B.I.F.F. Day 3

Last night’s films were quite a change from the bing-blang-blaow extravaganza that was Dogtooth, A Prophet, and I Killed My Mother. These two were also different in that both had Q&A sessions afterward with the film’s director. I’ve also used some forward-thinking and bought tonight & tomorrow’s tickets ahead of time so I can stop showing up 75 minutes early and still only get mediocre seats.

Petition - Poster2Petition

Country: China / France
Director: Zhao Liang
Length: 123 mins
Grade: B

Synopsis: “Since 1996 Zhao Liang has filmed the ‚Äúpetitioners,” who come from all over China to make complaints in Beijing about abuses and injustices committed by the local authorities. Gathered near the complaints offices, around the southern railway station of Beijing, the complainants wait for months or years to obtain justice. Peasants thrown off their land, workers from factories which have gone into liquidation, small homeowners who have seen their houses demolished but received no compensation, all types of cases are represented. The film was shot right up to the start of the Olympic Games, showing the persistent contradictions of China in the midst of powerful economic expansion.”

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Unbelief Should Be Outlawed

At the same time I write this entry, Noah is also blogging. We’re a cute couple.

In my Religion and Culture class today I learned that Communist China allows one to be a Christian, as long as they do not publicly practice Christianity. That is, don’t go to church or proselytize. So there’s a lot of ‘underground’ Christians and of course, the church is experiencing incredible growth. So then I frolic into History of Civilization and my professor condones what the communists are essentially doing, except in reverse. He advocates a Christian state where only Christianity is promoted and practiced. You can believe other things, but don’t do anything related to your religion outside of your home. Those attending a mosque, for example, would be punished. There would probably also be tax breaks for Christians too. So the class, including myself, have a bit of a debate with this man and I think we’re all pretty much agreed that most people will be repulsed by this brand of totalitarian Christianity and few will want to know the Christ of the Bible. See we were studying good ol’ Constantine. To me his Edict of Toleration (fair practice of your choice of religion) was a good thing, and his later declaration of Christianity as the official religion a bad thing. My professor thinks just the opposite. My favorite part of the day was when he declared Calvin right in silencing Servetus. Granted, I can understand why Calvin had him put to death, but I don’t agree with the decision. Calvin denied separation of church and state and believed in capital punishment so killing Servetus was an act of the state, not retributive murder on Calvin’s part. But to give blanket approval to the killing…I can’t go that far. My professor did say he wasn’t inclined to kill detractors, but openly said he would punish those who practiced other religions (if he were President of course). So there we go, my tour through China, Constantine and Calvin. I disagree with China, I disagree with Constantine (and his so-called sign from God), and I disagree with Calvin (on this point at least). My professor isn’t a theonomist either – just a staunch dispensational Baptist who wants to punish unbelievers if he were made President.