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Did USCCB offend Hindus? August 18, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, Society.
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Via culturewarnotes, an article stating Hindus feel terribly slighted by the USCCB for a quite negative review of the movie “Eat Pray Love,” wherein a woman engages in a spiritual journey ordered towards rejecting conventionality and embracing a fetishized ‘other,’ meaning something beyond her bourgoise experience.   A Hindu spokesman took offense at a review that described some Hindu practices as “The unhealthy atmosphere of semi-idolatrous worship….”  Well, from a Catholic perspective, they are idolatrous.  Were they supposed to say that Hinduism is really great, you should go check it out right away?  And by the way, stay away from that steak?

Another “problematic” quote, apparently, was this: “As she progresses along the path of her pampered pilgrimage-the sight of Indian children gazing at her passing taxi from the litter-strewn margins of a highway is dealt with as nothing more than local “color” — Liz engages in interminable navel-gazing and confuses psychobabble in the mouths of her chosen mentors for wisdom. The result is a dramatically sputtering, spiritually barren slog to the final credits.” 

Again, I’m not quite certain what the problem is here, either…..it seems the reviewer thought the movie was about a spoiled Western woman imagining she was receiving great insights from a fetishized ‘other’ who was beyond her normal experience, and therefore somehow ‘wise.’  Having read some of the book this movie is based on, I don’t think this is very much off base, it’s another in an endless series of ‘spiritual’ books pumped by Oprah which seek to advance some severely indifferent pseudo-Hindu/Buddhist/NewAge claptrap.  Because this particular book had a Hindu emphasis, was the reviewer supposed to fervently endorse that religion?  Or to say that the movie was great, so no one would be offended?  From the reviews I’ve read, the movie ain’t that great, and I can say, nor was the book. 

I say give the USCCB props for telling it like it is and not being afraid to take some criticism.  The book/movie intentionally avoid/denigrate Christianity as a reasonably source of spiritual enlightenment (apparently, it is passe’), so I am gratified that instead of being very PC and trying not to offend anyone, the reviewer let it be known they thought the movie was essentially worthless, and even dangerous for Catholics to view.

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1. I found this funny…… « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - August 19, 2010

[…] August 19, 2010 Posted by tantamergo in General Catholic, Society. trackback ….I posted yesterday that a Hindu was offended by the review of the new movie “Eat Pray Love” on the USCCB […]


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