Napoleon Dynomite

So, Napoleon Dynamite. I’ve been hearing for awhile that this is “the greatest movie ever”, a complete waste of time, and “a turd of a movie”. In other words, depending on who I spoke with I got a different answer. The weird thing was that the people who’s opinions I trust were conflicting with each other. After getting a different response out of at least four people, I realized I had to see this movie for myself. And I did. My response? I’m just not sure.

Over all the movie was amusing though I have to admit I forced myself to watch it all. I’m the type of person that really hates movies that embarrass the main characters. I don’t find it funny and a good part of the movie focused on the embarrassing life of Napoleon. Either way, I watched the whole thing. The question remains: did I like it?

I’m going to tentatively say no. Overall, it was a waste of two hours as there wasn’t really a point to the movie. Sure, we wanted them to win the Presidency and we wanted Napoleon and Debra to hook up but there really wasn’t this driving idea behind the film. I kept wanting Napoleon to stand up and kick some ass or at least get his ass kicked but earn some respect for himself in the process. It was just a sad, amusing movie about a fucked up kid. I didn’t hate it but I really didn’t like it. 2 out of 5 stars.

Religious Affiliation

Somewhere along the path of my life so far, the word Christian has come to be a negative word to me. It’s a word that pulls up distasteful associations in my mind. It’s rather an odd thing too as until a few years ago, I considered myself to be Christian. So, background…

I was raised in the Association of Unity Churches, which is a Christian church. It’s definitely not a traditional Christian church though. Almost New Age in its beliefs. All in all, I think I received a decent Christian education through my Sunday classes as a child. I know the bible stories, the ten commandments and all the Jesus stuff. I think the main difference is that it was taught from the view point that all people are inherently good. Original sin is not part of the Unity belief. I won’t go into the details of it all but suffice to say, we were taught to believe in the goodness of man, which I still do.

About the time I was 19 or so, I became very disillusioned with the Unity faith. As I moved into adulthood, I started seeing things I missed as a child. There’s a massive level of insincerity in the Unity membership. I’ve reflected on this much over the years and I believe it’s because the faith is easy to participate in. There’s no guilt and no “Thou Shalt’s” associated with Unity. All you’re really required to do is love everyone. The problem that comes with that is it makes it a great place for the Sunday Christians and such. I’m sure you know the type. It’s a “just in case” type of deal. Now, I’m not saying all Unity members are like this. I’m fairly sure you have a good amount of these people no matter what church you go to. It’s just that at that time in my life, I couldn’t ignore it. In fact, it bothered me so much I stopped going. I’ve tried over the years to go back but whenever I do, the moment the service starts, I start feeling irritated and uncomfortable. I just don’t like being preached at. My relationship with god (if there is a god) is my business and noone elses. So, currently, I’m a non-church-going, non-christian. Huh?

Right, what’s that mean? In essence, I believe in many of the supposed teachings of Jesus but I don’t agree with orginized religion in general. I find the religious right to be intrusive and offensive most of the time and unfortunately, it’s this small percentage that the world in general thinks of when they think of Christians. So, I refuse to associate with the word. A good friend has told me often that even though I profess to not be a Christian, I’m more Christian than most who do. Considering who it comes from, that is a tremendous compliment but not something that I agree with. Overall, I’m not Christian. I’m not anything. I only pray when I get on an airplane. I only give when forced to (which calls into question whether its really giving at all). I don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead after three days. I don’t believe his death on the cross meant anything other than a man being crucified. And I certainly don’t believe the bible is fact. Having said all that, I do believe the Christian bible carries a good message. I believe all the major religions of the world carry a good message, I just don’t want to affiliate with any of them.

Not wanting to be a part of a religion in our times can be an intensive thing. Most people in my little corner of the bible-belt (Kansas) are conservative Christians of some form or another. I find myself insulting people by my mere presence more often than not. It’s amazing how touchy the religious majority is about their religious freedoms but how quickly mine can be stripped away because Christians know what is best for the world. Again, I’m speaking of the conservative right but that’s what Christian has come to mean to me. There are still many Christians I respect as individuals but I just can’t respect the religion as a whole. It just feels unclean to me now. I listen to the hate filled, judgemental words and I find myself wondering when Jesus told these people to hate. I don’t remember those bible stories. Maybe I wasn’t listening that day…

Anyway, in the end, I have no religious affiliation. What’s funny is that I have yet to decide if I have a problem with that. If someone figures it out, let me know.