Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children
LifeSiteNews.com ^ | 12/4/2006 | John-Henry Westen

Posted on 12/04/2006 7:52:47 PM PST by Pyro7480

'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children

By John-Henry Westen

NEW YORK, December 4, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A review of New Line Cinema's The Nativity story by Fr. Angelo Mary Geiger of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in the United States, points out that the film, which opened December 1, misinterprets scripture from a Catholic perspective.

While Fr. Geiger admits that he found the film is "in general, to be a pious and reverential presentation of the Christmas mystery." He adds however, that "not only does the movie get the Virgin Birth wrong, it thoroughly Protestantizes its portrayal of Our Lady."

In Isaiah 7:14 the Bible predicts the coming of the Messiah saying: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel." Fr. Geiger, in an video blog post, explains that the Catholic Church has taught for over 2000 years that the referenced Scripture showed that Mary would not only conceive the child miraculously, but would give birth to the child miraculously - keeping her physical virginity intact during the birth.

The film, he suggests, in portraying a natural, painful birth of Christ, thus denies the truth of the virginal and miraculous birth of Christ, which, he notes, the Fathers of the Church compared to light passing through glass without breaking it. Fr. Geiger quoted the fourth century St. Augustine on the matter saying. "That same power which brought the body of the young man through closed doors, brought the body of the infant forth from the inviolate womb of the mother."

Fr. Geiger contrasts The Nativity Story with The Passion of the Christ, noting that with the latter, Catholics and Protestants could agree to support it. He suggests, however, that the latter is "a virtual coup against Catholic Mariology".

The characterization of Mary further debases her as Fr. Geiger relates in his review. "Mary in The Nativity lacks depth and stature, and becomes the subject of a treatment on teenage psychology."

Beyond the non-miraculous birth, the biggest let-down for Catholics comes from Director Catherine Hardwicke's own words. Hardwicke explains her rationale in an interview: "We wanted her [Mary] to feel accessible to a young teenager, so she wouldn't seem so far away from their life that it had no meaning for them. I wanted them to see Mary as a girl, as a teenager at first, not perfectly pious from the very first moment. So you see Mary going through stuff with her parents where they say, 'You're going to marry this guy, and these are the rules you have to follow.' Her father is telling her that she's not to have sex with Joseph for a year-and Joseph is standing right there."

Comments Fr. Geiger, "it is rather disconcerting to see Our Blessed Mother portrayed with 'attitude;' asserting herself in a rather anachronistic rebellion against an arranged marriage, choosing her words carefully with her parents, and posing meaningful silences toward those who do not understand her."

Fr. Geiger adds that the film also contains "an overly graphic scene of St. Elizabeth giving birth," which is "just not suitable, in my opinion, for young children to view."

Despite its flaws Fr. Geiger, after viewing the film, also has some good things to say about it. "Today, one must commend any sincere attempt to put Christ back into Christmas, and this film is certainly one of them," he says. "The Nativity Story in no way compares to the masterpiece which is The Passion of the Christ, but it is at least sincere, untainted by cynicism, and a worthy effort by Hollywood to end the prejudice against Christianity in the public square."

And, in addition to a good portrait of St. Joseph, the film offers "at least one cinematic and spiritual triumph" in portraying the Visitation of Mary to St. Elizabeth. "Although the Magnificat is relegated to a kind of epilogue at the movie's end, the meeting between Mary and Elizabeth is otherwise faithful to the scriptures and quite poignant. In a separate scene, the two women experience the concurrent movement of their children in utero and share deeply in each other's joy. I can't think of another piece of celluloid that illustrates the dignity of the unborn child better than this."

See Fr. Geiger's full review here:
http://airmaria.com/


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholics; christmas; mary; movie; nativity; nativitystory; thenativitystory
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-50 ... 16,101-16,15016,151-16,20016,201-16,25016,251-16,256 last
To: Forest Keeper
But I still think that the correct policy is to fight them over there, even though Bush is blowing it on the border

The real danger is here, not there. Our borders and our political-correctness pussy-footing with illegal immigration could very well be the Trojan Horse of Troy.

What will happen if one day we find out that we have one million terrorists in this country who slipped through our porous borders and remained unregistered along with millions of other illegal aliens?

What seems more urgent? Fighting them in Iraq or making sure all Muslims are tagged? It may not seem fair, but will fairness do for us one day when we face an army of formidable size that slipped through our back yard while we were looking for them three block down the street?

It's outright irresponsible not just of Bush, but of the US Congress as well.

If entefada wins by defeating the Jews, then the insurgents all cheer and vice versa

Jews are a tough nut to crack. They are the ultimate survivors. The only way the Muslims can win is by making the Israelis lose the political and moral upper hand—and by bleeding us (the U.S.) into unwillingness to fight, a war of attrition.

The first condition has been met largely because of Israel's lack of diplomatic tact. Israel has very few friends in the world. The second tactic is in the process of being met. 

I will never forget the video of Palestinians dancing in the streets after hearing of 9/11

As the 9/11 was unfolding, the NJ police arrested a bunch of Israelis on the NJ shore dancing as well. It turns out they were not Israeli "art students" as they claimed but Israeli agents. Why were they dancing?

If the Chinese have it, then North Korea can't be far behind. When that happens, any American hating tin-pot dictator with a fat wallet will have it

China has half a dozen ICBMs. Korea could probably build one maybe two. Except for Russia, no country could fire at us at expect those missiles to reach us; they'd be blown out of the sky by our own defense shields in mid-flight.

But how does this relate to our insanity in Iraq?

Be that as it may, today's imminent problem is the smuggling in of even a dirty bomb or other WMDs, even across the southern border as you stated. That IS global reach

Absolutely! We are taking a serious chance of waking up one day and facing a million enemy soldiers in our neighborhoods armed with an array of smuggled WMDs. That's why this border situation is alarming and no one seems alarmed!

We are concerned with "rights" and feelings and there are cities that are giving open sanctuaries to these illegals because it's good for business! Do you understand that we do a lot of things in this country because it's good for business but not good for America? Business is myopic. It doesn't see far enough or care to see far enough. It only looks at profits, no ,matter where they come from. And it's profitable to hire someone for half the minimum wage and not have to pay socials security or insurance for the illegal workers. In fact they are not even on the books in many cases, so it's profitable that way too—money in the pocket, no paperwork, no taxes.

Instead of fining these business until they go out of business, and killing the demand—knowing that the illegals will leave on their own free will when the jobs dry up, we are offering amnesty! It's simple: no demand, no illegal immigration. Instead of concentrating on the source of the demand, we are concentrating on the consequence of the demand and then try to make that which is illegal—legal!

By stopping the unethical businesses that—for the love of money and nothing else—created the demand, we could create a self-generated exodus of illegals. But we will do nothing to curb capitalist greed, even if it clearly hurts our national interests. Something to think about.

In this grim scenario, this leaves us as sitting ducks multiple times

They are running circles around us, and probably can't figure out how did such idiots ever become a superpower.

I've always thought of the Korean War as sort of a tie

McArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons when the Chinese communists broke through the northern border and drive them back right inot China. He was censured and retired for that. McArthur was the kind of general we need and the kind of politicians that lead. War is an extension of diplomacy and separating politics from the military is insane. The problem with Korea is that its ultimate goal, just as with Vietnam, was ambiguous. Our war against Germany and Japan were not. The goal was to defeat the enemy, and all his allies.

McArthur wanted to invade China. The US was in a perfect position of strength to affect that change and change the history for good in our favor. We could have defeated the Chinese communists and Russia was in no position to do anything. The politicians at home, including Pres. Truman were not ready for a real war, so he was censured and retired for insubordination. A shameful moment in our history, and a reminder that a president can make catastrophic mistakes. I hope this one is not one of them.

Yes, it is only my opinion. I just try to imagine all other things being equal and the US and UK not being members of the UN. Given how corrupt I believe the UN to be, I don't see Israel surviving.

How do you see Israel surviving?

As to these Arabs being Muslim, it appears that Europe awaits a similar fate

All the Israelis I spoke with always understood the Serb issue of Kosovo and Bosnia. The Serbs were under Muslim rule for 500 years and they know what they are doing. We, on the other hand, believe that one can be a Muslim and not hate Christians. We are putting our own noose around our neck. Europeans are in for a surprise. They will remember what the Serbs told them, but then it will be too late.

I agree with you that some sort of two state solution is probably in the Jewish long term interest. I've always been kind of a Netanyahu fan, and I know he hates it, but if what you're saying pans out, then it might be a reasonable way to go

Nethanyahu is a smart cookie. I like him as a realist. Israel is sadly divided. Half of Israelis are sworn pacifists; the other half are like rabid dogs. There is no middle. I don't blame the latter group because they are literally surrounded by a "sea" of Arabs who hate them and who wish them driven into the Mediterranean sea.

But, Israel will have to establish a peaceful-coexistence with its Arab neighbors sooner, hopefully, than later. Because the later they do the less likely the Arabs will agree. The numbers favor Arabs. The geography favors Arabs. There is no room to wiggle. Either Arabs or the sea. Not good choices.

Unfortunately, the more radical elements in Israel are myopic. Somewhat similar to our border issue. Being tough on terrorists in Iraq doesn't make us safer when our border are flooded by thousands and the number of illegals and possibly a strong fifth column is pouring into the US every day.

Likewise, being tough on Palestinians will not diminish the fact that Arabs have more babies than Israelis and that the disproportionate natality rate favors Arabs. To give you an example, in 1967 the Albanian population in Serbia's Kosovo province was about 65%. By 1990, it was 89%!  How did this happen in just 23 years (about 1% a year)?  Albanians have the largest natality rate in Europe. Some have as many as 4 wives (they are Muslims). They also smuggled illegals into Kosovo from neighboring Albania the way Mexicans cross our border unchecked.

The next ting you know, you have a demographic crisis on hand and you didn't even see it coming. Something to think about.

16,251 posted on 07/25/2007 10:24:09 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16250 | View Replies]

To: kosta50
What will happen if one day we find out that we have one million terrorists in this country who slipped through our porous borders and remained unregistered along with millions of other illegal aliens?

I tend to be less worried about that possibility because I don't think they're that organized. I think that before any number (of terrorists) like that get in they will strike hard. Once we have maybe 25,000-50,000 dead American bodies on the ground, then even the libs and RINOS will be forced to cave and support stricter border enforcement. NOT because they think it's a good idea, but because they will feel forced politically.

I am much more worried about the financial impact that tens of millions of low wage workers will have on the American taxpayer. The kook fringe is already calling for universal healthcare for ILLEGALS! It is inevitable. Private hospital e-rooms are already closing throughout the southwest because they can't afford to do business because of the illegals. The libs will say "there you go, the only answer is state run universal care". That of course will mean massive tax hikes and the end of the best health care system in the world.

What seems more urgent? Fighting them in Iraq or making sure all Muslims are tagged? It may not seem fair, but will fairness do for us one day when we face an army of formidable size that slipped through our back yard while we were looking for them three block down the street?

It's kind of funny. I've never been a big Roosevelt fan, but I do cut him some slack with the internment camps as a reasonable step in those times. If/when we get hit again from within, I can't see any of the current candidates on either side going even as far as you are suggesting. Even tagging would hurt the terrorists' feelings.

Jews are a tough nut to crack. They are the ultimate survivors. The only way the Muslims can win is by making the Israelis lose the political and moral upper hand—and by bleeding us (the U.S.) into unwillingness to fight, a war of attrition.

That sounds reasonable. I don't have a handle yet on this Olmert guy. The only time I see him in the news is for some new scandal or super low approval ratings.

As the 9/11 was unfolding, the NJ police arrested a bunch of Israelis on the NJ shore dancing as well. It turns out they were not Israeli "art students" as they claimed but Israeli agents. Why were they dancing?

That was a very bizarre story. As you said, they turned out to be Mossad spooks. They later denied on Israeli TV that they were dancing, but there were plenty of witnesses who said otherwise. I have no idea what that was about.

But how does this relate to our insanity in Iraq?

Not much, since my original position was that I don't think we have much to worry about in the near term from an ICBM attack. :)

Do you understand that we do a lot of things in this country because it's good for business but not good for America?

Yes, and that very well could be why Bush is (NOT) doing what he's doing. He's hurting the country and, of incomparably smaller importance, killing the party.

Instead of fining these business until they go out of business, and killing the demand—knowing that the illegals will leave on their own free will when the jobs dry up, we are offering amnesty! It's simple: no demand, no illegal immigration.

Absolutely correct. If we just enforced the laws that are already on the books, then we wouldn't need to round up 12 million illegals. They would go back on their own if there was no work. Another thing that frosts me is this "doing the work Americans won't do" baloney. Even in Agriculture, where something like one in four is an illegal, WHO ARE THE REST? Americans. Plus, no American WOULD work for the illegal wages being paid now to illegal workers. Pay a market wage and anyone can have as many workers as he wants. I DON'T CARE if I have to pay a little more for food because I'm still ahead if I don't have to pay for all the government freebies that the illegals are collecting now and will inevitably collect in the future! /rant :)

But we will do nothing to curb capitalist greed, even if it clearly hurts our national interests. Something to think about.

By itself, I don't have anything against "capitalist greed". :) However, I am no Gordon Gekko fan because he cheated. He broke the law just like all these employers are. They all deserve to go down. The amnesty bill would simply have made illegal practices LEGAL. As you said, that's very bad for America.

Thanks for the Korean War history. I wish we had stronger leaders like MacArthur too. BTW, have you seen the new Patten/George C. Scott Youtube video ("Patton" commenting on Iraq and current times)? There's at least one thread on it. Well made and worth the 7 minutes. I can give you a link if you want.

How do you see Israel surviving?

The US and UK need to continue to block for them at the UN. Israel must maintain a strong military. They also need to politically position themselves as only victims of terrorist aggression. Then they can respond appropriately. If Iran persists with nukes, and Israel can find them, then a preemptive strike may be necessary ...... again. I doubt we would give them any lip about it. Finally, they'll need to complete their own fence, and reach some sort of two state agreement, while gently trying to kick out as many Muslims as they can. All of this won't guarantee peace, but I think they'll be better off than they are now.

The next ting you know, you have a demographic crisis on hand and you didn't even see it coming. Something to think about.

That's right, and sadly too few people will be able to see it in order to stop it in time. I shutter to think what this world will look like in 50 years.

16,252 posted on 07/26/2007 2:17:38 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16251 | View Replies]

To: Forest Keeper
The whole tenor of the writing takes a shift just before that verse. Paul is now showing that Jews and Gentiles are ALL in the same boat:

Indeed ...
Romans 3:9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.

10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;

11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."

...

28
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.

29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,

30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.


31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

16,253 posted on 07/30/2007 11:56:05 AM PDT by Quester
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15804 | View Replies]

To: Quester
Excellent supporting scripture, Quester. Thanks for posting.
16,254 posted on 07/30/2007 2:46:49 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16253 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

Bump for a later read.

We watched the movie for the first time last night (24 Dec 2007) and found it quite good...

Will be interested to read the rest of this thread to get up to speed on this thread.


16,255 posted on 12/25/2007 12:21:10 AM PST by Gamecock (Aaron had what every megachurch pastor craves: a huge crowd that gave freely and lively worship.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Quester

bttt


16,256 posted on 03/02/2008 11:43:18 AM PST by southland (Matt. 24:6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16253 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-50 ... 16,101-16,15016,151-16,20016,201-16,25016,251-16,256 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson