the cities in the world, NYC is probably pretty high up there on any terrorist's list of high value targets for various symbolic and economic reasons. Also, I'm not sure how 9/11 prevented global-nuclear war, but I'm sure subsequent investigations will reveal the parallel.) Another is about fascism and a surveillance society; the other a period piece about Jack the Ripper, which was made into the movie of the same name "From Hell." The primary reason I read the article is because of my brother. For a very long time, my brother and I would go to "the comic book store." These trips were frequently on Sunday morning and represented some of the only times my brother and I would co-exist peacefully prior to his going off to college after my freshmen year of high school. For this reason, I have a special affinity for comic books and comic book stores, though I probably haven't purchased more than 1 or 2 comics in the last 5 years. The article has to do with a comic book writer, ergo, I read it.
Having never heard of Alan Moore and having never read any of his work - I did see "From Hell" and was unimpressed, though I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt since I would be surprised if such a work translated easily to the screen - I really have no idea why his opinion is important or why I should think his graphic novels are as relevant as the interviewer seems bent on proving to the reader. However, understanding approaches with this:
"Because they [the religious right] are standing in the way of history, trying to turn everything, politically and spiritually, back to a medieval vision of the world."
And then clarity explodes onto the scene:
"We don't have this terrible problem with the religious right that you have over there, and I truly have every sympathy for you. If there's anything that makes America a laughingstock, it's those people. America is a huge, surging, relentlessly modern country that will nevertheless send Oral Roberts millions when he tells them that if they don't, the Lord will send him home. They'll actually give credence to people who -- in any other country of the world except perhaps some of the equally addled fundamentalist Muslim countries -- would be laughed at. At the same time, since it's a crusading religion, it's difficult for them to accept that some might possibly reject their frankly retarded values. It's certainly dangerous that you've got a president who's playing pope to all these frightening, God-struck rednecks, which is probably a bit sweeping. But what the hell, I'm in the mood for it."
Well, as long as you're in the mood for it! Laying aside the mischaracterizations, which are rife, what strikes me is this perception that somehow Christians are behind the times, that the world is moving on without us and we are ignorant of its progress (I particularly like the "retarded values" line - does that mean their growth has been inhibited or they're 'soft in the head'?). I'm sure any marginally intelligent individual could disprove more than a fair amount of Mr. Moore's examples with only minimal research, so I'm not going to waste time with that. Instead, I'll ask the question that isn't easily asked; what if he is right? What if the world is moving on and moving past Christianity? Is our faith becoming inreasingly irrelevant to the world? Christianity in any true sense of the word has gone the way of the Dodo in Europe, what is to stop that from happening America? While I support the FMA, I don't think for one second that it or other measures taken by conservatives will somehow turn the tide of the cultural drift we've been experiencing. They may slow it some, but it seems almost completely inevitable in many respects. What will the world look like if America becomes like Europe?