I generally like to listen to the local college radio station on my ride home. It relaxes me to listen to music in a Limp Bizkit-free environment. Generally the radio station shift between everything from classical to reggae and hip hop. I enjoy it all because it's usually local people that I know. It brings me great joy to listen to a band and think, "Hey, I know them! Their bassist slept with my ex-girlfriend! Cool!"
So today on my ride home I was surprised to hear, for the first time, a talk show. I listened for a little bit and then groaned when I learned it was a Christian talk show. Just as I reached over to change the channel I heard someone mention ET. This caught me off guard so I began listening to what they had to say. Surprisingly this was an extremely liberal religion talk show.
Evidently one of the men on the show had written a book about "Catholic Movies" as he called them. These were movies that weren't necessarily about Catholicism but rather represented "Catholic Values". "Steven Spielberg isn't even Catholic, he's Jewish!" said one caller to which the host replied, "So was Jesus Christ." Then he laughed.
Christians aren't supposed to do this, are they? They're not supposed to actually admit that Jesus was a Jew never mind laugh about it! I was intrigued because this guy seemed to me to be just about the coolest Christian I had ever heard.
So he goes on comparing E.T. to Jesus and explaining the similarities. For reasons unknown I was very turned on by the whole experience and raced home to go on-line and see if there was anything I could find there. I went to Google and typed in:
|jesus E.T. steven spielberg catholics
What I got wasn't what I was looking for but it entertained me nonetheless. What I found was a much more "typical" response to the movie E.T., titled Beware of ET, written by the honorable Pastor James R. Hines.
Now Hines hasn't necessarily "seen" the movie but he has some strong opinions about it. He starts off right off the bat by painting a really ugly picture of ET for the reader. He talks about his "frog-like eyes" and his "bulging belly that hangs perilously close to the ground." Now to me, a child of the 80's, this is blasphemy! Knocking E.T.--to someone of my generation--is like kicking Yoda in the head or dissing Optimus Prime. That gets me angry!
One thing I enjoy about this article is its timeliness. Why is it on the internet at all? Is someone actually still upset about this? It this was the first thing every uploaded to the World Wide Web, it would still have been out of date then. It was clearly written a long time ago based on the predictions made at the beginning of the article. Some predictions include:
- "Before long, [E.T.] will have taken the place of Mickey Mouse as the leading fantasy figure of American youngsters."
- "So the popularity of E.T. win grow and Christians across the country will be invited to see the show. With the level of Christianity being what it is nowadays, a great number of them will lay their Bible aside and dash off to the theatre."
- "As certainly as night follows day there will be an "E.T. II," or "Return of E.T." not too far in the future. After all, you can't allow a creature that lucrative to simply disappear into outer space for good."
Okay, I'm used to idiots so I'll make this brief. Why would someone make all these stupid predictions twenty years ago and then post them now when none of them have come true? I can understand at least one of the predictions, it was reasonable to assume that there would be a sequel to such a successful movie. But there wasn't and there never will be. So what reason, other than wanting to look stupid, could the author have for posting this anyway?
Also, I am not a "holy" man. I am not what can be defined in dictionary terms as "a christian", but I'm pretty sure that if you want to go see E.T. you don't have to actually "lay your bible aside" at least not for any longer than an hour and a half. I don't think this is an either/or situation.
The good Reverend also goes on to answer age old question: Should a Christian go see E.T.? Before today, I didn't know the answer, now I do.
No! Do not see this movie. I wish I could erase the image of E.T. and Elliot in the bicycle sillouhetted by moonlight that is painted in my mind (and on most of the lunch boxes in my basement) but I can't. Now I have a question: Can I be saved? Mr. Hines doesn't address this but I think it is a matter of grave concern.
The Pastor really makes the family in E.T. out to be quite awful. The kids "continually lie, cover their walls with girlie pictures, make raids on the hardware stare [sic] to steal equipment, keep dirty magazines hidden behind the couch, listen to rock music and ignore their mother." Damn. I mean, Gee Whiz. I don't remember them being that bad. Speaking of the mother, here's what Jimmy has to say about her:
"She works, fights the urge to overeat, tosses stacks of overdue bids in the waste basket, keeps a six-pack in the refrigerator, screams at the kids (who completely ignore her), spends her money on herb plasters and creams to make her beautiful and lives in eternal hope that some man will come along she can get involved with. She worries that there may be a sex maniac in the neighborhood, but hopes he finds her instead of the children if he is there."
What? Now I'll admit, it's been a while since I've seen E.T., but it can't have been that long! Either he's completely assuming that last line or taking something else completely out of context. Or the mother from E.T. did want to get raped and I just dismissed it from my mind as an unimportant plot point.
Then there's the clear parallel of E.T.'s life to that of Jesus Christ. Surely this was done on purpose. I mean come on! Really! Do you think that Steven Spielberg just made up all this stuff? Think about it: A creature from "another world" who is far more wise and loving than anyone on earth. No one understands him and finally the government closes in on him seeking to seize him, but he dies. (Sure the government killed Jesus directly, but Spielberg must have simply changed this a little to throw people off the scent, nice try but you can't escape the hyper-aware prying nose of an insane Christian who has never seen your movie! You're busted, Spielberg!) Then calling to his "captain" in the sky he is picked up and returned to "space."
It's funny because the author goes on to mention that "Whether the parallels in the story with the life of Christ were deliberately intended by the author or a clever stroke of the Devil, we do not know, but the fact that they are there cannot be denied."
I think I'm starting to get it. Steven Spielberg simply wasn't talented enough to come up with a movie like this. He stole this story almost directly from the New Testament. Sure some of the names have been changed (If you assign numerical values to the letters of the alphabet [i.e. a=1, b=2, c=3, etc.] and add up the values of the names Elliot and Peter then subtract the value of Peter from the value of Elliot the number you get is 9 which in alphabetical terms is the letter "I". As we know from another Spielberg film: "In latin Jehovah begins with an "I" Coincidence? You be the judge.) but essentially it's clear what is being done here. A young Drew Barrymore represents the Virgin Mary while the mother older brother Michael is clearly Judas Iscariot. (It is unimportant to my theory but just FYI the mother is Simon Zealotes).
Spielberg, who was coming off a slump with such sleepers and dogs as Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark clearly recognized his career going down the tubes. He must have signed some sort of deal with the devil. The Devil gave him the script but if you ask me he could have done a better job of covering up what he was doing.
If you still don't believe me--though I can scarcely imagine someone that stupid--then read on. Here are just some of the things that ET did in the movie that parallels the life of Jesus Christ.
- E.T. had a prior extra-terrestrial existence.
- The three admirers (Elliott, Gertie, and Michael) knelt before him. This occurred when E.T. had run to the closet after being frightened by the little girl. (And can that
really be a stained-glass window we see behind them?)
- E.T. had occasion to feel rejected and forsaken on earth.
- Groups of men pursued him carrying lights and weapons in the night. One thinks of Gethsemane here.
- E.T. also had an 'involvement' with an alcoholic beverage. People still celebrate Christ's turning the water to wine.
- E.T. wore a robe.
- And as he emerged from the van after regaining life, he is shrouded in white. The transfiguration of Jesus is described in terms of His 'white raiment' (Matthew 17:2).
- E.T. communicated with 'home.'
- E.T. encountered much trouble from governmental authorities. In this case, U.S. Government rather than Roman or Hebrew.
- E.T. wept. Another 'ouch!'
- E.T. had the capacity of defying gravity and could 'hold' others up with him. Peter's faith kept him above the waves with jesus when He walked on the water.
- While E.T. was suffering and dying, he called out, 'Mom.' Of course, she was Elliott's mother, but her name, interestingly enough, is Mary.
- E.T. died. And note that the doctor pronounced him dead at 15:36 (3:36 p.m.). It is especially significant to recall that the Gospels place the death of Jesus on the cross at some brief time after the 'ninth hour' Matthew 27:45). The Hebrew day began at 6 a.m. so the ninth hour would have been 3 p.m.
- And it seems that E.T. had to die so that Elliott could live.
- But E.T. attained resurrection from death. Elliott declared, 'He's alive!'
- He also said in his final moments on earth to Elliott, 'Come.' Matthew 14:29 reads, 'And he said, Come.'
- And when E.T. returns to his origins we all can see a rainbow flashing across the sky."
I've got to tell you, I thought this was just silly when I first started reading, but now I'm convinced. I see what the Reverend Jimmy Hines was saying. E.T. is Jesus Christ! A few questions about the new Christian Religion that will inevitably spring up:
- Will we have to count the rosary on a circular saw? If so, isn't that dangerous?
- Will praying be called "Phoning Home?"
- Will Peter, Paul and Mary be renamed Elliot, Paul and Mary?
- Will Peter, Paul and Mary be renamed Elliot, Paul and Gertie?
- Will communion wafers be replaced by Reeces Pieces?
- Will over zealous christian high school children everywhere release frogs into freedom from being cut open only to find out that the frogs were already dead? If so, will this flood the world with dead frogs?
- Will the frogs affect the earth's climate?
- If Jesus drinks beer will we get drunk?