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Friday, February 7, 2014

Joni, Krauthammer, from Chariots of Fire to Brokeback Mountain

How did we get here?

I have been thinking a little about Joni Eareckson Tada recently.  (Evangelical Christians pronounced her name Johnny Erickson in the 80s, just sayin'.) In 1967, she dove into a lake and became a quadriplegic.  Confined to her wheelchair, Joni began to paint by holding the paintbrush in her mouth.  For over 40 years, she has been a source of inspiration to people around the world and a champion to disabled people everywhere.

Her story is similar to Charles Krauthammer's.  After a diving accident which left him paralyzed, Krauthammer went on to finish his medical degree and is a Pulitzer Prize winning author.

Joni and Charles have learned to look outside their bodies for inspiration.  Locked into a body that no longer works the way it should (or they would like) they see much more.  With their minds they have been able to forge lives that most of us only dream of.  In no way have they allowed their limited physical abilities to hold them back.

Joni has been in the news recently.  Her openly Christian, academy award nominated song, "Alone Yet Not Alone"  had the Oscar nomination revoked.

Is this the only way to get hard working people in middle America to take time away from their families to watch the real 1% fawn all over each other and give themselves awards?  By attacking Christianity?


The nomination was revoked because the song writer "campaigned" for votes.  Even I know that everybody does that.  So, I see this as a pretty blatant attack on Christianity.

There is a point to this, bear with me.

As recently as 1981, the academy awarded the Oscar for best picture to the openly Christian film "Chariots of Fire."  Now, Christian films are not being nominated while films like "Brokeback Mountain" are held up as pinnacles of achievement in film.

What has happened to us in just over 30 years?   See how I have to keep saying "openly Christian?"
Like it should be a secret?

Here is what I think has happened.  We look to our bodies as the be all and end all of everything.  Elevation of the mind has been put second to elevation of the body.  Some people call it the "dumbing down of America."  Religious people are seen as stupid.

Concerned with only the body, we have somehow lost our dignity.  There is no dignity in talking about sex all the time.  It is course, base and low.  Sorry, but it is.

What if that were all taken away and you were left, in your body, broken, with only your mind left to sustain you.  Where would you go, what would you do?

Would you look beyond yourself and the limited-ness of your body?  Would you be like Charles Krauthammer and Joni Eareckson Tada?

I hope that I would.