Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vatican Paper Reviews Avatar

Yahoo Movies has the story of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, review of Avatar.

L'Osservatore said the film "gets bogged down by a spiritualism linked to the worship of nature." Similarly, Vatican Radio said it "cleverly winks at all those pseudo-doctrines that turn ecology into the religion of the millennium."

"Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a divinity to worship," the radio said.

Pope Benedict XVI has been very outspoken regarding our stewardship of the earth but obviously warns about some kind of neo-paganism. We don't want to go around worshiping it.

In a recent World Day of Peace message, the pontiff warned against any notions that equate human beings with other living things in the name of a "supposedly egalitarian vision." He said such notions "open the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man's salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms."

The pope explained in the message that while many experience tranquility and peace when coming into contact with nature, a correct relationship between man and the environment should not lead to "absolutizing nature" or "considering it more important than the human person."

Overall, the review says basically what I've heard a lot: great effects and little substance to the plot and characters. Many conservative bloggers have been speaking about how this movie is thinly veiled criticism of U.S. imperialism, greed, and the Iraq war along with the themes of environmentalism.

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