To start this post, I should probably say that I’m sorry for a lack of posting lately, but Spore is simply amazing. Spent way too much time on that game already to make the recomended playtime:break ratio look appauling. But enough about that, let’s get on with the film, Dogma.
Now, when I was in year 11 at the tender age of 16, I remember my Religious Studies teacher putting this on as educational material. Either she recognized the obvious stabs at religion (having George Carlin as the Head of the Catholic Church in the film should have been enough) but also saw the humour, or she was naive enough to think it was serious. Personally, I doubt she had any clue.
The whole ambience of the film mocks religion; mostly Christianity in its many deviations. Sure there’s some religious educational weight behind the rants of Loki and Bartleby, but they shouldn’t be used as ammo to try and convince a room of 16 year olds that there was a God. Most of the class however were eating this shit up. I know that myself and one or two others were skeptical but none of us had really been taught any differently than “there is a God”.We weren’t prepared with arguments about abortion or how our universe could be the creation of us having an infinate amount of time and space. We couldn’t argue so our RS teacher always thought she was right. I even remember her telling a class mate that said “abortion is up to the woman” that she doesn’t rate her as a human being.
I know I’ve now strayed away from Dogma, but it’s a real shame that there isn’t an alternate or extra lesson that actually discusses religion from the atheist point of view. Religious Studies is great in explaining cultural and social differences between various religious societies, but it doesn’t really explore beliefs outside of those who are religious. A subject more in line with philosophy would be of much better educational value.
Maybe RS worked so well because from the age of 6 upwards, you’re told every year that a bearded man died, came back to life, moved a boulder and then floated in to the sky in the same week you’re given half a dozen chocolate eggs. If there’s a way to get children hooked on an idea; no matter how bizzare or ludicrous, you can garuntee that throwing in some chocolate will usually help things along. Looking back now, I recognize the craziness behind those claims as we all know that people can’t fly, let alone bring themselves back to life. Sorry, I forgot he’s the Son of God despite all that evidence I’ve been burdened with of God actually existing. All I knew then was that once a year we got told the same story and also got chocolate. That to me then was enough to make me believe.
I guess I’m just annoyed that there was no alternative religious teaching at school, even from a young age. The large majority of my friends and I were all told at an early age that there is a creator watching over us all. None of us at that age ever discussed between playing Helicopters and Cops and Robbers that maybe there wasn’t a creator. We were all being told one idea without hearing the others with full knowledge that we wouldn’t look up that information on our own. They were our sources of information and I think they failed us.
But hey, believing in a creator watching over you at that age is alot easier to digest than thinking we’re just the result of infinate number crunching.