Ed Morrissey at Hot Air saw a rough cut of For Greater Glory back in March, so I was curious to read his review, and here it is:
For Greater Glory tells the story of the Mexican government’s attempt to stamp out the Catholic Church under President Calles (played by Ruben Blades), and the uprising that followed, a civil war that killed 90,000 people. Calles attempted to enforce the anti-clerical laws put into Mexico’s 1917 socialist Constitution by demanding the expulsion of foreign priests, banning public demonstrations of faith (including the wearing of clerical garb), and making criticism of the government by priests punishable by five years in prison. A boycott organized by the Catholic Church prompted Calles to get even tougher, and open war broke out. Enrique Gorostieta (Andy Garcia), a general who had fought for the winning side in the revolution, chose to lead the Cristero rebellion, and the film focuses mainly on Gorostieta, two of his lieutenants, and a young boy named Jose Sanchez del Rio, who was later beatified by the Catholic Church.
Back in March, I was fortunate enough to see a rough cut of the film, and wrote a semi-official review at the time (from which I borrowed the synopsis above) with the caveat that I would wait to see the theatrical release. Last night, my wife and I saw it in its limited Twin Cities release, and the final cut has significantly improved the narrative flow of the film. One of the few areas of concern I had from the rough cut was the difficulty in following the constant shifting between subplots in the first half of the film, and some ambiguity about the intent in some scenes. Those problems were resolved nicely, with additional footage in some areas and smoother transitions throughout. Continue reading
Ed Morrissey had a great post inspired by the conversion, so to speak, of Jo Ann Nardelli. She is the former Democratic party official in Pennsylvania who left the party, prompted in part by the Democratic party’s embrace of gay marriage. Joe Biden’s appearance on Meet the Press sealed the deal. As a result, she has not been treated kindly by former colleagues.
The longtime Democrat from Blair County quit the party and registered as a Republican, and then boldly walked in a Memorial Day parade in support of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“A couple of people who I thought were friends turned their backs on me, literally, as I was walking in the parade,” she said on Tuesday. “I have to admit it made me sad, but that is the way it is.”
Morrissey discusses this as well as the case of Artur Davis, who also has quit the Democratic party. Then he explains, in very charitable terms, the reasons that some Catholics remain in the Democrat party, despite it holding positions that are antithetical to the Catholic Church on most social issues. He does a great job of explaining the nuances of Catholic economic teachings to an audience that is mostly non-Catholic. The following succinctly captures the tone of Morrisey’s post:
However, even while we do our best on a personal and institutional level within the church, our community, state, and nation have an impact on the scope and depth of the societal and human ills we hope to alleviate. Some Catholics feel that significant involvement of representative government represents the best and most direct way to achieve our mission, and support the political party that more closely aligns itself with that philosophy and agenda — Democrats. Others feel that the mission is best directed at a personal and institutional level and oppose significant government involvement as wasteful, impractical, and counterproductive, and those Catholics are more likely to be Republicans.
As such, these fellow Catholic liberals (many of whom do oppose abortion) do not deserve our scorn or a condescending attitude; they come to these positions honestly and faithfully. We may disagree on the best approach to the mission at hand, but we are at least united on the mission itself.
In a sense it might be more difficult for conservative Catholics to accept this than for conservative non-Catholics, particularly because we are so close to the issue. We can get easily frustrated by fellow Catholics who persist in supporting a party that upholds so many terrible positions on life and death matters. And I do think that a handful of left-leaning Catholics offer up merely token opposition to their party on social issues, but who largely ignore these matters so as not to distract from the more important (to them) economic issues. Yet there are leftist Catholics who are genuinely committed to the pro-life cause and who struggle with their party’s stance on social issues. And it is with regards to these individuals that we ought to heed Ed’s words.
Another thing strikes me about all this, and it’s that many of these political conversions have occurred due to differences of opinion on social issues. We have been told more times than I can possibly count that this election is all about the economy, and nothing but the economy. Yet we’re seeing more and more Catholics leaving the party that has been not only their home, but likely their parents’ home and their grandparents’ home. And they aren’t leaving the party because of its stance on income taxes. For those who insist that social issues are a losing proposition for conservatives and the Republican party, they might want to reconsider that position in light of the mounting evidence.
Ed Morrissey’s interview with Andy Garcia, the star of For Greater Glory, the film opening on June 1, retelling the heroic tale of the Cristeros, and their fight for the liberty of the Catholic Church and religious freedom in Mexico in the twenties of the last century. Go here to read my post on the film and the historical background. I can’t wait to see this film, which couldn’t be coming out at a more opportune time when the Church in this country is waging a fight for religious liberty. Viva Cristo Rey!
Hat tip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air who is on a pro-life role today. Sarah Palin in her address to the Susan B. Anthony Celebration of Life Breakfast. Go here to see a video of Palin’s speech. In her speech Palin made it clear that she understands the temptation of abortion.
Speaking at the Susan B. Anthony List Celebration of Life breakfast, Palin said that when she learned during her pregnancy that Trig would be born with Down syndrome, she “had no idea how I was going to handle the situation of raising a special needs child.”
She said she was struck by “not knowing if my heart was ready, not knowing if I was patient and nurturing enough.”
While she had previously believed that “God will never give me something I cannot handle,” she said, she was left thinking, “I don’t think I can handle this. This wasn’t part of my life’s plan.”
As a busy mother who already had four kids and who was serving as Alaska governor, she wondered how she would handle raising the child, she said. She wondered if her sister, who has a child with autism, would have been better equipped to raise him.
Palin said the experience helped her understand how a woman would consider “even for a split second” having an abortion, “because I’ve been there.”