Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Coach Carter

Just watched this really amazing movie. It's about this coach who benches his undefeated high school basketball team because they are failing their classes. There are so many good messages in this movie about education, inner-city schools, the cycle of failure, perserverance, and what really counts in life. The acting was great, the production values were was a well-done movie.

And yet I am upset. I'm upset for two reasons. First, it portrays abortion as a necessity in the inner-city for anyone who wants to escape. It's the only sensible thing to do. This grates on me for obvious reasons if you know my pro-life positions. But that wasn't my biggest problem with the film. My biggest problem was a philosophical problem. At the most pivotal moment of the film, as the players finally decide to own Coach Carter's decision for themselves, one of them stands up and recites a portion of this famous poem from Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others

In the new version of Godspell's "Prologue", this is the quote chosen to represent the New Age worldview. Marianne Williamson is one of the world's most prominent New Age leaders. The use of this quote in Coach Carter automatically aligns the ultimate goal with the New Age. And that's what really bugs me. This movie was so full of good morals, good lessons for life, but then the justification for all these lessons is...a page out of the New Age handbook.

Yes, most movies these days represent this New Age, postmodern outlook on life: "Believe in yourself," "Be true to your heart," "Follow your dreams, and you can do anything." Sure, Coach Carter is not even close to alone in proclaiming these views. What amazed and disappointed me was that it so blatantly chose to align itself with this worldview that it would even quote something like that. I find it greatly depressing.

So final evaluation: Great movie, great lessons, terrible worldview. And that is highly unfortunate.


Peter said...

Well we always have the Transformers.

Terrible plotline, great action sequences, great fight scenes, no worldview.

jess said...

all i can remember about that movie is that it really bugged me, the way it portrayed abortion as an escape at the end. it left me with a sick feeling that i couldn't shake. so i do not like that movie.