Is Religion Just a Joke?
Driving with my friend to the movies one evening last winter we discovered a group of people bundled up and picketing by The Safari movie theatre in Moorhead.Ý My friend and I didn’t know what movie we wanted to watch, but these protesters made up our mind.Ý We decided to see the movie “Dogma” because that was the very movie these outraged people were boycotting.Ý Sometimes people carry their religion to the point where it has an adverse effect on people.Ý This was the case that evening.
As we watched “Dogma,” my friend and I laughed hysterically.Ý It wasn’t nearly as bad as the protestors suggested.Ý The view the “outraged Christians” and I seemed to disagree on was they took the movie literally, whereas I personally took it as mere fiction.Ý In my opinion, it was just another religious comedy to bring the sometimes-scary topic of “religion” down to a point that seems more human in the eyes of the average American today.
By making the topic of religion humorous, we as a society can take a look at the different aspects of this complicated and controversial issue.Ý What is ethically right or wrong has been seen in many issues such as cloning, euthanasia, and abortion.Ý Religion, along with these other issues, is often hard to confront.Ý With the aid of movies, such as “Dogma” and “Keeping the Faith,” we are able to delve into the issue of religion more easily.Ý Let us now take a look at these two movies.Ý
“Keeping the Faith” starts with a priest, Brian Finn, played by Edward Norton, telling his complicated story to the local bartender in New York who thinks he’s heard it all already.Ý Brian tells of a childhood friendship between himself, Jake Schram, and a girl named Anna Reilly.Ý The threesome’s friendship is halted when Anna’s father moves to California and the two boys are left alone.Ý Brian and Jake’s friendship thrives until the day that adult Anna (Jenna Elfman) returns to New York as a successful businesswoman.Ý Jake (Ben Stiller), who has become a rabbi, and Brian, the priest, along with Anna forms a love triangle that is an excellent work of comedy in a religious setting.Ý The only thing standing between Jake, Brian, and Anna is their religion.
Brian, the priest, has sworn his life to celibacy while Jake, the rabbi, is forced by his religion to only marry someone who is of Jewish faith.Ý This complicates things further as Brian has sexual fantasies and is unable to confront them.Ý Jake is also in trouble as his congregation has decided to play matchmaker and he is thrust forward into many unwanted dates.Ý When Jake secretly dates Anna, who is not Jewish, and keeps it from their best friend Brian, who is also in love with Anna, trouble ensues.Ý Will both Jake and Brian be able to keep faithful with their congregations?Ý Will they be able to be faithful with their religions…each other?Ý You’ll just...