The morning after the films before and closet atheists.

Well last night I watched two movies. Zero Dark Thirty and the new(ish) Tron movie. Zero Dark Thirty was superb, it managed to be self aware of the magnitude of the events it portrayed. It was predictable, but it didn’t shy away from the torture and the collateral damage inflicted in a single minded pursuit of one of the worlds most prolific murderers. It showed how the good cop bad cop routine really worked. That the chief torturer literally cared more about monkeys than about what he did to the al queda prisoners under his brutal supervision, that this character was portrayed as a rounded human being was a master stroke. It was also nice to see James Gandolfini pop up putting in another scene stealing bit part performance. The final storming of the house in Abbotobad would have been so easy to over egg the pudding. But the clinical way it was filmed made it seem more real and tense even though the outcome was never in doubt. A masterclass in directing from the first minute to the last.

The Tron movie was enjoyable pap, but the aesthetics alone make it worth watching, the costumes and set design were exquisite. The music by Daft Punk is utterly superb, one of the best film scores in years. Michael Sheen was doing his best Rik Mayall impression as a demented club owner and was far more interesting than the real bad guy, a younger and more boring version of Jeff Bridges. It was good to see Bruce Boxlitner too lending gravitas to a bit part yet again. Tron is the only movie franchise named for a bit part character, it feels a shame that it is just a bit part. The storyline and the main character Sam Flynn is utterly forgettable.

Unfortunately whilst watching these rather marvelous movies I was also knocking back the beer with wild abandon, and I woke today with the second worst hangover of my life. I kid you not. A true head splitter Armageddon, a headache so bad I couldn’t lie still, a stomach so bad it was a relief to throw up. Nine aspirin and it still lingers on. I also bruised my leg which I have no recollection of doing…

Moving swiftly on. In follow up to my last post, the depth of the idiocy of the UN report still has me flabbergasted, I didn’t even mention how it strays from the subject of its own inquiry and seems to be suggesting the Catholic Church change its teaching on all sorts of things ranging from gay marriage to contraception and abortion (all things the UN ceaselessly promotes).

Again that the UN is anti-Catholic isn’t surprising, but the way this kangaroo court completely lost the plot and badly damaged its own credibility is a sight to see. The rise of secularism is going to see the Catholic Church’s freedom of religion increasingly attacked and the paedophilia issue is the perfect cover, in ignoring how the Church has tackled the issue the victims are forgotten.

Yes the Church was slow to react at first, but as soon as the civil law caught up to the horrific reality of sex abuse canon law was quick to act. Laisization can only happen when guilt has been proven, if anything the slow reaction of the Church was often the result of the unwillingness of the police to act. That doesn’t excuse Bishops who knew about abuse and did nothing, or worse ignored it, enabled it or covered it up. There are still one or two bishops out there who deserve to hang for their record. But the Church as a whole has learned from its mistakes, if anything this dodgy report simply prevents that learning from being spread.

In other news the slowly rising atheism in America is garnering press coverage. But a couple of items in this report caught my eye. The first was the stat that a third of Americans believe in six day creationism and that the world is only six thousand years old, no wonder atheism is on the rise there… Creationism is a curious heresy. It is laughable and largely irrelevant but it is damaging precisely because it damages the credibility of religion. I’d like to think that only a culture built by puritans could fall for something so dumb, but the rise of fundamentalism in evangelical circles is a universal trend. The second part that surprised me was that atheists in America feel persecuted, only one member of congress is openly an atheist, well they should come to the UK because the shoe is well and truly on the other foot here. I’m pretty sure Barrack Obama is secretly an atheist though…

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