Thanks to Gadgetvicar for bringing this to my attention:
Driscoll is way off base here; he applies literalism to a parable, and takes away exactly what he wants to impose on the movie, rather than looking deeper.
Far from being reassured by his comments regarding his interest in film and media, he comes across like the guy who votes BNP and says “I’m not racist, I even have a black friend”. “I’ve got 3 tivo’s”…he states in his defence. So? Me not impressed.
Not impressed by his claim, or by his simplistic and literalistic worldview.
“Satanic…eastern Garbage-ism” he states.
Avatar follows the story of a planet being ravaged for its resources by an indiscriminate army, and tells the tale of the transformation of one soldier getting to know the culture he is being asked to destroy. It tells the story of the fight for survival of the indigenous population, faced by overwhelming opposition.
It’s not the best movie in the world, its not the worst. Yes, the graphics are amazing. The story is Pocahontas in the modern age, as Director James Cameron admits.
To look beyond the literalism of Driscoll – it shows a culture which cares for its ecosystem, for the whole of creation given by the divine. And it shows that culture and ecosystem being destroyed by those who desire only profit and power. It follows the transformation of one man from oppressor to defender, the development of understanding and community, forgiveness and grace. In that, it is a reflection of the story of St Paul, and of countless Christians (myself included) who have learned that the life they once lived fell short and have chosen instead this way of faith. It is the story of transformation, hope, encounter. Like the parables of Christ, the more one looks the more there is to see and understand. Driscoll’s interpretation is one which merely touches the surface: it is shallow and damaging.
He states “that any Christian could see [Avatar] without seeing the overt demonism is beyond me”. It is beyond me that he cannot see that this is a reflection not only of empire building and conquest in the past, but also of corporate and military might in our present: that we care little for the creation or for the people we tread on to gain what we want, with no concept of the harm we do to this planet or our own and other cultures, that is the story of Avatar. It’s a tale that keeps repeating in our history – fear, greed, might and conquest. If more people looked beyond the literal to the metaphorical, the parable, maybe we would finally learn something about the way we treat this planet and its people, and learn to walk humbly instead of arrogantly with our God.