Hope for society’s morals

I think it’s interesting how many people have come out to criticize the new movie Eat, Pray, Love. The criticisms have generally been the same — the movie unjustly glorifies a woman who leaves her husband and who gets into wacko Eastern religion. For example, the New York Post (H/T Wintery Knight) attacked the movie as follows:

The biggest problem . . . is that the female protagonist is a selfish woman trying to find personal enlightenment and happiness apart from the God of the Bible. Sadly, she jumps from man to man. Even worse, she eventually finds spiritual darkness in the false religion of Hinduism and pantheism, the belief that everyone is god or has a piece of god inside herself.

The editorial also specifically mentions the divorce issue:

She also comes to believe she has to forgive herself, not apologize to the people she’s harmed, especially her former husband, who seems to be a decent, sincere man. (emphasis added)

Additionally, my friend Kevin just sent me a separate review (spoilers and vulgarity within link) that identified the same basic concerns:

Gilbert [the main character] is a shallow, self-indulgent, and arrogant woman. This person is not going on a journey of self-discovery . . . . This person is abandoning her life. Instead of confronting her problems, instead of working through them, or processing whatever it is that makes her so inexplicably unhappy, she abandons them. And she abandons a husband who — at least as he’s characterized in the movie — is loving, charming, and more than adequate because she needs some more . . . “me time.”

. . . .

And for what? So she can find herself? Or so she can find a better man? It’s hard to tell from the movie, because this woman is as shallow, self-indulgent and arrogant at the end of the movie as she is in the beginning . . . . [T]he best I can gather from the film is that all she learned along her journey of self-discovery is that she can eat more pasta, speak better Italian, and meditate, which is to say: Spend more time with herself, because God knows why anyone else would want to spend time with her.

. . . .

#*&$ you, and your Buddhist Ayn Rand bull$&@# philosophy.

I hear Christian writers (e.g., The Thinking Housewife) make these sorts of arguments all the time, but it seems unusual to see such bitter criticism from secular publications. I find that second review particularly hope-inspiring, because given the coarse language used all over that website, it is clear that the writing is not geared toward a churchy audience. Hence, we find some evidence in film reviews like these that even the regular, secular society is getting fed up with the matriarchal divorce culture and the New Agey religious garbage that have so corroded our republic.


9 Responses to “Hope for society’s morals”

  1. 1 Wintery Knight August 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I was going to send you that post I wrote so that you would comment but I thought you might be busy.

  2. 2 Drew August 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Well, I do tune in fairly regularly, but I think for the times when I feel like commenting, I’ll probably just pingback with a post from my own blog. That way you won’t be able to edit me!

    Also, now that the Bar exam is over and until October 8 when I (hopefully) get licensed, I’m not particularly busy — except in the sense that I’m busy goofing off.

  3. 3 idlechameleon August 21, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I read the book while I was a practicing Buddhist. I didn’t like it then. It’s confuses a self-serving attitude with spirituality. They are not the same.

    Several years ago, I was saved and am now a Christian. I was a Buddhist for 13 years, I could not find the the answers within. As a Christian, I found that the answers are not within. They come from God, the creator.


  4. 4 Wintery Knight August 21, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I’m blogging on the 3 housewife posts. I am not amused with that Laura women. I like PH Laura, but this Laura is awful. Is the housewife Laura a “Christian” – does she think she is? Cause she seems to not be to me. She seems to be secular and liberal and feminist.

  5. 5 Skip Anderson August 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    If our country has, in fact, been corroded, I would first look toward priests who molest children, bible-thumping elected officials whose extra-maritial sexual escapades betray their hypocrisy, and people who believe they hold the only key to spiritual afterlife. It seems contrived and a bit naive to blame eastern religions … the culprits are much closer to home.

  6. 6 Drew August 21, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    @Wintery, she’s excessively traditional and anti-feminist to a fault (e.g., believing that women should never work outside the home). I think she takes kinda stupid and unbiblical positions at times, but she is still relatively interesting. Very philosophical. And she’s Catholic, if you count that as Christian.

    @Skip, the fact that you use the word “if” to describe the problem demonstrates that you don’t believe the problem I’m talking about even exists. So there’s not much point in my arguing with you about its causes. But I do wonder from where you’re deriving the moral authority to condemn the instances of wickedness that you mentioned.

  7. 7 Skip Anderson August 22, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I view society in the U.S. in a transitional period, largely away from hardline Christian values — for better or worse. Not necessarily as an erosion of values or morality. I am a straight advocate for the gay community, for example. For some, this is an erosion of values. For others, it’s moving ~10 percent of our population from second-class status. It’s a progressive (and cultural, I might add) advancement. I apologize if I came across as projecting moral authority — that was not my intent. I enjoy your blog, Drew. And I enjoy engaging you in ideological differences. I wish you posted more frequently.

  8. 8 Drew August 22, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Yeah, I’m trying to post more. It’s just hard to be brilliant so frequently. And I wasn’t condemning your moralness; I just view advocacy like yours as sort of a self-contradiction. That is, why would it be morally wrong to make 10% of the population second class citizens, anyway?

  9. 9 Foxfier September 1, 2010 at 1:00 am

    *heh* My great-grandfather would be shocked to know that the US could become *less* Christian than it already was; he was the preacher son of a criminal that was kicked out of two countries before coming to the US, and his lady wife was a half Indian whose ancestry my grandmother wouldn’t even breath, which means either incredibly criminal or a child of rape.

    In the gross offenses, we’ve greatly improved; in the more detail oriented morality (details MATTER!) we are so screwed.

    Hypocrisy, I despise; moral failings, I understand. A lot of folks don’t notice or accept the difference.

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