July 28, 2017

THE CULTURE WARS ARE A ROUT:

What If? The Moral Imagination of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" (Bradley J. Birzer, 7/28/17, Imaginative Conservative)

As I watched the new live version of Beauty and the Beast, I found myself utterly taken with the movie--emotionally as well as intellectually--and I slowly realized why. The story is the oldest story in the Christian world. It's the story about love, sacrifice, and redemption. The beast is a beast because of his poor choices. When he encounters real love and sacrifice, he understands his own folly and, most importantly, learns to sacrifice himself for others. He is, symbolically and literally, reborn. The Redeemer removes his skin and baptizes him in the blood of the Lamb. The enchantress might be a bit pagan, but she's equally a bit archangel and the Virgin Mary. Belle, beautiful and bookish, is the personification of Grace itself.

As the movie was ending, I thought, I might very well be reading too much into this, wanting to find Christianity in the story simply because I fell in love with the story. Then, my patience and thought was more than rewarded. As the spell was lifted from the castle of the Beast, the last thing to transform was the very top of the castle, a rather eerie gargoyle overlooking the cursed realm. When it changes, it doesn't just become less creepy, it becomes truly holy. The gargoyle transforms into St. Michael slaying the devil. Truly, literally. Right there on a Hollywood movie screen--seen by millions of movie goers--is the symbol of the entire movie, a statue of St. Michael in victory against the devil. How amazing is that?

Posted by at July 28, 2017 5:38 AM

  

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