Sunday, July 6, 2003
Equilibrium and the Christian Polis
At church today, Canon Press gave out copies of Peter Leithart's new book, Against Christianity, which settled my afternoon plans: to devour as much of the book as possible.
On a related note, last night we watched Equilibrium, a fascinating, subversive film. The only puzzling thing is that I have not yet been able to nail down exactly what it is attempting to subvert. This came to mind while reading Against Christianity because the regime in Equilibrium is an all-encompassing, radical, and apparently global polis (albeit a frighteningly evil one). It can easily be seen as a counterfeit Church or people of God. But in the end, the counterfeit is revealed and destroyed, and so I am left asking questions: Why is the evil "emperor," to whom all must submit in blind faith, named "the Tetragrammaton" and called "Father"? Also, with the regime's persecution of "sense offenders," is the film trying to say that religion, or even the Christian faith, suppresses sense and emotion (a notion that is clearly false)?
Other things in the film are clearer. For instance, "Prozium," the emotion-neutralizing drug that everyone must take by law, is just too close to "Prozac" to miss. Also, the Grammaton Cleric is obviously the savior; he is even dressed in white garments when he goes to kill Father.
Ultimately, I am left wanting to see a sequel. I want to know how the ending plays out. I want to know what the true global polis, ushered in by the Grammaton Cleric, looks like. And I want to know if it would be more or less like the Christian polis.
Oh, and if you like martial arts action, the gun katas are awesome.
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