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Gene Edward Veith weighs in on the Sex and the City hubbub

Gene Edward Veith, after raising questions that threw fuel on an already vigorous conversation (debate? brouhaha? hubbub?) over Christianity Today’s review of Sex and the City, has finally weighed in with his own perspective.

And I’m grateful. I’ve followed Veith’s work for years and knew he would respond with insight.

Can we move on now?

Can we put that disrespectful, false headline behind us and try to show some respect for the ministry of Christianity Today?

Can Camerin Courtney go back out in public now without a bulletproof vest?

Can I go on without people claiming that I’ve declared a deep love for porn? (No, apparently that’s going to continue, judging from the latest comments on Veith’s first post. God knows me, so I guess I shouldn’t worry about the ridiculous version of me that some of those folks have invented out of thin air.)

For what it’s worth, this feels like the closest we’ll come to “closure” on this argument. What a shame.

I’m declaring a hiatus from posting comments about the whole debacle.

Better to let the ranters go on attacking a review that doesn’t exist, and calling us names for reasons they’ve imagined, somewhere else. I’ve got better things to do then answer folks who don’t listen, and who didn’t read closely in the first place.

I’ve already received a huge rant today from a reader, regarding how wicked the makers of Sex and the City are, and the evils of their motives. That’s not the issue. Plenty of wicked, worldly people have, despite their public declarations, and in spite of their subversive intentions, created worthwhile art. Woody Allen openly denounces God and affirms amorality, but his films are worthwhile explorations of ethics, good, and evil. I’m not going to be distracted by any revelations about the motives of the filmmakers. I’m going to focus on the art itself. If we judged art by examining the flaws and rash statements of the artist, The Passion of the Christ would have been thrown out.

And you know what? I’m *still* not a Sex and the City fan. I only defend the right of another Christian to discover meaning there, and to discuss why the show appeals to so many viewers. Heck, I know someone who came to Christ because of something he thought about while watching The Love Bug. Even the shoddiest storytelling may inspire us to a worthwhile discussion. (But that doesn’t excuse us from pointing out what is badly done. That’s why I appreciate Courtney’s cautions about the film’s stupid sex scenes.)

The tone of the whole debate was unfortunate, and if I had it to do over again, I’d probably go with Christianity Today‘s own decision — to just go on with their good work, and let the false accusations collapse on their own. If I responded to all of the sneering put-downs that I receive from Christians, I’d collapse from exhaustion. One thing I’ve learned in my decade-plus years of reviewing movies… Christians can write meaner hate mail than anybody. And when Christians persecute Christians with public condemnation, it’s the worst kind of ugly. If Ted Slater has decided to stand by his headline, which he himself called “effectively shocking,” he’ll get the audience he deserves.

Let’s put it behind us.

“Art is the denial of death…”

At Image, A.G. Harmon considers The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

“Art is a denial of death,” Schnabel has said of the film’s meaning. But surely that’s because art is born of souls, which do not die, and to which art testifies. All lofty commonplaces aside, if souls die, art dies too — in the diving bell.

Terrence Ma-licking Good!

Here’s a great idea for a blog… food inspired by movies! Try these New World quesadillas!

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