Cotton Mather Action Figure

As your opinionated citizen-journalist noted in Afraid of Our Own Shadow, there’s not much in the culture that doesn’t connect with politics.

Proving once again that great minds think alike, Alex Mar of Salon sees more than entertainment in the rise of exorcism in fiction, movies and practice…

The exorcism movie is the most all-American of “spiritual” films, reducing complex religious beliefs to something more palatable: a take-charge action adventure with clear, targeted results. Much like the Roman Catholic Church, this brand of Hollywood horror frames evil as a diagnosable disease to be cured through extreme treatment, and its spiritual discussion rarely goes beyond the black-and-white “Is there a devil, or isn’t there?” It’s a clear, explicit test of faith in which there’s finally no room for doubt — unlike in everyday experience of spirituality. The genre has a familiar cast of characters, conflicts and a specific message about the nature of evil. Is also a genre with a remarkably conservative slant — a tradition that dates back across the last 70 years.

Read the rest here. I’m coming down with a cold, or maybe just dry eyes from too much screen staring, so I’ll write when I can.

This February,Trinity Rep is playing, ‘The Crucible’. Uganda is purifying itself of homosexuals, aided and spurred on by American evangelicals. The Vatican is training exorcist priests. Maybe it’s not a cultural trend, but I’m watching.


6 thoughts on “Cotton Mather Action Figure

  1. I would just like to ask you what you like to ask (some)others.Citations?Regarding the specifics of AMERICAN evangelicals being responsible for this in some way.
    Guess what?People Africa think for themselves and I have encountered a hell of a lot of Africans both in my former occupation and in my personal life.
    Homosexuality is viewed in a very negative way in most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.
    I’ve known Africans who were hardly what I’d call religious that thought the idea of open homosexuality was horrible.
    I found this particularly true in the Netherlands where as you know homosexuals are generally not even noticed as being”different”.
    Moslems and Africans who live there don’t seem to share the same sentiments as most Dutch people.
    I know you have a really bad obsession with evengelicals,but they’re not responsible for every problem.
    If one replaced the word “evangelicals” with Jews,Blacks,Hispanics,or any of a number of other designators in what you often say,you’d be labeled a bigot.
    The idea that evangelicals suborn the murder of homosexuals is over the edge.
    If you mentioned the Westboro people,I might not say that,because I think hlike to exterminate homosexuals,but the vast majority of evangelicals wouldn’t.

  2. How about he may have been killed by Muslims?Uganda has plenty of them,and they have an unequivocal hatred for homosexuals.

  3. There’s a specific group of American evangelicals who have been meeting with Ugandan ministers and politicians to write laws criminalizing homosexuality. You might have heard about some of the more extreme aspects, including the death penalty and imprisonment for people who fail to turn in suspected homosexuals.
    I’m going to write more from an article by Jeff Sharlet in Harper’s Magazine Sept 2010. You can’t get the whole thing on the net without a subscription, so I got one.
    My experience as a Pentecostal in the 70’s is that the missionary field is an international network. African ministers are coming to the US to evangelize, as with Sarah Palin’s church in Wasilla.
    It’s true that anti-homosexual prejudice is not limited to Christians, or to the West. This push for extreme laws in Uganda, however, is recent and connected with Americans who see Uganda as a fertile ground to plant their religion.

    1. My impression is that the anti-homosexual sentiment in the African countries is more culturally than religiously based,but I really haven’t done much reading on it because frankly, homosexuality doesn’t interest me much one way or the other.
      I will say this however,druing the late 70’s/early 80’s I was assigned part time to illegal alien male prostitutes,mostly transvestites or transsexuals(not too common back then)as a result of complaints by Chicago PD regarding numerous crimes committed by these individuals and the difficulty in prosecuting(hard to get a middle aged “straight”guy to testify he was robbed by a drag queen)so we used deportation laws to get rid of them.
      I saw the “gay lifestyle” up close and remember,this was pre-AIDS,or just on the cusp of the epidemic,so there was no attempt at “safe sex”.
      It wasn’t pretty-a lot of the people I arrested had all kinds of diseases,including a lot of hepatitis.A lot of them shot “speed”a nd hormones with shared needles,so there was that,but the whole scene was really disgusting.I wasn’t surprised that a disease like AIDS was able to spread so rapidly,given the unrestrained promiscuity.
      I’m not on a moralistic soapbox here-it’s what I saw.
      Female homosexuals were not in my purview as they weren’t out there rolling drunks to my knowledge and never suffered the depredations of AIDS.I guess they were also more monogamous.
      I believe mindless promiscuity by anyone,gay or straight,carries a lot of dangers.
      Interestingly,this is borne out in Africa and India,and to some extent in Thailand,where AIDS affects mainly heterosexuals in the first two locales,and everyone in the third.

  4. Well, if you only saw heterosexuals who were in prostitution as sellers or buyers you would see the same kind of thing. People don’t look their best in mug shots.

    1. I really wasn’t thinking of prostitution per se when I mentioned the destructive lifestyle of many male homosexuals in that era.
      I was working in that milieu and a lot of people were just having an incredible number of anonymous,transient sexual contacts like there was no tomorrow.
      these weren’t people selling or buying,but just participating consensually.
      You’re a medical professional-put aside your sympathy and politics and you really can’t deny how dangerous that lifestyle was.
      I know homosexuals who lived through that era without contracting anything-probably because they were in stable relationships.One of my cousins is homosexual-I see him about once every 10 or 15 years when someone dies-he lives on the West Coast-he didn’t live a debauched lifestyle,but his partner apparently did and died of AIDS,leaving my cousin HIV positive,but he never developed AIDS.
      Hey,intravenous drug users developed AIDS without ever having homosexual sex,and they passed it along to their spouses and kids.
      I’m not one of those nitwits yelling that God gave AIDS to gay men-careless living gave AIDS to WHOEVER got it.
      We also locked up heterosexual prostitutes if they didn’t have a green card.
      Except kids and blood recipients.

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