"I now know thee, thou clear spirit, and I now know that thy right worship is defiance. Of thy fire thou madest me, and like a true child of fire, I breathe it back to thee.” Captain Ahab




Should advanced technology lead to moral improvement? Falling Skies Season Two Premiere

Posted on June 19th, by Derek Murphy in Modern Culture. No Comments

I stopped watching Falling Skies before I made it to the end of Season One, but I thought I’d give it another shot and watch the Season Two premiere.

There are issues I’m interested in. Take this conversation between the protagonist and the leader of the aliens:

ALIEN: This was never a negotiation.

That’s why we’ll never stop fighting you.

ALIEN: We have no patience for empty bravado.

So those are our alternatives: live as prisoners or die?
ALIEN: Why would you expect better than us than you do for yourselves?

Because I look around this ship, at the technology that brought you from another world, and I want to believe, that only an advanced species could achieve so much.

The interesting thing is that this is a pretty common mistaken belief: the idea that advances in technology leads to higher standards of morality. This was the goal of rationalism and the industrial revolution – but instead we learned that technological progress, just when it should have solved all of mankind’s problems, instead led to the First and Second World Wars, and introduced mankind to more pain and suffering than it had ever known.

Modernism is pretty much a reaction to the bitter disappointment and the lesson that life … Read More »


Snow White and the… White Stag? Christian Symbolism in the 2012 Snow White movie

Posted on June 18th, by Derek Murphy in Modern Culture, Movie Reviews, Theology. 20 comments

The original Snow White myth is already full of esoteric, hermetic symbolism; written to preserve alchemical wisdom during times of persecution. So they could have left the story alone when making the 2012 movie Snow White and the Huntsman.

Instead, somebody in Hollywood decided to stuff  so full of overt, deliberate and obvious Christian symbolism that I feel like I’ve just suffered through a two hour sermon with flashy special effects.

I knew something was off in the beginning of the movie, when Snow White (Kristen Stewart) says the full Lord’s Prayer while locked away in her prison.

The evil queen (Charlize Theron) has taken over the kingdom after seducing her father, and turned the whole land to death and suffering (exactly like the first Narnia movie). She’s a witch, of course, and besides worshiping an idol (a big shiny mirror), she’s also obsessed with her looks (the sin of pride).

What she’s after is Snow White’s heart.

But Snow White escapes through the woods and ends up in a magical, always-spring meadow with 7 dwarves and a handsome hunstman (Chris Hemsworth).

That’s when things get really weird. Suddenly all the animals and fairies gather and lead Snow White towards the sunrise, and a giant tree … Read More »


God’s Worst Marketing Scheme: Junior Garcia walks to DC with Cross On Back

Posted on June 9th, by Derek Murphy in News. No Comments

Maybe you’ve seen the news clip about 19 year old Junior Garcia walking to D.C. with a big cross on his back. As someone who once did big things to prove my faith in Jesus, I can totally understand where the kid is coming from; but there’s a number of big problems with this story, starting with:

1) Who Benefits?

Junior is inspired by God (so he says.) But what does God hope to prove by this blatant media-grab? If he has the power to influence and inspire people to do good things, why not inspire world leaders to stop nuclear weapons trading, or fix health care / economic issues, or start recycling. Something big, something major. Of all the important people in the world, why does God focus on a few random unknowns who do things that have no measurable impact (apart from a brief 15minutes of novelty fame?)

Garcia is walking for the “Speed the Light” campaign, which (I believe) has pledged $35,000 for a vehicle for missionaries in Mexico. So he’s not really doing it for free or to test his faith or his relationship with Jesus. He’s also doing it for $$$ (which is very practical). But $35,000 for … Read More »


Run, Jesus, Run: A Video Game for Heathens

Posted on May 2nd, by Derek Murphy in Modern Culture. No Comments

Space=jump.
Arrows= move right/left.
You have 10 seconds. GO.

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”http://www.holyblasphemy.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Run_Jesus_Run_.swf” width=”400″ height=”300″ targetclass=”flashmovie”]


Fee-fi-fo-fum! Jack the Giant Killer 2012 Review and Religious Symbolism

Posted on April 23rd, by Derek Murphy in Modern Culture. No Comments

Jack the Giant Killer, a re-telling of European myth and folklore, starring Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci and Ewan McGregor, is coming out summer 2012! Although you probably know the story by heart, I’ll bet you didn’t know it’s biblical roots. Read on to learn where the story really comes from!

History of Jack and the Beanstalk:

The earliest printed edition which has survived is the 1807 book The History of Jack and the Bean Stalk, printed by Benjamin Tabart, although the story was already in existence sometime before this, as a burlesque of the story entitled The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean was included in the 1734 second edition of Round About Our Coal-Fire. But where does the story really come from?

The beanstalk is reminiscent of the ancient Northern European belief in a world tree connecting Earth to heaven. But dig deeper,  and we discover that the biblical tale of Jonah closes rather abruptly with the hero resting under a fast growing gourd, Hebrew קיקיון (qiyqayown), the only time in Scripture so mentioned.

While scholars place the historical events in the 8th century BCE they were not recorded by Hebrew scribes until some centuries later. Aha, now things get really … Read More »


Oz The Great and Powerful (2013) Movie Review and Religious Symbolism

Posted on April 23rd, by Derek Murphy in Movie Reviews. No Comments

and Mila Kunis are teaming up with a great cast in a Wizard of Oz remake/prequel, that tells the story of how a charlatan in Kansas, who is part of a traveling circus, goes on an odyssey when he mysteriously lands in Oz and becomes it’s ruler. We can expect the genre to be much like 2012’s John Carter – a “normal” guy goes to another world and becomes a superpower. We can’t help noting, however, the implications for organized religion:

Through Deception and Manipulation, this guy will trick everybody into believing that he’s capable of miracles and omnipotence.

His legend grows until, someday in the future, Dorothy and her friends believe he can get her home, give Scarecrow a Brain, give Lion a Heart. I wonder how many contemporary prayers ask for the same things? (Get me home safely, let me pass my exams, give me more courage and confidence). Is there really a God behind the curtain, or just maybe something with more technology who’s played us for fools?


Religious Symbolism in The Grey (2011): An Overtly Atheist Movie?

Posted on April 23rd, by Derek Murphy in Atheism, Modern Culture, Movie Reviews, News, Theology. 3 comments

The Grey (2011, starring Liam Neeson) is, on the surface, a man versus nature survivalist story about a group of man facing the elements and a pack of vicious wolves in the aftermath of a plane crash. However, this background is really just a platform to explore the movie’s true theme: dignity in the face of death, and whether or not religion is helpful to ease the transition.

On the one hand, given that the protagonist and champion of the film is an atheist whose ordeals confirm rather than challenge his lack of faith, the Grey appears to be an intriguingly atheistic film – one of the only films I’m aware of where atheism is portrayed as a just and worthy choice. On the other hand, a Christianizing theological interpretation of the movie is also possible (it’s a stretch, but it can be made). This post will seek to untangle both readings.

After the crash, one of the few surviving characters asks, “how could we survive the plane crash if it wasn’t meant to be… ordained.”

“Ordained by who?” comes the response. “Nah, just blind luck. Fate doesn’t give a fuck. Dead is dead. Where do you think those boys are now…in heaven? Getting … Read More »