Redefining Marriage, Part 5: The “No” of Marriage

07/12/2011 Comments (130)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

 
As Christians, we believe that the institution of marriage is a reflection the universal human vocation to love. It is a union of free and equal persons, a partnership ordered toward the perfection of the spouses. It is also a reflection of the divine romance, of God’s love for mankind and more particularly of Christ’s love for the Church. Within the Christian economy marriage has been elevated to the dignity of a sacrament.

All of these things are true, but none of them is the rationale for the institution of marriage as a civil reality recognized and regulated by the state. Certainly we have not...READ MORE

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Redefining Marriage, Part 4: What IS Marriage?

07/09/2011 Comments (50)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

 
Why does marriage exist?

What is marriage? Why is it recognized by the state at all? Why, as I asked in Part 1, does the state have a bureaucratic apparatus for certifying (and decertifying) sexual partnerships involving two and only two non-related adult partners? Why should the state have such a bureaucracy? Why is it any of the state’s business? Why is it that in the whole history of state bureaucracies up to 2001 those partnerships were always between a man and a woman? Why is it that in every society, culture and civilization known to history and anthropology, we find this universal institution...READ MORE

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Redefining Marriage, Part 3: Consequences

07/06/2011 Comments (270)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

 
Same-sex advocates sometimes accuse marriage defenders of Chicken Little alarmism. Is the sky really falling? they ask rhetorically. Same-sex “marriage” has been legally recognized in the Netherlands since 2001, and a handful of other countries have followed suit. In the United States, a handful of states, most recently New York, have recognized same-sex “marriage,” either by judicial fiat or through legislative means. Have these changes oppressed heterosexual couples or families in any way, or had other harmful consequences?

To this challenge there are several points that must be made, not all of...READ MORE

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Redefining Marriage, Part 2: The Root of the Problem

06/30/2011 Comments (282)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

 
How has marriage been redefined?

It’s not something that started a few years ago with juridical edicts (and now, sadly, legislative maneuverings) mandating same-sex marriage. That’s merely the latest permutation in an ongoing dismantling of marriage in a culture increasingly defined by serial monogamy, cohabitation, children born and raised out of wedlock, artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, divorce-ready prenuptial agreements, pornography, abortion and contraception.

Of all these, the root of the problem, more than anything else, is contraception.

A contraceptive culture is a...READ MORE

Filed under cohabitation, contraception, divorce, marriage, same-sex marriage

Cars vs. A Bug’s Life: What’s Pixar’s least impressive film?

06/21/2011 Comments (77)

With Cars 2 approaching this weekend, I thought I’d take a look back at Cars, easily Pixar’s least impressive and celebrated film since their second picture, A Bug’s Life.

It’s easy to forget that although A Bug’s Life followed Pixar’s masterful debut Toy Story, it came before the astonishing string of superior successes—Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles—that catapulted Pixar into its own orbit as the unquestioned kings of family entertainment.

When Cars came out, it was seen as a slight, flawed Pixar effort, simply because Pixar had raised the bar so high. Six or seven years earlier, when studios could release cartoons like Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Antz...READ MORE

Filed under a bug's life, cars, family films, pixar

In 30 Seconds: Green Lantern, Popper's Penguins, Super 8, Tree of Life!

06/17/2011 Comments (2)

Reel Faith

Now that “Reel Faith” is back in production, I have to face the sad truth that I no longer have the time to invest writing 30-second reviews in verse. We’re still doing 30-second reviews, but they’re more straightforward now. Here are the latest from both David and myself, including Green Lantern, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Super 8 and Tree of Life.

Incidentally, have you been watching “Reel Faith”? Episode 2 (featuring Super 8, The Tree of Life and The Hangover Part 2) is still up at the show’s website (and probably will be all weekend), and Episode 3 (featuring Green Lantern, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Judy Moody) airs tonight at 8:30pm ET on NET (watch online).

Incidentally, as you can...READ MORE

Filed under 30-second reviews, movie reviews, movies, reel faith

Kids Say the Darndest Things

06/13/2011 Comments (36)

Catie loves Decent Films.

Most non-parents can pretty much skip this blog post, I guess. Well, unless they are about to become parents, and/or unless they’re fans of “The Simpsons” and/or the old 1960s “Spider-Man” TV show. (I’ll explain. It has to do with a song that our daughter Catie, who is not yet three, made up recently.)

First, though, let me note that ever since the invention of writing, parents have felt that they ought to transcribe the adorable, silly and/or incomprehensible things their kids say, which you always think you’ll remember but you never do. Many parents actually succeed in doing this, but often only for the first kid. The first kid also has whole photo albums dedicated to him or her (I refer...READ MORE

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J. J. Abrams does Spielberg in Super 8

06/10/2011 Comments (41)

Super 8 is the rarest thing in the world nowadays, a movie that wants to surprise you. It comes to theaters in unusual secrecy, amid a marketing compaign emphasizing suspense and anticipation over giving everything away. Somehow or other I got to the theater knowing practically nothing about the film except for the names of writer-director J. J. Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg. That’s next to impossible with most movies nowadays.

If Hollywood has learned anything in the last few decades, it’s that the last thing audiences want is anything unexpected. If audiences loved The Hangover once, they’ll love it even more the second time around, beat for beat, in the sequel. If they loved...READ MORE

Filed under j. j. abrams, movie reviews, movies, steven spielberg

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About SDG

Steven D. Greydanus
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Deacon Steven D. Greydanus is film critic for the National Catholic Register, creator of Decent Films, and a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Newark. With David DiCerto, he co-hosts the Gabriel Award–winning cable TV show “Reel Faith” for New Evangelization Television. Steven has degrees in media arts and religious studies, and has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. He has a BFA in Media Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA. Steven and his wife Suzanne have seven children.