|Tandra Page 1207, Quo Vadis|
|I’m sitting on my back porch looking out over the yard as the rising sun brightens the Eastern sky.
Watching the 1951 big budget extravaganza, “Quo Vadis”, from the book by Henryk Sienkiewicz, is like watching a film from another civilization or from another world.
“You will never see another film like this in your lifetime!” proclaimed the trailers.
This is a movie, pretty much as were all big budget costume epics up thru “Spartacus” (The Kirk Douglas movie, not the cartoon violence recent television series) where Christians are the good guys and the pagans are the bad guys. The prevailing theme of movies such as this was the male lead was the pagan bad guy, but with a heart of gold, while his love interest had fallen under the influence of the Christians. Thru perseverance and good works, the love interest convinced the male lead to change his ways and embrace Christianity. This same scenario played out in “Ben-Hur” a half dozen years later. The variation presented in “The Robe” was the male lead embraced Christianity and his love interest joined him to be executed for his conversion because she was so smitten by his charms. The contrived implication in the final scene, as they both walk off the set to be executed and climb into the clouds, is they have both chosen the path to the Christian afterlife. Not exactly John, Three-Sixteen (the leather bound, red letter, King James Version), but Hollywood was never famous for getting the theology straight.
Looking back on history (real history as opposed to the Hollywood hokum), it is easy to see how the Roman Authorities would view Christians as a subversive threat to Roman Law and Order. Christians held in high regard a subversive rabble rouser who had been executed for attempting to incite the Jews to rebellion. (Understand I am giving the Roman view of this subversive, and not the King James Bible approved version.) Not only were Christians refusing to submit to Roman Law, they were reported to be cannibals eating human flesh and drinking blood, clearly not main stream Roman culture.
But the Supreme Crime was the Christian refusal to recognize the Emperor as a god. This does not necessarily mean the Emperor was believed to do supernatural wonders. It simply meant his word was law on Earth and anyone who refused to recognize his authority was encouraging anarchy and destruction of Rome itself. It was as though a group of people in America insisted they are not bound by American Law and demand a set of exclusive rules all their own. These people would not need to advocate violent rebellion against the Beltway regime to be viewed with open suspicion.
Christians, like the Jews, have never been totally and unconditionally supportive of the regime in question. Christian compliance with civil law has always been given with very long strings attached.
Even when Emperor Constintine nationalized Christianity coz nationalization was beginning to appear more promising than extermination, it was less a matter of Rome nationalizing Christians than Christians absorbing Rome. For years thereafter, secular kings of European states were required to seek approval for their actions from the head of the church. In many cases, it was the Pope, or his representative, who placed the crown of state on the king’s head, implying the secular king was explicitly subservient to the Church.
This observation has led me to some speculation I will investigate in more detail for the Sunday Update.
Never forget Lexington and Concord!
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