Thursday, August 16, 2012
Pseudo: Blood of Our Own
I saw the movie Pseudo at Empire theatre today. They were showing it as part of a substance abuse seminar for youth so I thought I’d check it out. It was very well done. I found it very disturbing and it successfully drove the point home that gang life is not a happy life at all.
It was very violent and gory but also went in depth into the families of four youth who got involved in the gang life and what happened to them as a result. The movie instills the betrayal for money that permeates that game so to speak. Yet when murder is involved it is no longer a game.
It also drives home the fact that being a murderer isn’t something good and isn’t something I want to be. It certainly adds a taste of reality to shatter the graven image that murder is somehow cool. Which brings us back to Matt Foley and the free the murderer campaign. It’s heartless and foolish. It minimizes the act of murder and rationalizes it which is clearly not the godly path to repentance.
I do believe there is a path to repentance for anyone who wants to leave the gang life behind. The key word is “leave” that life behind. It begins with accepting responsibility for ones actions and legitimately feeling remorse for how those actions have hurt others and their families. That is something the free Matt the murderer campaign refuses to do. They live in the selfish world of the not so happy bunny who jokingly says it’s all about me. That is not the path to peace and enlightenment.
I was recently corresponding with a blog reader who said they had over come a substance addiction. A significant accomplishment indeed. During their recovery they said they made a table on a blackboard. One side had the heading Religion. The other side had the heading Spirituality. They were then instructed to write down words on one side that came to mind when they thought about religion and on the other side write down words that came to mind when they thought about spirituality.
They said, under the heading of religion it was filled with negative words and images that were unfortunately associated with religion while the other side was filled with positive words that came to mind when reflecting upon spirituality. I found that profound.
The term religion often leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. To some extent it does for me as well. Yet the term spirituality doesn’t tend to invoke the same negative images. When I think of spirituality I think of a private and personal communion with deity. I think of enjoying the outdoors, from the mountains to the sea. I think of Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.
Without trying to offend the sincere atheists on the blog, I do believe that atheism falls under the freedom of religion. Not to say that atheism is a religion but rather the right to believe or not believe what one chooses falls under the freedom of religion.
I am told that the 12 steps of AA begin with a belief in God or a higher power. I think all of us need to aspire to something higher. Be that a higher power, be that God, be that a higher ideal or just something better. We need something to look forward to. Where there is no vision, the people will perish.
When we see something that is clearly wrong, aspiring to something better is a positive and healthy response. In fact aspiring to a higher ideal is something even atheists can do without disrupting their own mission statement. Ironically, many of them already do simply because they believe in their heart it is right, not because they believe they will get some kind of reward for it. To do good without thought of reward is what most religions are supposed to be about.
Leaving the gang life is good because that life destroys lives and hurts others.