Introducing Gilmore Girls
Not since Archie Bunker first introduced Seventh-day Adventists to American television viewers in the mid-seventies with his memorable line“Raise him a Luferan if you want, raise him a Norman with seven wives, a holy roller, a Seventh-day Adventurer”has there been such an extensive treatment of Adventists and their community on prime time television as in Gilmore Girls, a popular Tuesday night dramedy on the CW (formerly WB) channel that concluded its run in spring 2007 after seven successful seasons.
Perhaps you too received the alarming email warning of the upcoming movie The Golden Compass based on the book by British author Phillip Pullman, a Godless atheist who wants to destroy Christianity in the minds of children. The email said that he despised C.S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles. In fact, his books were the "anti-Narnia."
Why is Christmas defined by Congress and retail receipts? Like so much else in America, the right, consumerist wing of Congress is politicizing Christmas in an effort to show that they stand for something. In fact, after the debacle of the Iraq war, the false fear-mongering on Iran, and the war on climate science, the embarrassment of Sen. Larry Craig and Rep. Mark Foley, it appears that some people want to change the topic.
I’ve been feeling uncharacteristicly blue lately. Maybe it’s the news of religious extremists marching in the streets, damning a teacher for allowing her school kids to name a classroom teddy bear Muhammad, reminding me how religion can so easily be a tool of repression (this also goes for the Christian extremists holding signs up in the Castro District of San Francisco telling gays that God hates them). Maybe it’s the fear that our country is in another slow build-up to war yet again based on shaky intelligence and bluster.
“‘Do I resemble a pig, then? Perhaps a buffalo?’” Elizabeth Gilbert asks the kind saleswoman in an Italian fashion store about her new jeans. “This is becoming good vocabulary practice. I’m also trying to get a smile out of the salesclerk, but she’s too intent on remaining professional. I try one more time: ‘Maybe I resemble a buffalo mozzarella?’
Okay, maybe, she concedes, smiling only slightly. Maybe you do look a little like a buffalo mozzarella…”
Christianity Today hails this movie as “the best film you didn’t see last year” and goes on to cite a number of Christ allusions in the film. But I found myself more interested in what the film says about me than about God. I know that sounds a little self-absorbed, but then, that is what we do with stories--try to see ourselves in them. As C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone”.
Every once in awhile I encounter a book that makes me slightly covetous. Usually, my envy rears itself in the manner of “I wish I had written that.” But sometimes it comes in the form of “I wish I had lived that.” Reading Barbara Kingsolver’s new non-fiction work, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, which she wrote with her husband, Steven Hopp, and eldest daughter Camille, about her family’s home-grown experiment in local eating, is one of those books.
I’ll never forget the day I nearly lost my faith over an old skull. I was sixteen and a sophomore in High School. My biology professor, a staunch evolutionist, was writing on the chalkboard. He looked suspiciously like the chimpanzees he admired—large protruding ears, prominent forehead, and thick lower lip. We had just opened our textbooks to chapter 12 and I was preparing once again to plug my ears and hum through the lecture when I glanced down at a picture on the left-facing page. I froze.