Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

Charity Requires Relationship

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

If I give to my fellow human being, but do so involuntarily, he will eventually know.  If I give to my fellow human being, but do so to satisfy my own ego, seeing him only as a statistic or a project or an inferior or a stereotype or member of a group, he will eventually know. (more…)

Quantum Killing and Non-zero-sum Guilt

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

It’s usually through a thousand tiny cuts of reduced kindness (each one individually invisible to any but the most capital-G of Gods and the most conscientious and self-scrutinizing of saints) that a surplus workforce is driven from the fold and into the waiting arms of a war, prison, slave labor, insufficient medical care, or other population-control device.  (more…)

Donnie Darko

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Donnie Darko doesn’t start where you think it does.  It starts with the timeless question, Why do bad things happen to good people?  What good could there be, for example, in the random death of an innocent kid?  Donnie Darko tackles this question by showing us what would have happened if said kid hadn’t died.  Don’t worry–no spoilers here.  It would be almost impossible to spoil a movie this alive with weird particularity.  Too often, when we wonder about that innocent kid in the newspaper’s obit section, he remains an abstract good, his death an abstract injustice, the future he missed out on a vaguely imagined good future, doubtlessly preferable to his early end.  Not so in Donnie Darko’s universe.  Donnie’s world is full of miracles and odd homework assignments, family rancor and psychiatry sessions, strange gurus and neighbors.  Everyone in this film is the center of his or her own world, which realistic touch makes it matter all the more when we see how their lives are affected by the life and death of that innocent kid.  Donnie asks the timeless question.  God answers in a bunny costume, and shows him the answer on a movie screen.  Amazingly, the answer satisfies.

God Willing, God Forbid, and a Third Thing Altogether

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

“I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumours,
But I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor,
And when I die, I expect to find him laughing.”

–Depeche Mode, “Blasphemous Rumours”

Theologians call it the problem of evil, or the mystery of iniquity… if God’s all-knowing and all-powerful and good, why do things like ebola virus, the holocaust, and televangelists exist? (more…)