Last week, I wrote about the negative reaction to the revelation that Harper Lee’s new book Go Set a Watchman portrays former hero lawyer Atticus Finch as a racist segregationist. Upon further thought, I think that much of the dismay revolves around the need and desire to have “good whites” in stories about racism.
Fans of To Kill a Mockingbird are aghast at the revelation that Atticus Finch, the noble protagonist of that celebrated book, becomes a segregationist and Klansman in his dotage in Harper Lee’s new book Go Set a Watchman:
This past weekend, an awards show took place in Hollywood bestowing honors and awards on those movies that were so richly deserving of being recognized for their artistic contributions. I speak, of course, of the Golden Raspberry Awards, the “anti-Oscar” ceremony for bad movies. In a move that surprised no one whose been paying even the slightest attention to pop culture, Kirk “Banana fallacy” Cameron’s underwhelming tour de force Saving Christmas swept the Razzies, winning four Golden Raspberries: Worst Film, Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Combo (the combo being Kirk and his over-sized ego).
Sometimes, during my more melancholy moments, I feel like I “failed at religion,” much in the same way I failed at basketball when I was in seventh grade. My inability to continue in religion certainly wasn’t from lack of trying; I went to the most “traditional” parish in the archdiocese (at least until I got blackballed), prayed the rosary every day, did Louis de Monfort’s “Consecration to Jesus through Mary,” read about theology, liturgy, apologetic, and the saints, etc. But in the end, it still wasn’t enough, because nothing I did could resolve the doubts I had accumulated. I had hoped that “finding religion” would help solve some of my existential crises, as well as my ever-present anxiety and depression, but I soon discovered that adding theology to the mix not only gave me new things to be anxious/depressed about.
Throughout my entire tenure at St F, I taught CCD classes at a variety of levels, from pre-school to Confirmation. The last time I went to St F was back in 2009. This means that the little kids I was teaching for First Communion in 2005 are now thirteen and fourteen years old. Although that realization makes me feel “old” in a way, I sometimes find myself wondering what happened to those kids. Are any of them rebelling? Are the boys being roped into considering “a vocation”? Do their families still go to St F or did they jump ship for the SSPX parish or another institution? Is college going to be an option for any of these children? Do they obsess over “life issues” and “liturgical abuses”? Will they ever get the chance to read brilliant but completely anti-clerical novels like Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”? Do they ever interact with kids outside of the trad bubble? I suppose there’s no way to know this, but it’s something I wonder about it.