25 January, 2006

Ekoes Of A Dangerous Priest (LOST Spoilers)

I yell at the TV a lot. I have a blog so I can yell at the TV and five people in various parts of the country can read about it later.

I know that technically the dude was a drug runner until five minutes ago, but honestly....

JESUS WAS BORN SINLESS. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT OF JESUS.

You don't have to believe that if you don't want to. But if you are a priest getting ready to baptise a woman and her child, you best not start off the whole exercise with a complete false and blasphemous interpretation of the Lord's Baptism and the Acknowledgement of the Spirit. And you best not be elevating St. John (the Baptist) to a status above that of Christ. Maybe in between organising Nigerian drug cartels and internet scams Eko simply misread John's Appelation. "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world." He was clearly talking about Jesus, not about himself. The idea that John's baptism cleansed Jesus' sins is false.

Of course, I know there are readers of this blog who think I'm veering into FSM territory. Good for you. Prove that you're smarter than I am by deriding my faith. That's perfectly fine. But the fact of the matter is, this is one more way that what Glen was trying to say was accurate. There are folks in the media who don't care how religion is portrayed. To them it's all the same--one brand of hokum is the same as the next. They've taken their disregard as an excuse for complete inaccuracy. Even if you choose not to believe in the Grace of the Sacrifice of Christ, surely you can recognise that the writers of a program should know enough about their characters to realise that anyone who has studied the basic catechism of the Church, as Eko appears to have done under the monsignor, understands that Jesus was sinless.

If I were writing an orthodox Jewish character in an episodic program and had that person eating shrimp tacos and getting tattoos I'd be sloppy and ignorant. Sure, I believe it's okay to eat shellfish and get tattoos. But an orthodox Jew does not, and therefore my character lacks versimilitude. Same thing here.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, but I'm gobsmacked at how shoddily a priest is portrayed on one of the most popular shows in the country.

14 Comments:

At 6:52 AM, January 26, 2006, Blogger P. K. Nail said...

You should write a letter or send an e-mail to the show's contact (not sure who that might be, though). That's just sloppy, and you're probably not the only person to have been angered by it.

I hate when people get things wrong that are so easy to find out. I still roll my eyes at the "West Wing" pilot, where Toby says that "Honor thy father and mother" is the third Commandment. DUH! It's the FIFTH! Look it up, yo! It's really not that hard!

 
At 8:46 AM, January 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to sound like a complete conspiracy theorist, but why should it come as any surprise that a character played by a Buddhist actor on a show created by a person (J.J. Abrams) who has a soft spot for scientologists, and two more (Damon Lindelof and Jefrey Lieber) who are (as best I can tell) non-practising Jews might not bend over backwards to make sure that they provide a positive, accurate depiction of Jesus?

I'm just sayin'...

 
At 8:47 AM, January 26, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

I was pretty pissed that the show missed the whole point of baptism as well. It's not a get into heaven free card as they'd make it out to be...it's an outward sign of an innerward thing...

But then we'd have to spend more than two seconds developing it....

And I bet this is all forgotten in a week's time....

As I said in my blog, a better exploration of baptism was done last week on Scrubs.

 
At 9:04 AM, January 26, 2006, Blogger Patrick said...

The only leeway I'll give the show is that from the Catholic perspective, infant baptism supposedly does have heebie jeebie powers to provide the "remission of sin," giving 1 Peter 3:21 as a proof text.

It does rub me the wrong way too... thinking that someone else can make the decision for me (other than Jesus, of course.)

 
At 10:19 AM, January 26, 2006, Blogger Malia said...

This morning when it occurred to me that I had forgotten to record Lost, I was a disappointed that I had missed it. Now that I know what happened, I'm glad that I missed it because now I won't waste my time watching something that instead of entertaining me with mystery and plot twists would enrage me with inaccuracies of religion.

Oh and versimilitude - great word!

 
At 10:30 AM, January 26, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Not to sound like a complete conspiracy theorist, but why should it come as any surprise that a character played by a Buddhist actor ...

That'd be my point. As much as it's egregiously blasphemous (which is very badwrong) it is also just sloppy writing. It's an insult to the Christians to get this fact wrong of course. But it's an insult to the entire audience--Christian and NonChristian alike--to not take the time to research your character. That's why TV people often come across as cardboard copies of one another.

 
At 11:00 AM, January 26, 2006, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Yeah, Eko must have skipped the day at Fake Priest School when they covered baptism. Or, perhaps his view is that your beliefs are false and blasphemous, and you should both declare a jihad.

If you want to call bullshit on anything, how about when Hurley was flirting with what's her name, she said he stepped on her foot as he got on the plane. How is that possible if he was in the front and she was one of the tailies?

 
At 12:46 PM, January 26, 2006, Anonymous j said...

not to burst your bubble, but (according to the catholic faith)*mary* was the only immaculate conception- as in, the only person to be born without original sin.

jesus was indeed baptized by john the baptist. it doesn't "elevate" jtb higher than anyone- in fact, john the baptist himself got all "no way way, you're the son of god, how could *i* cleanse *you* of sins?" when jesus came around, but jesus said that he was no better than the rest, and asked jtb to do it.

if these things are so easy to look up (and make you so angry), why don't you actually look them up?

 
At 1:18 PM, January 26, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

j--

I did look them up. I'm a protestant Anabaptist so I had to double-check my Catholic doctrine.

In Catholic doctrine Mary was supposed to have been born without Original Sin because otherwise she would have passed the taint along to Jesus with her humanity. Since it is essential that Jesus be born sinless, as all Christians believe he was the Catholics, in response to St. Augustine, developed the doctrine of Mary Immaculata.

 
At 1:25 PM, January 26, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

jesus was indeed baptized by john the baptist. it doesn't "elevate" jtb higher than anyone- in fact, john the baptist himself got all "no way way, you're the son of god, how could *i* cleanse *you* of sins?" when jesus came around, but jesus said that he was no better than the rest, and asked jtb to do it.

Yes. I know that, too. The "elevation" I was talking about was when Eko says "he knew that he had cleansed this man of sin".

WTH?!?!

Not at all.

The entire Biblical account of the Baptism of Christ--undertaken after His temptation in the Wilderness--was to signify His outward acceptance of His call to ministry and sacrifice. Hence the dove, both a symbol of the Holy Spirit and a symbol of the fulfillment of the renewed covenant with man. (See the story of the dove and the ark in the Hebrew Bible/OT)

Hence also the voice from Heaven--"This is My beloved Son"

The entire account can be read in the gospels. A Bible 101 synopsis is available here.

 
At 1:43 PM, January 26, 2006, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Pretty sure that when Jesus was born he passed Mary's taint.

 
At 3:42 PM, January 26, 2006, Blogger Lee said...

Sarcastro, when you go to hell, I hope you're still able to post on what it's like.

 
At 3:47 PM, January 26, 2006, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

I understand that Satan is looking for a full-time blogger.

It will be called either Pith in the Inferno or Hell is Talking.

 
At 1:53 PM, January 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in utter shock when I heard Eko say that JtB had cleansed Jesus of his sins. Jesus was without sin. That is what enabled him to be the pure sacrifice that takes away the sins of the world. ANYONE with ANY amount of knowledge of Christianity should know that. The whole business of that fake baptism was offensive enough to make me stop watching the show. It's played out anyway. I'm so sick of them walking through the jungle for hours on end and nothing ever happening. I've got better things to do with my time.

 

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