Christian pop culture through the eyes of a radical housewife and part time atheist, Miss Poppy Hussein Dixon. Online since 1995. Stop by every day for the latest in Christian crime, intimidation, fraud, and foolishness.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Help Thou Mine Unbelief

Sometimes I think I'm not a very good atheist, and then something will happen that solidifies the ground under my feet. (A spiritual person would probably describe that as having their faith shaken.)

The other morning I was lying abed, clinging to the warmth of the blankets while trolling through commercial free movie channels. I found the movie Resurrection, starring Ellen Burstyn and Sam Shepard. It was released in 1980, when I was but a blushing 24 years old.

Ellen Burstyn played a faith healer, the real deal, with no particular spiritual affiliation. In fact, her boyfriend, played by Sam Shepard, demanded that she claim Christ as the source of her healing powers and she refused. Conflict.

It's actually a very bad movie, shot in a movie-of-the-week style, with a saccharine script, and overly sentimental - puppies, and kids with cancer on their last trip to Disneyland, that kind of thing.

But at the time I LOVED this movie and the only explanation at which I could arrive is that, at that time, I really wanted to believe. Sometimes I still do, but I can find no sustainable evidence to believe in the supernatural.

Now I'm bordering on NOT wanting to believe because supernatural interference in the physical world would create untenable chaos. If the laws of physics were bent based on prayer or other worldly intervention what would be the motive to love, to work, to cherish, to care? If we could not predict outcomes based on our behaviors and the behavior of the physical world we would become paralyzed.

It happened with Bush and Cheney: creating, living in, and imposing an alternate reality that had little to do with truth. Look how that paralyzed the world, and the damage that has done. We're just a few days away from a chance to live in truth. Why would I pray for anything else?
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Mark 9:24 KJV


Saint Brian the Godless said...

I like the place you have here! Keep up the good work, dude...
-Saint Brian the Godless

Saint Brian the Godless said...

Oops... Not a dude, I see. My sincerest apologies, Miss Poppy.

Keep up the good work, ma'am...

darrow said...

Miss Poppy,

I absolutely loved this movie when it came out. Probably because I love Ellen Burstyn so much but also because of the not giving Jesus credit for her powers. This is one of the few DVD's I still have.

The coolest part about the whole movie to me wasn't the supernatural ability she had, but that she didn't know where her power came from and didn't feel the need to claim "divine intervention" as a reason.

Also, it could have been the massive amount of margaritas I had before watching it that initially gave it a much more "special" feel.

faithlessly yours,

Miss Poppy Hussein Dixon said...

Yeah, I may have been high on something, too. Who can remember?

There is some comfort in retreating into childish notions of love and magic, especially during times of stress.