Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Penguin parables

I missed this the other day - an odd, albeit interesting, article describing how the Repubevangelical movement believes that the movie March of the Penguins exemplies all that is holy. According to many conservatives who've seen the film, the lives lead by penguins affirms core conservative "Judeo-Christian" (and I gag on the "Judeo" part because it's in name only) as traditional values that we as humans should strive to emulate. In addition to a ludicrous belief the movie - the penguins and their lives themselves - undermines the theory of evolution, conservative Christians has also glommed on to the idea that the penguins natural behavior affirm following natural instincts, especially regarding familial relationships, as ordained by G-d.
Richard A. Blake, co-director of the film studies program at Boston College and the author of "The Lutheran Milieu of the Films of Ingmar Bergman" said that like many films, "March of the Penguins" was open to a religious interpretation.

"You get a sense of these animals - following their natural instincts - are really exercising virtue that for humans would be quite admirable," he said. I could see it as a statement on monogamy or condemnation of gay marriage or whatever the current agenda is."[NYT]

As noted by Blake, the lives of these amazing animals can be used to make a statement on any agenda, hence its use among conservatives to make a case for what is a natural acceptable traditional familial relationship.

I can get behind this simplistic notion of using penguin relationships to illustrate what humans should aspire to in their own relationships. After all there are some pretty happy penguins and, since their monogamous mating is instinctual, natural and ordained by G-d I think their relationships are great example of an ideal we should all uphold.

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