Monday, October 31, 2011

Saw the Movie 'Ides of March'... A Very Scary Movie

Well, I saw the late showing of George Clooney's 'Ides of March'

Clooney not only directed it and star in it, he also helped write the screenplay.

My initial thoughts, I tell you, what a depressing movie, at lest for me. I can actually see this plot line being played out in today's election cycle, in my opinion at least.

Anyway, the short story of the plot line, without going into specifics: Presidential election year, everyone stabs everyone in the back...political life goes on, the voters get fooled again.

Many people get scared looking at horror films and TV shows with walking dead, blood guts and gore, monsters and ghoulish figures. Well for me, this story of political intrigue did it for me...scary.. Partly because of the smiling faces of today's candidates, not of any particular party, but all political parties, the corruption and the lies, the power struggles, the lives affected. They say anything, do anything to sway the people into thinking that they, the candidate actually care for them.

Now this isn't anything new, it's been going on here in the U.S. system anyway since the birth of the nation. I've read the book Washington Burning  which gives a pretty good depiction of this as well as the book Triumph  a Catholic history which shows that the history of power and corruption is the struggle of man even in church history. Not that the Church is corrupt, but individuals will always battle those demons.

The Church is the only institution, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to survive this struggle.

The movie just brought into focus the struggle of our political system and mostly the struggles of the voter to wade through the candidates and their messages, what they say and what they really mean, what they say they will do and what they actually can do.It seems at times that the promises are almost on the level of an Elementary school student body election. Remember those?

"Pizza on the cafeteria menu every Friday!"

Only now it's more like "free!, free!, everything for free" They use words like honor, integrity and transparency. Come on really?

One thing the movie is very clear on is the loss of God in the equation. Father Barron has some great points on this. Once you eliminate God as the primary element in one's thinking and actions, the slow corruption of the individual starts to take place, then the community, then the nation..

Anyway, so this movie was a reminder to me of our political system. It seems today to me that most of the politicians just want to say in office, and I'm not sure how much their intent is to do the nation good. I do believe our system of democracy is the gold standard of the world, but I also believe we've kind of lost our way a little. Nothing like a movie of this sort to make you pause and think.

So what is a Catholic to do? How do we choose from numerous candidates and ballot issues in light of our Catholic faith? I say how can we NOT look to our faith to guide us? We need to put God first.

This takes a little work on our parts. Just like we may look at the debates and look at the issues and listen to the talk shows and candidates, we have to take the time to study what the teachings of the Catholic Church are. Caritas in Veritate is a great place to start, the Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church is another, and I would recommend the book by Brian Benestad, Church, State, and Society: An Introduction to Catholic Social Doctrine (Catholic Moral Thought). The Catechism of the Catholic Church, and many of the good orthodox blogs and apologist out there can help on that process.

But do something, don't claim to know enough, and pray, pray, pray for guidance and for the candidates themselves. That God is primary in their campaigns, their thoughts and actions.

We live in a great nation. Lets pray everyday that we as a nation to be virtuous and God centric.

And go out and enjoy a movie from time to time.


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